Manhattan Song Gone Wrong

enemy fighthpome2home-yyfightt4fight2

trinity

Warriors preach of the heroic and divine,

a penalty must be paid for the crime.

Crying vengeance for that day of infamy,

the faithful sought the trinity.

trinity   death-opp

In the dust of Los Alamos,

appeared a holy ghost.

Was death the destroyer,

the devil his employer.

hiroshima      hiros

Little Boy and Fat Man,

bound on their journey to Japan.

Unleash the horror of the mighty mushroom cloud,

upon an unsuspecting city crowd.

To the tune of Manhattan,           triumph      manhattan-song-book

cities fall and flatten.

Innocents foot the bill,

our very own Triumph Of The Will.

victor       folded-flad

Celebrate victory,

re-write history.

After the dust  and memory settles,

we present folded flags and medals.

flag-tap   taps

We fight for noble causes,

rows and rows of crosses.

Soldiers in their finest suits,

the sound of taps, and final salutes.

The propaganda machine continues turning,

keeping the flames of patriotism burning;

and the battles continue, they never cease,

only those that lie in rest, know peace.

dove

I was inspired to write this from various quotes by the architects of the Manhattan Project.

Richard Feynman, later would go on to become one of the most influential physicists. Winning the Nobel prize.

I returned to civilization shortly after that and went to Cornell to teach, and my first impression was a very strange one. I can’t understand it any more, but I felt very strongly then. I sat in a restaurant in New York, for example, and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth… How far from here was 34th street?… All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would go along and I would see people building a bridge, or they’d be making a new road, and I thought, they’re crazy, they just don’t understand, they don’tunderstand. Why are they making new things? It’s so useless.

J. Robert Oppenheimer; Director of the laboratory at Los Alamos Manhattan Project.

Despite the vision and the far-seeing wisdom of our wartime heads of state, the physicists felt a peculiarly intimate responsibility for suggesting, for supporting, and in the end, in large measure, for achieving the realization of atomic weapons. Nor can we forget that these weapons, as they were in fact used, dramatized so mercilessly the inhumanity and evil of modern war. In some sort of crude sense which no vulgarity, no humor, no overstatement can quite extinguish, the physicists have known sin; and this is a knowledge which they cannot lose.
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky
That would be like the splendour of the Mighty One…
I am become Death,
shatterer of worlds.
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
If atomic bombs are to be added as new weapons to the arsenals of a warring world, or to the arsenals of nations preparing for war, then the time will come when mankind will curse the names of Los Alamos and Hiroshima. The people must unite, or they will perish.
— J. Robert Oppenheimer
 “During the war I worked…on nuclear weapons so I, too, am a war criminal.”
   -Mark Olyphant
©2016 Kathleen Stefani and Combing The Catacombs, unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without  express written permission from the sites author is strictly forbidden.
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18 thoughts on “Manhattan Song Gone Wrong

    1. Thanks David, I was very unsure of this piece. Some would take it as unpatriotic, but I see it as a higher call, a moral one. I appreciate the Dylan reference. That blows me away, really. I had a hard time with some of the verses, working them in so they would fit and be cohesive and flow, without wandering off, and away from my theme.
      I did not attempt to deliberately write this or force it, it just kind of fell together. I wanted to use some symbolism, I don’t know if some would get, Trinity, Manhattan, death the destroyer, and Triumph Of The Will. I debated about posting it.
      I wish I could write like Dylan. he is a big inspiration though. All of my inspiration is from song writers,

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  1. Love your graphics. And the simple, straightforward way you present your thoughts. I especially like this stanza:

    *We fight for noble causes,*

    *rows and rows of crosses.*

    *Soldiers in their finest suits,*

    *the sound of taps, and final salutes.*

    *The battles continue, they never cease,*

    *only those that lie in rest, know peace.*

    That quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer (quoting Vishnu) has always struck me as so profound and so human. Sadly, Oppenheimer was hounded out of the inner circle of atomic scientists, while Werner von Braun, the “converted” Nazi, became the star and whiz kid. Because he had no compunctions about building bigger and better weapons of mass destruction.

    I’m including a link to Oppenheimer’s reaction to the first successful A-bomb test: “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Oppenheimer adds, “I suppose we all felt that way, one way or another.” It’s such a somber interview and so poignant as he tries to control his emotions. In case you haven’t seen it in a while:

    P. S. Although I’d heard of amblyopia, I couldn’t remember what it was and had to look it up. Do you have corrective lenses that help correct your vision?

    *Dean*

    On Fri, Sep 16, 2016 at 5:08 AM, combing the catacombs wrote:

