One and One = 800 Truth(s)

Note: This unedited first draft was written in a rush in the morning of 1/17/14, while waiting for people associated with the Borjesson documentary to reply to my missives of last night, my outreach designed to move in solidarity with them… for their purposes. This “particle” — part poetry, part article — is written primarily for them, but I do expect to turn select others onto the piece, in the hope that they will see… the light.

Special note: I propose something very ambitious below. Something unprecedented. I do not want to lose the chance to serve the purpose of the 800 ‘documentarians’ prematurely, however. And so, although I consider something along the lines of what I recommend as necessary, I pray that my basic grassroots gesture of wanting to be involved in publicizing “800″ will be embraced… no matter what.

One and One = 800 Truth(s)
A proposal for action which follows a fresh paradigm for the TWA: Flight 800 ‘documentarians’ and other concerned citizens
by Oxman

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay

“We are documenting ourselves to death in lieu of taking meaningful action in solidarity, the kind of action that will actually make a difference in the Big Picture.” — one of the author’s home schooled teenage charges

First of all, it’s necessary for the reader to be familiar with the Kristina Borjesson documentary TWA Flight 800 Do that homework, and then get with me immediately. [Pause.] Please. There’s not one minute to waste.

Ideally, I will be able to get everyone to take in another documentary also. It is the Todd Darling documentary A Snow Mobile for George. That film has a segment which deals with EPA actions in New York and elsewhere. The NY footage focuses on federal mendacity related to ultra-serious health issues related to 9/11 fallout, and I believe with every ounce of my blood and bones that it stands a chance of helping one and all to see what needs to be done… when coupled with the 2013 Borgesson documentary… and a few others I’ll be recommending below.

At this point, I’m obliged to underscore that what I’m about is the WHAT and the WHY exclusively. The HOW one could possibly accomplish what I’m about to propose here — what I’ve been proposing for the last eight years plus 24×8 — is another discussion. Clearly, leisurely time must be set aside with ample time for obligatory, in-depth Q&A — at another time, in person — for that discussion to take place so that we can — in well-intentioned, honest/healthy solidarity — make a difference. The necessary difference that is now begged for by our collective horrid momentum. The “Big Picture” difference that my teenage charge invokes in the quote I opened with under Millay’s poem.

In the grand story of THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT ( one encounters people who think they’ve got a handle on the truth, that others don’t know what they’re talking about. Well, the people who helped to bring about the glorious Borgesson/Stalcup documentary DO have a hold on the truth related to the 800 horror. I have no doubt whatsoever about that. Just as Todd Darling touches upon an unequivocal truth in his work. The thing is, all are missing the Big Picture.

The Big Picture would include the daunting truth that though inroads might be made through the incessant efforts of one and all (over decades?)… what’s accomplished — at best — I’m sad to say will be minimal. Minimal, if concerned citizens are concerned with anything more than “justice” respecting one corner of our collective existence. For whereas, there’s no doubt that the bereaved families and all citizens deserve the humble/narrow justice they seek respecting the lost lives/souls of 800… IF they do manage to eek that out, they will NOT prevent such disingenuous abominations from occurring ad infinitum… deep into our collective future. For that they need a supplement… something — whether or not it’s the particular plan of action I’m proposing below — for their admirable activism.

Too many precious heartbeats are having to be spent to receive what should be given freely, immediately… without any effort whatsoever… gratefully/humbly provided by those in positions to do so. Those who claim to serve the public interest. Those invested with responsibilities which they have not been honoring, and will not honor in the future as other horrors unfold.

As things stand, that’s the case. ‘Cross the board. What I want to do is to keep things from standing as they do at present. I want to upend the toxic, uneven game board that we’re playing on, have been splayed on for much too long. I want to turn the board over legally and nonviolently, but post haste. Wasting no heartbeats in doing so. Creating the necessary watershed in history which is being begged for by — at the very least — EIGHT HUNDRED ISSUES.

Okay. Before launching into my solution, my proposal for action which follows a fresh paradigm for concerned citizens, permit me to delineate a few of those issues. I’ll cherry pick the some of the ones which documentarians have focused on… without realizing that if they were to succeed in rousing the public to actually address the tail or trunk they’re pulling on (SIGNIFICANTLY)… they’d be crushed prematurely — before any significant citizen steam could be stirred up — by THE ELEPHANT’S HEAVY LEGS. [Does that image do it for you?]

Minimal reforms are allowed. Tourniquets can be applied. But institutional change is not permitted. As things stand. The source of bleeding is not being addressed. As things stand.

Enter humble, respectful me. I cannot tell you how much my heart went out to Tom Stalcup as he talked about his lost mother. How much, how deeply I felt the pain… as the Borjesson’s documentary helped Tom’s pain segue into what must be resonating in the blood and bones of those who lost loved ones on 800. I WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT. [Pause.] And I know what to do. I certainly want to push for discussion of necessary/practical supplements (in action)… whether or not my proposal is embraced. For, as things stand, the people I want to help will not be successful. Not in the Big Picture.

Remember, if you will, I’m not into replacing a white rook with a red one. Not into substituting a black bishop for a green piece. [No pun intended.] I want to upend the board… legally and nonviolently. Ultimately, I want to put the honest souls depicted in the 800 documentary into decision-making capacities, securing significant reins of power for them. [Elaboration below.]

