Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Think Therefore I'm In Dude Squad

President's Message

"The mark of an educated man is the ability to entertain an idea without accepting it." -Aristotle

On Thursday as I sat flanked by two dudes with advanced degrees in fields I know relatively little about, I thought about how nice it would be to have a job. But then in the true spirit of the Dude Squad, I felt grateful for the awesome insights offered by so many well-educated dudes. And greater still, I would add, was my gratitude for the insights into Leo's pedigree. I've spent the bulk of my waking hours since then trying to wrap my mind around it. Truly impressive, Leo, may you have many sons.
And speaking of pedigrees, I'd like to thank Bret for magnifying his role as host with the new "Fuhrer" look. The resemblance was striking. Also thanks go out to Wendy who made her signature cookies and some delightful mushroom puffs. Discussion of Maus was thought provoking and cathartic (at least for me) in that we sincerely confronted a colossal nightmare from the not-so-distant past. Dude Squad can and must go deep and dark if it is ever to appreciate the flip side... and that brings us to Scott's choice for January. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin looks to be full of adventure, struggle, triumph and tea. More information will be forthcoming on discussion time and place.
Finally, I'd like to thank Sam Gilstrap for spear-heading the Dude Squad outing to Invictus, a movie about rugby and forgiveness. A good time was had by all 9 dudes that showed up including 2 junior dudes Ryan Gilstrap and Gage Renfroe. And of course I'd like to recognize for the record the dudes in attendance on December 10th for Maus discussion: Bret Prawitt, Sam Gilstrap, Scott Silva, Trevor Beck, Leo Bunting, Tyler Wilson, John Root, and Troy Thorup.
And so in the spirit of being a dude, I'd like to leave you with a quote from one of my favorite tyrants from history.

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." -Napoleon Bonaparte


  1. Dudes,

    Here is the full poem from the movie. It is great. The poet is a "Henley" which is my mom's maiden name. I like to think of the poet as a close relative of mine.

    If he were a Bunting, he could be Leo's older brother or youthful uncle as he was only born in 1849. Just kidding Leo.


    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    William Ernest Henley
    England 1849 - 1903

  2. Former Apostle's response to Invictus
    "The Soul's Captain"
    by Orson F. Whitney*

    Art thou in truth? Then what of Him
    Who bought thee with His blood?
    Who plunged into devouring seas
    And snatched thee from the flood,

    Who bore for all our fallen race
    What none but Him could bear--
    That God who died that man might live
    And endless glory share.

    Of what avail thy vaunted strength
    Apart from His vast might?
    Pray that His light may pierce the gloom
    That thou mayest see aright.

    Men are as bubbles on the wave,
    As leaves upon the tree,
    Thou, captain of thy soul! Forsooth,
    Who gave that place to thee?

    Free will is thine- free agency,
    To wield for right or wrong;
    But thou must answer unto Him
    To whom all souls belong.

    Bend to the dust that "head unbowed,"
    Small part of life's great whole,
    And see in Him and Him alone,
    The captain of thy soul.