Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Born to Run

--2010, Peray (Thailand)

Baby this town rips the bones from your back

It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap

We gotta get out while were young

--Born to Run
, Bruce Springsteen

[interviewer]: You haven't been to Vietnam yourself?
[Springsteen]: No, I did the draft-dodger rag

You're a rotter, Mr. Grinch

You're the king of sinful sots

--How the Grinch Stole Christmas


"Born to Run." Man, if that don't say it all.

Draft-dodger Bruce Springsteen, who has spent a lifetime morphing himself into the perfect representation of Americana (or what Americans fancy themselves as), was seated next to our also never-served president Obama at last night's nationally-televised Kennedy Center awards ceremony in Springsteen's honor. The mutual admiration was treacly.

Grandiosely, Obama allowed, "I'm the president, but he's The Boss!" But the boss of what? Sham shows of patriotism?

Ranger was not Born to Run, but he sure did hug the earth and low crawl through some nasty shit. We weren't running when we dug foxholes and fighting positions, but it sure had that desperate feeling that Springsteen imputes to stateside life among the "hemi-powered drones."

Ranger sees hypocrisy when he sees the adulation of Obama for Springsteen. He has a difficult time recognizing reality, and knowing that reality is not real.

Bruce Springsteen phonied his induction physical to beat the system. He was Born in the USA, but his sorry ass didn't want to serve in the Armed Forces of that nation. He wasn't alone! Names like Cheney, Muhammed Ali, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Ted Nugent come to mind.
And while all of these hometown heroes managed to exempt themselves from service, none had much trouble wrapping themselves in the flag on the way to their Glory Days.

The rest of us did our duties and lived small American dreams in our little pink houses. We are the Real Americans. No, Mr. Obama, Mr. Springsteen is not the boss, though he had the chance to be. Men like my old First Sergeant Jergens are The Boss.

We can debate the fairness of the draft or the inequality of the Volunteer Military, but none of us was born to run. We were born to serve, and those that honor the draft dodgers can kiss my rosy red Ranger's ass.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

With all due respect, I'm a symp for the draft dodgers and I think I'll pass on you offer to: "kiss your rosy red Ranger's ass."

We've had this conversation afore:"Service to what?"
That steenkin' war broke the moral fiber of this country, affecting our generation to this day-physically, mentally, spiritually-and to an unadmitted extent, the one following.

"Don't count the Vietnamese/They're only extras."

While I'm still trying to figure some things out here at the door of 63, I'm fairly well convinced that I wasn't "born to serve."

Tho, serve I did.
Still wondering "what? or maybe more to the point, "whom?
If we can agree that we didn't like being in Vietnam, well, I didn't--not a fuckin' minute of it--and that it just might have been the biggest blunder in this country's short, bloody history (so far, but the game's still on..and the fix is still in) then it might follow that those who knew better, or had the advise and the sense to stay out of it, just might have gotten it right.
Not you and me. We believed the big lie and ate of the fruit of the tree of deception.
Tasted good till the first bite and the blood starts running.
Still smellin ' it...after all these years. Even tho it's all dried black.

It was wrong then, it's still wrong ad it'll be wrong when all of us are worm-dirt.

Service to Mars--the Sacred Wound.
Wrong war. Wrong god.

It's ok to bash Springsteen for wrapping hisself in the flag. I do the same for all those PRO-fessional flag-draggers in they Veetnam Veteran rigs weighed down with more shiny bright shit on they clothes that a laundrymat Maytag can handle.
"I was in the A Shau Valley before Patriotic was cool" type shit or " I bought 4 whores one night in Nha Trang" or "My Truck had a flat in Saigon, '71."
My Favorite: "I Flew over Khe Sanh '72"

Ok to bash them that didn't go cause they were ...well.."chickenshit" comes to mind.

But I gotta small amount of respect for any kids who could see through the guise and had their lives disrupted by a war they didn't even believe in... even tho they were right about the wrongness of it.

