1000 Spoken Words
August 21, 2004 8:02 PM   Subscribe

828 - 844: You will say, “A picture like this will make people sick of war.” You will be wrong. If a picture is worth 1000 words, here are exactly 1000 spoken ones by Garret Keizer. {flash} Or, read them yourself, but it's not the same thing. {Both links contain an Abu Ghraib photo.}
posted by dobbs (18 comments total)
Eh . . . moving in parts, but a bit high on the pompous / ivory tower scales.
posted by aladfar at 8:21 PM on August 21, 2004

a good counterpoint to the Lynndie imitation shit.
posted by amberglow at 8:37 PM on August 21, 2004

Gah! Self-satisfied and smug much?

I guess it's interesting to discover that after feeling sickened by these images of people acting despicably in my name and on behalf of my country, I can later be sickened by somebody who wants to trade on it for their own bizarre vision of what they assume "they" (meaning everybody else) must think while viewing it.
posted by willnot at 10:01 PM on August 21, 2004

Mother Jones, eh?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:36 PM on August 21, 2004

You are looking at a photo essay by someone who submitted it for his freshman English class at Williams College, but is still to be enraged/embittered at his only having (will) received a B-.

Sorry to pile on, but this is pretty lame. I have enough personal outrage about this event to fill a stadium, but this writer articulates nothing for me.
posted by psmealey at 11:30 PM on August 21, 2004

i liked it.
posted by Espoo2 at 1:25 AM on August 22, 2004

Mother Jones, eh?
Is everything ok Steve? Your ad hominems have grown listless.
posted by sic at 3:08 AM on August 22, 2004

After WWII had ended, individuals who had served with the SS, the criminals in the General SS and the combat soldiers who fought with the Waffen SS, were systematically hunted down. The only intention was that the big names be arrested. Any officer below the rank of Colonel who was arrested could be automatically hung on the spot, without benefit of a trial. To the SS, this was known as death by "Two MPs on a jeep".
The Russians were even more straightforward. On capture, they would pound two shell casings into the knees of the SS officer. After a time they would club or shoot him.
Ironically, the one place the SS could go where they could receive sanctuary of a sort was the French sector. The French actively recruited ex-SS enlisted and officers to fight for France in Indochina, as Legionnaires. Several complete Battalions of Waffen SS, with their same officers, took them up on that offer and soon found themselves in Vietnam.

Funny how times change, isn't it?
posted by kablam at 9:05 AM on August 22, 2004

Your ad hominems have grown listless.

I don't think Steve had a problem with Mother Jones, herself.
posted by trharlan at 9:59 AM on August 22, 2004

I'm surprised at the reaction this has gotten (except from the always predictable Steve_at_Linnwood, who I'm sure never surprises anyone). I found the piece neither smug, self-satisfied, or sub-standard.

Lines like

If you were waiting for the photograph to lead to further revelations, you may stop now. The photograph itself is the further revelation.


It is not “backwardness” or “fanaticism” or “terrorism” that so appalls us about these people but their modesty.


Everything else in the picture is subsumed in that thumb. Much else is subsumed there also: the gusto of the beer commercial, the gung-ho posture of the action film, the vulgarity of a hundred in-your-face bumper-stickers, the jingoistic rhetoric of a thousand September 11th commemorations—the whole rah-rah, “go for it” attitude of the self-styled American ace.


Don’t tell me you forget the deal. The deal, made shortly after the Vietnam War, was that the federal government would effectively end conscription provided the educated classes would effectively end dissent. As nearly as I can tell, both parties have kept up their end of the bargain.


We have hiphopped our way from Malcolm X back to the imagery of Birth of a Nation. So long as you spell it n-i-g-g-a.

Seem particularly apt, pithy.

Now, perhaps it's because I'm not a USA'n, and therefore have read/heard (probably) considerably less about these photos than most of you have, but I found much of the spoken word piece to be presenting ideas that have not been expressed by others re: personal feelings swelled as a result of these photos. That is why I thought the piece worth linking and what I hoped was going to be discussed.
posted by dobbs at 10:01 AM on August 22, 2004

I'm not a USA'n, and therefore have read/heard (probably) considerably less about these photos

ya got that one ass backwards! this shit disappeared from the american media horizon faster than janet jacksons wardrobe malfunction.

oh, and i love kablams pining for the days when good people, confronted by the SS, became the SS. don't you get the feeling he's just biding the time until he gets *his* chance to pound shell casings into someone's knees?
posted by quonsar at 10:12 AM on August 22, 2004

What q said. We've seen the swift boat ad many more times than any of the abu ghraib photos.

I think people may be responding to the guy's manner.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on August 22, 2004

It is not “backwardness” or “fanaticism” or “terrorism” that so appalls us about these people but their modesty.

Well see now there's a perfect example. Because really? Does anybody but this guy really believe that the issue is with modesty?

I don't. Of course, I don't have a problem with Islam either -- at least no more than I'd have with any other religion, but I'm pretty sure for most people it's the blowing shit up that people have a problem with.

I think that some, maybe even many, people have trouble separating the vast number of Islamic people who are peace loving and trying to lead their lives from the vocal few who are calling for the destruction of the US. Some of that probably has to do with them being/looking/acting different from what we're used to

But, to reduce it all to they're modest and I can't abide that says more about the speaker's view of his fellow countrymen than it does of anything else.

The whole thing screams of "I'm better than you because I'm just so above it all".
posted by willnot at 11:20 AM on August 22, 2004

very good. nice presentation as well.

on preview: thanks, homunculus. good roundup. mother jones is darn good.

i was just wondering why the 9/11 EPA scandal didn't get any press.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:30 AM on August 22, 2004

i was just wondering why the 9/11 EPA scandal didn't get any press.

Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:34 AM on August 22, 2004

I was wondering that myself. I would have thought the NY press would have been all over it, especially with the RNC coming up.
posted by euphorb at 3:15 PM on August 22, 2004

While listening to that I got the distinct impression that the writer of those words is genuinely insane; a bit like time-cube but with different subject matter.
posted by ed\26h at 3:17 AM on August 23, 2004

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