RANGER AGAINST WAR: Are You a Warrior, Too? <

Monday, April 09, 2012

Are You a Warrior, Too?

--Unstable Yellow Pigs,
Olaf Breuning

All life is a blur of Republicans and meat!
--Zippy the Pinhead

I am a sick man . . .
I am an angry man. I am an unattractive man.
I think there is something wrong with my liver
--Notes from the Underground,
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets.
The wars of peoples will be more terrible
than the wars of kings
--Winston Churchill

Fuck my shit.
That's what war adds up to
--Ernie Pyle

Warriorhood has been establishing itself in our pleasant democracy lately, both in military and entertainment circles.

Michael Hastings writes in his recent book "The Operators", General McChrystal "appeared to represent a new kind of military elite, a member of a warrior class that had lost touch with the civilian world" (and vice versa, p. 74). Yet less than a lifetime ago, keen Infantry observer Ernie Pyle wrote, "They were really the hunters, but they looked like the hunted. They weren't warriors. They were American boys who by mere chance of fate had wound up with guns in their hands, sneaking up a death-laden street in a strange and shattered city in a faraway country in a driving rain. They were afraid but it was beyond their power to quit. They had no choice."

Archaeology Magazine ("The Gladiator Diet,"April 2012) mentions that gladiators were called "warriors", though they had no war-fighting functions. (Though often captured warriors, their actions were now constricted by the rink for entertainment purposes alone.) Gladiators fought for no higher good than to do the bidding of their masters and to amuse the crowds. Their deaths were gore fests, with tools of brutality often exclusive to the fighting ring. Among various gladiatorial weapons used only in the arena was the trident -- now a symbol on the elite Navy SEALs badge.

Have we morphed our soldiers into warriors because we see them as providing us gladiatorial entertainment? How do we benefit as a society by calling our soldiers "warriors"?

Does this indicated a regression to a more primitive state?


And a Monday poem:

Ready to Kill

by Carl Sandburg

TEN minutes now I have been looking at this.
I have gone by here before and wondered about it.
This is a bronze memorial of a famous general
Riding horseback with a flag and a sword and a revolver
on him.

I want to smash the whole thing into a pile of junk to be
hauled away to the scrap yard.

I put it straight to you,

After the farmer, the miner, the shop man, the factory
hand, the fireman and the teamster,
Have all been remembered with bronze memorials,
Shaping them on the job of getting all of us
Something to eat and something to wear,

When they stack a few silhouettes
Against the sky
Here in the park,
And show the real huskies that are doing the work of
the world, and feeding people instead of butchering them,

Then maybe I will stand here
And look easy at this general of the army holding a flag
in the air,
And riding like hell on horseback
Ready to kill anybody that gets in his way,
Ready to run the red blood and slush the bowels of men
all over the sweet new grass of the prairie.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Terrible said...

Although I generally list Dostoevsky as my favorite writer I haven't read Notes From the Underground. Started to on a bus ride 12 or 13 years ago but got distracted by a conversation with hot black lesbian who was studying genetics at Syracuse. Suppose I should pull it off the shelf and finish it. But to the point of the post I guess my comment is that they are called "warriors" when they are on your side, when it's the other guys they are referenced by less flattering words such as "thugs" and worse. Sorry I haven't been around more, working on that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 2:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Just a wee hint, Terrible:

You probably won't get too far with that demographic ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 3:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Blackhawk said...

Call me 'old fashion' but I always favored being called a 'Dogface'. Actually it was written on the WWII front by two infantryman and became very a popular trench 'toon'. The brass missed the irony and honesty of the ditty and sent one trooper to the antarctic and the other to Hoboken. NJ. The great Third Division commander Gen. Lucian Truscott knew talent and the zeitgeist of the times and the song became a huge hit at Anzio. My uncle was a 'Duck' driver and a talented musician, he told me they would crank up the volume to the 'toon' Dogface when caught out in the open and 'Anzio Annie' started to whistle.

Here are words:

I Wouldn't Give A Bean
To Be A Fancy Pants Marine
I'd Rather Be A
Dog Face Soldier Like I Am

I Wouldn't Trade My Old-O D's
For All The Navy's Dungarees
For I'm The Walking Pride
Of Uncle Sam

On Army Posters That I Read
It Says "Be All That You Can"
So They're Tearing Me Down
To Build Me Over Again

I'm Just A Dog Face Soldier
With A Rifle On My Shoulder
And I Eat Raw Meat
For Breakfast E'V'RY Day

So Feed Me Ammunition
Keep Me In Third Division
Your Dog Face Soldier's A-Okay

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 3:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

lol Lisa yea probably right about that but it was an interesting conversation about genetics. :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 3:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Always the intellectual, Terrible ... which also is not always a winning card with the distaff half ;)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 4:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks for sharing, BH -- that's a great tune.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 5:04:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

What seems bizarre about this, to me, anyway, is the current enthusiasm for all this warriory stuff (which includes the freakish Death-Dealer weapons paraphenalia jim showed us in the preceding post) is that it comes at a time when it's safer to be a U.S. citizen - and a U.S. soldier - than ever before.

I mean, seriously...we got nobody on the horizon like the old Soviet Union, all loaded up with nukes and ready to throw down. Our troopers wander about the ass-end parts of the world fighting raggedy tribesmen with attitudes from the Bronze Age, tools and tactics from Victorian frontier wars, and rifles from WW2 or Vietnam...

Seems to me the perfect time to chill out and channel your inner hippie; peace and love, man, smoke some weed and just hang out...

Instead it seems like we're all amped up on this need to be all badass...

I wonder if it's something like the way we got before the Civil War, or the war Europe was in 1914; the lack of real danger, real war, had half the people all goofy playing warrior because they had no fucking clue what they were asking for.

Of course, then they got it, got it and more until they were sickened by it, and out of those wars came whole generations that wanted nothing to do with all that warrior stuff...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 2:20:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home