Sunday :: Jan 20, 2008

One Looks, But Does One See?


by paradox

[Cross-posted from Daily Kos]

I was watching The Universe on the Discovery Channel the other night, and it turns out we’re positive from Newton and Einstein that at least half (!) of the total mass of the universe is completely invisible and un-measurable to us. From the velocity of rotating galaxies there must be much more matter out there, but we have not the faintest idea what it is, even after looking very hard for it.

Ain’t that some shit—even when one looks with everything that is possible, only half the world is ever comprehended by us. To me it was a vivid reminder--once again--of how poorly we understand our world, how easy it is to miss huge elements right in front of us. The worst part is the surety that what we’re we know, what we have so glibly filed away as facts that anchor out existence, must be full of huge voids of mis-comprehension, but we’re just oblivious to it.

Kossarians can employ this phenomena by looking at the graphic masthead of their cherished site: Daily Kos. Look at it and what does one see? The United States Army.

Whaaaaaat? Well, the text is broken out of uniform font shape by vertical and slanting lines, precisely mimicking military stencil style. There are thousand ways to modify fonts, but this one uses a militaristic element to do it. I’m no wizard of observation, I just have a vivid relationship with stenciled fonts, I recognize them instantly. For those who don’t the Army relationship there is completely hidden.

I have been a little heartsick, detached and unimpressed with Election 2008, because--just as in the masthead of this great site--when I visualize who were are as a people and a country I see guns. Tanks, missiles, submarines, rifles, grenades, bombs, knives, all at war in our name and our flag. It is so much of who we are and what we do it’s considered normal and intrinsic, but we chose to be this way.

It’s tragic to think abut what we could have done with the fortune we’ve squandered on instruments of death, yes, but what haunts me are the children of war. Turkana, currently primary writer for The Left Coaster, published an image of a child in war last week, frantically trying to ward off soldiers with the one arm he had left.

Remember around four years ago right before Christmas when US soldiers blasted to hell an Iraqi family who were confused at a checkpoint? A young girl of five was screaming in a pool of light at our soldiers, the blood of her mother splashed all over her.

So many years now I have been sick at what we have done to the children of our planet in our wars, all because we chose to. I know the arguments, I know the race of man, I know my own irrationality, I’ve heard it all a thousand times and I could give a rat’s ass, I want it stopped. No matter what is said or what happens it keeps continuing with no end in sight, no one in leadership doing everything they can to just stop it.

That, I am sure, is why I’m a liberal, a frantic daily hope that somehow a Democratic president can stop the war in Iraq as soon as he or she takes office in 2009. Dreams of solar power, equality and investments in our people will have wait until we stop the insanity of butchering humans to solve problems.

I am not so sure the candidates for President share my perspective, thus the detachment and coolness toward Election 2008. I will do everything I can for a Democratic victory, but it hurts and baffles me war and militarism seems to be so accepted as normal for our people and our country.

paradox :: 8:00 AM :: Comments (7) :: Digg It!