Wednesday, 3 September 2008

D and swastikas

There's a swastika shaped building in a navy base in Coronado, California, that's created a bit of comment over the last year. It's actually 4 L shaped buildings, each at an angle of 90° to the next. The controversy has been well documented elsewhere. For more information do a search for "swastika shaped building" in the search engine of your choice.

A swastika, although very much a symbol, is not a letter or number. Here's what Kurt vonnegut had to say about it.

''Socialism''is no more an evil word than ''Christianity.'' Socialism no more prescribed Joseph Stalin and his secret police and shuttered churches than Christianity prescribed the Spanish Inquisition. Christianity and socialism alike, in fact, prescribe a society dedicated to the proposition that all men, women and children are created equal, and shalt not starve.

Adolf Hitler, incidentally, was a two-fer. He named his party the National Socialists, the Nazis. Hitler also had crosses painted on his tanks and airplanes. The swastika wasn’t a pagan symbol, as so many people believe. It was a working person’s Christian cross, made of axes, of tools.

About Stalin’s shuttered churches, and those in China today: Such suppression of religion was supposedly justified by Karl Marx’s statement that that ''religion is the opium of the people.'' Marx said that back in 1844, when opium and opium derivatives were the only effective painkillers anyone could take. Marx himself had taken them. He was grateful for the temporary relief they had given him. He was simply noticing, and surely not condemning, the fact that religion could also be comforting to those in economic or social distress. It was a casual truism, not a dictum.

When Marx wrote those words, by the way, we hadn’t even freed our slaves yet. Whom do you imagine was more pleasing in the eyes of a merciful God back then: Karl Marx or the United States of America?

Stalin was happy to take Marx’s truism as a decree, and Chinese tyrants as well, since it seemingly empowered them to put preachers out of business who might speak ill of them or their goals.

The same naval base contains two swimming pools. They could have formed an "i" shape for me, but I have a lovely "i" in the South Pacific already. The "." of the "i" is shaped like a "D", in a stylised, art decoish font.

So I can now make words like "DAViD" and "GiDDY" or even "ADDiTiVE"

Here's the link...

32°40'34.82"N, 117°10'13.95"W


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