An arrogant man -
Custer developed a strong reputation during the Civil War. He fought in the first major engagement, the First Battle of Bull Run. His association with several important officers helped his career, as did his success as a highly effective cavalry commander. Custer was eventually promoted to the temporary rank (brevet) of major general. (At war's end, he reverted to his permanent rank of captain.) At the conclusion of the Appomattox Campaign, in which he and his troops played a decisive role, Custer was on hand at General Robert E. Lee's surrender.
After the Civil War, Custer was dispatched to the west to fight in the Indian Wars. His disastrous final battle overshadowed his prior achievements. Custer and all the men with him were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, fighting against a coalition of Native American tribes in a battle that has come to be popularly known in American history as "Custer's Last Stand"
Custer is controversial. In his day he was praised in the press and by many military men as well. However, there were also military men who thought him a buffoon, full of bluster and little substance, and the battle mainly a stupid waste. By today's standards of course, he was a total bigot.
Another Arrogant Man -
I did not ask to be here. I didn't ask to be born.
That was my teenage lament. In those years I was deeply resentful at my lot. I was absolutely lost and my people did not help. I did not understand the comfort they offered and I ran away as much as I could, not being very brave and ashamed with myself for my timidity. I was ugly enough about it that I made my family pay. Later as I found my way toward some kind of awkward emancipation I made them pay even more.
The vestiges of those resentments are still available to me. I still seek to blame sometimes, if not you then some part of me I can cast off like a broken shell.
Of course now, in my best self, I know very well that I asked to be here, in fact demanded it. I am more or less here much like a fellow leaves the hospital "against medical advice". I think I have something to prove by it. I think I will return to God's throne with compelling evidence how He fucked this all up.
Surely, I am an arrogant man.
I am not going to apologize to all you people for my arrogance. How could I? I would not be here like this or any other way without His permission. I already know that in every other way I cannot hope to succeed in my lifework without developing a huge compassion and capacity to love. Only through that can I possibly hold the truth in some holy light.
No One To Blame
I did not ask to be here.
It is not my fault.
Someone is to blame.
I am sure of that, old man.
Is it you to blame?
is truly legendary.
I heard those whispers.
In fact without you
I could not breathe very well
I don't think. I'd gasp
like a stranded fish.
May 25, 2012 3:12 PM