    > grevisangel73 posted: ” Warriors preach of the heroic and divine, > while others oppose, and speak their mind: caution the eternal infinity, > seeking the holy trinity. In the dust of Los Alamos, appeared a holy > ghost, but was the death the de” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Dean for your compliments. I have watched that clip many, many times, and it is very haunting and profound. Most of the scientists that worked on the Manhattan project were sorry about it later, including Oppenheimer, Einstein and Szilard. One of the few exceptions being Teller, who must have been quite twisted.
      As you know Oppenheimer was hounded by the government for his supposed red connections. I am sure he wrestled with what he had unleashed. Perhaps he paid the heaviest price, which is apparent if you know his story which I see that you do.
      I don’t think any of them understood the extent of what they had created, until the actual sights of ground zero Then they saw the human toll. How could one not be moved by that, that as a species, we could do that to another. They seemed to all be in a frenzy to make the thing, it was a challenge, could it be done? I think the scientific parts of their minds, overtook, the human part.
      I do believe it would have been made at some point or another by the Russians, or Germans. This argument has been debated for years.
      I don’t believe it was necessary to use it. All sides had been through enough atrocities. You would have thought it would have been a humbling and sobering thing to know the destruction, and the ramifications it brought, but it did not, and we are still having to deal with the monster. We were determined to show off to the Russians that we would become the dominant power.
      I know von Braun became the darling, and whiz kid. I have very mixed feelings about him. I know he played a pivotal part of this, and he has much blood on his hands. What would have happened had he gone to the Russian side? As it turned out, the Russians ultimately had wound up creating the largest, and most powerful bomb ever detonated.
      You can go back even further than von Braun for the rocketry technology needed to launch the missiles, that started with Goddard and Tsiolkovsky. Neither of them had envisioned their technology being used in any other way than being the vehicle, the means, for which would be used for us to leave the planet and explore other worlds. That is what motivated them.
      It was the politicians, governments and a handful of scientists that wanted to test and push the boundaries. They may have wanted to play God, is some psychological way.
      Science is a tool, it can be used for good and bad, but we really don’t need science for that. It can be traced as far back as human history. We have always been fighting, conquering and wanting to subjugate others to take what we wanted from them.
      I want to see and believe in the positive and necessary sides of science. I don’t think without it we can survive as a species.
      Our evolutionary impulses will propel us to reach out further, and we will have to, out of necessity need to do that. The earth can not contain us, we are explorers by nature.
      Amblyopia, is more commonly known as, lazy eye. If it is caught early in childhood and corrected with patches, then you may be able to improve it. It is not really a condition that can be fixed in any other way, such as surgery. The way it was explained to me was, that it is a developmental condition having to do with the brain not working in conjunction with the eye.
      When I was younger they did patch me for awhile, but for some reason they did not continue. It was probably me tearing it off. I never liked to wear glasses either, and I have had them since I was five. I did not wear them then because I did not see a difference with my vision. It did not become a problem until I hit 40, and that was because my good eye went bad. I have glasses now that I have to wear, or I would not be able to read at all. Even with glasses my sight is still not that good. I have to use a magnifying glass even with the glasses. I need a new pair, because it is getting worse.
      Going back to this piece, I had reservations about it, it takes an apologist view, and some people may be offended since we were the ones attacked. I feel we should have taken the higher moral road than we did, and we did not. I have heard my own father defend this action. it is always going to be debatable, but I do not see the debate. Maybe my understanding of history is affected by time.

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      1. I think I made that response too long. I am glad you included that clip of Oppenheimer, that really was the inspiration for this piece. That clip has always had an effect on me that is hard to explain.
        For some reason, probably because of the film back then, and how he looks in it. His face up close, it reminds me of the Twilight Zone, but you can tell the man has witnesses the unleashing of Hell.
        I was also inspired by Carl Sagan, and his Pale Blue Dot .

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  2. Thanks Sabiscuit, I appreciate your comment, and that you understood the message. I was hesitant to post this because of the mood of the country regarding patriotism. I wanted to illustrate the futility of war on a personal up close level. There are no winners, and I believe, or at least I would like to believe that if everyone was held to an individual accountability that they might see things differently, but our views are impressed on us by pride, Nationalism, religion, media manipulation, lack or resources and education and many other determining factors. I don’t want to upset anyone with my views. I expected some flack, and if some that saw and read this would surely give it to me..Thank you so much for understanding.

    Like

    1. Thanks Martian, I am reading your posts right now. I like the variety of topics you write about, it’s a nice mixture, of many of the same things that I like. I don’t know how you keep up the writing volume that you do. It takes me a long time to post. I get distracted when I write. I start one thing, and go to something else, so I have pages of unfinished material. I need the discipline to finish what I start.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have done really well from everything that I have read. I like learning about other cultures. It helps people break barriers and exchange thoughts so we can get to know each other, and hopefully find out we are not so different on an individual level.

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    1. I got the idea from a comment someone made to me about Oppenheimer’s, statement about building the bomb, and I extended that to all war in general. Thanks again for an excellent observation and understanding the point I am trying to make.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was inspired to write this by the statement Oppenheimer made during the Manhattan Project, while building the bomb. It was from the Upanishads, Death The Destroyer. While I was thinking of that, I was also juxtaposing it to a popular song of the period. A kind of mad dance, set to song and music, while on the other side of the world, death was unleashed. I also remembered a comment made by another scientist involved, Richard Feynman, here it is”I returned to civilization shortly after that and went to Cornell to teach, and my first impression was a very strange one. I can’t understand it any more, but I felt very strongly then. I sat in a restaurant in New York, for example, and I looked out at the buildings and I began to think, you know, about how much the radius of the Hiroshima bomb damage was and so forth… How far from here was 34th street?… All those buildings, all smashed — and so on. And I would go along and I would see people building a bridge, or they’d be making a new road, and I thought, they’re crazy, they just don’t understand, they don’t understand. Why are they making new things? It’s so useless.
    But, fortunately, it’s been useless for almost forty years now, hasn’t it? So I’ve been wrong about it being useless making bridges and I’m glad those other people had the sense to go ahead.”

    Like

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