Another Memorial

We are powerful and brave.

We are angry, afraid and greedy. We always want more than we have. We are ingenious.

We have invented so many superb ways to show our strength, to assuage our fear, to give vent to our anger, to take what we want.

We will hit you with rocks. We will maim you with our sword and our battleaxe. We will blow holes in your soft flesh with our blunderbus, our musket, our carbine, our pistol, our machine gun, and the life will drain from your mortal body, while we take what we want from you, your family, your home.

We will blow up your buildings, your public places, your railroad tracks, your factories, your electrical generating facilities, your airports, your roads, the very houses you dwell in.

We will organize ourselves into huge armies, and these armies will be the grandest achievements, hundreds of thousands of us in uniforms, training, planning, arming. We will tell ourselves, and you, that we only want to protect ourselves. But in our fear, our anger, our greed and our hatred, we will move to dominate you, to subjugate you, to take your treasures.

Failing that, we will kill you. We will take you in our hands and we will blacken your mind, stop your heart, wring the blood out of you, and all your kind. We will scorch the earth you live on. It is within our power. It is within our hearts.

No one of us can remember when this started. We have always done this, even before we invented our excellent weapons. Every day we teach our children to be ready for this. The marching, the taking, the killing. We do this to our children.

There is no place on earth left to hide.

This is my memorial to all of them who died. To all who killed. To all who are dying and killing even right now, as I think these thoughts. I weep for you and myself, and all who will come after us to continue the carnage. Bring glory on us. Bring your wrath and your fire. Bring peace through devastation. Bring it to every town, to every street, to every home, and we shall have peace, and our heroes at last may rest.
Joe Frank has made an eloquent audio statement on this subject.
You can listen to it by clicking here.

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28 Replies to “Another Memorial”

  1. This post reminds me of a John Adams quote:

    “I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain.”

    It’s depressing we’ve never moved past the politics and war stage. At the ’84 convention Mario Cuomo said “Peace is better than war because life is better than death.” We talk a good game sometimes, but we’ve really never changed.

  2. Bravo, ya rotten creep! Did you steal that wonderful post from anybody? I’m sorely tempted to steal it from you. But the sorrow of what sick sad sacks of shit we are, even over the generations, is greater than my admiration for your cleverness. Even given examples, do people want to do more good themselves? No, they want to build memorials to ourselves and make saints out of popes. What would it hurt to make a pope (or other respected leader) out of a homeless bum? Human thinking doesn’t change. There are more “untouchables” in the world than India alone ever dreamed of. Let us always do things exactly the same and congratulate ourselves for having deep traditions and better mores than other races and religions.

    You wrote such a good one that my head came unscrewed!

  3. D’cat – It’s all talk. We can’t delude ourselves about this. Adams sounds like he wanted have “the war to end all war,” which we keep having, it seems. What we said in the 1960’s was “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” No matter what the politicians say, as long as people are willing to attend the party we will be bagging more and more and more bodies. I am in despair about this.

    Ron – Not stolen. I wish I had found it somewhere else, because that would mean someone was thinking along these lines. Nobody is. Maybe the Amish, I’m not sure.

  4. One of these millennia we may get it right, but definitely not within our puny lifetimes. I will be thinking on this somberly as I grill my weenies this weekend.

  5. It is the dilemma of greed and selfishness and intolerance.

    I want what you have so I’ll take it.

    I don’t want to share with you so I’ll watch you suffer.

    I don’t like the way you look and think and worship, so I’ll destroy you and your thoughts and your gods.

    And sometimes we allow it to happen to others and ourselves. We all have power and must learn to use it for the good of all. But then the question is how far are we willing to go? Would we become what we have beheld in order to win a better life?

    The end and the justification of the means, but that’s another question.

  6. Nature has conflict embedded. Our collective selfishness leads to doubt and mistrust. Pride pushes us to not compromise. No one intellectually wants to die or take a life. But humanity has a tendency to hold unwavering opinions of absolutes. It is a shame. The dark shadows of Nature. Hate, compared to love, is way to easy of a path to follow.

  7. Man oh man, this post makes you think hard about all the fun some of us are having this weekend. How do you reconcile the way life goes on over here while young soldiers are dying all over the world this weekend? Is that just the way it is?

  8. Adreeyin – I long for a dull moment…

    Stacie & No Bad Days – Welcome to revision99, where we are rarely this serious. Please come back for the kinky sex and the coffee.

    Jack – Perhaps Nature has conflict embedded, as you say. But we are not animals, and it’s time we stopped acting like animals.

  9. No Bad Days – Didn’t see your question at first. “Is that just the way it is?”
    It seems to be. As a young man I thought things were changing, but now I see that was only youth and inexperience. Things are not changing, so keep sending cookies to the front, and hope you won’t have to send your children.

  10. Oh Larry. Isn’t this just like us humans? We do something so deplorable, we maim, we kill, we rape, we steal, we burn, all in the name of our home, our country, our territory. We send out a message to the world, “Don’t fuck with us!” And in return, we expect to be glorified, and still believe that these people should be called heroes for what they have done. I do believe that they are heores. It is a story as old as time itself.

  11. Thanks, Laurie (are you just showing off your pretty new picture?).

    Kristi – I don’t see an end to our bad behavior, but…

    …Holly – I can’t deny you. Coffee and sex are on the way. Maybe The Monkees were on to something (“We’ll have time for coffee-flavored kisses…”)

  12. “The circle of life,” “The survival of the fittest,” this was a very fresh & eye opening way to explore these things. We are not “animals” per se, but we do have certain survival instincts like them. We have just become greedy & arrogant & have taken things too far. My father is a Vietnam vet & I will honor him today for all of those who spat upon him all those yrs. ago, not for the death that he may have caused, but for the fact that he did what he thought that he was supposed to do when he was too young to analyze it or have the luxury of the hindsight that we all have now……..

  13. t1 – It’s a shame that people spit on your father. This is not about any one soldier. As you say, they are mostly too young to make an informed decision about taking military action. Nations and religions are the actors I refer to. The conundrum is that we are them. No doubt many soldiers in Viet Nam and a thousand other battlefields saw that pulling the trigger was wrong, but did their armies? Their nations? Their gods? How long will we keep acting like we are only doing our duty, and someone else is to blame?

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