--Marine Reconnaissance Division patches
Peace is for Queers
--Seven Psychopaths (2012)
We're not fantastic motherfuckers,
but we play them on TV
It's a dirty word Reich,
say what you like
--The Golden Age of Grotesque,
Here’s the smell of the blood still:
all the perfumes of Arabia
will not sweeten this little hand.
Oh! oh! oh!
--Macbeth (V, i)
But when I swing my swords
they all choppable
I be the body dropper, the heartbeat stopper
Child educator, plus head amputator
--Liquid Swords, GZA
Ranger recent piece on the video game "Assassin's Creed" received a reply regarding the perception that assassins kept democracy free form the forces of evil. Despite the glorification of assassinations in pop culture productions like video games and Tarantino's film Kill Bill (a glorified video game), democracy is not promulgated at the tip of an assassin's sword.
Assassination is not a democratic principle.
He also remembered another memento of his SF time, the Zippo lighter with a death's head MACVSOG crest which was presented to graduates of the One-Zero Combat Reeconnaissance School (B53 May '70). Ranger has written of the death's head before, but each time he encounters it on United States military paraphernalia he considers the matter anew.
Soldiers must kill to perform their combat mission, but why does the military and civilian leadership allow such symbolism our patches? Such gruesome heraldry is understandable on an SS Nazi uniform, but how can he accept this on a U.S. uniform? Yet at one time Ranger wore one, just as do present day military men.
Despite the ubiquity of the symbol on U.S. unit patches, Ranger has never seen the image on a Vietcong or North Vietnamese Army patch ... weren't they the bad guys who did not value human life? The U.S. used body counts as a gauge of success during most of the Vietnam war -- doesn't this "poundage of death" metric of success indicate a slip between the theory and reality of winning hearts and minds?
Death is never a measure of a successful operation, as a Commander may not kill his way into a successful victory -- so why the proliferation of nasty death's heads in the service of a liberal democracy? Oddly, the hooah military sites celebrate these death-oriented symbols while at the same time calling our adversaries barbaric and inhuman.
And we remain surprised when another member of our society revels in another bloodbath worthy of an assassin, a person who would celebrate the symbology of the death's head. These wayward "nutters" hold the mirror up for us, all members of a violent society. The neo-assassins are us, externalized.
The champions of the death's heads would say, their violence is controlled, is targeted at those who deserve the wrath of a democracy, but there is no controlling the murderous impulse once out of Pandora's Box. How is a kindergarten shooting spree more doleful than the violence applied with alacrity (from der Homeland) in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©)?
Are dead kids bad in the Continental U.S. but acceptable when killed by a Hellfire missile in some foreign land we ostensibly bless with our democratic principles?