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Author Topic: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"  (Read 14614 times)

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jgiffin

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Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« on: November 10, 2014, 10:18:23 PM »
Interesting essay. He's catching quite a lot of flack in the media. I suppose he probably saw that one coming.

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/09/you_dont_protect_my_freedom_our_childish_insistence_on_calling_soldiers_heroes_deadens_real_democracy/

DigitalBuddha

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2014, 11:35:28 PM »
Well, dude, we just don't know. How I figure it; any dude with the balls to storm the beaches on D-day in WWII to put an end to assholes like the nazis is a hero in my book.

That's just like my opinion, man.

Jefftos

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 09:25:03 AM »
I'm a veteran myself, but not the kind that you see paraded around on tv. I was in the Army for 3 years, from 2002 to 2005, I knew the second I arrived in Camp Casey, Korea after boot camp that it wasn't for me. I was the soldier who counted down everyday until he left. Got drunk every night, shammed out of duty every chance he got. And could give a shit about "disgracing the uniform" I had joined young, had no idea what the hell I was getting into and got out at the soonest possible opportunity. I knew guys that you could call heroes, but that wasn't me and so when people thank me for my service I always want to shake my head and explain that all I did with my service was get plastered and sleep with the occasional drinkie girl, but instead of bursting their bubble I just nod my head and keep my silence. There are plenty of vets that deserve to be thanked, but for every one of those there were probably about ten like me who didn't belong there in the first place.

The Daryl

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2014, 10:01:28 AM »
That's an interesting essay.

He brings up some valid points; both of what we call "heroic" by default, and what we should. And it was nice that he pointed out the very simple truth that the U.S. Military hasn't defended "freedom" in over 70 years.

(And fwiw, DB, I agree with your comment - those dudes in WWII were heroes - they were trying to stop a foreign power that attacked us).

That said, he seemed to go out of his way to be inflammatory about it, maybe that's just personal bias...

I do find it hilarious that when I read it a few minutes ago one of the top comments was from a police officer that described his career as "14 years facing domestic threats". Not protecting, not serving, not even solving crimes like the scooby gang - The cop bashed the author for not "taking the oath" but I think that comment was an inverted, zoomed in view of the essay. Perceptions make up a huge part of the way we as humans deal with the world. When you have a gun and see yourself as some hero facing domestic threats for a living... eh, no wonder so many kids get shot...

Lotta threads and strings tugged on with that kind of essay. Guess I'll digest a while :)
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LotsaBadKarma

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 10:13:42 AM »
Well, dude, we just don't know. How I figure it; any dude with the balls to storm the beaches on D-day in WWII to put an end to assholes like the nazis is a hero in my book.

That's just like my opinion, man.

I think that's why he mentioned WWII as the last war that we fought for freedom.

forumdude

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2014, 12:06:51 PM »
The author is a Dudeist Priest. He was even filmed for the Way of the Dude documentary (clips available on Youtube) during the 2011 Louisville Lebowskifest and has contributed an essay to our book Lebowski 101. I consider him a pal. I don't always agree with him but I think he takes some brave stances.
I'll tell you what I'm blathering about...

The Daryl

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2014, 12:26:19 PM »
The author is a Dudeist Priest. He was even filmed for the Way of the Dude documentary (clips available on Youtube) during the 2011 Louisville Lebowskifest and has contributed an essay to our book Lebowski 101. I consider him a pal. I don't always agree with him but I think he takes some brave stances.

Far out, man.
Abide.
Synonyms: observe, act in accordance with, accept, respect, endure, tolerate, bear, continue, remain, persist, stay
Archaic: Live
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...He who takes things lightly, abides all things.
The Dude does not confront difficulty, and so has none.

jgiffin

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2014, 11:24:15 PM »
The essay was timed and tenored to garner attention. I mean, c'mon, it was released on the brink of veteran's day and, at points, reads like something Christopher Hitchens would spout sideways from a tumbler six Johnnie Walkers into an evening. Can't gainsay the author much on that, though. Great way to get your point widely disseminated. I wonder how long he held the essay back.

Whatever their ultimate position, I like that people are thinking (hopefully, critically) about our reflexive adoration of any profession or other group of people.  Too often, morons without a point and even less of an argument shout "what about the troops" or "what about the children" then call anyone who questions, let alone challenges, their position a nazi sadist.

