Fog-gray and chilly this early Monday on California’s north coast as it appears we’re in for several days of dry weather, though, overcast with a marine layer in the mornings.
No rain in the forecast until way-on-down the road.
Today is Memorial Day, of course, yet the reality of war seems a dream to most Americans — a thoughtful essay this morning at USAToday by Joe Millsap and the veterans still alive: ‘About 2.7 million veterans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, sometimes repeatedly. At least 970,000 have a recognized physical or psychological disability, and others have hidden scars.’
(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Head of a Horse, Sketch for Guernica,’ found here).
Every day, 22 former/current American GIs commit suicide — this from Garrison Keillor, published May 29, 2007, still distills the essence of the now. Keynote:
The Current Occupant drove over the bridge to Arlington and spoke at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a site of powerful reverence, and his speechwriter, in a hurry to finish and enjoy his weekend, gave him “From their deaths must come a world where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled — where our nation is more secure from attack, and where the gift of liberty is secured for millions who have never known it,” a line cobbled together from scrap lumber.
Shades of “the last full measure of devotion” and “we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain” but made from different cloth.
The reputation of the Gettysburg Address remains secure.
And the perpetrators walk around free as birds.
Another essay, this one by Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com, nails the reality of the occasion:
Indeed, as far as our wars are concerned, the very concept of historical memory has vanished from the post-9/11 world.
It seems the earth was born anew on September 11, 2001, and only ragged remnants of our mystified past — mostly from World War II and the Civil War — survived the purge.
In the new version our victories are exaggerated and glorified, while our defeats — e.g. Vietnam, Korea, our nasty little covert wars in Central and South America – are not even mentioned, let alone considered in depth.
The abolition of historical memory is one of the worst aspects of modernity: it is certainly the most depressing.
For the modern man, it’s an effort to recall what happened last week, never mind the last century.
The news cycle spins madly and ever-faster, and the result is that we are lost in the blur of Now: for all intents and purposes, we are a people without a history, who recall past events — if we remember them at all — as one would summon a vague and confusing dream.
Another war, another day…