As a part of the writer’s group I work with, aptly titled “Writer’s Bloc” — the “k” omitted on purpose — I set out to put something down out of a long distant memory. The subject of the assignment was “a piece of mail.” The memory I eventually picked was not entirely accurate or truthful perhaps, but in spirit one of my favorites. The time I chose was WWII. The experiences are still vivid to me and it was a period of history I was curiously fond of, in spite of the “seriousness” of it all.
Yesterday, December 16, 1944, was the last date in history when the United States had its military backbone broken on the battlefield — and then miraculously repaired — all in the span of six, torturous, days. The last great push of the Wehrmacht to turn the tide of the war one, final, time forever — became infamously known as “The Battle of the Bulge” named for the way the Nazi Army pressed against the Allied lines to “bulge” the defense to the point of bursting — and it is no secret the Allies almost lost WWII right there in those muddy, frozen, trenches.
I enjoy watching the new “V” series reincarnated on the ABC television network. The earlier — 1983 version — of “V” on NBC was bloodier, but not quite as interesting. “V” — if you don’t know is a synonym for “Visitor” — which they really aren’t — because Vs are actually aliens waiting to take over planet earth. Vs are more invader than visitor and figuring that out is part of the charm of the show. We know this because a series of “motherships” hover over major cities in the world just waiting to reign down destruction in the inevitable takeover. The bottom of the V-ships are like outdoor advertising. The Vs can communicate directly with us via a giant TV screen that is their warship underbelly.
John Walker Lindh was the first real victim of the new American torture policy. Naked, and bound to a stretcher with a bullet in his leg, he was denied basic human rights and healthcare and was given less respect than an animal prepared for the slaughterhouse.
I overheard a conversation on the street the other day. One woman said to another woman, “She’s so lucky. Married 40 years and he never cheated on her.” The other woman sighed as if she’d been passionately kissed. I wondered why never cheating was something to celebrate instead of something to expect. When we begin to admire expected, ordinary, behavior and label it “extraordinary” by inference or by honor — we’re on the short path to the dissolution of civilization where every act and deed is heroic and deserving. The “expected incorruptible” reminded of the story of Monica Brown I recently watched on 60 Minutes. Pvt. Brown was the second woman in USA history to be awarded the Silver Star.
Inspired by China, the United States Army plans to use acupuncture on the battlefield to bring health and healing to the wounded.
Do we create our thoughts? If we create them, do we own them? The United States Army is working on new “thought helmets” where “thought synthesis” between soldiers will be immediate an unspoken.