Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Manhattan Pilot : Harlem Shuffled

What could seem more innocent than a project initiated by pacifists and an airplane named after someone's mother?

And what could seem more threatening than a project invigorated by a group of veterans of the frontline trenches and a heavy bomber ominously named 'The B-a-a-d Penny' ?

The cliches of innocence and harm align neatly enough in Hollywood movies but in the real world, events often show themselves to be a great deal more paradoxical.

In 1999, a survey by Newseum and USA Weekend of 36,000 American men and women revealed that they thought the top news story of the entire twentieth century involved a little boy and a baby girl and took place in an eighty acre area on a tiny island not far off the American coast.

In that tiny eighty acre area, the pacifists and the frontline vets worked on their projects almost within sight of each other, albeit while existing in totally different moral universes.

And as every good eighty acres should, this story involved a mule.

His name was Henry Dawson.

This is not his biography, but it is his story....

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