4/23/08 stupid war (broadus mobbs)

It’s a family affair here. My son, Broadus, explained this picture, Stupid War, to me last year when he was 7. (* hmmm… i must have lost his explanation. must look for it.) We worked on the painting together. The horse’s red leg is totally his.

This entry was posted in art, broadus, collaboration, collaborative storybook, image prompts, making up stories, painting, poem, poetry, prosepoem, stories, stupid war, war toys. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to 4/23/08 stupid war (broadus mobbs)

  1. Greybeard says:

    Mighty nice. You almost make having kids sound like a good thing. I bet you’re a really good dad.


  2. johemmant says:

    I love this one. Broadus you’re a great painter…..wonder where you get it from (smiling)?

    I just wrote something for the image you sent me (warning, it’s a little depressing…..sorry).



  3. Lakota says:

    i love this painting RikkiTikki – it reminds me of believing in magic and that all things are possible. Simply wonderful. And I find it absolutely delightful that you involve your son in your work. That is just so fucking cool.


  4. rick mobbs says:

    greybeard, i try. 2nd time around for me. learning by doing.

    jo, i told broadus what you said. he loved it and wants to post more of his work. we are working on that.
    i love what you did with the writing…

    lakota, i’m glad you like the piece. working with broadus definitely requires i loosen up. if he’s drawing something that needs eyeballs in its bellybutton he puts them in. i’m trying to learn from him.
    tell us a story.


  5. marlowe44 says:

    Rick, I love your site. It is so esoteric and unique, it is a bit intimidating. But I wrote a poem, partially influenced by this painting; which I will use to illustrate my poem on FEEL FREE TO READ.

    Glenn Buttkus

    Four Buck Gas

    This morning
    I stood in the pre-dawn chill
    and pumped 4-buck gas
    into my pick up.

    Suddenly consumed
    with unspeakable anger,
    I shook my free fist
    at the Shell sign—
    standing there tall
    and sullen
    and silent,
    arrogantly golden
    its $4.15
    for regular gas

    I thought about
    The Bush War
    and what it is costing
    and about the fat cat
    oil barons
    who hang out with Junior
    swilling Lone Star
    and counting their tax-free

    The New Millennium Crusades
    suddenly swam belligerently
    into my cortical net,
    witnessing Bush stir up
    the Muslim wasp nest,
    sending our youth
    into harm’s way
    to face the barbs and stingers,
    RPG’s, roadside explosions,
    and suicide bombers
    who themselves
    are barely old enough
    to enjoy
    the promised 100 virgins
    in Jihad Paradise.

    A few yesterdays ago
    there we were
    post 9-11 in 2003,
    wanting to strike back,
    wanting revenge
    for the terrible toppling of our towers,
    and the callous crushing
    of the innocent thousands,
    as death was brought to us
    on our own silver wings,
    diving and plunging
    straight down,
    laden with high-pitched screams
    from jet engines pushed to full throttle
    and passengers hoarse from fear.

    Something had to be done.
    Who could we punish?
    Who could we kill
    to satiate our blood lust?
    George W. Bush, Jr.
    and all his father’s posse
    smiled like hyenas
    in a silent pack,
    and their greedy index fingers
    pointed back,
    straight at Iraq;
    telling us repeatedly
    that right there was the heart
    of darkness,
    the den of murderers,
    the scourge of the earth;
    plotters, terrorists, and enemies—
    that Bush was ready
    to lead us
    into a holy war
    that would finish the job
    left undone by his daddy
    in 1991—
    that as righteous patriots
    we should take on
    the rag tag Republican Army
    and run that ruthless fox,
    Saddam Hussein,
    to ground;
    for he was a madman,
    an abuser of human rights,
    a killer,
    a dictator,
    a womanizer,
    a sodomizer;
    and not only
    did he absolutely possess
    weapons of mass destruction,
    but he fully intended
    to send unmanned squadrons
    of drones
    to our eastern shores,
    that were fully laden
    with biological germ warfare payloads.

    75 senators were duped, cajoled,
    and convinced,
    thus launching
    Operation Iraqi Liberation;
    soon to morph into
    Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    During the one month assault,
    we overran Hussein’s finest troops
    like shooting coyotes
    from horseback,
    and it only cost us
    139 American lives.
    was on the commander’s lips,
    followed by,
    “Let’s stick around a while now,
    and assist the Iraqis into forging
    a Democracy.”

    We all recall
    the smirking grin
    and lying eyes
    of warmonger
    Donald Rumsfeld;
    and that late afternoon
    five years ago this May
    on the USS Abraham Lincoln,
    when Commander in Chief,
    President Bush
    emerged from a fighter
    wearing a flight suit,
    stood spread-legged on the naked steel deck,
    waving his thunder bolt helmet
    and declaring,
    “Mission Accomplished!”

