Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Hyssop (In a Time of Cedar) : GOOD NEWS , from The Bad News War

The other Manhattan Project (1940-1945) was Henry Dawson's ultimately successful effort to "Defend the small, in a Time of the Big".

He sought to defend all of us as equally unique and small individuals.

This, in an age that preferred to see only large reified collectivities.

He had to fight against two billion people and a world that had taught themselves to show group love to their 'own kind' and exhibit group hate for all other humans.

While its impact was ultimately enormous, his four person team was as small as the better known Manhattan Project team was big.

But appropriately so.

Because both the patients he hoped to aid  ("The 4Fs of the 4Fs"  - young people needlessly dying because they were seen as worthless along the mean corridors of wartime medical science) and the means he hoped to use to save them (invisibly tiny fungus factories) were also very small.

This particular life-saving fungus that he was the first to use to save a life was originally found on a hyssop branch in Sweden .

We might recall that the Bible memorably uses the tiny hyssop to contrast with the enormous cedars of Lebanon, as examples of the breadth and width of God's concerns and love.

Modernity's War (WWII) was all about bigness --- as were the peacetime decades proceeding it.

It was a Time of Cedars and the smaller nations of the world were nothing but hyssop underfoot, trampled upon before the onslaught of German, Russia and Japan (and sometimes America and Britain.)

Dawson was too old (and too physically unfit) to once again to rush to the defence of small nations like Belgium --- as he had in WWI.

But he could at least defend the weakest members of the Allied Nations from efforts of many in the Allied medical and scientific elite to defeat the Nazis by matching the Nazi, tactic by tactic.

WWII was hardly The Good War, it was in fact a war of enormous bad faith on all sides, an all-around bad news war.

But in the story of Dawson's dying effort to aid others weaker than himself, we finally have, coming out of that dreadful conflict, a truly GOOD NEWS STORY.......

No comments:

Post a Comment