Shades of Grey




Lots Of Death

Bin Laden’s dead (or so they say). I sat quietly in the nook as the t.v. flickered images of jubilant youth chanting inane slogans and engaging in flagrant displays of uber-nationalistic disgust only a truly brainwashed child of the flag could appreciate.

What I didn’t realize right up until this very moment was that so many of those faces on the screen, faces that belonged to humans almost a decade younger than me, were 10 years old when the towers fell on September 11th.

That means that perhaps these kids were acting out nothing more than the rage, hatred, bitterness, helplessness, divisiveness and fear that have been so much a part of there upbringing for the last decade. They are the direct product of their parents’ reactions (and the indirect product of their elders inaction). They are the national lightning rod, the societal barometer of our national hopes, dreams and fears. This is the future acting out the past in the very real present.

Is this what it might have looked like for the generation that would eventually go on to become soldiers in Hitler’s Nazi party? Is this what a decade of fear, ignorance, lies, apathy, powerlessness, bigotry, and outright scummery has wrought?

Is this “Generation Kill” in the truest sense? They see “any” unity, even unity around the grave of a dead person, as “good unity”. How far have we as a people come when this is all we have to offer as a cohesive social institution; War as the new church, Death our new god.

Are they only channeling what their parents are too cowardly to act out themselves? Are they mere conduits?

Just yesterday I stumbled upon a quote from that wise old Chinese sage Confucius. He said, “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

The ocean was his, where will be ours?