Friday, March 20, 2015

The Double V victory : the Last shall be First

On October 16th 1940, it is said, Dr Martin Henry Dawson gave history's first ever antibiotic injections to a black man, Aaron Leroy Alston and to a Jew, Charles Aronson.

"And" : not "and then to".

But how ? How on earth do you give two injections at the same time ?

I struggled recently with the actual mechanics while thinking how to present this event as a single painted image.

Eventually I realized that a painting of this athletically double-jointed historic event might also symbolize the ambiguous "Double V victory" of Manhattan's two biggest war projects : the autarkical A-Bomb and Dawson's openly commensal natural penicillin.

My proposed image for the first volume of my book Janus Manhattan's Children ?

It shows the soon-to-be-injected arm of Alston (to the left) and Aronson (to the right) joined at their hands, making one natural "V".

Above them, the limitations of human anatomy ensures that the arms of Dr Dawson (preparing to inject the penicillin into each patient's arm at the same time) would also form another natural "V" above and inside the patients' "V".

As anyone struggling to emulate Dawson's twin effort soon realizes, it is probably easiest and most natural to let their left hand inject rightward and their right hand inject leftward --- the twin hypo needles crisscrossing at the hands.

The criss crossing also helps emphasize Dawson secondary goal.

On that October 16th, he particularly wanted to exalt the 4Fs of the 4Fs, the smallest, sickest and weakest ("The Last") among 1940 America's minorities.

Because on this day, set aside in law for the first ever peacetime draft registration, the rest of America was otherwise exalting the biggest and the strongest (the 1As) among its population.

True, the 1As might do all the actual military fighting overseas to end Nazi mistreatment of minorities.

But Dawson and others realized that all the 1As' deaths and the eventual victory would be useless, if at home the values of the Nazis continued in America's treatment of its own minorities.

To really put paid to Hitler, we needed to defeat his thinking, abroad and at home.

But instead, American medical conservatives
were moving to emulate Hitler even more !

They had long been hostile to 1930s liberals and their efforts to try and save all of the dying even if they couldn't pay for their treatment (Social Medicine).

Hitler's Aktion T4 program had begun in September 1939, deliberately using the cover of war efforts to begin the killing off all of Germany's handicapped.

So too, these American conservatives were actually using the medical preparations for a possible war with Hitler (War Medicine) as an excuse to cut off medical efforts towards the poorest minorities !

So with 'enemies' like the AMA's Morris Fishbein leading the charge, Hitler hardly needed friends.

Instead, on this day, he got a moral enemy in Dr Dawson ...

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