I couldn't, wouldn't, didn't.
Now I'm still trying to understand it--any of it.
Forty-one years later, still picking the ghosts outta me head.

Let's don't get back into the "America--Love it or Leave it" mode.
We too long in the tooth for that. Seen too much. Know better.
Or ought to...

Else it's like ol Bro Dick Gregory once said :
When they laid that cracker shit on me , I answered: 'I'll love it when it becomes loveable and I'll leave it when I'm good and damn ready."

Amen, Bro Greg, Amen.

There it is.



Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 4:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, Range, I think Deryle"s right. 3 of the people you mentioned are CHICKENHAWKS (Bush, Darth Cheney and especially Nugent), so I CAN see you telling THEM to pucker up (I'D say "smack in the middle!"). The other 3 were upfront and TOLD US they were against the war (Ali, Springsteen and, I believe, Clinton). Maybe Springsteen might have wrapped himself in the flag under (I never saw it, MYSELF)under the mindset of "I love my country, but not my government's policies". Methinks perhaps the anger should be aimed toward LBJ, McNamara, Kissinger, and all of the warmongering, money-hungry criminals that sent y'all over there, and that brainwashed the masses to support that bullshit. You can't blame someone for staying out of quicksand; blame the sons of-and bitches who sent the rest of you into the swamp.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 9:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being of the draft-dodging ilk myself in my imagination (i actually was never lucky enough to have the opportunity) I can appreciate Ranger's annoyance with popular musicians, actors and politicians. These guys make a living and gain fame, glory and free blowjobs in every city by being more popular than the other guy. It all smells of bullshit even if the individual really believes what he's saying. At some point it all becomes a big circle jerk for these guys. So proud and satisfied with themselves. Getting fatter and richer on ideas that aren't even that profound, they're just wrapped in pretty packages and marketed to delirium. But all you have to do is take a look around and realize that no real progress has been accomplished by these men. Ultimately, their courage is lukewarm because if they spoke real truth they couldn't fly around the world and be idolized.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 10:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

let's not forget some of the other famous draft dodgers. there was ronnie rayguns (he didn't serve, he made training movies, but talked long shit like he was a hard ass warrior type)

john wayne never put on a uniform outside of the movies.

jimmy stewart actually flew combat missions. david niven was a balls out commando. john ford's camera crews filmed the normandy invasion live, and carried the same high casualty rates.

i find it hard to fault the folks who chose not to serve. hell, one of my better friends for a very long time chose to go to canada rather than report for induction. when the amnesty was offered he refused. he likes it there, and is home there now.

the depth of committment it took to leave everything, and everybody he loved was impressive to me. plus, dude's a hell of a songwriter and singer.

chickenhawks. the guys who refused to serve but are more than willing to send our kids. those assholes bug me.

(along with bruce springsteen, ted nugent, mr. flag waving "you send your kids" jingoist, loaded himself up with speed to race his heart, didn't wash for several days, and got himself declared 4F.

gimme the guy who said is was stupid then, and still stupid now any fucking day)

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 2:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim,

I think I'll just back slowly out of this room.


Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 7:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

MB, and all,
I have absolutely no problem with CO and even those that skipped out to Canada, at least they backed their beliefs with action.
This is what a real person should do, but later accepting awards from a nation that you wouldn't serve is too much for me to accept.
I do believe at this point that all wars are wrong and service therefore must be wrong, BUT that's not what this article is about.
It's about the hypocrisy of our system.
Maybe it's time for me to hang up my spurs.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 11:13:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aww Jim..don't hang it up yet..Appears to me that you're just getting started.
As well as having something to say and putting your time, energy and experience into your beliefs.

It is about hypocrisy: showbiz hypocrites, religious hypocrites, politico hypocrites.
It's an old word, used well, it has power but we done gone beyond caring about old words that mean something.They get in the way of de Tee Vee and the Bud Lite ads
Besides, it's too long for texting.

It may be a new world out there, but there's still some old stuff that hasn't been dealt with..yet.

You may be right..it might be time to hang up your spurs, but that only means you be travelin' light..riding bareback.
That's what we need..

