Thursday, February 5, 2015

haunted by fire (1)

i spent yesterday with sara and the kids on a day trip to her childhood hometown of tongxiao. we visited famous hole in the wall snack joints in front of the goddess mazu temple, walked to her old elementary school, and climbed up tiger's head mountain, where japanese observers caught sight of russia's baltic fleet steaming north toward battle against japan in 1905. but through all this i was haunted by fire -- the fire that consumed the jordanian pilot, weeks ago, but only made known through a gruesome video provided so helpfully by the killers that did him in. i compulsively imagined and re-imagined the scene i would not let myself view: his awful death. isn't this compulsive need to consume horrific news part of the american system? isn't this habit a dark, subterranean mass response that feeds compliance with our foreign policy?

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