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!!!

Dec 19, 2011

Another Day, another 16 hours...

That's what I'm right in the middle of doing right now. Working a 16 hour shift. Started at 10pm and it'll be over at 2pm...Good times.

Haven't written in a long time simply because who wants to listen to some disgruntled GI who hates the life he came back to, bitch about how full of rage he is most of the time? I mean really, who the hell would want to do that?

So what have I been doing? Working. I bought a house with my girlfriend and we moved in there. And that's about it. Oh, and I started going back to the shrink again to talk about my "issues" we'll see if he can make any headway. Because I certainly can't. They've got me taking Ambien and Wellbutrin for sleep and mood problems.

Sleep problems = I don't.
Mood problems = I have a piss poor attitude about life and I hate everything, and I'd just really like to pour gasoline over all of it and light it up.

Its been fun observing the assembly line that the VA is. Come in, sign in, wait your turn, tell your problems, sign the paper, pick up your medications.

Pretty simple process really and you're on your way out into the wild blue yonder with a fresh supply of government issued happy pills. I even manage to get pissed off because of the pills. I actually get mad at them because I resent the fact that I need to take them just to get close to being normal. Actually, normal isn't the word. I have to take them just to not be in a constant state of extreme rage. And yeah, I hate the fact that I need them just to do that.

Then there's the Ambien that they give me. Its nice, but not in the dose that they're giving me. They let me take a half a pill a night. Or actually in my case a day, because I work all night, and sometimes all day too. But half a pill won't do it. Now a whole pill, that works just fine. Knocks me out for the duration. I can even sleep through the dreams/nightmares on this shit. However, I am given enough to take a half every night, not a whole. Which means I've kinda got to pick and choose which 15 out of the next 30 nights I want to sleep, until I can get back to the psychiatrist and ask him for more. We'll see if he gives them to me or if he starts to think that I'm turning in to an addict. Which I probably would, if the VA would give me enough to pull that off.

Then there's my wonderful job which doesn't help any of this. I mean, I suppose this would be a bit easier if I had a regular, "normal" job. But I don't. I get locked in a cage for 8 hours per day with a bunch of child molesters, drug dealers, and other assorted animals. I'm pretty far down the seniority list so my days off normally suck. About the best I can usually do is get one day of the weekend off. Perhaps a Friday/Saturday or a Sunday/Monday. But an actual weekend is probably another 6-10 years away. Plus, every 3 months I have to change shifts, and change days off. With the random 16 hour day thrown in for good measure. Plus, I volunteered (big fucking mistake) for an extra duty that I thought at the time would help me get a different job (because when you do this, different and better become synonymous.) I normally end up working one day shift per week. So I get 4 midnight shifts and one, sometimes two day shifts. Oh yeah, this is going to be wonderful for my sleep and my mood. My circadian rhythm or whatever the fuck they call that is going to be shot to shit.

Now I'll bring up the end with the thing that pisses me off the most. The thing that drives me absolutely fucking bonkers. And unfortunately for me and everyone around me its something that I hear over and over from so many different people that it makes me sick. I hear it from my mom, my brother, my aunt, my cousins, some friends (if I have any left), and my girlfriend.

"I understand"

I swear to God they say it just to drive me nuts.

I'll bitch about something, anything. And invariably somewhere in there, they say "I understand"

Fuck you! You don't understand. You can't understand because you weren't there with me. Maybe I am bitching about something that's going on here but do you understand that my head and my heart are in Afghanistan? No, you don't fucking understand that shit because while I was hip deep in Taliban shit and Afghani sand you were bouncing around here doing whatever the fuck. You think that I'm whining about things going on here, when I'm actually whining about the fact that I'm not with my buddies which is where I belong. You think I get this mad over shit that happens here, I'm mad because I know that there's guys over there right now that are hitting an IED. They're getting lit up from the mountaintop. They're dealing with another fucking round of rockets at night. And I'm letting another day slip away when I do nothing of value.

But I'm supposed to be nice and polite about it. They don't mean anything by it. They're just trying to help. So I bottle it up the best I can. Which isn't very well since I spend about 85-90% of my time seething with rage and hate.

So now I'm stuck. I've got my rage on one side and my hate on the other. And the only thing that can yank me out from between them is that stupid fucking pill that I'll take when I get home in the morning...oh wait, I shan't be home till the afternoon.

People have asked me why I stopped writing. I stopped writing because you don't want to hear this shit anymore than I want to write it.

To hell with it, I'll be following it forthwith.

Later,

I love you Mom...