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Happy Forgetfulness Day

On Memorial Day we’re supposed to recall the people in battle who suffer and fall. Corollary we insist that human descent, from the plains of Versailles to the rivers of Ghent, is all for the best. Now I won’t sing that bombing has no good effect (if you ignore the lives and the cities all wrecked) but I also won’t crank up the anthem refrain that no death is in vain, no death is in vain! Today, as we rest, we forget the rest. In parades we fete gross, not net.

In other respects our remembrance is skewed; while we swear that from now we’ll never be rude to detainees who will not be moved to a trial. Now we’ll put aside torture and ask with a smile. That’s what we were told in the years gone behind; we might ask what prevents waterboarding rewind when it’s all kept a secret and boxed in the dark. When memories dredged up are uncomfortably stark, we look forward, not back. The future is soothingly bare. And if we don’t look at our Schrodinger’s past, is it there?

3 comments to Happy Forgetfulness Day

  • Tom

    Good one, Jim. This is the main reason i don’t attend parades (even WITH free ice cream, sponsored by the TARP funded bank) – the glorification of war is delusional.

    How stupid do we have to be to erect all manner of memorials, obelisks, walls with too many names to read, plaques, statues, and museums to the dead and their means of destruction – only to practically base our entire economy on this very enterprise? Meanwhile, we conveniently ignore the fact that in most wars its the women and children (collateral damage) that are most effected.

    Yea us, woo-hoo! (boo-hoo too)

  • ccdev

    yeah, man, the memorials etc is a lot of crap. respect those who died fighting,what about those who died not fighting the war but just cause they were caught in it? what about those that died fighting in a war they didn’t believe in just cause the politicans said they should? and brilliant comment about the economy of the US all tied to it; not the mention the political cronies who would gain from war (eg halliburton, blackwater and ‘defence’ contractors). Then the same political cronies erect all these memoriums as a sign of respect to the dead, might as well spit on the dead, i say!

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