Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |


This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

In Memoriam -- Part II

"Forgive us Hiroshima, Forgive us Nagasaki..."

--Deflowering the Chrysanthemum

In Memoriam

What is coming?
I asked of the sky
No thought that blue
Could ever reply
But countless birds
Away did fly
        "Something comes"

What is coming?
I asked again
And felt the brush
Of Insistent wind
Pursuing a path
Only Avians wing
        "Something Comes"

What is coming?
I asked of the sun
The air grown hot
To blister my tongue
Flesh to ash
And in a flash, done
        Something has come

Yet I remain
My ghost, my bone
Remembered this day
In memorial stone
Etched in apology
I've no right to own
        Something has come
                ...and gone

May it not be forgotten


Of course, factually, birds were incinerated in flight, and no wind rushed save those winds atomic, and those that held Enola above the fray.

posted by Eric @ 8:12 AM,


On August 6, 2008 at 9:42 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I think I said this last year, but to quote Supertramp...

Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical,
Liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Wont you sign up your name, wed like to feel you're
Acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

On August 6, 2008 at 9:52 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

I am what I am, it is what it is...

On August 6, 2008 at 12:46 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

I'll see Dan's Supertramp and raise him. From a speech by Evan Sayet on how modern liberals "think" [emphasis mine]


There was a book that came out at just about the same time as Professor Bloom's that in some ways even better describes and explains the mindset of the Modern Liberal. It was Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and it reads like the bible of Modern Liberalism and the playbook of Democratic Party policy.

The sentence fragment "Don't hit," which is one of the lessons that Fulghum refers to, has morphed into an entire sentence now that they're adults: "War is not the answer." But they don't really need to know anything, because even though they know about Neville Chamberlain and what happens if you appease evil, they don't really need to know it because knowing it or not knowing it would not have changed the position they have now and have held unquestioned since they were five.

When I was five years old, I used to go around the neighborhood trick-or-treating with my friends on Halloween, and we'd have in one hand a bag for candy and in the other hand a little box with a slit on top for nickels and dimes and pennies for UNICEF, because at five years old, the United Nations is a terrific thing: "Don't hit, talk." Another lesson from Robert Fulghum is "Share everything." Well, here, we'll share power; we'll share our wealth; we'll pay for the United Nations. Let's talk things out. What a lovely, wonderful thing.

Then you turn 10, 15, 20, and you learn some things about the United Nations that change your opinion. You learn about the corruption. You learn about the anti-Semitism, that they ran away from the genocide in Rwanda, have done nothing about the Sudanese genocide--in fact, made the Sudanese members of the Human Rights Commission while they were committing this genocide! You and I change our position because these are things we really need to know, yet the Modern Liberal will maintain their five-year-old's position, their belief that the United Nations is this great, wonderful thing, and completely ignore everything they've learned since.

There was a song that came out at about this time called "Goodbye Stranger" by a group called Super­tramp--because, you know, being a "tramp" is super! In it, this guy and this girl shack up together for a couple weeks, and apparently things are pretty wonderful until she says something like, "Honey, we've run out of food. Why don't you go to the supermarket, pick up some things, and then we can do this for another week or two?" He says, "I should go shopping? No, no, that's not my paradise. I'm leaving." And as he's walking out the door, he says to her, "Now, I believe that what you say is the undis­puted truth, but I have to see things my own way just to keep me in my youth."

That is so much the mindset of the Modern Lib­erals. It's not that they are not aware of all the things that we're aware of; it's that they need to reject them in order to remain in this five-year-old's utopia that they've been told is the only hope for mankind: a mindless indiscriminateness.

On August 6, 2008 at 1:29 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

When you don't have any real ideas or honest opinions about those with whom you disagree, it's always a good idea to create strawmen and knock them down. It makes you look big and powerful and yet you don't really need to do any thinking.


On August 6, 2008 at 2:13 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, you just got finished insinuating that only a leftist could take issue with the bombing of Hiroshima, I guess because you think conservatives are bloodthirsty warmongers.

You have a habit of attacking those who dare draw inconvenient conclusions from your writing. Rather than merely clarify your beliefs and shore up your arguments, you accuse people of rampant megalomania.

(Yes, yes, I know: you say did so only "jokingly." You also say that dialogue requires us to "trust the Other is saying exactly what they mean," and there's no telling how we're supposed to reconcile those statements. I'm not god enough to make sense of contradictions.)

And, you have also very recently implied that the reason we sometimes doubt your sincerity is that we merely disagree with your position, that it couldn't have anything to do with the manner in which you defend your positions.

Oddly enough, you did this ostensibly in a call not to demonize the Other, but the fact remains: you are hardly in a position to complain about strawmen argumentation.

For what it's worth, Sayet's speech is overflowing with real ideas and honest opinions; I think his explanation for the pathology of the Left should be seriously considered.

After all, Dan, you very rarely let the actual text of the Bible or the actual text of the Constitution get in the way of your ridiculous claims that the former condones sodomy and the latter permits a welfare state.

On August 6, 2008 at 2:28 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

And you, Brother Bubba, seem to be intellectually incapable of having a conversation of ideals and thoughts and instead regularly choose to descend down into mischaracterizations and attacks on the person.

But you're sure cute as a button when you do it.

What of it?

On August 6, 2008 at 2:38 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

What of what?

On August 6, 2008 at 3:06 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Seriously, to what does "What of it?" refer? The question seems to refer to absolutely nothing.

And while I'm asking questions...

Does Dan not think that the charge that I seem "intellectually incapable" of a substantive discussion is itself a personal attack?

Is he genuinely unaware of the hypocrisy he exhibits?

