Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Final Solution: The Guns of August

There's usually one day that hearkens the end of summer. It’s a little like a supernova, one of those luminous celestial events in which an exploding brightness heralds a black hole—one final effusion of nature, bright, crisp and short-lived, at the end of which begins the (down)fall in which the leaves already turning brown, begin to crumble and die on the ground. Later, with winter the branches will be barren. However, in this season of turmoil with a delusory quiet characterized by the honking of gulls and Doppler effect of luxury cars disappearing along an old country road, it’s truly the calm before the storm. Barbara Tuchman famously coined days marking the onset of World War I, The Guns of August and now with the start of autumn, increasing violence in the streets, the threat of a contested election and the fear of a second spike of coronavirus accompanying the normal flu season, the dark clouds that loom on the horizon can be belied by a simple full moon illuminating a clear night sky.

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