storytelling as dissent

Yesterday’s War Horse post only spotlit one small share of the vast number of veteran writers and artists, like the one pictured,  charting the forever war. They’re musicians, they’re poets holding incredible slams, they’re winning Pulitzers and National Book Awards. The current bounty has me thinking about how the presence of such artists forms anContinue reading “storytelling as dissent”

Ron Kovic’s Convention speech

Which no one ever heard, because the networks had stopped filming in 1972. (They’d already wrecked the candidacy of WWII veteran Edmund Muskie. ) We’ll never know if that speech might have rocked the world of Richard Nixon. Now, thanks to Studs Terkel’s chat with Hunter S. Thompson, you can hear it starting at minute 36.Continue reading “Ron Kovic’s Convention speech”

The real Happy New Year’s of 1863

This day 150 years ago was, of course, pivotal to many of the figures in Ain’t Marching- from Quaker CO’s like Jesse Macy to Lewis H. Douglass.

So for my Civil War chapter I couldn’t resist from painting the scene myself, including its immediate aftermath. We can go on for days about who therein counts as a dissenting soldier, triply on that New Years’ Day — but how not?

Saving Breanna Elizabeth Manning

From last week’s reporting Manning comes off as bright, funny, and clear about what he’s done. And his jailers come off as, at the very least a little dim — naive in that sense that actually means cruel. And this particular drama is a crazy-quilt mirror on the current state of American democracy.

Bradley Manning: WIRED folds, and my dilemma is moot.

WIRED has just released the full transcripts of the conversations between Manning and that snake Adrian Lamo – meaning that everyone that cares about Manning, thinks him hero or traitor, has no way of not knowing about the gender issues. They’re mesmerizing reading, though I agree with Gawker that Lamo turns out to be evenContinue reading “Bradley Manning: WIRED folds, and my dilemma is moot.”

Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut

About a year ago, Iraq Veterans Against the Wars began a campaign that sounded almost conservative: Operation Recovery, against the deployment of traumatized troops. The celebrated Camilo Mejia, when he and I talked in Philadelphia, was skeptical : “Sounds like the VFW.” Actually, it’s a sign that IVAW gets it, in a very deep way. ByContinue reading “Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut”

Word is out

About Bradley Manning, I mean. Among what he reveals: most of those folks holding “I am Bradley Manning” masks don’t know what the hell they’re saying. Ever since the story began to break, I’ve felt more and more drawn to it as a writer and, yes, as a queer person (any way you want toContinue reading “Word is out”

mark benjamin blows the whistle

Again, this time at TIME Magazine.  I count Benjamin as one of our era’s Ernie Pyles, from his Salon series on suicides at Camp Lejeune to his unflinching coverage of torture. And he’s kept on the Arlington Cemetery scandal with persistence and grace. Ernie Pyle crossed with Seymour Hersh: because when he sniff something wrong,Continue reading “mark benjamin blows the whistle”

Just read. Leon Panetta, there’s an epidemic on and your job to deal with it.

At Common Dreams, Annette Bonsignore asks the questionI hadn’t got around to: ” Will the Media Give Leon Panetta the Same Pass Provided to Robert Gates on the Military’s Rape Epidemic?” She lays out the challenge very well: The media now has an opportunity to confront and question the next Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who wasContinue reading “Just read. Leon Panetta, there’s an epidemic on and your job to deal with it.”