Memorial Day

Holidays and long weekends have long since ceased to mean anything to me, I haven’t worked a regular nine to five gig since the 80’s.

Today we were compelled or at least expected, to remember the fallen.  The warriors.  The men and women most certainly courageous, who ultimately gave their lives for our way of life.  The freedom we enjoy.  The liberty we covet.    No euphoric sentimentalism here.  I’m grateful.  It’s huge.  I think about all those brave souls who answered the call.  Americans who willingly walked face first, head up, into a shitstorm far worse than they had the capacity to imagine.  I think about those that gave their lives as well as those that were horribly wounded, disfigured, limbs lost and/or often as not, the ability to think clearly or ever have a moments peace, gone forever until they are perhaps gratefully allowed to shuffle from beneath their own mortal coil.

I have an uncle, a big sweet friendly man, who served in Viet Nam.  He has never said a word.  He is, without a doubt, troubled.  Damaged.  All I or any of us know, is that he lost his best friend within days of setting foot.  He’s a good man.  He wrestles with it in private.  He drinks too much.  Often from morning to night.  Not one of his ten siblings has ever really interfered, they understand that they can’t understand.

War is easily the most egregious and too often unnecessary sin humankind seems determined to commit with an insane and senseless prolificacy.  An absolutely maddening consistency.   We kill and we die over and over and over and more often than not for no goddamn reason, good or otherwise.  It’s sick.  It is disgusting.

But, I digress.

I’m so very tempted to pontificate here until the sun rises on the day after this holiday.  I could.  I would.  Look at the shit Israel pulled today.  But it really is beside the point.

The point I want to make is this:  America has not participated in a justifiable war since World War II.  Yet as a country, we spend nearly half what the entire world does on the mechanisms and utility to make war, to bring death.  Over half of every dollar you pay in taxes, particularly if your a member of the vanishing middle class or ever burgeoning working poor, is directed toward America’s ability to kill entire populations, to destroy whole societies.  We spend more than ten times our nearest competitor (China) for just that vulgar and ignoble privilege.

We are badass.  Don’t fuck with us.  We’ll visit carnage and destruction on you like the rest of the world will never, ever, even be allowed to see.

We are the richest country in the history of humankind and to this profound ugliness, we commit ourselves daily, hourly, whether we like it or not.  We don’t provide health care for our people.  The only civilized nation that seems unable but is ultimately unwilling to do so.  Our children have not had the benefit of a competitive education for decades and the population of homeless on our streets grows ever more prodigious.  We give more financial and military aid to those irresponsible assholes in Israel than we do every other country on the planet combined.  We incarcerate more people per capita than any other state or nation on earth.

Whenever any individual claims the temerity, the audacity to challenge and point out the absurdity of such, that person is shouted down with vehement, nonsensical jingoism and ignorant bigotry.  Labeled socialist in a shameless plutocracy.  Only in America could we have a viable movement, an actual albeit self described party, for which just such a thing is their pride and purpose.  Willful, fucktardian ignorance.  Teabaggers and their complicit Republican sycophants.  The tail is beginning to wag that dog.

The stinging irony being, it’s only our largess that allows for it at all.  This level of ridiculous fuckery could never exist in the vacuum of abject poverty……….so what happens when it lands our entire population right there?

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.” –MLK

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower

I sincerely hope you had a happy and peaceful Memorial Holiday.  I really do mean that.

Drinks for my friends.

4 Responses to “Memorial Day”

  • Marla:

    Spectacular, succinct, poignant, and crystal clear. Now, how do we get the folks who need to read it to do so?

  • admin:

    Well thank you for the kind words. My only suggestion is to pimp the hell out of it and me.

  • Amy:

    Spectacular, succinct, poignant, and crystal clear. Now, how do we get the folks who need to read it to do so?

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