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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Maybe it's because I grew up watching Casper

File this under strange things that you really didn't need to know about me, but...

As some of you know, I'm a bit of a history buff.   Not in any organized manner, mind you.   My interest doesn't focus on any one period or place. 

There are periods and cultures that hold less interest for me, but I can honestly say that if I have an hour or three to kill at an airport or between meetings, nothing is more enjoyable than going into Wikipedia, entering the current date, and reading up on what happened around the world throughout history on that date.

Such an endeavor is like a rabbit hole for me.  One link leads to another... and another.  A famous person associated with a historic event has his/her own link, which leads to other events... until three hours later I have to say a reluctant good-bye to the Barbary Pirates or General Longstreet because I hear my flight being called.

You get the idea.

Some of you may also know that I've had the privilege of traveling quite a lot in my life.  First as a musician, then in the navy, and then even more for business and pleasure. 

Each of these trips was proceeded by research into the culture and history of the places I'd be visiting... and quite often, while visiting a locale where something 'big' had happened (a battle, a famous speech, an assassination or execution, etc.), I'd wonder about the whole ghost thing. 

Do historic events leave behind some sort of imprint or echo of themselves in the places associated with them?  Do we?

Theology aside, I've always come down squarely on the non-believer side of the ghost question (at least as described by those who claim to have seen ghosts)... but for an odd reason:

Clothing.

I could probably be convinced that souls or spirits of living beings might, under certain circumstances, revisit places associated with their former existence, and maybe even communicate with the living.

But man-made objects (e.g. clothes, hats, weapons, glasses, false teeth, wigs, make-up, etc.) have no spirit/soul... so why would those items be able to come back to haunt us?

Simply put, I think it is theoretically possible for the ghost of the Captain of The Flying Dutchman to haunt the high seas.  But the ship was nothing but wood, iron and canvass.  Ghost ships sailing around the high seas?  Not so much.

Maybe it's because I grew up watching 'Casper the Friendly Ghost' on TV, but my take is that if by some chance spirits do walk among us here on this plane... common sense suggests they are either naked, or take on some form that doesn't require the material trappings of their former lives.

Hey, you knew I do most of my writing at 5:15 AM.  If you were looking forward to Wordsworth or Shelley, you might need to manage your expectations a tad!  :-)

Posted by David Bogner on August 30, 2012 | Permalink

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When I read your post's title, I thought it would lead to some factoid about Caspar Weinberger, SecDef under Reagan (and a great SecDef).

Turns out you meant 'Casper the Friendly Ghost'.

Posted by: antares | Aug 30, 2012 1:04:05 PM

antares... I am blessed to have a volunteer proofreader (several of them actually, but one who is really, really good)... and thanks to them (and now you) that mistake has been rectified. Did I mention I write really early in the morning? Not impressed? ;-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Aug 30, 2012 1:07:44 PM

Where oh where has my comment gone? Too weird?

Posted by: chairwoman | Aug 30, 2012 3:25:44 PM

You know, when I was a kid I never considered the implications of the fact that Casper was a child ghost.

Just thought I'd throw that into the mix.

Posted by: psachya | Aug 30, 2012 4:43:41 PM

the timing of this post is uncanny (well for me)
we are leaving tomorrow on a trip to Gettysburg. (a dear friends wish for her 50th bday celebration). the b&b we are staying at is said to be haunted as it served as a make shift hospital during the battles.
i will need to run your theory by our friends ... preferably late one night...by candle light.

Posted by: weese | Aug 30, 2012 6:45:45 PM

Why would you think that the human body is any more than "wood, iron and canvas"? We're just meat and bones. That indescribable something that we possess that the ship doesn't can be heard and felt, yes? But not seen, naked or not. Hmmmm... meant that to be sort of morbidly humorous, but clearly I'm not funny at this hour of the morning. Still -- it does resonate. So I'm hitting "Post" anyway. Have a nice Shabbat, fellow meat sack. ;-) With a little Casper inside, fighting to be more.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Aug 31, 2012 5:49:43 AM

Apropos of nothing whatsoever, I saw one of your commenters - rutimizrachi - in a sushi bar recently. When I asked "Eastern Ruth" what she was planning to order, she said that her arthritis had been kicking up quite a bit lately - and, amazingly enough, there was a special sushi roll that had marvelous curative powers for that condition.

"What kind of sushi roll?" I asked...

...and she replied...

(wait for it)

..."A Rheumatiz-Maki."

Posted by: Elisson | Sep 2, 2012 12:49:06 AM

That was just the ghost-me, Elisson. I don't yet suffer arthritis, b"H. But you are odd. Clearly, we could be friends.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Sep 2, 2012 4:58:39 PM

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