Sunday, September 11, 2005



Epiphany (2005)

I've noticed that things quiet down in the blogosphere on weekends. Apparently, many bloggers and readers have other priorities and prefer to actually engage in some kind of RL activities, like sleeping or having conversations with human beings without typing. In the red state Bible Belt where I live, the culture (and liquor stores) slam shut on Sundays, and many businesses assume the public, minus a few pockets of godless heathens, is singing with Santorum in the church choir, and then nesting in the recliner for an afternoon of football and hot wings. Only the local Wal-Mart is open on Sunday morning -- using discounted consumerism to lure souls away from being saved.

But I enjoy writing and posting something everyday, circumstances permitting, even if visiting traffic slows to crawl. So, I've decided to post new work on Sundays from now on. You know, test the (holy) waters, as it were.

If you would ask me at any given time what work of mine most interests or excites me, I would probably say Whatever I am working on right now. After all, who wants to think one's best work is behind him or her? Besides, current projects haven't fallen victim yet to the nagging inner critic, a vulture that picks at every image or poem as if it were a carcass. These pieces are new -- miracles, in a way -- and tangible proof that one can still make something from nothing.

Of course, as children learn, the excitement of a new toy can soon fade. Artists (and bloggers) know the latest creation will likely prove not to be the best -- only the newest. Still, the look what I did enthusiasm of showing work hot off the brain is both exhilarating and terrifying. Do I have it still? Or have I lost it? If nothing else, I want to share it with you. If I didn't, I'd bury it unceremoniously on my hard drive and delete this blog.

Today's image tries to capture that moment of extreme insight where the unknown suddenly becomes viscerally known. The catch is the epiphany has somehow been externalized -- exploding furiously outside the mind.

And, really, isn't that what art does?


I really don't think about him very much. I'm not that concerned.
--George W. Bush on Osama Bin Laden in a press conference on March 13, 2002

Well, I'm thinking about him today.

And, today, I'll grieve quietly for those who lost their lives four years ago, and for their families whose lives were forever changed.

What I won't be doing is watching the America Supports You Freedom Walk. It smells too much of another Bush-engineered, pre-screened rally. Why would I possibly hold such a jaded view? Could the reason be because of what I read about the event, taken here from the Washington Post:

Some military supporters have welcomed the event as a way to counter the antiwar movement and back the troops abroad. Antiwar groups say they are convinced that the event was orchestrated to boost the war effort and link the war to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- and to undercut an antiwar protest planned for Sept. 24.

One restricted group will be the media, whose members will not be allowed to walk along the march route. Reporters and cameras are restricted to three enclosed areas along the route but are not permitted to walk alongside participants walking from the Pentagon, across the Memorial Bridge to the Mall.

The Washington Post and other corporate entities initially signed on as co-sponsors. But critics from within the newspaper and from the antiwar movement said partnering with the Pentagon raised questions about objectivity, and three weeks ago The Post pulled its co-sponsorship.


Opponents of the Freedom Walk took issue with the way the Pentagon is staging the event. When the walk first was publicized, participants were required to submit their names, ages, e-mail addresses and home addresses. After some groups accused the Pentagon of using the registration as a recruiting tool for the military, the requirements were changed.

And I'm sure no one would use the event to once again crassly make the long disproved suggestion that there was a link between the events of 9/11 and a rational justification for the war in Iraq...

The event, the America Supports You Freedom Walk, is billed as a memorial to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks and a show of support for those serving in the military, topped off with a concert by country singer Clint Black, known for his pro-troops anthem, "Iraq and Roll."

...because that would be exploiting the 9/11 victims and families and using a ceremony to support our troops as a propaganda vehicle to push the Bush administration's policies. Could this sudden "epiphany" be why the Post withdrew its support for the event? From Editor and Publisher:

Groups such as United for Peace and Justice and American Friends Service Committee have come out not only against the walk, but against the Post's part in it. AFSC has even placed a form letter of protest on its Web site to be e-mailed to the Post, along with e-mail addresses for Jones, Executive Editor Leonard Downie, Jr. and Managing Editor Phil Bennett. "The Washington Post has no place sponsoring an event that clearly smacks of propaganda," the form letter states.

Jones said the paper is not donating money to the event, but is providing free advertising space for public service messages promoting the walk.

Post spokesman Eric Grant also did not return calls for comment Monday, but said last week that "the walk was never presented to us as a rally to support the war and we would be very disappointed if it took that approach."

I guess the worm worms will do.

So, I'll grieve and offer prayers quietly today -- refusing to absorb yet another empty photo op designed to grease policies I abhor and to pump up a president I despise...and one who says he is "not concerned" about Osama Bin Laden.

You know what I'm concerned about? Using the courage of soldiers and the sorrow of grieving families as props.

And, after watching firefighters being told where to stand onstage with Bush last week, I'm hoping more and more Americans are having a few epiphanies, too.

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