Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Stonewall Jackson Moment

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," saving gas on Memorial Day by staying home and using the El!

Every time the prince of petrol goes up another dime, my native home in Appalachia gets farther and farther away. It's okay, though. The mountains are in my heart. And New Jersey is in my backyard, yo.

This picture doesn't look a thing like Hilary Clinton. But she just suffered what I call a "Stonewall Jackson Moment."

No one will argue that Stonewall Jackson was a brilliant military theorist who excited deep devotion in his troops. But Stonewall had an Achilles heel. He thought he could go without sleep. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, he would go two or three days without sleeping, and then lie down for a catnap.

Eventually this sleep deprivation eroded Stonewall's judgment to an alarming degree. And yes, I'm sure of it, because I read a lengthy biography of Stonewall Jackson. There were several pitched battles where he made stupid mistakes. And then there was the fatal one. He was out wandering around and got shot by a Confederate picket. The shooter wasn't even court-martialed.

When presidential candidates jet around the country, speaking in Oregon at 10:00 in the morning and Florida at 2:00 the same day, when they're up all night crafting speeches and talking points, cat-napping on planes, dropping on hotel beds at 3:00 a.m., they're going to lose it sooner or later. Mrs. Clinton lost it. Big time.

While back, Barak Obama stopped at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News for a talk with the editorial staffs. Later I saw someone who attended that meeting. I asked her what she thought of Obama close up. She said, "He seemed tired. He had trouble following the questions. He kept leaning forward like he was trying to concentrate. And his answers were sometimes incoherent."

Stonewall Jackson Moments.

No one asks us here at "The Gods Are Bored" to give our free advice in regards campaigning for president. But we would say that William McKinley won the presidency without ever leaving his front porch, while his opponent, William Jennings Bryant, criss-crossed the nation giving whistle-stop speeches in every small town.

Whatever you happen to be doing in life, get your sleep. Your brain needs it. You don't want to wind up like Stonewall Jackson, crossing the river to sleep in the shade of the trees while still in the prime of life. Nor do you want to be Hilary Clinton, making a remark in front of small-town reporters in South Dakota that, in your right mind, you'd never ever make.

Don't be a Stonewall. Rest yourself.


yellowdog granny said...

i have those kind of moments about 4-7 times a day...i call them old fart moments..

BBC said...

I'm staying home Memorial Day, the whole weekend, it's too crazy out there anymore.

I'll go back out after peace has returned to the beaches and campgrounds.

BBC said...

Hey, wise people are putting in gardens. If you don't have one you should think about it.

Anonymous said...


No offense, but it's smart people that are putting in gardens. Wise people are finding out where they live and when they AREN'T at home!


Elvis Drinkmo said...

That's good advice, Anne.

I only wish I could take it. Here it is 11:04PM and I've cracked open my third beer and I won't be going to bed for another three hours tops. But I'm not sure if I'm living a Stonewall Jackson moment or a Ulysses S. Grant one. :)

Anne Johnson said...

My garden is in, such as it is. The rest of my yard is devoted to Mother Nature, meaning pretty green stuff that everyone else would call "weeds."

I see trouble on the horizon. The pear tree is loaded this year. When those inedible suckers start hitting the ground, it's a hornet field day.

Hecate said...

And, not getting enough sleep can screw with your immune system. Sleep is a good thing.

Athana said...

Re: campaigning: I say, don't get into the race so durn early. The smart wo/man woulda waited til NOW, May 2008, to get into the running. Then s/he wouldn't be so durn tired!