OLD--not dead

There it is.


Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 11:30:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

I have mixed feelings on this issue. On the one hand I agree that it is sad to see people refuse the call to service. On the other hand I have nothing but admiration for those active duty soldiers who refuse deployment to illegal wars of aggression. No one should be asked to go kill poor innocent families living in mud huts while the real terrorists live in gilded mansions.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 11:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one that was able to get out of going but I thought Muhammed Ali went to jail for his beliefs?

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

You've pretty much summed up my contradictory emotions. I guess what i'm saying is that some of us got to serve and then treated like baby killers and then those that were smart enuf to screw the system went on to be honored and rewarded beyond human belief.
Your cmts struck me hard but this is not a criticism or defense b/c i agree with everything that you expressed. The disconnect is that i beleive every word that i've ever printed. I reckon there's a real serious fault line there somewhere.
I reckon that i used the wrong metaphor since i've always rode w/o spurs.
The bottom line is that I'm actually tired of pushing against an immoveable obstacle.
Your cmts are always welcome.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i too prefer the no spurs approach to riding. i was given a great cow pony by some friends who owned a feedlot. buck had been an ace ass cutter for nearly ten years (average career of a feed lot cutter is about 3, then the stress gets to them)

one morning old buck woke up and decided that he hated cows, he hated cowboys, he most of all hated those goddamned spurs that jingled and shit.

buck turned out to be one of the best horses i have ever known. i sent him out to pasture for eight months. for eight months i didn't fuck with him at all. i just let him wander around, eat when ever he wanted to, and just enjoy his retirement. when i finally did saddle him i used a bosal instead of a bridle, and i used a tiny, light little french hermes saddle.

to hid dying day though, if buck heard jinglebob spurs, the wearer was going into the wall. he wouldn't hurt them, but he would let them know that they had offended his sense of decorum and propriety. he was one of those great horses who was the perfect mount for an expert, or a rank beginner. the folks buck could be dangerous for were those whose ambitions exceeded their skill levels. he was a horse who could say "no." i used to laugh my ass off on the trail watching folks try to get buck out of his murderous bone jarring trot. (he had a singlefoot pace that was a joy and pleasure to sit).

although my arab stallion, casey, will send you to the tack room, looking for the biggest set of spurs you can find. he's gorgeous, fast, and everything to love about an arab. he's also a handful and a half. his arab name is, wa awa kasim kasim (5150). he earned that name.

i caught your hypocrisy angle. and that's probably the thing that bothers me the most about our society and especially our government today. with guys like foley and larry craig, i don't give a flying fuck if they like boys or airport anonymous blowjobs. i get my back up when they pose as "protectors of the public morals." for me, morality is private.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 1:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Let's discuss a topic we both enjoy- anonymous blowjobs.
Remember the old-it's your turn in the barrel??
My old app mare died after 26 years of service and i'll never have another. She either read my mind or my cues were so subtle that i wasn't aware of them.
HNY to you Minstral Boy.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 1:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Ranger, you hang up your spurs and they win !

I too have no problem with people who follow thru on their convictions. When I immigrated to Canada and people found out that I'd been in VN, they invariably asked me what I thought of draft dodgers. My answer, "they were right, weren't they." Canada had some balls back then standing up to the big neighbor to the south. Now we've got a government that's been drinkin the GWB kool aid. We accept refugees from all over the world but send kids back to the US that have done 2 - 3 tours in Iraq/Afghanistan and want no more. We've gone from being respected Peace Keepers to fighting in Afghanistan (4 soldiers and one female journalist killed yesterday) and have more than our share of hipocrites who gladly wave the flag, have never served and send other peoples
kids to do the dirty work. Fairweather Patriots.

Your spur stories remind me of an old gelding I had. He'd been around and been packed by the time I got him but was great with kids and riders in general. Finally old Corky got tired of having every visitor and kid plopped on his back and started to get a bit ornery and herd bound. Finally an old cowboy neighbor (who spent about 50 yrs down in your area MB) came over and said "bet all I have to do is jingle my spurs and old Corky will do whatever I want. Sure enough.

