Edith Shain was 91 years old when she died peacefully last week in her home in Los Angeles. You knew her as the woman in the iconic black and white photo of a jubilant soldier kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day. The snapshot tells an American tale of a war ending and an entire generation of people coupling up - creating the suburbs, a solid middle-class and a stupendous baby boom.
What strikes me about the photo is that they really knew how to end wars back then. For example: they used to end wars...back then. There was a global conflict followed by a resolution. Beginning. Middle. End. Done. Birthrate skyrockets.
Now we have two never-ending wars and Cialis commercials on an eternal loop. How far we've come.
No wonder Repugs think the way they do - their two wars have given them an erection that has lasted nine years and there's no blood to their atrophied brains.
About five years into the conflict yellow ribbon car magnets became a big trend. During that time I was traveling all over the country, and in every pocket of the U.S. were cars, trucks and SUVs with magnets showing support for what had become not one, but two wars. Yellow ribbons were ubiquitous. And then gradually the magnets starting disappearing until they were gone. Individually - one by one – in private, with no fanfare and no media coverage - Americans removed their patriotic yellow ribbon magnets from their vehicles. You don't see them anymore. Apparently something as temporary as a magnet shaped like a ribbon is not the proper symbol for the war we are actually waging.
Actually, Americans didn't remove their ribbon magnets. Car washes did. They just didn't replace them. Same thing.