Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What They (Not Ted) Said


I really hate the annual ritual of writing columns about how people don't behave properly on Memorial Day. People don't get many vacation days in the greatest country on Earth, and sitting around pretending to be sad or watching Spielberg war porn doesn't really honor those who served either.


[W]e’ve actually reached the point where “Every day is Memorial Day.” You pretty much can’t get through a day of radio, TV and internet without multiple messages that so-and-so “honors the sacrifice of those who serve.” The message might come from the station, from a car-dealership, a personality, or a Beltway Bandit, but it’s omnipresent. Yes, these sentiments are vapid and rote and therefore not truly emo. The very ubiquity of pro-military gratitude drains it of even the possibility of meaning. If we wore fright costumes every day, Halloween would seem kind of blah.

To really consider the meaning of all the lives lost in military service to the United States is to grieve at an awful lot of waste and rage at an enormous amount of folly. Few American wars have been both just and necessary. At best, we can imagine the American dead of the other wars saying, “Had this been an actual emergency, I’d have done no less.”

Right on cue is the Nuge with an article whose insanely nationalistic feedback screams with the intensity of ten shitties:

America is at war. Thousands of Americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice, and thousands more have been wounded. Pause to remember them this Memorial Day. Say a prayer for the warriors and their families. They are the world's true freedom fighters.

Never forget them. Make every day Memorial Day.

The totality of his demand for perpetual memorial for perpetual conflict for perpetual peace of course goes hand in Godwin's hand with:

When we commit our troops to war, we must make a commitment to them and their families that we will achieve total victory through the application of total war.

PS - this is good stuff.