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The Past is Still Recorded Online

This blog is out of use and out of date. I am now posting on mercedesorten.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 20, 2006

"'It's Only Rock and Roll, but I Like it': The Fall of Saigon"

The poem title in the subject heading of this post is about the US occupation in Vietnam. I read this poem today after reading an article about Sean Penn's activism and journalistic ventures in Iraq in my favorite magazine, "The New Yorker." Of course the connection between Iraq and Vietnam has been made before, and here, with this poem, I'm going to make it again.

"'It's Only Rock and Roll, but I Like It':
The Fall of Saigon

The guttural stammer of the chopper blades
Raising arabesques of dust, tearing leaves
From the orange trees lining the Embassy compound;
One chopper left, and a CBS cameraman leans
From inside its door, exploiting the artful
Mayhem. Somewhere a radio blares the Stones,
"I like it, like it, yes indeed..." Carts full
Of files blaze in the yard. Flak-jacketed marines
Gunpoint the crowd away. The overloaded chopper strains
And blunders from the roof. An ice-cream-suited
Saigonese drops his briefcase; both hands
Now cling to the airborne skis. The camera gets
It all: the marine leaning out the copter day,
His fists beating time. Then the hands giving way."

~David Wojahn (b. 1953)

Coincidentally, I read this poem again a few days later, and I had just heard about the "alleged" massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi citizens by a battalion of Marines. Note the repeated presence of the marines in the above poem. I find it coincidental that I recently posted this poem in relation to Sean Penn's activism and then news about these Marines comes out soon after. Read this article on NPR to find out what really happened on that horrible day in Haditha.
I suppose it is only natural for the Marines to be upset at the death of one of their own, but to lash out and kill 24 unarmed civilians inside of their homes in reaction to that death is, in my opinion, a horrible example of pure genocide. Genocide that they lied about initially. Genocide that could be prevented if we would get our butts out of Iraq, stop stressing out our soldiers and the Iraqi people with our continued occupation of their country.

I sympathize and will hear out all political views. I know that waxing political is not always the best thing to do publicly, however, I feel very strongly about Iraq and war in general. I’m a pacifist, and that does not mean I’m a crazy liberal. In fact, I wouldn’t consider myself liberal at all. Imagine that! I apologize if you disagree with my political views. Feel free to comment and let me know your opinion.

Current book I'm reading: "Women in Love" by D.H. Lawrence
Last movie I saw and loved: Annie Hall, an old, great, Woody Allen flick


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I am a marathoner. That means I have a tummy that could sieze a spider.