We have memories like goldfish, without having enough of those little castles to put in each of our lives. To me, as I've aged, and aged badly and more rapidly in recent years, I am frightened by the volume of information roaring by us in a flood and how little of it we note in any way.
We live in an age where news that doesn't fit our own personal beliefs we don't have to ever see. The wonder of technology? No, more the continuing frailties of humanity. We remember only what we want to remember and now we have the technology to insulate us from the world around us.
Not today. This is an inconvenient reminder from some time ago that I wrote in a moment of white hot anger and in revisiting it now, I'm still pissed off at who we are and who we have become. If you think I'm talking about you, I probably am. Consider yourself warned.
Shortly before the dawn's early light of what was Sunday, October 23, 1983, the first American military casualties of The Next Nameless Unending War occurred.
At the time of the murderous bombing at the Beirut International Airport, the Evil we were facing seemed to have no shape or name, at least none that we knew or knew of. We now know that Evil to be Al Qaeda and to include the various crazies who've broken off from the Mothership to form themselves into even more virulent and violent sects but who share a common heritage of depravity and deprivation and a goal of the triumph of a Hate so unbearably bleak as to be beyond comprehension.
In other times and circumstances its adherents would be invisible and insignificant within a global context that marginalized them to the brink of extinction, doomed to lead lives of quiet desperation but the emergence and the convergence of technologies and the ubiquity with which lies make their way into fundamentalist belief systems, regardless of the beliefs, has inflated their importance and impact beyond all beats and bounds.
The rest of us, three decades plus later, live at such a pace that even attempting to think of the 241 American Marines, Soldiers and Sailors who died in what we've come to call the Beirut Barracks Bombing, requires more time and thought than many of us are willing to spare and so we've reduced these First Innocents Murdered in the Global War on Terror to an intellectual abstraction because contemplating their individual humanity would reduce us to sorrow without surcease with our tears like unending rain.
And no single drop of rain feels itself responsible for the flood which follows.