Various punkville

 · Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch. I first “met” Noam Chomsky in 1969 by reading these words of his about the My Lai massacre: “And now ...

Chomsky wrote “ After Pinkville ” -- areas like Song My were then colored pink on American military maps -- in 1969. Almost half a century later, the question is: Have things improved? After all, in Ken Burns’s new Vietnam extravaganza, his 18-hour documentary on that war, he seems to have captured the zeitgeist of the moment by carefully changing the word “murder” in the script for the My Lai episode to “killing.” “At lunch, Burns defended his change," wrote  the New Yorker ’s Ian Parker,"on the ground that My Lai continues to have ‘a toxic, radioactive effect’ on opinion. ‘Killing’ was the better word, he said, ‘even though My Lai is murder.’” To be thoroughly upbeat, perhaps by 2067 Americans will finally be able to take “ murder ” straight on television when it comes to My Lai.

Composes and presents “Vision Peace and Battle Cries,” a modern ballet for large orchestra with poetry and voice in collaboration with choreographer Patricia Nicholson at La MaMa