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Mark Harding

Mark Harding's Public Library

  • AD BOOK, An Interview with BFFA3AE

        
         
       
       
     

    Badlands Unlimited’s recent e-book, AD BOOK, is a collection of ads - as it’s title suggests - stitched together by BFFA3AE, a NY based collective of artists including Daniel Chew, Micaela Durand, and Matthew Gaffney. But Lo, AD BOOK! - the title is as giving as “Untitled.” AD BOOK is no

  • But Air Force officials and independent experts have suggested several potential causes, among them witnessing combat violence on live video feeds, working in isolation or under inflexible shift hours, juggling the simultaneous demands of home life with combat operations and dealing with intense stress because of crew shortages.
  • the number of pilots of remotely piloted aircraft — the Air Force’s preferred term for drones
  • The Pentagon has begun taking steps to keep pace with the rapid expansion of drone operations. It recently created a new medal to honor troops involved in both drone warfare and cyberwarfare. And the Air Force has expanded access to chaplains and therapists for drone operators, said Col. William M. Tart, who commanded remotely piloted aircraft crews at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

  • The report, commissioned by the U.S. Air Force, shows that 29 percent of the drone pilots surveyed said they were burned out and suffered from high levels of fatigue. The Air Force doesn't consider this a dangerous level of stress.
  • The Air Force cites several reasons for the elevated stress levels among drone pilots. First is the dual nature of this work: flying combat operations or running surveillance in a war zone, and then, after a shift, driving a few miles home in places like Nevada or New Mexico, where a whole different set of stressors await. The Air Force says switching back and forth between such different realities presents unique psychological challenges.
  • "When they have to kill someone," he says, "or where they are involved in missions and then they either kill them or watch them killed, it does cause them to rethink aspects of their life."

    McDonald describes it as an "existential crisis."

  • He began spraying air freshener to get rid of the stench. He also found he wanted to do something that saved lives rather than took them away.

  • His shifts lasted up to 12 hours. The Air Force still had a shortage of personnel for its remote-controlled war over Iraq and Afghanistan. Drone pilots were seen as cowardly button-pushers. It was such an unpopular job that the military had to bring in retired personnel.
  • He cried on his way home, says Bryant, and he called his mother.
  • All he has is this one past. He wrestles with it, but it is also a source of pride.

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  • These moments are like in slow motion," he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.
  • econd zero was the moment in which Bryant's digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

      

    Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

      

    "Did we just kill a kid?" he asked the man sitting next to him.

      

    "Yeah, I guess that was a kid," the pilot replied.

      

    "Was that a kid?" they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

      

    Then, someone they didn't know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. "No. That was a dog," the person wrote.

  • It's the war of an intellectual

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  • at   15,000ft, Reapers usually fly too high to be seen or heard.
  • The mantra that the Reaper pilots repeat is 'zero expectations of civilian   casualties’.
  • 'We’re trying to get it into the guys’ heads that this is not   compound no 28, it’s 34 Acacia Drive – so you don’t hit it.’

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  • You’re asked to delve into the dark side of the Grimm fairytale and describe a community where all of the children have gone missing. The judges are looking for an adult viewpoint, you also have to be 18 or over to enter, and the story should finish at the point where Hansel and Gretel disappear into the forest.

  • These two signifiers are, in fact, the very same twin myths of colonialism. The Stranger, or the Other, and the Strange Land – whether actually empty or filled with those Others, savages whose lives are considered forfeit and whose culture is seen as abbreviated and misshapen but who are nevertheless compelling in their very strangeness – are at the very heart of the colonial project, and their dispelling is at the heart of the postcolonial one.
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