Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter", published today in1850; click here for my piece about it in "Private Collection"
I don't really want to fill up pages and pages of this blog with dates and details of the Holocaust, but sometimes it really is necessary, because there are dates and details from which we can learn, should learn, must learn... and then there are even more dates and details which confirm that we simply are not learning, do not wish to learn, will never learn, and that therefore we cannot, dare not, must not allow ourselves to get tired of seeing Holocaust dates and details everywhere and all the time. So I note that, today in 1939, the Nazis occupied what was then called Czechoslovakia, and I do so because, today, in
... those role-models of Liberty, Enlightenment, Opportunity and World Domination At Any Cost, yes I do mean the Americans, added yet one more act of role-modelling to their illustrious history: the My Lai Massacre.
I am not going to retell the tale - there are websites and books a-plenty. The two that I have chosen as my links (here, and here) are significantly different, and chosen for that reason: one is a complaint that no one has ever really faced up to the responsibility, the other actually manages to celebrate an American "hero", and thereby avoid the nasty business altogether. Both are American; it seems to me essential to look at this through American eyes, in order to try to understand what, if anything, My Lai has changed in the way that Americans think of themselves, their values, their gun-culture, the way they make their movies and TV programmes, their involvement in wars around the world (ten, at the moment of writing this: July 2019), their condemnation of other people's war crimes, their current threats, at the moment of my writing this, against Iran, Syria, the Yemen, North Korea... and through this what, if anything, the world has learned, and changed, in the ways that we engage in politics, and economics, since that last apocalyptic event since the previous one which changed everything, but of course it didn't.
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