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

Dec 20, 2011

1%ers...

“Everybody wants to support the troops until they have to share in the hardship and sacrifice,” I said. “Then all of a sudden that bumper sticker or that flag pin doesn’t mean anything anymore.” (Quoted from this ARTICLE)

Just got me to thinking. Of course, we all know where that leads. Oh and by the way, I think I am going to take and put to full use this time I have at work on the midnight shift to start writing again. I've got the time so hopefully they've got the money.

There are so many things that, if you were able to see the world through my eyes, would make you want to either puke or laugh. First thing I'm going to talk about is the whole "sharing" thing.

Americans don't do it well. Think about it for a few. When was the last time your neighbor swung by to borrow some sugar? Or when was the last time you drug your snow blower across the street to hit the driveway of the guy that doesn't have one? Or when was the last time you actually did something for charity? I'm not trying to get you riled up or piss you off...well maybe I am but whatever. The fact is that Americans once WERE the most generous people in the world. Now there's a very select few of the population that elect to give of themselves for the greater good.

They're the real 1%ers. Fuck the bikers. Bikers are like hipsters and high schoolers to me. "We want to show how non conformist and special we are by getting together and all doing the same things and wearing the same clothes." Absolute fucking brilliance.

I'm talking about the military and the fact that only about 1% of the population has served in the US military. There's statistics on this somewhere but I'm not about to go and dig them up, this isn't a term paper. So if I'm off by a couple points here or there, I'll betcha I'm pretty damn close. One out of every 100. Line up 100 people aged 18-35 and only one will step forward. Well a few more would step forward but they'd be found wanting for medical or mental health or what have you.

In any case, I think we should go to a Starship Troopers style society. The right to vote and hold public office should be reserved to those of us who served. Everyone else has all their rights, save for those two. In this day and age, with the stupidity/ignorance/lack o' common sense factor rising exponentially, I don't think that this is particularly unreasonable. Obnoxiously, I have created a society that benefits me. But hey, its a start.

So back to the beginning of all of this blather. "Everybody wants to support the troops until they have to share in the hardship and sacrifice." Its the truth. I've bitched about this before but truthfully speaking, what has America and the Americans in it (other than service members and their families) been asked to sacrifice? What hardship have they been asked to endure?

Now I could go on and on but the idea is pretty simple. All the hardship, sacrifice, work, blood, sweat and tears of the past decade have been borne and paid by 1% of the population. Everyone else has spent the past decade either at the mall or in front of their Xbox.

So what do we do about it? I've been asked about the whole compulsory service thing in the past and I'm not a big fan. In my mind it breaks down like this. I don't want to have to deal with soldiers that don't want to be there. It was hard enough dealing with the volunteers. The ones that signed up are a big enough pain in the ass, I can't imagine what the ones who were forced to be there would be like.

That's out.

What could be done to push people to pick up their share of the slack and pull their fair share of the weight?

Take something from them.

And make them earn it back, or live without it.

You want to pick your leaders? Earn it.
You want to be a part of the political process? Earn it.
You want to run for office? Earn it.
You want to have a say? Earn it.
You don't want to be told what to do by those above you? Earn it.

Its a thought.

Later,

I love you Mom...

P.S. (December, 21, 2011): I was thinking about what I had written, actually I was reminded (politely) by my girlfriend, that not everyone can serve in the military. A point I alluded to in the previous post. Some people for whatever reason, be it a medical issue or otherwise just simply cannot serve, and it is through no fault of their own.

Well one thing that a lot of people don't understand is that I don't think these posts through before I write them. That would actually defeat the purpose of writing them for me. I write for therapy and to get shit off my chest. So you'll have to forgive me if my arguments seem knee jerk and poorly thought out...mostly because they are.

Some cannot serve in the military, fine. Everyone can serve the country. There's the US Army, US Marines, US Air Force, and US Navy, US Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves, which are unavailable to some. So I say there should be an extra one. US National Service Corps. (or something like that) and they should be afforded all the same benefits accorded to the military. GI Bill, and all that good shit. The National Service Corps should be like a community college, they take everyone. Because with a component like that. I would like to see compulsory national service served by all kids in the US.

