Employees of the U.S. government refer to people they murder as “bugsplat.” They pretend that the men, women, and children they are killing with drones are just bugs, because they just look like little fuzzy creatures on a computer screen. Thank goodness for the artists who have put a giant portrait of a child in a field for the drone murderers to see and think about. Maybe the rest of us could think about it, and do more than think about it, too.
In Davidson, North Carolina, among many other places in the world, wealthy people ignore the suffering of the poor right nearby them as well as thousands of miles away. A fraction of what the U.S. government spends killing people with drones could end starvation in the world, and many certainly seem not to care. A fraction of what someone spends in a shopping mall could make a real difference in the life of someone sleeping on a bench, but most people provide no help.
But in an odd irony, many people in North Carolina, among many other places in the world, cling to ancient magical beliefs that just happen to include worshiping a man who was poor and who recommended caring for the poor. A sculpture of a homeless Jesus, a man you’re supposed to worship because he has nail marks on his metallic feet, has got some people wondering whether they should find a little decency and compassion for those homeless people on benches who are made of flesh and blood.
CIA Director John Brennan, aka Obama’s Cheney, was dispatched to Ukraine, where the U.S. had already spent $5 billion stirring up trouble. Ukrainian troops were immediately sent to attack protesters in eastern cities. Brennan may have had drones in his head. Drones have been known to crash, but never to stop and have a beer with the enemy. Drones often blow up the “wrong people,” but they don’t invite people to climb on board and share a laugh. When unarmed Ukrainians confronted tanks, many soldiers joined the people. How Brennan thought Ukrainians could be sent to kill Ukrainians seems a mystery after the images of human decency have taken over. How Christians think the poor and homeless, the hungry and ill-clothed can be blamed for their own inability to satiate their greed seems baffling when faced with the homeless Jesus. How drone “pilots” can sit and take part in the world’s worst real-life Milgram experiment ought to horrify anyone who stops and thinks — and nothing can make people stop and think the way a great work of art can. A picture is worth a million words, and a few lives let’s hope.