On Wednesday, November 14, 2001, at 12:18 , Ted Morgan wrote:
> Given this life-venture, it always feels uncomfortable, or like a
> betrayal of sorts, when some who seemed to be on this venture now seem
> to have stepped off. That, it seems to me, is what's behind the
> however-far-its-carried discussion about folks like Todd Gitlin who now
> writes rather tamely critical, system-supportive stuff. Still, to my
> mind, this means carry on the dialogue, don't dismiss and abandon -that
> does seem a bit 'stuck-in-the-60s.' In the piece Radman circulated, for
> example, Gitlin speaks of his having "written passionately against
> [Arundhati] Roy's views in recent weeks, and I vigorously disagree with
> Kingsolver about the flag" --since I think Roy's writing is on the money
> (as well as marvelous writing), and I liked Kingsolver's piece about the
> flag, I'd like to hear more (where did he write this?). What is it
> about Roy's view that Gitlin feels is "wrong-headed"? But that's a
> question of discussion, debate & argument, etc. More rather than less
> of that is a good thing, don't you think?
Without Argument, this whole 'flag waving thing' SHOULD be a matter of
more rather than less - especially since what we are talking about is
what does this symbol really stand for, which is one level of indirection
away from 'so what does being an american really mean' - and hence the
still unpleasant problems of actually implementing that indirection.
half the reason that I became as Militantly Out about being a
rests upon the complete assininity floating around in the USA about what
notion should mean. The loonies of the Left had their Opinion, and the
rankorous of the right, ever ready to protect me from THEM, got into a
foot shooting contest during the eighties and nineties over who was more
of a draft dodger than whom.
So while for some, the whole pleasant 'oh, let us all just have this
big hug fest' that comes on with the marketting schpeel about jumping
off the ledge into the desperate need to 'rally round the flag' may
help those who want to violate every possible writing of the flag
protection ammendment to the constitution as they start shilling
ProPatria Products - maybe now is a good time to sit back and have
that irrational collection of debates, again, about whether it is
the reference or the thing referred to that is important.
My housemate ruth was wondering if I had a flag, since she sorta
wanted to run up the flag, as a part of it all, and I pointed out
that the only one i have, I sewed onto the back of my denim colours
that i wear over the obligatory black leather jacket, so folks KNOW
which club i rode with.
While working with this problem, of course, I finally was able to
get it out of my system,
"My DD214 beats your flag waving patriotism any day."
and we joked about marketting,
to help folks re-awaken the debate another way around.
I of course have as much respect for the Peace Corp Types and even some
of the folks like David Harris, who did what they had to do, in
service to country, well above those who like to mouth their Pro-Military
stand, and never put it together that given the current crisis, and
the reality check that even with the combined factors of an economic
down turn and a RealWar[tm] no one in the administration wants to
fire up the draft to fill in the manpower requirements for Homeland
Security. So hey kids, what about this, since when we as a Nation
have been so 'clearly attacked' - and the government is not going
to fire up the Draft, least they traumatize the nice liberal suburban
crowd who would otherwise be buying ProPatriaProducts, why not, as a
part of the whole SavingOurPreciousResourcesForTheWar, just simple
unfund and unmandate the whole selective service registration process?
Given the wide plethora of FlagCrap on the market now, and the complete
failure of any of the broad sweep of idiots being 'patriotic' - why not
also just come out and openly state that the US Government is NOT going
to waste any more of the Tax Payer's Dollars on Idiotic Flag Protection
Why we might even mandate:
"Actions Not Emblems."
as a basis for resolving one's patriotism.
On the flip side of that problem is this 'Question Authority' - which
who has ever stood Guard Mount will remind you is ONE of the eleven
orders of a Sentry. Those who have been through the "Personal Reliability
Program" also notice that one can not simply blindly follow orders,
they are appropriately authenticated. And as every member of the military
has learned, through god alone only knows how many times in 'General
Training' - "simply following orders" is not a part of the acceptable
against violations of the UCMJ - which, as you will note from reading the
FM 27-10 Series, includes the laws and conventions of modern warfare.
So the fact that the civilian community has opted to rip this piece of
our heritage off, and make a trendy slogan out of it, only to confuse
those who have never stood guard mount, nor read the laws of land
or been through the Personal Reliability Program, who want to think that
this is some 'liberal agenda item' - well, I guess we should sorta chaulk
all of that up to the complete failure of the last 30+ years of public
education in a culture where we were not recycling a reasonable
of the american population through the military.
Or in short - all of this sounds like a clear problem that the civilian
community is just gonna have to work out how they wish to embark upon
their own form of 'constructive engagement' - not merely with their
own government, but with the various governmental and NGO's around the
big bad world out there.
So excuse me while I keep demanding that
Civilians STOP SUPPORTING SCAB LABOR
war is far too complex a process to be left in the hands of mere
political hacks, ideological demagouges, and every little scab
who wants to improve his personal position by engaging in acts
of war with or without approval by a legitimate government.
Maybe then we can get past the current rev of sheer folly, where folks
are still thinking in idiotic terms of 'wars of national liberation' as
well as the confusion that patriotism is something that gets doled out
for military service. Granted that would mean finding a way to prevent
the next round of Cheychna, Sierra Leone, Congo, Bosnia, Macedonia,
Afghanistan, the list just wanders, as some new excuse is developed
for why our armed collection should be suppressing/liberating the
US v. Them....
At which point wars will be left to professionals alone. And on
behalf of the Union Label, let me make it clear,
Nothing Screws Up a Liberty Call like a WAR.
Next we work out some method for the civilians to feel all warm and
fuzzy about being ProPatria. Flag Waving, Cool. Vicious and Rude
Political Infighting with taunting fighting words, Ok, if no other
method is available. Scab Laboring for War - NOT AN OPTION!
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Nov 16 2001 - 18:34:09 EST