Shock and Awe in 1991.


Sam and Cokie lean earnestly in, toward the large image of the head of a man speaking from within his state-of-the-art video screen. He is a major opinion-maker and mover in this greater story playing out across the ocean. But,right now, he is as bigger than life as he needs to be.

. . . .

Sam and Cokie seem strangely unconnected to this enlargement of a man, as we view them all on our much-smaller screens in our much-smaller lives at home on a Sunday morning, that percentage of us no longer present in church. Technology has permitted us participation without commitment. We are a superpower; we have detached.

. . . .

And, how well we are able to be. This is war. It is the battle to defend the bridge, directed by Spielberg, but we don’t have to go. At least, not yet; ground troop speculation has only begun.

. . . .

More than euthanasia and abortion combined, more than global warming, more than oil, technology has brought us to the brink of the twenty-first century. It has led us to the trough and then silently stepped back, to watch us think we see water. Fighter jets drop devastating missiles, and our soldier boys return to the carrier like they’ve just won Avenger at the arcade. It’s all there, on the monitor; press a button, watch the puff of smoke. Time for a hot dog and a ride on the merry-go-round. We aren’t really there — are we?

. . . .

I ask my father. He still jumps when approached from behind in the dark. It doesn’t matter to him that it is just me, in the hallway leading to the bathroom; it is dark, he is 83, and he remembers. There is shrapnel in every cell of his body. He cannot forget. He was really there.

~~~~~

© Ruth Ann Scanzillo winter, 1991. All rights reserved. Thanks.

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