Filling the Blank Spaces
People may have spoken too highly (or lowly) of life in the past. They base they’re existence on events that may not have even happened. I speculate, I postulate, that people either embellish life or dismiss that which they find unappealing as hokum. In the latter case events are cast as hoaxes, or legends, through centuries of generations that (I again speculate) grow increasingly dissatisfied with life’s revelations as technology points them out to them. It is a gut instinct, something to unsettling that churns toxins in thee stomach walls so much that the mind refuses to accept it.
The period 1940–1945 in Germany is an interesting example. It emptied the world of 6,000,000
people from select ethnic backgrounds. Its intended goal was to “cleanse the world of European Jewry.” Grotesque films were made by obsessive-compulsive narcissists. Hundreds visit Auschwitz and other notable death camps each year. Museums memorialize the onslaught around the world. Yet a minority remains that insists it never happened. The one I had the misfortune of meeting was in his sixties, old enough to have lived though it. However, as history tells, people in Germany, in locations proximal to the camps, did not really have a clue of what was occurring, or so it goes. So in America where, as history again reveals, the extent of atrocities in the European Theater was not known until our liberation of the camps in 1945, by an ample stretch of the imagination, perhaps some sympathy for the limitations of the human mind, I might accept that one can grow up contending that the 6,000,000 murders were made up. So you might ask what does a person, who seems to be intelligent in every other realm of life, have to gain by closing their mind to the most concentrated attempt to remove Jews since the Inquisition. It boggles the mind. Is it guilt, or the pre-disposition toward reciprocity? If it never happened what would the Gentile world owe the Jews? What would be the reason for a state of Israel? Maybe the man I met was a relation of a Nazi, or a sympathizer. Being Jewish myself the ignorance of this genocide in the light of overwhelming evidence and continuing memorization and instruction is particularly disturbing.
I have a gut instinct of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I was four-years old, but I remember seeing it. The more I think about it and recess my mind, try a bit of self-hypnosis, I can see the black & white static peppering the gray of the lunar surface. Was that a hoax, a legend I created, an image I postulated for forty-four years? I am faced, every so often, with the notion that the landing itself was a hoax. It is hailed as one of John F. Kennedy’s crowning achievements, perhaps a testament to a president’s delivery of a promise, even posthumously fulfilled. On significant years July 20 is noted by the media. Footage of the landing, Neil Armstrong’s words of giant leaps, and Walter Cronkite’s gentle pause in disbelief is aired. Was that a lie? Has a hoax (like most UFO’s) been promulgated by history books and indulged by the media for decades? I doubt it. No one doubted the January 28 1986 Challenger disaster, the space shuttle that broke apart 73 seconds into flight that killed seven people.
I remember, I was in my dorm room during my sophomore year in college. The explosion over the Atlantic Ocean was played several times as I peered at my roommate’s tiny portable television. Now that I think of it, I think that was black & white and certainly smaller than the set on which I watched Apollo 11 seventeen years earlier.
When one recalls 9/11 most people have a story. They have a point of reference to commiserate, they know where they were that day to put the relative epic disaster in perspective. I was at work listening the the radio September 11, 2001. At 7:46 AM (my time in Minnesota) and the program announcer broke away from his usual script. He paused and reported that a jet had hit one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York. I remember being told we could go home if we wanted. I don’t recall many leaving. Audio was replayed and replayed to the point where I think I turned the radio off. This happened in the twenty-first century, when most of the technology we now have existed. In 2014 I met a young man who was just a kid in 2001, young and impressionable with political bones not yet fused. He was the kind of disgruntled American who I could see living on a compound in Idaho. He prattled on about deceptions and vagaries of history. He told of the true motives of war, like how North Vietnam had boys hooked on drugs so they kept coming, or how Afghanistan was a pipeline for opium. And then he said it, not that it never happened, but that 9/11 had been an inside job. He postulated that the Bush Administration orchestrated the attack to justify invading Iraq. As a moderate Democrat, who does not think much of George W. Bush as a capable leader, I have a hard time grasping the idea that he (or Cheney) would cause such destruction to a nation they took oaths to defend. I doubt they did it, or told anyone in the vicinity of Iraq to do it.
As a hoax, the September 2001 terrorist attacks don’t hold water. The idea that the 1940–1945 Nazi attacks in Germany is a hoax is unfathomable. It is elusive what motivates hokum though time. Why was Paul McCartney’s reported death in 1966 kept alive for so many years? One would think that the news of a Beatle’s mortality might make the papers. Then in 1980 another Beatle was said to be dead. Technology had advanced since 1966 and so had death and its reality.
I see it as a compromise. The way the adequately nurtured human intellect filters out what might be a hoax from what can only be real. The 1986 Challenger disaster was real. Death can’t easily be hidden. How NASA reported it at the time is another story. Governmental politics is fickle pot of herring. Decisions to dispense information depends on who’s listening and changes with technology. Take the Vietnam War which relied primarily on television, newspapers, and radio to convey the war to America. It was highly classified, with much information not being public until the early ’70s. I now know how information crossed the world via telephone throughout 1967.I know that Henry Kissinger was negotiating with North Vietnam. I have read of Anna Chennault, the young Asian American Nixon used as a liaison to N. Vietnam’s president Thieu. The Republican nominee for president bartered in the first days of November 1968, after President Johnson’s announcement on Halloween night that peace was at hand and the war was close to an end. Papers reported it,
“ATTACKS ON NORTH VIETNAM HALT TODAY. JOHNON SAYS WIDER TALKS BEGIN NOV. 6”
The November 1 headline of the New York Times I’m sure pleased most people in the world. Obviously Richard Nixon was not satisfied. He wanted to lead the nation to victory, and end the war with honor, so badly that he convinced Thieu the war would end better for him under his leadership and not Humphrey’s. On November 2 the Times headline read,
“U.S.-SAIGON RIFT ON TALKS WIDEN.”
Single-handed, in a day, Nixon had prolonged the war five years. Saboteurs like Richard Nixon and Benedict Arnold are the stuff hokum is made of. History is compelled to gloss over, to abridge sad facts, colossal mistakes, and things that seem to condone dragging an enormous ego into the White House. Hubert Humphrey, the nice Minnesota liberal who orated so loudly in the early days of civil rights, wanted the presidency passionately. He wanted it so badly he was willing to hide his true feelings about the war (which sounded closer to Eugene McCarthy’s) and knuckle under to Lyndon Johnson’s paranoid delusions of the Communist menace.
Plots, schemes, conspiracy theories all are fodder for what eventually fizzles out to be a hoax. Whether people can’t handle the truth, if they distort he truth, or put a personal spin on the facts, in time the world’s cataclysmic and isolated events are held up to history’s yardstick. Humans can’t deny their true feelings; joy, envy, guilt, resentment, anger, arrogance, hope. They choose to believe what they want to believe and make it up if it never happened.