Friday, January 27, 2006

Poem: Closer Look

Closer Look

Fear as to what we’re becoming
Led to a mindless, down-dumbing

Discarding all thoughtful observing
Think the world’s a birthright deserving

Devoid of a reasoned abstraction
Simplified speech as distraction

Falsely the prophets beseeching
Blindness and hatred they’re teaching

Fool on the hill masks all failings
Slogans for lies are his wailings

Divines himself holy crusader
Serves in the role of invader

Legions of minions conspiring
Stealing their power untiring

Virtues are pliant and twisted
More righteous thought is resisted

The nation they’re shaping is broken
When will the masses be woken?

Copyright SGW 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Poem: Life Of A Leaf

Life of a Leaf

Conceived within spring’s nurturing warmth
Full of life
Proudly adorned
Held high in the sky.

Standing strong through summer’s unfailing heat
In rain
Thunder and lightning
With each hazy morn
Remaining intact
Stemmed to hold ground against the wind ...
Secured to one spot
A limiting view.


Into the breeze
Given flight
Over rivers
Through meadows
Past houses, cars and barking dogs
Without any control
Gaining insights into the world around.

At rest.

Fall’s approaching touch
Days grow shorter
Nights colder
The bright color of youth
Now aged and dulled
Not so proud
No longer high above the earth.

Left without the soft texture once owned
Slightly brittle
Best moments having passed
Fleeting time
Winding down.

One final joy
Children smiling
In and out
Happy to be a part of their game
The life of a leaf.

Copyright SGW 1997

Friday, January 6, 2006

Mao Tse Tung

Having just finished a biography of Mao Tse Tung, I am left with one thought: What a horrid creature he was. When a life overlaps the lives of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot, to name but a few, and they look angelic by comparison, what does that say about the level of evil that was Mao?

The number of dead Chinese during his reign of terror was massive. Those who were forced into the most severe conditions of torture, poverty and hunger by his hand were even greater. His policies were devoid of reason, solely followed for his own purposes of decadence, pleasure and the pursuit of world domination. Mao had absolutely no redeeming qualities and little in the way of ability. He was an opportunist who was so ruthless that he gained an upper hand on others simply by being relentlessly evil.

The crimes committed by Mao Tse Tung are almost beyond belief. The story of his life is essentially the saga of the destruction of a people by a man who might be the worst this world has ever known.

Monday, January 2, 2006

Movie: Munich

Writer's Note: I was born and raised Jewish. I developed individually to be so pro-Israel, that as a young person, I would have defended Israel before the United States in a military action as I saw the cause as being more dire, necessary and noble. I still see things that way in many respects. For the most part, I currently take an overwhelmingly pro-Israel position on the Middle East conflict.

Steven Spielberg has spun another well told tale for us, and this one, "Munich," is the story of the Black September terrorist murders of 11 Israeli olympians at the 1972 games. "Munich" is a possible re-telling of the story of the Israeli response to these murders and the affects on those assigned to fight the battle and on the world at large.

Feeling rage and helplessness as the Israelis are taken and butchered, one cannot help but find resolve to act much as the government of Israel did at the time; by striking back. A show of force appeared necessary to let the world know that Jews would no longer take death lying down and would fight back in the face of worldwide indifference. Palestinian terrorism had opened a wound and Israel was certain to exact an eye for an eye.

But "Munich" is much more complicated than the initial emotions of that time and it is here that Spielberg deserves the most credit. Avner, played by Eric Bana, is the Mossad agent assigned to hunt and kill those behind the Munich massacre and he is Spielberg's conduit for the inner turmoil that is put on display by these actions.

Avner feels a sense of duty and loyalty to Israel, and so he takes on this task. He also has a responsibility to protect his family. But does he? He begins to wonder as the cycle of violence grows and the events he is participating in spin out of control. Also, he begins to question whether the violence can ever end.

Spielberg seems to use this movie as a device to explore our present battle against terrorism. Do we become the enemy who we see as evil, immoral and cruel by slipping down to their levels in fighting back? Does Israel do so in 1972? Do we against al Qaeda today? Is fighting back required to avoid extinction or does it only assure mindless escalation?

Spielberg is also willing to show us the Arab perspective of wanting a home and how determined those without one are to obtain such a place. No one is innocent in this drama and no one is wholly guilty either.

"Munich" is gruesome at times and also tears at our inner fibers as we feel disgusted and shame for our own hate and anger at the same time that we scream out for vengeance and justice. What we are left with, much as Avner is, are scars that never heal.

Spielberg leaves us with more questions then answers as "Munich" ends. However, he closes with a climactic camera shot that has us begging for a way out before we no longer can find it.