Thursday, January 1, 2009

Burned Iraq War Vet Makes Cameo on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve

History Deciding.

Plato wrote - "the penalty that good men pay for not being interested in politics is to be governed by men worse than themselves." The remorse I feel in having spent the last eight years under the tyranny of a hereditary ruler in a country founded on the abolishment of monarchy ignites the flame of revolution buried deep within my genome.

If all the lamentations from the past eight years regarding President George W. Bush were collected into a singular sonic boom of public outcry, it would pail in comparison to the echoing legacy of shame he leaves festering all over our planet. Indeed, actions (and by the same reasoning - inactions) speak louder than words. All the strong words that have been flung his way in recent history are but whispers when compared to the resounding emotion that comes from witnessing consequence first hand.

Moments into the new year, during the broadcast of Dick Clark's New Years Rockin' Eve on ABC, a certain scene resonated and has been smoldering in my mind ever since. The cameras had turned to American Idol star Kellie Pickler, where she was surrounded by three Iraq war veterans celebrating the new year in Times Square. The man in the center was staring into the camera intensely through the skin of his face pulled taught around his cheek bones by severe third degree burns. He raised his hand and cheered at the camera, while Ms. Pickler hurried to step between him and the camera to "shield" the American public from the manifestations and real consequences of war. George W. Bush has asked that history decide if his presidency was bad or good, but someone forgot to send him the memo - nowadays history is written in real time.


Anonymous said...

I have a recording of the scene, and if you have one, you should rewatch it.

You're wrong about Kellie Pickler trying to "shield" the veteran with the burn wounds.

He appeared next to Kellie for nearly the entire segment -- and was clearly visible for all but about 8 or 9 seconds of a 36-second interview.

Early in the scene, Kellie puts her arm around him and draws him closer to her. In doing so, she pulls him into the middle of the camera scene, which makes the scene even more striking.

Also, unlike the audience, Kellie may not even have been aware that she ever stepped in front of the man, as she was likely was looking into bright lights when looking at the camera.

tompainesghost said...

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I do not have a recording of the scene I only saw it live. I scoured the internet for a few hours yesterday looking for a clip but came up empty handed. Some of the few posts I did read regarding the scene probably negatively affected the way I remembered Ms. Pickler's behavior. If you have a clip on your computer could you please upload it to you tube or Hulu or some other video sharing site?
I had never heard the name Kellie Pickler before New Year's eve and am indifferent to her, mostly because I am ignorant of who she is and what she stands for. You are probably correct that she did not intentionally "block" the most visibly damaged of the three American heroes represented there. Kelley Pickler's movements around the scene were not intended as the point of this blog post. The point, as you so clearly said, was the "striking" image of a young American man forever scarred by a war that we should have been more fastidious about the facts with before engaging, rather than bowing to the authority of those that supposedly "knew better." And secondly, the point of the post was to ensure that by truly exercising our democracy the public consciousness is never fooled so blatantly again.
If you would like to talk about The way we entered into war with Iraq etc. etc. I wish to preface the exchange by clearly stating that I am not a conspiracy theorist about 9/11 and that I am very proud of our country. What has disappointed me the most is not the failures of leadership in our government, but the failure of our country's middle class to be more involved in the process of government. Thomas Jefferson once said - "information is the currency of democracy." and I would add that openly discussed information is democracy working.