|photo©Basha Burwell 2015|
- Brooklin, Maine, United States
- We own a 1975 GMC Sierra Grande 15 in Maine and an '86 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe 10 in West Texas. Also a pair of '97 Volvo 850 wagons. Average age in the fleet is 26 years--we're recycling. I've published 2 novels: THE LAW OF DREAMS (2006), and THE O'BRIENS (2012), and 2 collections of stories NIGHT DRIVING (1987), and TRAVELLING LIGHT (2013). Novel # 3, KARIN, will be out from Pantheon (US) and House of Anansi (Canada) in March 2016. More of my book stuff at www.peterbehrens.org I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study for 2012-13. I've been teaching at Colorado College, Wichita State, and in the MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte. SUBSCRIBE TO THE AUTOLITERATE DAILY EMAIL by hitting the button to the right. It's free. Never an ad, never a sales pitch.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Saturday, March 28, 2015
It hit me hard for a bunch of reasons. One, I was walking with my son. We had just been in a toy shop to get some balloons and he was attracted intensely--as I was at his age--to the war toys. There was an attack helicopter that flashed lights and yelped "Incoming! Incoming!" There was a tank with a turret that revolved as it moved. There were water pistols that looked like Colt 45's. All this stuff --Chinese made, of course--would have been tremendously appealing to me as a kid. I guess the hunter/warrior is there in most of us. But I was wary of the toys--first, because while we were specifically there for balloons, we don't indulge in freelance shopping. Second, because his mum objects to war toys on principle--(& despises shopping as a recreational activity: a healthy attitude if you live in Freeport ME, with a downtown that is basically an outlet mall, and the most popular tourist destination! in an otherwise beautiful state.)
Anyway I was thinking about boys, toys, and war. Such thoughts were making me aware of my own vulnerability as a parent. Also, I've been reading Seymour Hersch's piece in the New Yorker, "The Scene of the Crime", about visiting My Lai, 45 years after he broke the story of what happened there.
Seeing the Chevy was just another reminder of how that war entered so many lives, so long ago, and how for so many--in Viet Nam, and here in America--it still lingers in the bloodstream.
I don't think it was different than any other war. I began to see as I got older--and as they got older, and let their guards down, a little--how much the men and women of my parents' generation had been shaped by their war.
Hersch writes clearly and lets no one off the hook for what happened at My Lai, including the generals, including Robert McNamara. Including us. We're all Americans. What's done by our soldiers in done in our name, and we own the responsibility for it. So we had better try to be clear and honest with ourselves about what we are doing in our foreign adventures, and why. Because somewhere along the way it seems there is always a terrible price to be paid.
Posted by autoliterate at 2:40 PM
Friday, March 27, 2015
from Evan Ryan: "...taken at the Gold King Abandoned Mining Town near Jerome AZ. It's a big junkyard/themepark run by a guy who looks like miner-meets-santa claus. He collects and restores old cars and trucks, the place was littered with them."-ER
Posted by autoliterate at 8:54 PM