Tuesday, March 26, 2013
In the Meantime
I watched "Winter's Bone" last night. I might work up a review on it, as it is a very fine film, plus it has appearances by the wonderful musicians Jim and Kim Lansford, who live more or less where the story happens. However, this morning I ran into this piece, via Digby. I thought I should put this link up--it should be as available as possible:
It has been a good thing, this 10th Anniversary of our Iraq Adventure. I've put up some excellent links in pieces below. We should all read the Juan Cole link, and more than once. All of Charles Pierce's commentary last week was wonderful to read. Perhaps the most worrisome thing to contemplate in the long, terrible string of decisions which led the United States to attack another country for essentially reasons of propaganda and possibly private venality, is this: the United States is quite obviously vulnerable to being "flipped" like a tiddlywink by actions which should never have such a capability.
An asteroid did not hit New York City on 9/11/01. The power did not go off. A gigantic blizzard did not freeze the oceans. But 19 guys with box cutters and improvised weapons at hand did manage to get two wars started, one of which still continues. The whole path of the United States was altered. People said, seriously, that the world had changed fundamentally. Because they were powerful people, it did, even if not in the way they imagined at the time.
If the press is going to rethink what its role was and is in such events, it really ought to start with the in-depth questions. The reason why response to 9/11 should have been a police action was fundamentally that such a response is what is appropriate to a vandalism. Our actual response elevated everything. 9/11 became Pearl Harbor II. But in fact, 9/11 exposed our vulnerabilities, and our response exposed them even further, and our current political insanities, yet again and further still.
If there are any serious geopolitical dangers at the moment, we should be very concerned indeed for the fate of our country and our democracy.
Saturday Update. This is how "news" comes to all of us sometimes. Day after Libby and I watched "Winter's Bone," and before I'd gotten a chance to drop Jim and Kin Lansford an email about how happy I was for them to have gotten that bit of recognition in a celebrated movie, the "Old Time Herald" magazine arrives in my mail box and informs me that Jim passed away last October, from cancer. In the rooms the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo. Spring arrives, and the beeches, which dot my woods, still grip their last years leaves, now a pale tan-gold, and the last reminder of the old year. Next week there will be green shoots, and red bud, and the maples will bring forth their buds high in the canopy.
Quite a long time back now, I wrote a dumb review in the Herald of Jim and Kim's first CD. He wrote me a very gracious letter about it, and I apologized, and later we became friends sharing a week at the Augusta Workshops up in Elkins, WV. Jim and Kim made a number of very strong CDs, which feature excellent pickin' and real good harmony singing. Kim's got a great voice. Jim could play all the traditional instruments, and well. Here they are, just two years ago:
The two of them ran a farm in southwest Missouri, near Galena. They raised sheep I think it was. They made the hard effort to live by their lights, and succeeded, as I hope Kim is continuing to do, dealing with her grief. They made a sweet couple, and Libby and I will always be sorry we didn't get out there to their farm for a visit. If you want to buy some of their excellent music, here's a good way to do it:
You might want to go find Gary Snyder's "Dodger Point Lookout" and give it a read too.