Home Up



Smoking Guns, Smoke & Mirrors

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) by RDFollendoreIII

February 6, 2003

War represents the ultimate illusion of stage magic. The magician is an artist who stands before the crowd and asks the audience to believe the unbelievable. The politician is the artist who stands before his voting constitutes and asks the public to believe the unbelievable.  The pretty girl comes out and distracts the eyes as the labor is performed.  But the true magic is not when the rabbit from the hat appears.  It comes only when skeptical disbelief disappears.  Magic is the thing where transition is beauty and the transaction that allows it remains forever hidden.  War is like that.

The enemy is now painted green in our night vision.  Only a short while ago they were painted red.  We look at them through our sights as they wave their white flags.  Somewhere there is the slap of a shot.  Somewhere someone in the crackle of the radio shouts that they are firing at us.  It ends our belief in the truce.  The men with white flags are replaced by the dust of automatic cannon fire.  For a moment they stand there, try to run, and then fall.  They are thermal targets with no pity.  The portrait of war contained in this incident is part of the magic because it will remain hidden.  The audience will see the magic of a transition to victory but not the transaction.

The magicians pretty girl of war is made of the glory we see through our innocence. She distracts us from the reality of what our mind would disagree.  She spreads her legs to make us want her.  We, her audience, long for the peace she says she will give us.  In return, we each want to possess her.  Only she can make us what we are expected to be.  Only through her shall we see the elephant and live to tell of it.  We want to see her, so we do.  We want to believe her, so we do.  War too is the thing where transition is beauty, and the transaction remains forever hidden.

The reflection of who we have become is not apparent until we have become believers of the magic.  That which we were has disappeared and is transformed into what we are.  Our friends no longer know us because they treat us like we were before.  The mirror tells us that we are different, though others can not see it.  The secret wonders of the magician are known, and yet we still feel the need to believe in his magic. Eventually, our dreams become used to the slap of rifle fire and each night we visit our thermal friends.  Each nights mirrored reflections allow us to exchange places so that we may wonder why not us.

Somewhere over there a man much like me lays buried in the nights desert sand.  The smoke and mirrors have lifted, and he no longer believes in magic.  His shattered empty skull rests on a tattered white flag and the winds have dried and separated his bones.  The pretty girl has chosen him, looked down and smiled.  Now he forever smiles back at her.  Who would not want to believe in her magic?




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved