Friday, July 29


Welcome, long-forsaken readers, long-neglected keyboard. My failure to write a single word for a long stretch had a reason. I was scouring the four corners of the globe in search of the ever-elusive occupation known as, well, an occupation, which is to say, a job. To be sure, I exaggerate: I hit only three corners of the earth and, of those, only two in person, but the point here is that my mind and body have been elsewhere.

So, let me begin by thanking Steve, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, for his comments to my last post. And, although he showed no doubt and none was in fact warranted concerning the true object of the photo placed therein, I would like to put all possible suspicion to doubt by placing another photo from the same trip to what Americans have since WWII called Omaha Beach.


So, no, that was not Cancun that you saw in the photo of the previous post; that was (at least formerly) a rather busy battlefield. I have to say that even I, who generally view war as an insult to human intelligence and a depraved endeavor of the worst sort, found Omaha Beach to be quite a moving place to visit. All the war junk lying around, on the beach, in the sea, or even inland -- as with these pillboxes -- is a curiosity that itself inspired different reflections in me. Not only did I wonder why all the junk was left lying around, but I wondered if one could ever measure all the refuse, psychological or material, that humanity's (but mostly the United States') vast history of modern war-making has left behind. A recent study discussed in the Japanese press interviewed survivors of the atomic bombing by U.S. forces in Japan, and a majority of them still have nightmares over the "incidents."

Every few years, we read in the press that some unexploded bomb has been unearthed in a family garden in Tokyo or Dresden. Obviously, this seems incongruous to those of us who tend spontaneously to believe that, when wars are declared over, most of their villainous consequences are wiped away, too, but it is surely the case that most of modern war-making's insidious and cruel consequences for innocent lives never make it to press. Think only of Vietnam and the systematic violence carried out on that nation's ecological fabric...

To return to Steve's comments and the film "The Day After Tomorrow"... I forgot to mention that in this film, which felt was the best means by which to wake up the populace over the dangers of global warming, the most persistent act of product placement involved -- no, you would never have guessed -- the Fox "News" Network. Yep. The viewer of this film was made to believe that whenever there was anything of import happening in the nation, all eyes turned instantly to some Fox News beauty-head. Yes, Fox News, that corporation that goes out of its way to remove all possibility of criticism against the most decisively eco-resistant government in operation today. The possibility of irony here simply doesn't hold up, either. The Dick Cheney talk-alike in the film is actually made to appear capable of remorse, and capable of admitting that, on the environment, he committed a massive blunder akin to global assassination on the scale never before conceived. But this admission is made in a kind-hearted sort of way, by a sort of huggy and warm grandpa figure who speaks his heart to the people of the nation. It is as if the Vice President were speaking on Barbara Walters, so that we could all see his warm-and-fuzzy side. And that is exactly the portrait of the monstrous and deceitful Cheney that Fox construes for its viewing public on virtually every day of the year.

The only sense I can see in this sick approach to serious issues is that it confirms what Joel Bakan has said about the sham nature of all corporate-run "good will." Whoever made "The Day After Tomorrow" must have watched in glee as and like organizations went haywire over the release of an "eco-friendly" film. It is not unlikely that they had seized upon this new market of "activists" to push across an "eco-theme," only to drown the whole thing in idiot catastrophe scenes and then smother it in butt-kisses for Cheney and his fellow thugs-in-office.