If you want to know what our nation’s future military leaders are up to, check out glumbert.com for an inside look at the Air Force Academy. This is college hijinks at its best. Those kids could be generals someday. Remember that. 🙂
It’s hard to concentrate on composing an entry about writing when London is experiencing such shock and horror right now. I was in Madrid two weeks before those bombs went off, and I was at that very train station. What they never mentioned in the news, and not that it’s important when compared with the human cost, but right across the street from that train station is the museum which holds Picasso’s Guernica, often called modern art’s most powerful antiwar statement. I found it ironic that that painting is there, right across from where the worst of the horror occurred. Picasso must have been turning in his grave. I’m not necessarily a modern art fan, but when I stood in that museum and gazed at that gigantic canvas, I got chills and I cried. It’s an amazing picture.
So now, as London deals with this horrible crime, I think of that painting and I think of my own travels in London’s tubes and on her double-decker buses. I love London. It’s one of the most cosmopolitan and most gracious cities in the world. The people were amazingly friendly when I was there several years ago. No one was too busy to give directions or take a picture. Heck, the bobbies even posed for a picture with me.
I think, too, of Virginia Woolf since I am immersed in her life for the purposes of my thesis. She once lived in a house on Tavistock Square; a bus just exploded there. Virginia was very sensitive and somewhat nervous. Her diaries talk about her horror at the London bombings during the war. In fact, the Tavistock Square house was damaged (maybe destroyed, can’t remember). Ultimately, it was her horror at the war and her fear of sinking into madness once more which drove her to suicide.
I am not surprised, unfortunately, that this terrorist attack has happened. I believe it’s a matter of time before it happens to us again in our own country. I was not living in the US on 9/11. I was in Germany, and the response of the Germans was amazing. Regardless of all the bad press about them refusing to join us in attacking Iraq (quite rightly, in my opinion, but that’s another story), when 9/11 happened, the Germans were wonderful and sympathetic. They marched to the front gates of Ramstein Air Base, held candlelight vigils, prayed, and piled up flowers by the truckloads at the gates. I got an email from an Italian woman whom I had met in Venice while on vacation. I barely knew her, and yet she wrote a very broken-English email expressing hers and her family’s horror and sympathy. This is the good will that the current administration squandered when they insisted on war with Iraq, btw. One more quick thing about the Germans. Even when they were getting bad press here for refusing to join us in attacking Iraq, German soldiers were guarding the gates of our military bases in Germany because we didn’t have enough people to do that and go to war. The Germans helped us, quietly, even while their chancellor said they weren’t with us. It was a calculated political move designed to keep the German people happy and to keep Gerhard Schroeder in power AND to help the US in a clandestine way. Prior to 9/11, American soldiers guarded our gates. After, the Germans did it. So far as I know, they are still doing it. They were when I left there in March of 2004 anyway.
Okay, so enough of that stuff. I am upset and my heart goes out to London. I don’t like war or terror and I am anti-Bush. So sue me.