My alarm clock is set to RADIO. The first four words I heard yesterday were “urinating on dead bodies.” I thought about this all day: the phrase, the act, it is that bad, the world talks about it, the world’s on the radio, the world and urine and videos and bodies in videos and words on the radio. I heard, selling like hotcakes. And, it’s really coming down out there. And it did all evening while I worked. I watched it. Chicago looks like a winter Bruegel from the top floors of the hospital. A woman pressed her forehead to the back of my hand, her one hand in both of mine and blood really came down from a knot on the crown of her head, from her boyfriend, from their bodies at their worst and the world is, what is it. There was a massacre at My Lai but our army called it Pinkville and it took a year and a half to call My Lai a massacre rather than a good job. See the photographs of what happened and believe they play the dumbshow for a travesty of human decency and evidence an aberration, or, don’t kid yourself, another fact entirely: that our idea of decency is largely travesty itself, a happy puppet’s dance, a child’s fiction. The White House acts now to call this “deplorable, reprehensible, and unacceptable.” The department of defense says “this is egregious, disgusting behaviour. It’s hideous.” It is. But pointing at a thing and calling it by name is a big step for a baby, not an adequate response to a war crime, and by the time the unacceptable is called as much it’s been accepted.
Last night I set my alarm clock, again, and in the time it took to turn the dial to RADIO I heard, a precise snippet, the four words “urinating on the corpses.” In advertising I think they call that symmetry a donut but that’s not right. Donut means sweet and a hole in the middle. Point at it. You can call those dead bodies dead bodies or corpses or failures, say what you want on the radio, they were down and bloodied on the desert ground. In advertising, in irony or hindsight, we can use the whole of language to point out and at and name just what we want to say we see. Bruegel painted town scenes and the tower of Babel. Act now and build your bloodless own with words and art as a toddler at its blocks. High enough the world will look only dun and and dark and white.
thepithandgist posted this