Monday, March 15, 2010

Monks on Fire


My memory was just jogged the other day by the vision of Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire in the street in protest of the escalating war in Vietnam.

It was always a bizarre thing to see on the evening news. But no more bizarre than riots in Watts and Detroit, Washington, DC and Atlanta the days following the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Or the murders of students at Kent State University in Ohio or maybe the two immortal pictures of that war, the one of the young girl running, screaming naked having been doused with napalm and the one of the alleged traitor having his brains blown out.

These are the horror scenes we were seeing in the 1960s and early 1970s.

It seemed like the world was coming to an end.

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