Documentaries promised, each representing an “issue” which — somehow –must be blended in with the concerns of the others:

1. [I propose using this film as the point of departure for the historic mobilization delineated below, a sufficient cinematic offering in and of itself for recruitment.]
2. [Though this documentary has some downsides, it's plenty good enough to recommend highly; as noted above, the segment on the toxic fallout from the 9/11 towers is an excellent complement for the thrust of "800".]
3. spotlights Erin Brockovich-Ellis, and she should be secured as an invaluable asset for our collective purposes.
4. Here’s where I will lose a lot of people prematurely. Speak from deep experience, as I make this point. Introducing people of color here is, unquestionably, challenging. For concerned citizens, for starters, are used to thinking that they can work in their tiny corners of concerns, and not consider the plights of radically different others… as co-equal, necessary and so on. There are a number of documentaries focusing on racial injustice which I could cite, of course. This one, however, is grounded in the New York realm, and might give us an opportunity to move in solidarity with concerned citizens of color… a necessary component, if we are to make inroads vis-à-vis institutional change ‘cross the board.
5. Atomic States of America has weaknesses, but — again — the fact that we cannot trust those invested in regulating what needs to be regulated cannot be stressed enough. And that is driven home here.
6. My understanding, in talking to the director and co-producer of this documentary, that there is an American Addict II in production right now. I begged them to let me serve as an asset for their purposes in publicizing their first film, but — like so so many others — they cannot find the time to depart from their “full-plate” agenda — to make use of grassroots interest. In fact, to date I have yet to find a single documentary filmmaker, production company interested in doing anything but contributing to documenting us all to death (as per the teenager’s quote above); deadlines vis-à-vis the Big Picture are absolutely not acknowledged. I respect ALL of the documentarians I have reached out to, but they behave to a one like the blind people tugging on the elephant’s tail, not seeming to know that they’re about to be whacked by its trunk if they manage to stir up trouble for the powers that be. With regard to Big Pharma that would be guaranteed… and so… we must get with doing more than merely fighting the good fight, being able to tell others that we’ve made a film that’s spot on.
7. is under eight minutes, but like the Central Five documentary above it gets us into territory which might be quite challenging for many citizens. The same can be said for, a documentary which has been nominated for an Oscar this year. These films — since they focus on our wars, and question popular misconceptions about the U.S. and its foreign policies — can be considered, understandably, as too controversial for the purposes of rallying large numbers of people together for the common cause I propose below. The thing is, though, that such “controversy” must be faced head-on post haste. I often quote the Tupamaros’ mantra of O bailan todos o no baile nadie. It means Either everyone dances or no one dances. Well, on that note, I must point out that neither justice vis-à-vis “800″ people nor justice for Central Park Five type of horrors will be sufficient/satisfying if accomplished alone, a few advancing in that regard, the majority having to live without justice respecting their issues. It’s kind of like THAT ELEPHANT having an infected ear… with a disease that’s spreading over its whole body from that point… and someone tugging on a tail, blind to the Big Picture, trying to apply a Band-Aid to a deep cut. The tail… the trunk… the tusks… every part of the elephant will be affected eventually, if the source of the infection is not addressed; disease will spread if one remains blind to the Big Picture.

Yes, if the elephant has a tusk-ache, perhaps a filling is in order. Maybe we’re obliged to do something about that particular ache, and right away. But ear ache, tusk-ache… any agony in any given part is not all of what we’re obligated to address if we care about the health of the animal.


I have listed 7 numbers above, including 8 documentaries addressing 8 issues, I believe. The title of this article cites 800… suggesting that I could list 792 additional issues, all of which are somehow connected to our collective health, the good of The Commons. I could. I could delineate that much. Easily. And I will be honored to do so, upon request.

For the moment, though, I think I should jump to a telegraphic sound bite of sorts, providing a skeleton of that “plan for action” which I alluded to above. Keep in mind, if you will, that as things stand… either New York or California or some other highly influential state — at this late date — probably needs to be the focal point for the action proposed. To have the kind of impact desired soon enough. Soon enough on several scores.

Okay. For now simply glance at with the idea that I’m proposing that THE 800 TRIBUNAL POLITICAL PARTY (or something of the sort, which spotlights the “800″ cause) replace the TOSCA acronym which headlines the plan for action at present. If I weren’t afraid of coming off as insensitively off-putting with the word “party” I’d be recommending something like THE 800 PARTY… for practical electoral purposes. As something that the general public could hook into easily, remember… be more likely to pass the word on about… which really is the bottom line point here, yes?

Okay, I’ll try to be patient and wait for some response. It’s almost 11am PST, and I haven’t yet heard back from anyone associated with the 800 documentary. I emailed a number of people last night. Perhaps I’ll try to telephone a few individuals now. I really wish that Tom Stalcup or Borjesson or some other person connected with the film had made access to them easier.

I do wish that someone will respond to my outreach, as I fear that — as with all of the other excellent documentaries — we stand to have the public dismiss the great work, the great cries… because there are so many.

We must not stand as we are. We must not stand for the status quo ‘cross the board.

We should turn on the light so that we can see the whole elephant. And, then, after putting one and one together, treat it properly.