Friday, September 4, 2009

Death on Display

I find the issue of whether to use the  photo of the mortally wounded Marine a tough one, though come down on the side of publishing it. It is no doubt painful for his parents and many others who loved him to see him dying, bloody on the field of battle.

But this is what is going on, in full view of others on the battlefield, thus hardly a secret. The romance, the endless labeling since Sept. 11 of all soldiers (and cops and firefighters) as heroes and warriors, the refusal to question what is happening to soldiers, not to mention our military and political policies, requires us to do hurtful things some times.

We have a fair amount of military service in my family; the latest is my "little" nephew, Jeff (he's 6 foot 5, I think),  who's headed over there soon to fly Army helicopters.  I would never, ever, want his mother--my sister-- or anyone else to see him in a photo like this. But really what we all want is to not see any of our sons and daughters, or fathers and mothers, or nieces and nephews, have any reason to wind up in these photos.

It's hard to read the personal, individual stories told at Daily Kos I Got The News Today and not weep and wonder how the families cope. And where the country goes from here.

 But in the haze of unending and ridiculously tacky celebrity news, faked controversies and genearl artifice, it's easy to forget what real news is. News is ugly because it is reality and presenting a pristine view of what goes on does no one any good.

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