The best to you all in the New Year.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 2:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Choloazul said...

Life never quite fits the available labels, does it?

More than a few voted with their feet by choosing Canada... which didn't let too many young black American men in until it was pointed out how bad that looked...

Others decided for a variety of reasons (from C.O. to gung-ho) to put on a uniform.

Any choice comes with an undetermined amount of baggage.

Glad to be around to pick through some of it, considering the alternative.

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 3:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yeah, cholo, the choice for me was simple enough. hell, even the war zones looked better than staying on the rez.

(at the beginning of one of my first firefights, i hollered to my chief boatswain's mate: "dad's home!" he got it.)

remember john mcCain saying that the biggest reason he could think of for not implementing the new (not as good as ours but better than reagans bullshit) g.i. bill?

"if we send our enlisted men to college as soon as they get out, who will want to stay in?"

Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 4:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i'm tired.maybe depressed, but what's the difference?
my sentiments are similar to your views.
it's strange that i have no hostility to the vn that fought us but detest those that allowed the carnage.i also harbor no ill will to draft dodgers/evaders or even Jane, but i do not accept wrapping oneself in the flag 40 years later.
btw;i still love jessee winchester and i believe he was a north bound train.

Friday, January 1, 2010 at 11:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

Mississippi You're On My Mind

Keep up the good work Ranger. I think I speak for a lot of your readers when I say you, Lisa, and your many great commentors are a welcome voice out there that needs to be heard.

Friday, January 1, 2010 at 4:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

cholo and tw,
A seldom discussed fact is that as many Canadians came south and enlisted as escaped north.
A soldier would call this a fair swap.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 10:53:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

You always say that if you're on the wrong train then every stop is the wrong stop-and I agree.
In answer to your question-service to what? What can we answer?
When our nuts drop we become men and have responsibilities that befall men. If we have a country with all rights and no corresponding responsibilities then I opine that we're on the wrong train.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 10:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to all,
A little history lesson.
Back in the dark ages when we selected soldiers thru a draft system there were numerous honorable ways out of service, all of which were legitimate.
One example; one could gain draft deferment by joining the Peace Corps, and what could be simpler than that?
Another; Getting CO staus and serving in non combat fields. There were 13 branches in the 60's Army and only 5 were combat arms.
I'm not real good with math but doesn't that leave 8 non combat oriented branches. The services all have music type bands that do not require joining guerilla bands.
What is not said but I'll mention is that guys like Minstral Boy could've ridden that plush assignment IF he had been so inclined but he rather took a more dangerous trail.
We all made our choices-even fucking Bruce Springsteen.
At least MB and all who write on this blog know that they've done their duty as citizens. I will not sully this by assigning values of right or wrong.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 at 11:12:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mentioned George W. Bush.....I pretty sure he was a Reserve AF fighter pilot. Guess they weren’t called to the Viet but I suppose (as happened to my bro-in-law) they could have been....
Anyway, thanks for your service and welcome home....
Co. C, 1/12 Inf, 4th Inf Div (RVN 68-69)

Monday, September 1, 2014 at 10:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Ass in the Grass, Pud in the Mud said...

Jan.10,2016 Drafted in 1972, I have a few comments share. 1) For years, a rumor went around that Bruce Springsteen wore a dress to his draft physical. 2) John Wayne wanted an officer's commission, the Army said NO, and said he could join as an enlisted man, and the Duke said NO. 3)Director John Ford, who was too old, volunteered to film combat. For 10 years after WWII, on films they made together, he (in public) gave Wayne hell for not serving. 4)Another 'tough guy', Frank Sinatra, stayed out of the war with a "punctured ear drum". Along with other famous pussies. 5)A lesser known dodge, for college grads, was to become a teacher (for a few years). 6)To sum it up ...When the Titanic was going down, the men stayed on board, and the women and children and punks got in the lifeboats.

Sunday, January 10, 2016 at 2:11:00 AM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home