And Bellingham further points out that the "comely young lass, "as he calls the blonde in the Chronicle display, plays an iconic role in Ginsburg's work. As I wrote when I called it quasi-pornographic, its message is blatant: Bellingham draws our attention back to , and the poem Allen Ginsburg wrote at a table in the back of a Volkswagen bus as he crossed a U. Above the shirt pocket on the fatigues are the words, "U. Reaching up to him is that paragon of American womanhood:
For those of you who missed the front page of the Chronicle from September first, allow me to set the scene again. My colleague, the San Francisco writer Bruce Bellingham, checks in to say he agrees. It is eerie to read Ginsburg's "Wichita Vortex Sutra" today, eerie because by just changing a few names and places, the poem howls about Iraq, our Vietnam redux. He correctly notes that the use of the Darryl Bush photo is a nice tool for a military struggling to line up new recruits. And Bellingham further points out that the "comely young lass, "as he calls the blonde in the Chronicle display, plays an iconic role in Ginsburg's work. And he laments the fact that such jingoist use of the media did not end with the lessons we were supposed to learn from the Vietnam War. The headline says it all. Their lips are just touching, precisely outlined. The image is an extraordinarily poignant and dramatic photograph of a soldier leaving home. It is a gorgeous photograph. The day after printing Darryl Bush's stunning photograph, the Chronicle was forced to report on the latest Defense Department update to Congress on the bleak status of the war. It completely dominates the paper's front page, and it is framed so that when the paper sits in a sales box, all you see above the fold is the caption in upper case letters: Bush's extraordinary snap is a spectacular example of the type of photograph Henri Cartier-Bresson characterized as a "decisive moment. Stark assessment is in sharp contrast to Bush's optimism. Above the shirt pocket on the fatigues are the words, "U. When you open the paper and spread it out to its full broadsheet size, the full-color picture explodes with an emotionally wrenching storyline used through the ages to summon men to war. If a qualifier is appropriate, call it military porn. As I wrote when I called it quasi-pornographic, its message is blatant: I erred by suggesting it's quasi-pornographic. Its sex appeal is inexorably linked to war, and - because of the timing of its publication - not just with the Iraq War, but also with the Bush Administration's cynical attempts to continue to merge the Iraq War with the attacks five years ago. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. It is beautifully erotic, and perfectly composed, and mind numbingly depressing. It is pornographic not because of its sex appeal, but because of the impact it makes as an illustration covering a newspaper's front page, exacerbated by its headline: Reaching up to him is that paragon of American womanhood: She's just 17, according to the story, he's a sturdy 19, and off for his training in the California desert before deployment to Iraq. My critics are correct. Bellingham draws our attention back to , and the poem Allen Ginsburg wrote at a table in the back of a Volkswagen bus as he crossed a U.
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