October 01, 2007

Ken Burns, The War

Against type, Zippy and I have watched the entire series so far. I say against type, since neither of us is much of a television viewer, and Zippy in particular tries to avoid violent or loud programming. Yet we sit transfixed. It's horrible and beautiful, scary and proud. Tonight, talking of the firebombing of Germany and Japan, we were horrified, but when faced with an enemy that vows to fight to the last man (and woman), are the decisions valid? And when confronted with the firebombing results in terms of physical desolation and human lives lost, were the nuclear bombings any more horrific?

It has weighed on my psyche - I dreamed the other night that I was a soldier, and was being dispatched so I was handed loose piles of material - bullets and morphine and needles, and I did not have a belt to store things in, so I went down to the barracks shop, which was oddly being staffed by the owner of my local yoga studio (also the yoga teacher training instructor, who I pretty much adore and am intimidated by). In real life she has been quite friendly to me of late, which is odd (I am so used to skulking around on the periphery, to be acknowledged by anyone is kind of novel) so maybe that plays into her sneaking into my unconscious.

But - the documentary has been quite good - I am learning so much that I probably should have learned in high school, and appreciating both the horrors of the war as well as the courage of the soldiers.

It will be interesting to see what this does to the national psyche as we deal with the war in Iraq.....which grinds on.

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