Vincible, Evitable and Effable

What’s Vincible, Evitable and Effable on Memorial Day?
by Richard Martin Oxman

“Tuesday, officials at Fort Carson, which is in Colorado Springs, had reported that Mason did not show up to accountability formation that morning and was listed as absent without leave. The Army also reported he may be carrying a gun, but was not a threat to the public.” – Newspaper report which quotes an Army official making a great presumption.

“Around 1:20 p.m. Friday, Mason used a roadside call box to call 911. He told a dispatcher there would be a dead body in a red Chevy Cobalt parked on West Cliff Drive, authorities reported. He also asked that someone clean up the area quickly ‘before kids see,’ an emergency dispatcher said.” – Newspaper article embodying the thought that what kids don’t see won’t hurt them.

I’m not into wasting heartbeats on trying to make changes following paradigms which have already proven to be fruitless, insufficient. Like pleading with congressmen, voting for self-serving gangsters, marching in circles with placards, etc. I am, on the other hand, chomping at the bit to share a new approach for change… which is pregnant with gorgeous possibilities. I have something to offer up at

A soldier just back from Iraq called the local police in Santa Cruz, California, and told them that there would be “a dead body at West Cliff in a few minutes.” His suicide is multiplied these days way beyond what the public knows or discusses.

Military psychiatry, as a friend recently noted, is to psychiatry what military music is to music. And American life — with its poorly understood imperialism, inhumane prison system, pharmaceutical addiction, Prussian-based educational system, obsession with adrenalin, obliviousness to waste, maniacal metabolism, fear of death, etc. is to Beautiful, Healthy Living as Stallone’s Rambo is to Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful. As processed food is to organically grown produce. As rape is to love.

My nine-year-old boy can name ten countries from the top of his head where he’d rather live than the U.S., even though he recently said he wants to stay at the new house we’re renting in Aptos “for thirty-eight years or more.” That exuberant embrace of our life here comes, in part, from a sense of how difficult it would be to transplant ourselves at present. He knows about residency requirements abroad. Our travel budget. And so on. So… my family is well aware of the “benefits” of life in the U.S. The relative positives of this and that. But he knows, as we all do, that high standards of living do not necessarily mean high standards of life*.

*E.F. Schmacher touches on this beautifully in Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered, as does Ananda K. Coomaraswamy in Christian and Oriental Philosophy of Art.

Too few people ever talk about so-called high standards of living having nothing to do with our clear responsibility to make a difference.

Nothing to do with the obligation we all have to move in solidarity in the name of Love and all that’s beautiful and possible… to stand and smile together, confronting our horrid momentum toward deeper and deeper atomization, unforgivable abominations.

It matters not to me that my readers may be incapable at this juncture — for any number of reasons — of smelling the foul air, inhaling the abominable aroma of Auschwitz today (paid for with their own dollars), feeling their own very real disconnect from nature.

I have a vision of possible change that’s very simple to implement. A simple thing for each of us to do that will enable us to take an historically healthy step together. Simple, not simplistic. Doable. Immediately. Life changing.

Atomization is its enemy. Seemingly invincible, ineffable, inevitable atomization*.

*In the extreme this fragmentation leads to suicide and/or ecocide.

Call me Ishmael or whatever you want. But contact me ASAP.

Oh yes, there’s that matter of the soldier who killed himself, hoping that kids wouldn’t see what he did.

Well, on that note permit me to close on some of a well-known local mother’s words for our Memorial Day and a few others:

“I can guarantee what you won’t see this holiday weekend are images of the over one million Iraqi dead. Say we assign, in an arbitrary way for purely illustrative purposes, an average height of 5 feet for every person killed in Iraq and then lined those people up from head to toe. That gruesome line would stretch from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon…950 driving miles up Interstate 5. If we count the Iraqis who have been forced to flee, we would have to go back and forth between L.A. and Portland another four times.”

Her macabre itinerary doesn’t include an accounting of those irreparably damaged mentally or grotesquely disfigured physically… or simply injured. Oh yes, it doesn’t include the as yet unborn who will be deformed by the depleted uranium we use liberally. The irreparable personal harm done by our destruction/theft of antiquities. There are many others that her corpse-lined/refugee route doesn’t include.

The mother goes on to point out:

“There are obscene amounts of people who have been slaughtered for the US Profit Driven Military Empire who do not count here in America on any day. People in Vietnam are still dying from the toxins dumped on their country by the US, not to mention the millions who died during that war.”

She concludes her “tribute” to Memorial Day with a comment about our escalation of war and war crimes by our present administration in Afghanistan.

I can prove in five minutes that the above is true. And that it’s evitable.

But first you must improve your visualization vocabulary… which is called imagination.

“…a lot of this is mass guilt. Whether people admit it or not, I suspect most people know on some subconscious level that we Americans have been living off the rest of the world’s misery. We know we’re stealing oil from the people of nations like Iraq and Nigeria. We know that our toys, our electronics devices and our fancy name-brand running shoes are being made by people who cannot afford to buy them themselves. We know that for decades we have been overthrowing elected governments and propping up fascist dictatorships to keep the exploitation going so that we can buy cheap goods and extract cheap resources (As Marine Medal of Honor hero Smedley Butler long ago admitted, that’s what our “heroes” in uniform are generally doing overseas).” — Dave Lindorff

Oh yes, and you must get your misinformation straight (Just exactly where do you get your info from?). AND, as Green Day cautions… you must know your enemy. Which our Memorial Day is designed to prevent.

Which we have an opportunity to get clear on when someone commits suicide.

Oh no, this is not about there being something wrong with him. er_on_the