Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Columns

March 10, 2009

LION AND THE LAMB: Reality

REALITY

Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

while you flip through television channels.

Quiet is the house,

with muffled sounds from flashy music videos on MTV,

celebrity gossip on VH1;

long  infomercials,

bright cartoons...

passing, passing mindlessly, through...

and then you stop...

two farmers lying in the grass

dead,

crushing sunflowers,

amidst overturned baskets of tomatoes and cucumbers;

a news reporter's voice saying these Iraqis were shot by soldiers

while they were watering their fields.

Still half-awake, but caught by the contrast of previous channels,

you feel uneasy.

So different is this from previous channels.

You piece together this news and your memory...

Iraq war, started when? Oh, yes, graduating from eighth grade then... it's still going on?

Over time

more news—

an 80-year old and his brother arrested;

a woman's husband taken from their home;

more soldiers sent to Iraq;

children asleep when their house is razed;

interrogators taking three men away,

stripped naked, they wait for more than a week, either standing or on their knees,

bound hand and foot,

bags over their heads..

—images not from Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down or Glory

Hollywood glitz and glamour

can't compare to what's going on around the globe—

Battle casualties,

road stops;

home searches;

torture;

families broken apart

constant fear;

long term effects—

sickness,

trauma,

side effects of depleted uranium and other weapons;

lies;

greed.

That quiet morning

cushioned in a soft sofa amidst a

fortress of pillows,

so different from what a morning must be like in Iraq.

Diverted for a time

only to be caught

with an onslaught of anger, guilt, despair

at how different life is here and across the globe...

This is not how I want the world to be;

governments and business

caring nothing about life,

nothing about freedom,

nothing about what happens to the earth, water, air...

How can we watch TV carelessly,

when switching from a music video

to a bomb explosion in a village street?

How is it that we can take another country's oil,

use it,

waste it, even

kill people for it?

How will this world be for the children and grandchildren who inherit it?

I ask worried,

overwhelmed,

as war still rages on.

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Columns
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  • STUMPTALK: Stimulating a war on prosperity and freedom Near Bush’s sunset, Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed chairman Bernanke terrified the nation with “the sky’s falling and America is doomed” unless the government steps in with new regulations, institutional takeovers and massive lending.

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  • LION AND THE LAMB: Reality Dim blue of early morning shines into the living room

    while you flip through television channels.

    March 10, 2009

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