To be sure, a cityscape is not made of flesh. Still, sheared-off buildings are almost as eloquent as bodies in the street.
-Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others
A photograph of refugees streaming out of war-torn Yarmouk introduces an online article. A humanitarian advertisement displays a malnourished dog, mostly skin and bones, on the brink of death. A Facebook friend posts infrared photographs of helicopter pilots firing rounds into a group of footsoldiers.
Violent images inundate my daily world.
Which is disturbing. Infuriating. I can’t tell you how many things I’ve seen that I would rather not see. Maybe should not see. My gut reacts and screams these pictures should not exist!
If my Facebook newsfeed is any indication, Americans do not approach Memorial Day in a uniform way. Some Americans barbecue, party, and celebrate their day off work while others lament the national disconnect with “what the holiday is all about.”
This project centers on mass media portrayals of military and warfare in the United States and seeks to reflect upon them through the application of practical theology. Elements of the Christian theological tradition will serve the current project as a norming influenceand ground subsequent proposed responses to the proliferation of speech, warfare depiction, and entertainment that spur militarism. This project does not intend to determine whether or not war is ever justified; it focuses on the depiction of and speech about warfare in the American media.
The irony here is strong. In order to explore the depths of meaning behind these souvenirs recently discovered at a shop in Gorman, California, we’re having a caption contest. Create a caption for this picture and leave it in the comments. Good luck and in hoc signo vinces!
UPDATE/DISCLAIMER: There is no disrespect intended by this post, or the subsequent comments, toward the members of our military. One must realize, however, how crazy the idea of a cross imprinted with the seal of the United States military is.