OK. Let’s start this November Magazine with some easy listening. It’s the song Easy Chair or Down in the Easy Chair by Bob Dylan. It was recorded first by the Byrds back in the 70’s. Dylan himself had recorded the song on his unreleased- it was leaked out as an underground record several years later – Basement Tapes with The Band album. Hoagie Carmichael wrote his Rockin’ Chair back in the 1930’s. The Band also used the image in their wonderful song Rockin’ Chair in 1969, and Dylan uses it here too. Anyhow, me and Maybank like to play it. It’s an easy song to play, so we think that maybe someday we can do it right. So here’s to stayin at home in the easy chair.
November is a very fine and beautiful Autumnal month. In the northern hemisphere we start to get a bit of colder weather, the beginnings of winter. Definitely there’s bit of harshness to this eleventh month, but the cold winds are cushioned by the great American holiday of Thanksgiving. However, right after Thanksgiving we get hit with the American monstrosity of Black Friday! Yikes! Whatta month!
Viv-a-vis the politics, the Bumbastories staff has their fingers crossed. Indeed we even have our legs and several other (unmentioned) body parts crossed – which makes for some highly jangled, albeit interestingly tangled, positions. In any case, we still want to salute the number eleven, November being the eleventh month and all.
Officially, and let’s be honest here, eleven should not count as a numeral. Eleven is not a numeral. It’s not. In our Bumbastories March Through the Numbers we ought to draw the line at the nine or maybe the ten. But since we do these magazines every month, we might as well do something for the eleven. Anyhow, 11 is composed of two numerals. And heck, the eleven is cool, and it’s November, and here goes a (slightly edited) re-post.
Onze, 11. A fine number. A prime. Composed of two numerals, two 1’s. Mathematically, the eleven is not particulary interesting, it’s not useful in constructing things. Nothing in nature uses eleven-fold symmetry if I’m not mistaken. But we humans have a certain liking for the eleven. We do. Eleven connotes a certain solidity, a feeling of dominance, or power. Eleven, which is derived in English from “one lef” or “one left over after the ten” appears surprisingly frequently in our languages and in our various cultures. The 7-11 convenience store network comes to mind. And I wish it didn’t.
The Statue of Liberty stands on Bedloe Island in N.Y harbor on what was originally an eleven-pointed island (It has eroded a bit at the corners). What a beautiful symbol. Long may she stand! The Marina trench, the lowest place on earth is hidden in the Pacific Ocean 11 km down, deeper than Mt. Everest is high! The Canadian dollar coin and the Indian two-rupee coin are eleven sided. OK, I’ll stop. It’s the eleventh hour, and I still have to get down to the 7-11.
Football is played with 11 men. Likewise cricket. Did I mention the 7-11 convenience store? I have to go there later. There’s the 11 O’Clock News, Apollo 11, and Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, and Veterans’ Day – which are commemorated on 11/11, because World War I ended on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month back in 1918. May the memory of those millions who died in WWI be blessed. Looking back at history, we can see that WWI was avoidable. All those soldiers didn’t have to die. May all the fallen soldiers in all the wars rest in peace. And let us always strive to avoid wars and to seek peace in the future.