This science fiction poem might reflect today’s world events.
A more personal experience from almost three years ago is also reflected in it. While moving long distance for a new life, my health failed. Because so much was dependent on my ability to work, or at least to negotiate, my vague dreams were quickly destroyed. With intimidating debts and what felt like no way to escape a hostile environment where my disabilities put me in danger from the apathetic people and organizations I needed for survival, I could feel almost no hope. In attempts to rise beyond feelings of hopelessness, I frequently wondered if, on my death, my body would return to my childhood home.
I have written several poems and a short story from my feelings at the time. Each goes into a different genre. “Guts to Moon Dust” was a near-future imagining of the ageless story about a dangerous journey to what was promised to be a better life, but which ends with entrapping disappointment.
I would very much like it not to be anyone’s future.
Both are federally recognized holidays in the United States, so many Americans get the last Monday of May and a day around November 11 off of work. Both days are meant to honor past service people.
What were we expected to think about on each day?
The short answer is that while Veterans Day (in November) primarily honors living personnel, Memorial Day honors the military personnel who died in the line of duty.
The people meant to be honored on Memorial Day aren’t the ones who can choose to march in parades or attend memorial services. That means publicly cheering the stranger wearing a U.S. Marines veteran badge might be more appropriate on another day.
Memorial Day Activities
The traditional activities on Memorial Day are decorating the grave of a service person, saying a prayer, and lowering an American flag to half-mast until noon. This can feel outdated, or unhelpful. Another option is to listen.
I’ve long thought of Monday as a time to support the veterans or civilian family members whose memories can remain raw months or years later. Those of us who have already worked through grief over a lost soldier, or who haven’t suffered any losses personally, can be receptive to stories of the military personnel who have died.
Those of you who are remembering people who were close to you should know your voice can be heard.
Remembering the Past for the Future
Speaking up and listening might be harder this year than most. Focusing on the meaning of Memorial Day can be harder when our own federal administrators don’t understand the holiday.
The current United States Commander in Chief has been talking over veterans and active duty personnel, military advisors, and military families since before his campaign. Despite opposition from senior military officials and others who care about ethics, public safety, and international relations, POTUS 45 is threatening to pardon war criminals next week. In my view, he is using a day meant for recognizing the human costs of service to boost his horrific attacks on humanity.
Please take a moment for yourselves. Enjoy an extra day off of work if you get one. But also, please, take a moment on Monday to consider the threads that weave us together.
This Memorial Day, Veterans For Peace is reminding the public that the human cost of war is more than human soldiers, but also the people who are caught in the crossfire. https://t.co/hjAvqPW7c4
This post starts with a warning. It’s a little depressing. Heavy, even.
I actually meant to publish it weeks ago but didn’t thinking about adults insulting infants, mass extinction, and animals stuffing their homes with human trash, and that only covers half of the topic!
Well, we are at Shadows in Mind. Here are the type of cold shadows that creep across your room in the nighttime.
Test Tube Babies
This first is a nod to what was considered weird when I was a child. The general public had not yet accepted the concept of “test tubes babies”. Forty years after the first in vitro fertilization, people continue to worry about what will come of the technology other than viable human children.
A study recently published in the United States’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) determined that out of the 550 gigatons of carbon in Earth’s known life, humanity makes up a tiny 0.01%. Another interesting finding was that the biomass of domesticated animals surpasses that of wild mammals and birds. Quartz reports that the study also shows human civilizations have drastically destroyed the world’s wildlife.
CE’s engineering work shows that AIR TO FUELS™ technology can produce fuels for less than $1.00 /L once scaled up, making them cost competitive with biodiesels.
If we can shake the fossil fuel industry’s control on politicians, we can see this process put in place everywhere.
Speaking of taking modern technology in a new direction…
Researchers from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have shown that a form of artificial intelligence can be solidified into 3D-printed layers of transparent material, imprinted with complex patterns, that “do to light going through them what the [probability] math would have done to numbers.”
That’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? TechCrunch writer Devin Coldewey explained,
If that’s a bit much to wrap your head around, think of a mechanical calculator. Nowadays it’s all done digitally in computer logic, but back in the day calculators used actual mechanical pieces moving around — something adding up to 10 would literally cause some piece to move to a new position. In a way this “diffractive deep neural network” is a lot like that: it uses and manipulates physical representations of numbers rather than electronic ones.
The writer in me wants to twist this into a story about intelligent light.