Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Tue, Apr 27 2004

Eighteen Years Of Silence

Thanks to Grunt Doc for a link reminding us last month that the evacuation of people in Chernobyl was eighteen years ago, just about this time in April. There's nothing I can say that won't be better said by the photograhs and brief comments of a woman named Elena who rides her motorcycle and takes pictures and radiation readings of the Ghost Town. At first I imagined voices and sounds and music while I looked at the pictures, but Elena tells us the place is maddeningly quiet. My mind persists in wanting to add a soundtrack to the ruins. We tend to think of pain and destruction as being loud and boisterous. Even the worst place of all--Hell--is usually portrayed as loud and full of screams and wicked laughter. But view these pictures of just how void and quiet Hell really is.

posted at: 10:26 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Growing Pains And Flags

If you ignore a few typos, you can read the really real story of the real new flag of Iraq, and how it came to be. Of course, they're having a bit of fun with us, but maybe the new Iraqi flag really doesn't mean very anyway--at least in its present form. It's coming from people approved by the U.S. government, and we can't even get the story of our own first flag right half the time. They'll have to find their own flag, eventually.

It's always been kind of fun to think about Betsy Ross having sewn a flag for the U.S. She learned a trade, raised 7 children, became a Fighting Quaker, ran a business and outlived 3 husbands. Her spunk and endurance make us want to believe that her life underscored the spirit of America. Maybe that's why legends of her flag-making persist.

The American flag has undergone some changes, the most recent one coming only about 7 years after I was born. It may change again. The flag is just a symbol of what makes us a nation of individuals, living and working side-by-side, uniting for common purpose as neighbors. The neighborhood has just grown a bit bigger in the past few hundred years.

There's a lot of flack about the colors and content of the flag being designed for Iraq. But who's to say? In another couple of hundred years their flag may change a lot, and their culture may find a Betsy Ross of its own--a common citizen whose strength and ideals represent the country's rising from the ashes better than a bunch of United States-approved temporary leaders could ever do. They'll figure it out if we give them some time. Someday their flag will truly represent what they become, and that's where the real story and triumph could be. None of us can predict what that flag will look like. And maybe that's the way it should be.

posted at: 08:44 | category: /Politics | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!