Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Merry Christmas (Joyeaux Noel)...and Ultrarunning

Totally out of season, the bride and I just watched Merry Christmas (Joyeaux Noel) about the 1914 Christmas Eve truce on a portion of the Western Front of WWI.  The film centered on troops sharing the front from three countries: Germans, French, and Scots, and who spontaneously shared a moment of humanity amongst all the killing by an impromptu cease-fire along their portion of the lines.

Suffice it to say that it was a well-done, poignant movie.  I kept thinking about my great-grandfather Julius, a German soldier who died on the last day of the war, 11 November 1981, after the armistice was signed.

This image below was one of the end pieces of the film as the credits rolled.  The kitty was either called Felix (by the Germans) or Nestor (by the French).  The "real" name was Nestor, since one of the French soldiers knew the farm on which the trenches ran--and the cat--from before the war.

Of course, I have always maintained that it's the wrong phrasing to say, for example, "What's the cat's name?" since we can never know what any animal calls itself, which would be the real name.

The link to Ultrarunning, of course, is that I am continually reminded of how first-world (i.e., an optional leisure pursuit) this sport we love is, compared to situations such as those in the film...where ordinary people through no fault or doing of their own are thrust into a life-or-death struggle initiated and controlled by the so-called responsible adults in charge.

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