Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bullets In Heads

655,000.

You've seen this number, or figures close to it, all over the Web. You know what it is, and you know what it means.

We're all implicated. We're all covered in blood.

Naturally, there are deniers. To be expected. Many Americans are in denial about a good number of things, US foreign policy in particular. It amazes me, though it shouldn't, that to this day there are those Americans who cannot, will not, believe that we slaughtered millions in Southeast Asia. I've run into the incredulous on panels, and I've encountered them in private. For all the lip-smacking and arm-waving about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial, there's plenty of comparable moral blindness on our end, the major difference being that Ahmadinejad, so far as I know, had no hand in operating or supporting Nazi death camps. Americans can't say the same about those we've exterminated either by hand or through tax dollars and political support.

Southeast Asia.

Central America.

The Middle East.

Iraq.

Weeks ago, I linked to a story on the culture jammer Banksy placing a hooded Abu Ghraib figure in front of a Disneyland ride. A minor gesture about major crimes. I don't know what kind of effect that had on those who saw it, but I'd rather have something like that put up and quickly taken down than not have it up at all. We should have countless kindred displays nationwide, if only to remind, startle, sicken, sadden or anger our fellow citizens who choose not to think about what's going on in their name. It's not the same as working to end our murderous and corrupt foreign policy, but it's something. I may very well create my own local version of Banksy's concept, and if I do, you'll see it plastered here.

That's about all I can type today without smashing my keyboard. I'll try to find some sketches tonight so that tomorrow we can share a few Friday laughs -- until the next round of numbers comes in.