Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"The Vietnam War"

Is anyone else watching "TheVietnam War," the 10-part, 18-hour reprise from documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick? I watched the first two segments and probably will see it through, though I am not entirely sure why.

It is like twice-shed tears ... horror in the first instance, horror in the second, but not exactly the same. I paid good money so your children could be raped within and without. I am so sorry and yet sorry doesn't cut it.

It isn't going to change and Jack Kennedy said it all when, in the second episode, he admitted to being trapped between a rock and a politician's hard place ... he could not do the right thing and expect to be re-elected, which is what every politician who ever started or prolonged a war longs for.

The sorrow mushing around inside as I watch is so grinding that I find myself fleeing into the humor of Monty Python and the old Catholic stand-by, self-abnegation.

Only of course it's fucking-A not funny at all.

I am so sorry.

To kill or maim your children. Where do I get off imaging, let alone implementing, that shit? I was in the pencil-pushing army during the early part of Vietnam. I was never put in a position where I would (and I know I would) kill someone. If that was a bit of luck, the luck ran out for 58,000 Americans ... and I helped.

In Buddhism, I read somewhere that Gautama (the one referred to as "the Buddha") once looked into the future and wept. If only once-cried tears could wash away what so desperately wants to be washed away.

I can't cleanse it, but I reserve the right to shudder and whine.

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