On August 6, 2008 at 3:35 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

We get it, Bubba, you don't care for my opinions.

What of it?

I disagree with yours.


What do you have to say to the topic at hand? Do you think that Eric is a liberal? Heretical? Fanatical, criminal?

On August 6, 2008 at 3:38 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Who cares what I am? So long as God knows my name... has it written down... I'm content to be what He made me.

On August 6, 2008 at 3:40 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

As to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I understand the necessity Americans prior to my birth must have felt, but that doesn't mean I don't wish another way could have been found.

And it doesn't mean it isn't high time SOME apology is made.

On August 6, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Who cares what I am? So long as God knows my name... has it written down... I'm content to be what He made me.

Good Heavens, EL, what a ridiculous way to dismiss "the topic at hand".

Are you a one-eyed, one-horned, giant purple people eater? Have you ever been seen carrying a Chinese menu in the rain in Soho?

We must figure out who you are, using songs from the grooveyard of forgotten hits. Clearly this is more central to this blog post than ancient Japanese history.

On August 6, 2008 at 3:51 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

(For what it's worth, I am simultaneously a believer and not your stepping stone. I got married to the widow next door, and she's been married seven times before. Giddy-up, oom papa, oom papa, mow-mow.)

On August 6, 2008 at 6:41 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

And there she was just a walkin' down the street, a pretty woman, the kind I'd like to meet.

As to who I am... a riddle:

I watched Semolina's upward climb
To the rhythmic cant of a scarab's rhyme
While sitting on breakfast...

Who am I?

On August 6, 2008 at 10:23 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

The Walrus.

I have no lyrics at the ready. I only want to re-iterate that I do not feel an apology of any kind is in order from us to Japan. The Japanese army showed a desire to turn to suicide rather than surrender. Their brutality was well known. Had their people pushed for surrender or aided our efforts in any way, it would never have come to atomic weaponry. Had their emporer never had his wacky notions, we wouldn't be having this conversation. Yeah, it's pretty bad that another way wasn't considered viable. But we did what we did in response to Japanese agression. Act like a hardass and eventually you'll get yours. Japan got theirs. End of story.

Now for a little song:

The lovliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay.
The glory that was Rome is of another day.
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhatten.
I'm going home, to my city by the bay.

I left my heart in Walla Walla...."

On August 6, 2008 at 10:59 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

So you think you're lonely
Well my friend I'm lonely too
I want to get back to my city by the bay-ay-ay-ay...

On August 6, 2008 at 11:39 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

I got this kind of reaction last year when I ran these posts. Let me clear...

I know that no apology will ever be forth-coming while a WWII vet still lives. I know that for many the idea of an apology is... for lack of a better word... screwy. But we're talking about governments.

My purpose in dredging all this up year after year has nothing to do with governments. It has everything to do with the blood on this nation's figurative hands. Reparations have already been made; Japan is a financial mecca thanks to the US rebuilding efforts. But I'm not talking about apologizing to a nation. I'm talking about apologizing to people. People who are, even today, psychologically scarred by what we did. And the effects of those two bombs touch more than simply those who were alive to experience said effects. The effects color even those who were born in successive generations.

How can anyone look at the old government footage of test detonations and not feel horror at the thought of detonating one of those in a populated area? Seeing photos of Hiroshima prior to, and immediately after the detonation, how can anyone say that 80,000 people (primarily civilian) deserved to die in the flash of a hellfire instant? Or that some 150,000+ more deserved to die slow agonizing deaths from radiation sickness, and cancers?

Do the victims of Pearl Harbor deserve an apology? Yes. What about the victims of Auschwitz? Most certainly. Why then does Hiroshima NOT deserve an apology? Why is it we can say 2350 lives lost during a sneak attack deserves an apology, and not 80,000 lives lost on an equally surprise attack? We believe the victims of 9/11 deserve an apology, but not Hiroshima?

So let me get this straight... When WE get attacked or someone we have pity for... like, say, the Jews... we deserve an apology. And of course, retribution. But when we attack someone who has attacked us they don't deserve anything, let alone an apology.

By that standard we could have nuked the s**t out of Afghanistan and our hands would have been clean.

There was another alternative to nuking two Japanese cities. Japan was already faltering. They were on the verge of losing AND surrendering. Within a year, maybe eighteen months it would have been over. We could have continued to press the fight. Yes we would have lost a lot more men and women in the Pacific, but we wouldn't have our hands stained by the blood of tens of thousands of innocent lives by the use of such a horrific weapon. We wouldn't have the dubious distinction of being the ONLY nation on the planet to have used nuclear weaponry on another nation.

Now, I agree that Ahmadinejad is a nut-job. If Iran gets a nuke it will either use it itself or pass it on to someone else who'll use it. Perhaps had we not nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki other nations... rogue nations... wouldn't have been intimidated by the US and our fair nation wouldn't be the power it is... wouldn't be who and what we are today.

Who knows.

But I don't apologize each year because I think my country stinks. This is not political for me! I do it because it is the right thing to do. I cannot, as a Christian, support the idea that 80,000 people deserved to die that way, any more than I can support abortion. Both are horrific. Both have snuffed out the potential of innocent (relatively speaking, in terms of Hiroshima and Nagasaki) victims. It's simply too much blood. How can we ever wash it away? It stains the very fabric of our nation... it's soul.

Apologize? Absolutely! Accept responsibility? Absolutely not! I was not even born.

On August 8, 2008 at 11:59 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Your compassion shows and does you credit. But my compassion is only for the victims of the regime supported by the people of Japan. As I've said, I would have preferred an alternative, but none were considered worth more American lives.


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