I'm an intense, hyperactive woman with an imagination in overdrive who loves her Husby, her two Wonder Wieners, and her emerging career as an author and photographer.

Thursday, January 5

Absolutely Nothing

"WAR! Huh. Good God y'all, what is it good for? Absolutely nothin." My father left for Vietnam when I was 1-1/2 years old. I'm told that when he came in to kiss me goodbye, I stood in my crib and asked, "Daddy go bye-bye?" He didn't return for good until I was four. I have a memento from that time, a red silk baseball jacket with Snoopy on the back and my name on the front. He didn't know how big I'd grown; the jacket didn't fit me until I was five or six years old. When he was gone, my mother had an affair with another man, and by the time he returned, she'd moved in with the other guy and taken nearly everything from my father in divorce, including me. When I was eight years old, I went back to live with my father and his new wife, my step-mom, who I call Mom. There are many stories from that time in my life that will take many years to tell.

It's true. My father would never talk about the war. Before he died this past Spring, and before he lost his mind to dementia, we had only one significant conversation about it. I'll share my memories about that some other time.

Until this war, my only other experiences were about old men, with whom I could barely relate. The really old geezers, wearing the caps and handing out paper poppies on Veteran's Day. The dismal guys who beg on street corners, hoping that if they put "vet" on their cardboard, whether or not it's true, they'll get more money out of passing car windows. Not too long ago, I saw an extremely short clip about Britney Spears, giving a private concert to War Veterans. I'm surprised I saw it at all, as our current "free" press and media are obviously tightly controlled by corporate interests and our current "administration" (a word which I can only bring myself to say with bile in my throat). The American public doesn't get to see the dead and the wounded. The image that burns in my mind is of a kid with arm braces, standing on his one remaining leg; he wasn't even 20 years old.

Where is Osama bin Laden? Where is he in the world? Where is he in public consciousness? Where is he in our government's skewed priorities? How easily we are distracted from our leaders' schemes and ineptness. How short our attention spans.

There's a private outdoor bulletin board in West Seattle with a message to "Support Our Troops: They Protect the World." I want to change the four little letters in the last word to -ealthy. These children aren't protecting the world. They're being maimed and dying to protect the wealthy.

Oddly, these are the thoughts in my mind when I woke up this morning.


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