This is something that my side of the political fence has had to deal with ever since 9/11. Ever since America canonized the victims of this tragedy (which is something I don’t think we should have done), the military has become the new religion. They are painted with glory, and treated like they are the best of us. Like the fact that they exist is what makes everything great. They are said to be our heroes, that each and every single one of them is Superman without his cape. If only that were true, then maybe so many of them wouldn’t be dead. But here is the point – there are no such things as heroes, and the military and how we are using them is bullshit!
Let’s examined heroes first. We all seem to have them. The origin of the term comes from Greek mythology. They were demigods who did great things. In the modern age, it has become somebody who will selflessly throw themselves into danger for the “greater good.” They are selfless, courageous, loyal, dedicated, bullshit. There was a really good scene in the new series Sherlock. Holmes notices that Watson is disappointed in him, and he remarks -
DON’T make people into heroes, John. Heroes don’t exist, and if they did, I wouldn’t be one of them.”
And that’s the truth. Put a simply as it can be put, that is the truth. There are no heroes. We can make shows about the kinds of people who would be heroic to us, but really, the idea of a person who does the right thing for all the right reasons all of the time is a bullshit concept, one of many, that was invented to make people believe that the world doesn’t suck as much as it does. But the fact is that no matter what you say, the idea that there are people like that out there is bulllshit.
There was a very good game that I played which also talked about how heroes are perceived, and how that is a bullshit concept. The game was called L.A. Noire. It told the story of two soldiers who come home and everything that comes up after that. Two characters, Det. Cole Phelps and Jack Kelso were talking. Phelps always felt like a failure after he didn’t stand tall at a battle that he was commanding. Kelso always held that against him, and went off.
Phelps, courage isn’t a switch that you can turn on and off. It either happens or it doesn’t!”
And there is the underlying truth of heroes. I believe the same. You aren’t naturally courageous or naturally a coward. A lot of people in this country think that owning a gun will make them courageous. It is the reason that things like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the next one that is coming out soon fascinate me so much – because how many of these gun-toting meta-males rednecks who say that they would be out there with their guns if a foreign entity invaded would run? How many of them would wuss out and take off? I bet it would be a lot. But how many people who had balls they never knew they had would run into the middle of it, protecting their friends, helping people escape? How many EMTs would run into absolute Hell to save people? How many firefighters would be risking their lives with shells going off to help them? That is what I think.
And there is a group that has now been given absolute god-status in this country by the people – the military. For real, this is the new religion in this country, and if you don’t follow their faith, you are a traitor to your country, or some other bullshit concept like that.
Let me say up front – I HATE the military. I do. But, let me clarify something – I don’t hate the soldiers in it. I know a lot of soldiers who are great guys. Some of them want to do the right thing. Some of them just want to be helpful. Some of them were screwed, just like most of them who joined up early in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But for as many good guys as I know who do the job, there are just as many complete and utter assholes in the military! These guys were pricks before they joined, and they are just as big of pricks now that they are part of the military. Nothing changed with these people.
But the new religion that this country is that these guys are heroes the very second they put on the uniform. No, wrong! There is also the idea that floats around in this country that they are above scrutiny, and thanks to things like The Patriot Act, they are now pretty much above the law. And what’s more, they are led by incompetant assholes who only care about their own wallet. Every contractor, every lobbyist, every greedy general who works at the over-funded Pentagon, they are all in it because they know that therei s a metric ton of money to be made, and they are going to make it, regardless of who gets caught up in their wake.
The new paradigm that has been created is that if you aren’t supporting the troops all the time, and singing their praises, you are a bad person or something like that. Well, sorry, but that is bullshit! I hear all the time, “how dare you not support the troops! They’re defending our freedom!” (me making jack-off motion with hand) Okay, let me ask you something, how are the guys who are senselessly being killed in Iraq defending our freedoms? How are the guys who are senselessly being killed in Afghanistan defending our freedoms? What freedoms have we obtained since those days? This is all bullshit! It is convenient propaganda that allows people of this country to feel proud of a group of people who, in reality, are being exploited by some very rich scum in Washington who want to keep the money flowing into their pockets.
There is a metric ton of cash that is flowing into our outdated military efforts, while the infrastructure here at home is coming apart! And what’s more, the government doesn’t care! The only person I have heard arguing against the military complex is that flaming idiot Ron Paul, and his equally stupid son Rand! Well, then there is Kucinich, but nobody listens to him. Obama says that we are going to be bringing our troops home in…some point. Well, President Black Thunder (or would it be Black Stutter?), you could bring them home now! Like, right now. But you won’t. Our mission to kill people overseas is 30% of our economy. We are making money off of all the lives that we take. How do you justify that? I honestly wonder how the people in Congress sleep at night. I bet very well. They don’t have a conscience, so I bet they sleep swimmingly well.
So, here is my suggestion – actually, I think I’ll let Dusty take this one -
So look, please do not join our military! Do not be part of this shit! The military’s job is to blow shit up and kill people, period. That’s what they fuckin’ do. So when you join the military, you’re volunteering to murder strangers, people you’ve never met, people you have no idea anything about. You’re volunteering to murder them on the say-so of some rich asshole in Washington.”
That is as best as it can be put. I call the military our “underpaid murderers.” I love that term. I found it in the book The Last Legion, by Chris Bunch. I beseech you, don’t become a part of this. Please, don’t let yourselves become part of this machine of death that America has. You are not becoming heroes, you’re becoming killers. Sorry, but that’s the big and small of it.
There are no heroes, and it is time we stopped worshipping the military. They are being used, just like the American people are being used. It is just another tragic instance of how horribly corrupted this nation has become, and all by little green pieces of paper. They’re heroes, as long as they keep killing people.
Until next time, a quote,
“Join the Army! Go to exotic lands. Meet new people. Then kill them!” -Clever bumper-sticker that I saw