(Some thoughts on News, History & Hypocrisy. For Ariel Pascoe, Student of War.)
First, for all you Dali Lama Hindi Buddhist New Age Freaks, this:
“If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the skies, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one.”–The BHAGAVAD GITA
Yeah. Supposedly–because he later claimed so repeatedly over the years–Robert Oppenheimer, a student of the BHAGAVAD GITA (the Sanskrit text, not the Rock Group), said he thought that line while watching the fireball develop at the Trinity site on July 16, 1945. He also claimed he thought of Vishnu’s line in that same text at the same time: “I am become Death, shatterer of worlds.” Man, busy mind there, Oppie. No thoughts also about Rita Hayworth?
Oppenheimer was your basic fucked-up lib-er-al ‘mystic’ type. He was all for dropping the Bomb on Hiroshima, rather than do a ‘demonstration’ of it off Tokyo Bay, as many others at Trinity and in the Truman administration proposed. Even Secretary of War Stimson, I believe, was in favor of the demonstration idea. But Oppenheimer thought such a ‘demonstration’ of the Bomb’s true power could only be done by a ‘demonstration’ on a real target–a Japanese city. This is how he stood in July of ’45. Over the years, Oppenheimer waffled and waxed Hindi and Buddhist while calling up those BHAGAVAD GITA lines. He said he thought those lines at Trinity. The myth later became that he actually said Vishnu’s line out loud. Give me a break! Lib-er-al after-the-fact plausible deniability. I feel your pain, Ban-The-Bomb folks. Mea Culpa (sort of). Give me a hug.
Oppenheimer wasn’t quite the saint he thought he was, or has been made out to be by lib-er-al apologists. The A-Bomb was his BABY. And he wanted to see exactly what it could do. Of course, compared to Edward Teller, with his SUPER (H) BOMB lobbying, Oppenheimer could be sort of regarded as saintly, in a Napoleon/Hitler analogy.* But can the Hindi crap. Making up quotes to go along with what is considered Politically Correct. Pul-lease.
As far as real comments made at Trinity, I myself prefer the absolutely gut-true and ‘poetic’ remark by physicist Kenneth Bainbridge, who, on watching the fireball, turned to Oppenheimer and actually said out loud: “Now we’re all sons of bitches.” Yes! No ‘trendy babble’ that.
So, with all that in mind, folks, let’s look at NEWS that may cause us to wax poetic after-the-fact:
The Chinese are accusing Japanese Prime Minister Abe of being a ‘liar’ and the Russians are still lurking at the Ukrainian border. Sounds like we’re on the verge of another ‘demonstration’ with our Nuclear TOYS. Nations run by ‘boys’ like their ‘toys’. Oh, and Obama met with Pope Francis. They ate Jello Pudding and joked about how you can really fool some of the people some of the time, and how the media will help fool the rest, all of the time.
Because even so-called REAL NEWS now, if you can find any, is like a marketing campaign. The NET news is all celebrity shit, with the Ukraine and China and Japan thrown in almost in the same sense as having to cover the weather. And even the PRINT MEDIA has succumbed to NEWS as ENTERTAINMENT. Imagine something like Hiroshima & Nagasaki today:
“And in other news, it’s being reported that NATO forces have clashed with Russian forces in the western Ukraine, and that–this is still unconfirmed–tactical nuclear weapons were employed. We’ll update you on that later. But now, here’s Karma Gibberish in Las Vegas with a timely report on celebrity fashions for Armageddon Eve. Karma?”
Yeah. Well remember, it’s all just ENTERTAINMENT. There will never really be a nuclear war. The Celebrities and the Dali Lama will stop it. And the goddamn Pope.
So, now that I’ve bummed you all out, how ’bout this for ENTERTAINING NEWS (This is a ‘Hoot’):
The NET reports this morning that over 30,000 Alaskans have signed a petition to have Alaska secede from the union and rejoin Russia. I love it. Apparently, if you get 100,000 signatures on some petitions, they are eligible for consideration at the White House. I can see it now–PUTIN & PALIN, a new Broadway musical, kind of like Porgy & Bess. Or maybe like The Sound Of Music: “The hills are alive, with the sound of Russian. With words we last heard in 1867…” (My friend Maggie might get another musical for her Musical Fest at the Savoy.)
Brother. Or, as Andy Rooney would have put it: “Did you ever wonder whether some of this stuff is really necessary, or whether we should just put it all in a box at the Yard Sale with a sign that says FREE–PLEASE TAKE THIS NEWS–OR ELSE IT GOES TO THE DUMP?”
As The Man used to say: “And that’s the way it is.”
*Interesting thought–Teller (Dr. Strangelove) wanted everybody involved with the A-Bomb to join him working on the H-Bomb, the SUPER, he called it. But that would have taken years more work, and Washington wanted a weapon to use while WWII was still on.
Teller felt Oppenheimer stabbed his H-Bomb work in the back, and later on got his revenge on Oppenheimer by testifying against renewing Oppenheimer’s National Security Rating. Jesus Christ! Sound a little like High School? Remember, these guys are the Fathers of WMDs. But, what IF? What if they went to work on the SUPER in ’43 and ’44? No A-Bomb. No Hiroshima. No Nagasaki. One wonders. History. As John Travolta once said: “Ain’t it cool?”