    And presently
    here we are,
    knee deep in Year 5,
    fighting “asymmetric warfare”,
    without front lines,
    against a faceless enemy
    that hides in
    and melts into
    the civilian population;
    just like before
    in 1964—
    except now we are immersed in
    and surrounded by
    civil war and insurgency,
    as we are being branded
    the Occupying Force,
    once again;
    spilling blood for greed
    and democracy—
    being taught hard lessons;
    like we cannot curtail
    the flow of Jihad insurgents
    by cutting the head off the Hydra,
    or its whelps,
    or its lieutenants—
    for new warriors
    spring like cockroaches from the shadows,
    craving to join the resistance
    to the Infidels and Capitalists,
    arriving in dark clumps daily,
    like monsters rising out of the blood-soaked
    waters of the Tigris and Euphrates—
    making us pay
    every day
    for patrolling
    the Sunni Triangle.

    Oh God,
    when will the madness end?
    How much black gold
    has to be pumped
    into profit
    from the Iraqi
    fat oil reserves?
    How many more
    retired Special Forces
    will have to be recruited
    by Blackwater
    to protect Bush’s
    real agenda?

    The numbers for Y5
    are staggering!
    U.S. dead: 4,079.
    U.S. wounded: 30,000.
    Contractors dead: 1,028.
    Contractors wounded: 10,569.
    Iraqi death toll: 1,000,000.
    Iraqi combatants dead: 10,800.
    Insurgents dead: 22,807.
    Detainees: 43,000.

    Like in the 60’s
    when the carnage
    in Viet Nam
    was broadcast to us daily,
    splashing red and futile
    on our living room television screens—
    our forced occupancy
    of Iraq
    is beamed immediately by satellite
    to every home,
    for all of us to see
    and cringe
    as the pride of our loins
    are kicking down doors
    and pumping hot lead
    from their Mossberg shotguns
    into the Islamic populous—
    are being ambushed
    around every corner,
    green zone or not;
    witnessing the riddling
    of those poorly armored Humvees,
    those High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles,
    with bullets bought in black markets,
    originally manufactured by us
    and sent to Saddam
    when it was his job
    to fight the Iranians
    for us.

    Our young men
    and women,
    do their duty,
    without hesitation,
    becoming hard-hearted
    and stone-jawed—
    even though many of them
    may be stop-lossed
    or extended
    by their loving government
    to stay
    in the fray;
    professional targets,
    standing atop
    an M1 Abrams battle tank,
    or racing down some dangerous narrow alley
    in their M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle,
    or screetching through those
    mean Moslem streets in Strykers—
    the dead brown skies above
    with Apaches, Kiowa Warriors, Black Hawks, and Chinooks—
    the dirty twilight punctuated
    by the deep throb
    of dozens
    of .50 caliber lethal heavy machine guns—
    patrols partially protected
    by howling M249 SAWS.

    Yes, Lord,
    we see it all;
    and feel overwhelmed
    with intense grief and anguish
    as this cavalcade of cavalry and contractors
    are at this very moment
    toiling in the acrid white dust
    of the Middle East,
    providing the opportunity
    for the petroleum bullies
    to force me
    to have to pump their goddamn
    4 buck gas,
    and shake my inept fist
    at a stupid sea shell,
    and snarl terribly
    at those barons unseen,
    but most certainly

    Glenn Buttkus June 2008


  6. rick mobbs says:

    Wow. I am so glad you wrote this.


  7. rick mobbs says:

    this poem is exactly what I was looking for when I put the picture out there. I am going to offer the picture (or another like it) as Thursday’s prompt to see what else come in as you have been the only one to pick up on it so far. I love the articulation of your anger and the way you ground it in facts of your observation. My rage at the war and the Bush administration is mostly inarticulate, hence the pictures, I guess. Your poem is really useful to me personally, so thank you. Please write again if you are so moved.
    Best wishes,


  8. johemmant says:

    Great piece, Glenn. Wow.


  9. Pingback: new arrivals, new arrangements « the storybook collaborative

  10. Tina says:

    This is quite an amazing painting….out of the mouths of babes..


  11. enigma says:

    Yes, all wars are stupid, but without being the horrible voice of reason here, has Glenn actually served in iraq, or Afghanistan?

    I used to think the same way as Glenn, but it is NOT just about oil, and having just come back from training young 18 year olds who are about to go to war, and counting also many Afghanis and iraques as friends, i can honestly say that things are not always as they seem.

    The movement now is to get out of the armoured vehicles, to walk and live amongst the people, not to do a hellish war day tripper blasting away tourist thing.

    The Bush war was a disaster on all fronts, but their are people currently trying to salvage it, belatedly I agree,
    having said that i do agree with a lot of what Glenn has said.
    The only people who want this war are the maniac fundamentalist, and I include any western militant gung ho group in this too.The most we can hope to do is to try and bring some kind of stability to these regions, and that is not nessesasirly what may be our western ideas of democracy either.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. enigma says:

    PS I just also wanted to say that i liked Glenns peice very much, It has much passion and reason in it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s