They Said It Better Than I Ever Could...

These words that I write, they keep me from total insanity. -Charles Bukowski

Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed? -Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Aug 19, 2008

A Little Dissent Is Good For Ya...

When I was in college there were always these little punk kids in the quad all the time taking a poll or a survey for this cause or that cause. You know the type, the kind of kid who is a business major and is probably just atoning for his/her future sins as a businessperson by being an ill informed, radical jackass while in college. You know before they get out and have to start making all that cabbage to pay back those pesky loans. So one day one of these kids came up to me while I was sitting there smoking a cigarette. I was bracing myself for the inevitable "smoking kills 8 zillion people a day" lecture, but thankfully all he did was ask me what my political affiliation was.

Not having ever really thought about what my affiliation was, I pondered the question for a moment. Now we have the Democrats and Republicans as our choices. I mean let's be perfectly honest thats all we've got. Which by itself is depressing. But I wasn't about to identify with either of them. Where's the fun in that. So I told this kid that I was a "fascist anarchist". (Stolen, of course, from Ferris Bueller) But the blank look I got from this brain dead little turd was classic.

I wondered if he could define the words "fascist" and "anarchist" defines them thus:

Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Anarchism: a doctrine urging the abolition of government or governmental restraint as the indispensable condition for full social and political liberty.

So for all you dumbasses out there, the humor was in the fact that these are two diametrically opposed ideas. You know kind of like me. But I digress.

Back to the story, I was pissed off because I had wasted that little gem on this mutt, and now he still wanted to ask me the questions in his survey. After he had written "Fascist Anarchist" on the top of his little form in the box labeled, "Political Affiliation". So I politely answered all the questions he asked, never letting on that I was a soldier. (He was asking about the "illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq) I always wonder how many of these peaceniks could actually find Iraq on a globe. I also wonder if they ever spouted anything but the standard party line in response to any questions leveled at them about...well anything really.

I had to laugh that in a city known for its Democratic politics, at an institution of higher learning, where one of that institutions most hallowed purposes was teaching our young people to think for themselves...there was very little actual thinking going on. And that which was being done was taken care of by tenured faculty who spoon fed it to all those hungry young minds, who in turn regurgitated it out on anyone who voiced the slightest inkling of dissent.

Needless to say the majority of my collegiate experience was spent biting my tongue for fear of upsetting the belted earls in their ivory towers.

What does this have to do with anything now? Nothing, not a damn thing. I just love that story. But it brings me to my actual point.

The military for the most part is made up of the lower class, the working class, and a small segment of the middle class. Not to mention it is notoriously Republican. Last election, I heard somewhere that 90% of the military had voted for George Bush. (I don't know where I heard it so if the stat is wrong, please correct me, and then kiss my ass) Imagine the lack of forethought it takes to actually vote for a man who started a few wars, when you are the one who has to fight the wars. However at the time everything was different than it is now, so I would not presume to judge their choice.

But that doesn't change the fact that anyone in the military who does not for the most part, or at least vocally support the war and the policies surrounding that war is in for some shit from their superiors. It seems that lately any criticism of the military by members of the military, the prosecution of the war, or the President is labeled as, "giving aid and comfort to the enemy".

When you say it like that it sounds treasonous. Or maybe its just the usual griping from the ranks. But it never ceases to amaze me that an entire section of our populace would volunteer to defend this land (and that IS what we volunteered for, defending this country, not shitting on other ones) would think in such a counterintuitive manner. I for one, think that war for the most part sucks and I would rather not do it, and I know that most guys I know would rather not be a part of it and yet consistently the military votes for the guys who are most likely to get them killed. I just don't get it.

Whatever, they can vote however they choose. I just think that maybe its time for bit more dissent from the ranks about this whole situation. The closer I get to it, the more I learn about it, the more I think about it, the shittier it all seems. So we are going to have to see if maybe I can conjure up a little bit of shit while I am over there. I always did love a good dust up.

But this is probably all futile anyways, we are talking about something that has probably grown out of anyone's control. But why the hell not. I always did like going against it...whatever it was. I mean I never wanted a cigarette until I saw my first "No smoking" sign, and if I saw a sign that said, "Keep off the grass" Well my friends, someone find me a football. But we'll see if a little dissent really is good for ya...

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