Adonis Diaries

Archive for June 8th, 2015

 

Memorial Day? Coincides with Liberation Day from Israel occupation of Lebanon

Remember the dead or Remembering the martyrs?

Memorial and Veterans Days come with mixed feelings for veterans like me, especially as we witness how most Americans ‘celebrate’ these holidays.

The purpose of Memorial Day is to remember the dead. Some choose to only honor service members.  Others, like me, choose to honor all lives lost due to war. This includes the countless veterans who have died by suicide, or by disease stemming from Agent Orange, depleted uranium and other war related poisons, as well as those who died from addiction or self-destructive behaviors driven by the haunting ghosts of war.

I also honor the civilians who have perished in the crossfire of war, and who endure the same conditions in the aftermath that kill veterans. And yes, I honor the enemies who sought to kill me and my brothers and sisters in arms, because I know that the gods of war revel in all sacrifices, making no distinction between the good and bad guys, or civilians and combatants. They drink the blood of all wounded by the chaos, suffering, hate and broken bodies and minds. Make no mistake, we are all victims of this  bottomless hunger.

While the public honors the millions of faceless and nameless service members lost, veterans remember comrades who died beside them in their arms, at a distance blown up by an IED, on hospital beds, and here at home after the wars supposedly end. Families and friends mourn loved ones who left them walking to return in a box, body bag or not at all. This is the essence of Memorial Day. And while mourners will laugh between tears as they remember the beauty, kindness and humanity of a comrade and loved one, the pain stays and happiness, at least for this day, remains elusive.

While I am not against having fun at BBQs with family and friends as people enjoy the freedoms service members supposedly died to protect, I ask that people dedicate time to reflect on the meaning of the day. We owe it to those we claim to honor to think about how to end the scourge of war, and starve the beast that demands more blood and death.

I walked into the Rayburn Congress building in D.C. last week to visit House members and found myself surrounded by walls in the entranceway displaying the names of U.S. service members who have fallen in the wars conducted by my country since September 11, 2001.

For a time I was overwhelmed with grief. While I know I am suppose to be grateful, complacent and satisfied that veterans and current military serve to keep us all safe, and those who died made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, it simply does not ring true. In the middle of 22 veterans committing suicide a day, thousands homeless, a broken V.A. system and veterans who want jobs out of work, its hard to accept my service has been for the people.

I no longer believe that my well-being and prosperity depends on a frenzy of organized killing and mass scale violence. I do not accept that children in foreign lands must die so that my grandchildren will not face horrors here at home.

War profiteering and the greed and pursuit of power that drives war policies directly undermines the economic security on which true freedom depends. In the face of the growing disparity between rich and poor, with millions without healthcare or jobs, caught in poverty and under fear of domestic state violence, it seems like a lie that I served for freedom. All the while, we spend trillions on wars that displace millions of men, women and children.

And, we have killed a conservative estimate of tens of thousands of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Much of the world is on fire, with possibly more war on the horizon.

While I know that war will not end tomorrow, and that there are people in the world who wish me harm, I will honor the dead by struggling for peace in an effort to protect the living. The best way to ensure a prosperous, bright and peaceful future is to work to abolish war. Yes, we have a rough and steep road to travel, but I would rather die honoring life than devaluing it.

This is what I rededicate myself to this Memorial Day.

Michael McPhearson is Executive Director of Veterans For Peace, based in St. Louis, MO, and co-chair of the Don’t Shoot Coalition. Don’t Shoot formed in the direct aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson. McPhearson is a former Field Artillery Captain in the United States Army. He served in the 24th Mechanized Infantry Division during Desert Shield /Desert Storm, also known as Gulf War I. He is a Distinguished Military ROTC graduate of Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina with a B.S. degree in Sociology.

Andrew Bossone shared this link

“The purpose of Memorial Day is to remember the dead. Some choose to only honor service members.

Others, like me, choose to honor all lives lost due to war.

This includes the countless veterans who have died by suicide, or by disease stemming from Agent Orange, depleted uranium and other war related poisons, as well as those who died from addiction or self-destructive behaviors driven by the haunting ghosts of war.
I also honor the civilians who have perished in the crossfire of war, and who endure the same conditions in the aftermath that kill veterans.

And yes, I honor the enemies who sought to kill me and my brothers and sisters in arms, because I know that the gods of war revel in all sacrifices, making no distinction between the good and bad guys, or civilians and combatants.

They drink the blood of all wounded by the chaos, suffering, hate and broken bodies and minds. Make no mistake, we are all victims of this bottomless hunger.”
http://www.theroot.com/…/we_should_think_about_how_to_end_t…

See More

Some veterans have mixed feelings about Memorial Day celebrations, and a global hunger for war.
theroot.com|By Michael T. McPhearson

 

Expected, unexpected… Blah, blah, blah

Writing and speaking (essays, non-fiction, copywriting, direct interactions, speeches) can be easily sorted into two groups:

The expected

The unexpected

We don’t remember what most people say when they greet us (at a party, or even a funeral) because it’s banal.

Most college essays, tweets and advertising copy fit right into this category. The prose we consume every day gets instantly processed, filed away and ignored.

The other kind of writing is super risky. It is the original, vulnerable work of the edges.

This is the interaction that adds real value because it’s not something we could have already guessed you were about to say.

The unexpected doesn’t work because it’s surprising. It works because it’s valuable.

Valuable because it brings new truth, because it says something we didn’t already know.

Of course, expected writing is often important. We need to check the boxes, pay the toll, make it clear that we know how to act and speak and write in a situation like this one.

But unexpected writing isn’t merely important, it’s a miracle.

If we already knew what we needed to hear from you, we wouldn’t need you to say it.

[Here’s a first step in moving from one to the other: Cross out every sentence that could have been written by someone else, every box check, every predictable reference.

Now, insert yourself. Your truth and your version of what happens next.]

The critic as an amateur hack

Criticism is difficult to do well.

Recently, we’ve made it super easy for unpaid, untrained, amateur critics to speak up loudly and often.

Just because you can hear them doesn’t mean that they know what they’re talking about.

Criticism is easy to do, but rarely worth listening to, mostly because it’s so easy to do.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

June 2015
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