Monday, June 30, 2014


I got to thinking about destruction. Not the kind of destruction that happens when you’re playing that maddening game with the sticks that are all neatly piled, then you go and start pulling them out, the winner being the last lucky fool with a steady hand to wedge out a stick without the whole damn thing crashing down and making you look stupid for making such a mess. Nope, that’s not it. Similarly, I am not talking about the destruction that has become ubiquitous in today’s society – the shredder. It seems there are people, whose sole miserable existence is to preen through bags of trash, who hope to come up with a scrap of paper whereby some miracle a smidgen of enough personal information is available to virtually rob those people of identity. That people even have enough paper that ends in the trash in a mostly electronic society is a bit shocking. That those shredder bins are mostly full in the households they exist in is something of a modern day stunner.

I will admit, in the bad old days of my misspent youth in the Army one of the neatest things we were tasked to do was dumpster diving. The concept was to evaluate a particular unit’s operational security by extracting the trash from their unit dumpster, then going through it to see how much unit data could be assembled. Now the smart unit were on to when we did these ‘inspections’ and would find the nastiest things imaginable to throw in those garbage bins. Barf bags, long dead animals, condoms, you name it, they would throw them in there. The less sharp units, the ones with no grizzled old first sergeants and lieutenants with shiny new butter bars, those would usually yield bonanzas which when properly assembled would yield plans for the unit for the next fiscal year, not to mention upcoming exercises. More often than not, to avoid embarrassing the units, our grizzled old first sergeant would pull aside the noncoms from those units and ‘have a word’. No reports, no nonsense, problem fixed. The way it is done in Armies all over the world.

In any case my mind is on bigger destruction. I was walking in the woods the other day and came on this.

(Click to enlarge)

I realize it’s hard to get the scale of the thing there, but what you are seeing is two huge trees that a wind or tornado came through and, on the vagaries of fate, decided to toss around and make no more. When looking at this the very first thing that came to my mind was this. You know that old philosophy question, the one that goes “If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?” I’m thinking that the guy who though that one up, was not thinking of these trees. There is just no way you can look at this awesome destruction and think “Did that make any sound?” No, the question genuinely doesn't come up does it? More than likely you are thinking “Man, I bet that made a mighty crash! It would have scared the pee out of me to be here when that happened!”

I think we tend to be struck by scenes of destruction mostly because they are evidence of things we just could not imagine doing ourselves. But there is violence men do that dwarfs all that due to it's sheer godlessness:

Yeah... never forget...

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