You know what irritates me? These guys out there that think just because they went through Military Basic Training (maybe) and they know a few terms means they are Super He-Men with honours degress in Tactics and Strategy. I mean, jesus fucking christ. Get lives. What irritates me more is that many of them run their mouths thinking they're all that. You know, tough guys and all. They usually spew patriotic, flag-waving jinngoist bullshit when most of them will shit themselves if someone says "boo" to them. But, oh! They know everything, because they were in the military, see. Special them. These assholes talk about comradery and brothers-in-arms and all of that jazz while actual, good, decent people in the military get blown to pieces. All that talk means shit when someone is laid up in a military hospital somewhere, wondering what the fuck happened to their life, why their family is crying, why their friends are distressed. It's just talk. They'll say that they'll kick anyone's ass that blah blah blah... But I have yet to see it. I've called some of these tools on it in person, and they just talk some more. I so get denied my punching bag. Lame.
(Just saying that makes me sound like them, though... The mere thought is sickening.)
Hey, I'm a bit of a know-it-all myself, and I'll admit that I'm prone to fits of egoism, but come on. You right-wing whack jobs who think the military is all about "glory" and "freedom" shut the fuck up already. Why don't YOU get blown up? I mean, your IQ essentially qualifies you for RPG and landmine bait. Why aren't you dead or maimed? Seriously, I want to know. How come the decent people have to lose their arms and legs, lose their lives, while you spout insane rhetoric that only drunken voles would ever take seriously?
And what's with all of this Right and Left nonsense, anyway? Do people actually buy into this horseshit? REALLY? Are people that fucking unaware of history and how things have played out for THOUSANDS of years? I mean, at least the Romans and Nazis and Soviets and Mongols and everyone else had an excuse. It's not like Constantine XI could just Google "Turks" and see what was up. Can't see Himmler going "Shit, man, there's NO way this whole extermination thing will work! They'll catch on eventually and our economy will collapse any way we cut it once the war stuff goes sour. Just look at the articles these posters are linking to! They spell doom. Doom!" It's not much of an excuse, but certainly they had no way of knowing like we do. A first grader has more access to information today than the greatest minds of the 19th century did... hell, the greatest minds of the 1960s, even.
Anyhow, as you can see, I am ranting. Sometimes I do that. But I think people should be allowed to say whatever the heck they want, even if it offends Teh Troops. My father spent most of his life in the military and will defend to the death anyone's right to say he's a piece of shit for doing so. I haven't spent a day in the military and I'll do the same for people that want to say the shit I hate, but I don't have to like what they say. Ironically, these same "freedom/liberty-minded" individuals would have people like my father and I placed in camps or, if we're lucky, deported.
That makes me think of the folks I've heard say "If you've never been in the military, you don't know what it's like". Maybe so. Maybe not -exactly-. But I can read, I can watch programs and talk to veterans. I have a pretty damn good idea what the score is. At one time in my life, all I wanted to do is be in the military. And I came close, too. 2 weeks close. But then I was diagnosed with a chronic illness that prevented me from doing what I had wanted to do since I was very little. Maybe that's why I hate these blowhards (many of whom think they know about history and diabetes, entertainingly enough). They waste something that was given to them and act all high-handed when others who are just there to learn something, be something, are turned into paste, made examples of, thrown into a box and shipped home for mom to cry over. It's bullshit, I tell you. They have a right to spew their crap, but it's still bullshit.
Oh, yeah, and that box I mentioned is kept quiet so we don't get all squirmy while watching American Idol.
I thought long and hard about the dedication I have at the top of my latest ATR column. Mentioning my mother-in-law was easy enough, but I re-wrote the bit mentioning Josh a few times. At first I wanted to include "everyone" who's been hurt in the Iraq War. But that's pretty insincere of me. I know only a few of them. What good will it do? I don't agree with the mess going on. And then saying that leads into "but I'm all for the soldiers", which I am, I guess. In a way. I'm not really for what they're doing, and I'm certain that many of them aren't either. I'm not one of those peace-loving "hippies", either. I'm just burnt on BS and rather cynical... you know, a realist. Something of an anomally, I realise.
I despise "For the Troops" drives at workplaces where people are basically forced to give expensive gifts to the soldiers our tax-dollars pay for. Not because I hate the troops over there or anything (SEE??), but because they should have everything being provided for them. If they aren't, then why don't we make these rich, lazy, vote-piggish, asshole politicians give them gifts? They really don't need that 4th luxury car, that second mansion, their kids at Harvard, Yale and Princeton. Yeah? I don't think they do. Hey, if they can pay for it: great. But WE pay for it and then we get guilted into giving MORE of our money to those who should be getting it from the government in the first place. ARGH.
So, no, I didn't think that was a good idea. I also changed the part about what happened to Josh. Do my readers really need to know that? I figured those who know him would get it and those who don't care can skim past it. Dedications are like that. They only matter to the people involved. When was the last time you gave a shit about a dedication? Thought so.
I also figured that launching into a diatribe about the events concerning someone that I haven't talked to in years, but still consider a good guy, would be completely unecessary. I wanted to say a lot, as I really do care (even if I don't really know Josh all that well), but it just didn't belong. His life and his choices are not in vain. That's all that needed to be said, I feel.
Why do I sound like I'm defending myself? That's not what I'm trying to do. I have nothing to defend. But I felt some kind of explanation was in order. Or something.
Man, this post is long. And it goes all over the place. Make of it what you will.
Fuck. I lost an hour! I hate Daylight Savings Time. Now it's even later than I thought it was. I really need some sleep now.
One last thing: All of you who have sent well-wishes to us are terrific people and it brings a tear to my eye to know such fine human beings.
You make this world a better place.