Above: My modification of the historic newspaper illustration depicting the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event which precipitated World War One. iPhone image, Afterlight, Glitché, and Instagram modifications, variable dimensions. June 27, 2014.
Here’s the original:
History is a strange and chaotic dancer. It chooses odd dance partners. Each pas de deux influences, inflects, and infects us all. How weird it is to think that from such a small flash on one street corner were launched the boots and bombs of a thousand beachheads. How horrific to consider the vast interconnections of sociology, politics, aristocracy, nationalistic fervor, punditry, demagoguery, and despair that weave the blood of the Archduke with the blood of Sgt. Thomas Z Spitzer (the most recent American killed in Afghanistan, June 25, 2014). How frustrating to consider the wasted lives and resources of one hundred thousand hills and fields. How high the cost. How distracting the efforts. How pathetic the justifications.
World War One formalized the concept of – and effects of – total war.
We will never live it down.
PS: If you’re interested in more background on World War One I suggest this course from The Great Courses. I took this class in 2007 to supplement my knowledge of the subject and found it highly illuminating and a springboard for further reading and study.