Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Convergences: Lawrence Weschler: McSweeny's: Berlin: Michael Jordan
Berlin Airlifts of 1948-49 and Michael Jordan
The Soviet blockades of post war Berlin caused the first international humanitarian crisis of the Cold War. The Western allied response was Operation Vittles or what came to be known as the Berlin Airlifts. The iconic images that circulate from this nearly year long air campaign show the German people in a state of helpless dependence and utter defeat. They also so elegantly portray the planes involved in the rescue missions hovered above the people and city as angels delivering vital life support, Western influence, and hope. These images I believe, are echoed nearly fifty years later by none other than the great basketball icon Michael Jordan. His almost super-human physical ability on the court also gave rise to iconic imagery though of a different sort. He too is shown high above the needy masses in graceful acts of deliverance. As Jordan soars he displays before us the unimaginable and so inspires us to new levels. His legendary gifts spread a rare kind of hope to many.
Something to think about.