I felt like I was on a fine roll during May and even April, feeling like my writing was coming a little easier and things like that. But I seem to have been grinding to a halt, and I curiously blame that duplicitous Gemini influence. I know, it’s a kooky thing to do –either blaming the sign known for its verbosity for my paucity thereof or believing in that hokum altogether. Well yes, but it helps explain things.
My Memorial Day entry is still sitting in a draft, somewhere in the bowels of my Typepad account. I thought it would be really cool and deep and I even included some very cool posters from a vintage poster site and which documented the party line during World War II (such as this one, left, which I thought was among the best of the bunch).
The problem? Well… it’s hard to write a Memorial Day entry, actually. Or rather, it’s hard to write one when it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere –and it should, because it is an important day but one that has degenerated into being the day for barbecuing oneself to oblivion or driving until one is stuck in an insane amount of traffic, going nowhere. These days the parades seem to be attended mostly by people who are connected to the military in some way, but are not necessarily touted as something to fill you with love and appreciation for your country, its freedoms, and the people who have died so you can see how many beer cans you can crush upon your head.
I love the above poster.
I wish we could all feel this good and wholesome about our support for our troops and our government and that a handsome sailor could come and tell us that he felt our love from far away– that during those long nights holed up in a ship or in far off lands or while staring at the enemy in the eye he felt that his home and his people cared for him and felt that he was doing a good job. I wish that all the troops could somehow know that despite all the talking heads and the politicos and the evil loudmouthed-obnoxious-lame-blogging-freaks
of the world, that most of the country loves THEM and would rather celebrate Veterans’ Day than add to the growing list of those to remember on Memorial Day.
You don’t have to agree with the war, necessarily, to realize that there are flesh-and-blood people who work in the United States Armed Forces here and abroad –and that these people are doing a job, just like we all grunt and grumble and complain but still go to ours. The difference is largely that when you belong to the military, your country owns you almost outright and can use you as a pawn in any game and use you as human shield if necessary; whereas if your boss wants to send you to a lame conference in Toledo, you make sure you get per diem and the right to whine if they stick you in a Days Inn.
Meanwhile, from your Days Inn you feel like you can criticize everything that goes on in the war or anything to do with troop intervention –that is, if you’re even following the war anymore, from your hotel room or elsewhere. We’ve lost interest in this war as a nation; we no longer want to serve and tighten our belts and send all our metal and petroleum-based products and food to our people overseas. Our own government wouldn’t even make sure they had adequate equipment to go into the battles they sent them to fight.
I’m sure there were war dissenters back in the 1940s but their stories are not well-documented. What has been preserved is the feeling that it was a righteous war because we were defending ourselves and our own from an enemy who was pure evil– the "yellow" enemy who attacked us under cover of darkness, and the evil Nazi "dogs" who were destroying people in ovens. There was little doubt of this evil –or perhaps there was doubt and there were stories to illustrate the other side of the story, specifically for the Japanese motivation– and the home front was united. United they stood, and slowly they are dying off still hanging on to those glory days long ago.
Nowadays, we view one of our greatest assets –the ability to mobilize and harness the power of millions of people, who have saved lives, rebuilt cities and rescued countless millions all over the globe– as a burden and as something to wholly take for granted. That brilliant manpower is being mismanaged by a government that is alienating its people. Our own manpower has been misused and badly handled especially when we’ve needed it the most– such as for natural disasters like Katrina.
I’m in over my head, here. I know that some of the points I’ve debated can be countered or would benefit from more research, but I wanted to get this off my chest. We’re surrounded by a culture where Lindsay Lohan’s cokehead and
Britney Spears’s vagina make headlines and actually manage to shock
people –and more unbelievably, manage to stir feelings of pity and respect. I am honestly kind of sickened by it all, but I am plenty aware that I am also part of the problem, because I want to know more about fluffy, inconsequential news and evade the headlines staring back at me from the pages of our daily Post.
Even if you hate this government, remember that there are people who do work for them because they have to do so. They may not like the boss, but it is still a job and it is a job that needs to be done somehow; and admittedly it would be done better with a better boss, but it’s not time to correct that yet.
Just like Mother’s and Father’s and everyone’s day should not be restricted to once a year, likewise you should not forget that you are free to blog about crap and to protest and to get arrested and to photoshop inappropriate things and to say that our President is an incompetent man who maybe should have not been elected and DEFINITELY should have NEVER been reelected… that you can say and think all this and still find time to burn a flag or two BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE DIED EXPRESSLY FOR YOUR RIGHT TO LIVE IN A FREE, WONDERFUL COUNTRY that allows such things to happen because it was a country made to escape religious and political persecution.
Remember those brave men and women and thank them.
We owe it to them to do at least that little bit.