Monday, September 24, 2007

Iraq, the Documentary

So last night at 8 pm I was curled up on my cozy couch watching the Ken Burns' documentary on World War II. Whether you think Burns is a great filmmaker or not, it was hard not to be impressed by at least one aspect of the show: the relentless scenes of carnage that began in the first seconds and no doubt continued long after I'd slunk away. The personal stories Burns wanted to tell were already being ground under the weight of the nonstop death, burning buildings, blown-away faces, drowned corpses, emacitated prisoners of war, and howling children. It's a punishing thing to watch such audacious images of rat-a-tat-tat horror. But how much worse to have lived it?

But wait ... we are living it, aren't we? Rather than alternately wallowing and glorying in scenes of shocking 60-year-old violence, we might create more happiness in the world by considering the scenes of current violence being perpetrated, and counterperpetrated, this very day, in Iraq. What a wet blanket I am. You know, maybe I'll just skip the rest of the Iraq thing and wait for the documentary. Ken Burns will do a fabulous job with it. I just know it.

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