Newspaper headlines blast. “[Insert Name] hangs.” Weird prolongation. Grammar could be kinder to the State Ideological Apparatus. Avoiding prurient humour attached to the simple past form of the verb is easy. Some of the papers get in one word both tense and agency accurate: [Insert Name] executed.
Aware that the demonized escapes to haunt some writer will connect the looting of antiquities, the sacking of a city, the bombing of shrines, to the martyr defiled. Defiance to the end? With time it will be read differently this refusal of a hood. It is now. After all, the blindfold is for the benefit of the firing squad not the executed.
But he was evil. Human enough.
A film will soon be released Letters from Iwo Jima. Already the longing is there for honour liberally granted. Some sixty years and millions of conversations. How many human years will it take this time?
There may even be novels of historical reconstruction, novels that follow a trial conducted in an international court of law where the death penalty is not an option. Not an option: uninevitable. Indeed never a possibility.
Someone should translate Buffy Ste Marie’s “Universal Soldier” into Arabic lingua franca and arrange for it a driving disco beat. And some producer should make singing and staging it like the compulsory sets in gymnastics, a mandatory part of those massive musical competitions. Japan would do it. Europe too. Can America?
The ice is thin all over the world. Might be worth breaking it more often in the proper places.
Someone is going to make that movie about that meeting at Reykjavik. And an other will begin the saga for a miniseries further back and turn to a President that granted, in the name of justice, pardon to another. And some will make lists of clemency and suspended judgement. Marcos. Pinochet. Etc. And look to South Africa’s example. It has begun with Stephen Frears The Queen.
History will not judge the executioner harshly and will reserve no mercy for the ones who delivered the condemned man into his hands at such an enormous cost. They too will write their official versions. They better get good grammarians to look after more than those dangling participles.
And so for day 18