The Enola Gay
Captain Paul W. Tibbets Jr. is one of the
greatest poets of the 20th Century. His work is stunning and amazing
and most original, and utterly, transcendent. He is the author of the
"the vilest act ever committed by a soldier is actually the purest, most
noble, and kindest act ever performed by a soldier".
Paul W. Tibbets was the captain of the
Enola Gay. His mission, on August 6, 1945, was to drop the most
powerful bomb ever made on the Japanese soldiers hiding in Hiroshima.
As you might think... there were also
450,000 mothers and grandmothers and children in the area of Hiroshima that
ended up being under the bomb that Paul Tibbets dropped.
People who love Tibbet's poetry, become
enraged when you suggest that there was something tragic about the bomb.
That's because they can't tell the difference between poetry and a limerick.
Paul Tibbets thinks he has written a limerick. But he should learn to
be a man and accept that what he has written is a poem, and a real man can
use naughty words in a poem. You can forgive a great poet for his
filthy language because a great poet cares more about the truth than
The only thing is... Paul Tibbets still
believes he has written a limerick...
It is one thing to say the filthy language
is okay, because it's the truth. The filthy language is unpleasant and
frightening and regrettable, but we are adults who live in an imperfect
world and sometimes the imbalance of good and evil is so great that we need
to use powerful, harsh words to put our feelings about this imbalance into a
It is quite another to say, as many
Americans seem to, that there is no filthy language there at all. Not
And then there is the possibility that this
poem was never written for the Japanese, who only wanted to keep their
emperor. It was an atomic love letter to the Russians, to let them
know that our radioactive hearts were overwhelmed with desire for their own
Machine Tool Factory acquired a patent in 1999, illegalising (sic) manufacture of
the Kalashnikov rifle system by anyone other than themselves."
That's so quaint-- the Izhevsk Machine
Tool company-- 50 years after it first started manufacturing the AK-47--
suddenly decides to patent it, and demand that everyone else stop copying
their design. Those design pirates, you see, who make these weapons so
they can sell them to governments and guerrilla movements, which then use
them to murder people (call it "war" if you like), are doing something
This equation, this syllogism, this logic, this reasoning,
this state of affairs--- this calculation of the commerce of human
depravity: my patent of this machine used to kill people, to
over-throw governments, to kill protestors and organizers and nuns, to stop
the enraged population from storming the palace, is worth money. Pay
me for the right to do evil.
The Izhevks Machine Tool Factory could never have dared to
make such an assertion if we did not live in a world of raging hypocrisy.
They should have denied that they had anything to do with this weapon.
They should have sued for libel anyone who said, "the design of this gun is
obviously stolen from the work of Mikhail Kalashnikov...". How
dare you! How dare you assert that we would have created or built such
a device, or -- even worse-- made a profit by selling it to people who
obviously can only have one purpose in mind...."
All contents copyright © 2007 Bill Van Dyk All rights reserved.