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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pornography: a poem about war

War as pornography is a concept I came upon while listening to a lecture by Chris Hedges.  The phrase struck me with great force and this poem came to me as my mind quickly rehashed the last five decades.

Fifty years ago being young and filled with the knowledge that the U.S. could do no wrong I did not question the right or wrong of the Vietnam war. I opposed it, but for selfish reasons.  I did not want to go.

Fifty years later that understanding which attributes virtue to acts of war has vanished. The revelations of the Pentagon Papers were the touchstone of reality.

The wars, based on lies presented to me in the mainstream media and which have been raging in the middle east for the last two decades have only served to instill a sense of dread in me.  

"How can we do this, how can we do this?" I keep asking myself.  It must be for the money and resources available is all I can come up with.

As I listened to Chris Hedges talk and heard the phrase "the pornography of war" a poem came to mind and I wrote it.  I titled it "Pornography".  I'm not pleased to have had to write it. The reality that provides the inspiration comprises the heart of darkness.

The photograph below was taken at the Vietnam War Memorial in Portland Oregon.  It is a somber, peaceful place that caused me much reflection and sadness when I visited in 2007.

Near the exit of the park is the memorial set aside for those still missing.

unfit for young eyes
shows the triple X news of the last 50 years
has been by persuasion with lies
supported by cheers.

Parents still cry for children they've lost,
but all involved have agreed,
some must fight and some must die,
some must stay at home and cry
so the marketplace is free.

Newsprint black magic,
spells cast with words
God and country the plea,
call it anything you want:
porn is what you see.

By David H. Roche (C) 2013

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.