Friday, July 15, 2016

In grief and solidarity.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 Americans led by the George W. Bush administration, decided to invade Iraq. The rationale they presented for their decision was that Saddam Hussein was building weapons of mass destruction. They went into Iraq with huge forces, used smart bombs to target strategic infrastructure, and disemboweled the Iraqi military, leaving the place in chaos, which then spilled as chaos does, into nearly every nation in the middle east.

The French had been reluctant to join what they had known was a military misadventure. And yet last night they were the first to learn that even a large truck can be used by even a minor maniac as a weapon of massive destruction and terror.

Back when George W. Bush used American power to begin the systematic destruction of Iraq, I hoped and prayed that he could possibly be right, even though I knew he was not. Throughout the misadventure his administration thought it would be a cakewalk and that the Iraqi people who had suffered for so long would greet us, our troops and our imposition of democracy with genuine warmth. Don't we all wish that could possibly have been the case? It was not.

A craftsman can actually know about such things. When we attempt to craft something beautiful and useful from real materials in the real world, we know how many things can go wrong and how much it can take to set things right. We know that to launch a grand scale plan without consideration of the smallest details leads to serial effects.

Even Bush's Secretary of State Colin Powell had warned, "you break it, you have to fix it." But nations and whole peoples are larger and far more complex than a tea cup.

When you launch whole armies against small nations, no matter how large your coalition, and how self-righteous you feel about the operation and its necessity, there are real effects that can last for generations. What we learned with great sadness last night is that even a thing as innocent as a truck, can be turned toward evil effect, and that the work we must do to make the world safe for our children is far more complex than can be fixed with bombs and drones.

In grief and in solidarity with the French people, I hope to remind the entire world of the powers of craftsmanship, and the usefulness of beauty in re-crafting and recreating the lives of people who are strange to us and strangers to us.

As you can see in the photos above, I continue to make more guitars. To make beautiful and useful things provides comfort and escape from an overly troubled world. It also moves the world in a less troubled direction.  Those who are plotting beauty, and planning usefulness have little time for or interest in destruction. It is a simple formula requiring a simple choice.

Make beauty or suffer the societal consequences of not making.

Make, fix, create, and encourage others to partake in the joy of learning likewise.

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