How about this, every single man and woman in the US (starting immediately) serves 3 years in some component of the National Service, military or otherwise and they are entitled to a 4 year college education courtesy of Ole' Uncle Sam. They'll be fed, housed, and paid (shit) for the duration of their service but when its over they've got a few years of maturity under their belt and they don't have to start their lives with a crushing student loan debt.

Think of the shit we could get done with a veritable army of dumb ass kids.

And rich kids gotta go too!!!

5 comments:

  1. Allow me to begin by saying, 'WOO-HOO!'
    So happy you will make an attempt to write once again! I look forward to reading your words.

    I agree with you 137%. We have grown into a disgusting nation of takers. The 'what's in it for me?' attitude is shameful. Now, granted...I have never laced up a pair of boots, but I believe (most) moms of our Troops have their own place in this world.
    Here is a sad story for you... for the third year in a row, I have encouraged the garden center I work to host a Soldier Drive. We set up boxes in both locations and accept gifts which I mail to Soldiers. This season, the Mom of a National Guardsman stopped into the shop...I asked if she would like to bring in a few items to be shipped to Afghanistan. She said, "No, I send things to my own son." I shared with her, that I too have a son deployed...he left an 8-day old son, so I do understand the level of sacrifice we families make... yes, I do ship boxes to my son, but I also am a Soldiers Angel (I write a weekly letter and mail packages to the Soldier) and I organize this Soldier Drive and I am honored to welcome home troops at the airport. I tried to remind her that there is no "I" in WAR. Sadly for her, she did not get it. However, I do believe she is typical.
    You make an excellent point, we need to borrow a cup of sugar from a neighbor and say hello. We need to remove ourselves from our self-absorded lives and reach to one another...these are the qualities which made us a great nation. We need to earn, what we feel is ours to take.
    I'm handing your soapbox back now...
    ~AM

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  2. Thank you for your P.S., I think that I would be more than happy to be a part of that, potential for a degree or not! I'm not sure it should be compulsory (as I agree with you in that I'd rather deal with people who volunteer rather than those who get dragooned) but the idea is a sound one. As a matter of fact, sign me up now! LOL.

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  3. Yeah well. You should have been born in germany... Up until recently the german model was for males to either serve a year in the army (we don't have your split up system, we call the entire military army) or do a year of social service.
    Females were exempt mainly because for a long time we weren't allowed to join the army. We could volunteer for social service though.

    The right to vote is for everyone in germany, over the age of 18. And I don't think it should be dependent on whether or not you've served your country.

    Personally I think voting should be compulsory though, like it is in Australia. You have to pay a fine if you fail to vote.

    cu
    nicole

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  4. I like your brain spill, and also the PS. I am a Canadian, and not someone who would go to war unless the war came to me (and I believe it may). So asking me to serve in the military whilst war is not on my territory so that I may vote would not be okay with me, and I am politically active in my community and vote every single time I'm asked.

    However, I have participated in community service, both at home and overseas, and both have taught me well, far better than my time in college. I like your idea that youth should serve, and I believe in my province they require a certain amount of community service hours now to graduate high school.

    I live in Vancouver and, while I haven't needed to borrow a cup of sugar in a long time (I'm blocks away from the stores), my neighbours and I most certainly rake each others' leaves, mow the front grass past each others' boundaries, and shovel the snow from the sidewalks of our elderly neighbours as well as those beside us if we get there first.

    I don't know if this is true in the suburbs, but if it is not, it is truly too bad. I am teaching my children to experience the lovely and almost naughty elf feeling of getting out when others aren't looking and doing something to benefit them and never claiming ownership of the service.

    I do believe this starts with the moms and dads, though. As so obviously it began with yours.

    karen

    ps. Just because I have stated I would not have gone to war, I want to be clear that I do not sit here and judge you because you have (and I hope you will afford me the same). I am here, have sought you out because I want to understand the experience of Canadian and American troops, to augment what I learn about from media sources. Plainly said, I do not understand war, and am really trying to get a grip. I really want to know what you think about this stuff, so please write on!

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  5. A friend's quote that I pass on to you --

    "May every today contain a blessing, a reason. Keep your heart open to see."

    God grant you bountiful blessings in 2012.

    bonnie

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