I don't like that logic. If all troops are heroes and children are the most important thing in the world, then being a child-soldier is mankind's highest calling. Sophistry? Sure, but no more ridiculous than the position its satirizing.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 11:26:57 PM by jgiffin »

The Daryl

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2014, 09:09:00 AM »
HAHAHA Who runs the Dudeism facebook page?

Whoever it is posted this article there... It was like an explosion.

The best is posted by Dudeism, themselves:

Anyone who leaves this page in outrage over this article is welcome to. This doesn't disrespect the military. It challenges fascism. Dudeism is anti-idealist.

I actually can't keep up with the comments - and I'm getting too sleepy to care.

Lots of folks comment, bash and don't even read the article (based on headline). Others argue semantics, strawman, adhominum bs. Some agree, many disagree.

It's crazy this is where we are as a civilization. Knee-jerk reactionaries willing to burn bridges when they are out of their element. On social media. Over ideas.

What happened to civil discourse?
Abide.
Synonyms: observe, act in accordance with, accept, respect, endure, tolerate, bear, continue, remain, persist, stay
Archaic: Live
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...He who takes things lightly, abides all things.
The Dude does not confront difficulty, and so has none.

Jefftos

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 09:16:26 AM »
HAHAHA Who runs the Dudeism facebook page?

Whoever it is posted this article there... It was like an explosion.

The best is posted by Dudeism, themselves:

Anyone who leaves this page in outrage over this article is welcome to. This doesn't disrespect the military. It challenges fascism. Dudeism is anti-idealist.

I actually can't keep up with the comments - and I'm getting too sleepy to care.

Lots of folks comment, bash and don't even read the article (based on headline). Others argue semantics, strawman, adhominum bs. Some agree, many disagree.

It's crazy this is where we are as a civilization. Knee-jerk reactionaries willing to burn bridges when they are out of their element. On social media. Over ideas.

What happened to civil discourse?

Seriously, I just came from over there and was astounded at how quickly it escalated. I think I even saw a few posts where two people were going at each other like children over being a liberal fucktard and a conservative bigot. Seriously, I don't get what the big fuckin deal is. As a vet I wasn't in the least bit offended by what the guy said. I may disagree with a few points he made that may or may not be factually accurate. But shit man, I suppose that'll teach me to "just look and see what the facebook page is up to."

BikerDude

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 09:17:55 AM »
I'm with Louis CK on this. Yeah I know.
Around the 2:40 mark.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpz9gxmfbN4

It's enough that the troops believe that they are doing good and do put their life on the line.
They can't help it if they've been given a line of crap. Or been raised with a like wise line of crap.

Quote
Physical strength and courage is only useful and laudable when invested in a cause that is noble and moral. The causes of American foreign policy, especially at the present, rarely qualify for either compliment. The ?troops are heroes? boosters of American life typically toss out clich?s to defend their generalization ? ?They defend our freedom,? ?They fight so we don?t have to.?

I don't agree with the author. It's enough that they really believe in what they are doing and they put it all on the line for it. Reject the war and support the troops is how I feel.
I find this article to be a scree smacking of some type of resentment. I don't have a problem giving the troops "their due" without insisting on being the arbiter of who should or shouldn't deserve it.

That said, the term is overused.
From my experience the vets that most deserve the label are generally most quiet about the whole thing while the vets who wave the flag the most generally emptied pails of shit for a tour of duty. Personally I just shut up and let them have their pins and patches and other bullshit. I doubt that most gave up a spot at MIT to serve. If they sleep a bit better feeling good about it let em have it.
It's a generalization I know but one can't help but notice.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 09:32:16 AM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

jgiffin

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 09:23:49 AM »

Anyone who leaves this page in outrage over this article is welcome to. This doesn't disrespect the military. It challenges fascism. Dudeism is anti-idealist.


That's nearly perfect. We've broken words like "fascism" through decades of lazy, ill-considered use. Now, when people are confronted with a manifestation of the actual thing, they don't recognize it. I don't know if the process was intentional or not (and, if so, by whom) but it seems general in application. Look at what we've done with words like "socialism," "nazi," "capitalist," "moderate," "fundamentalist," etc. To most people, they just don't mean what they mean anymore. Maybe that's the intent - ensuring the point is never the issue.

BikerDude

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 09:38:00 AM »
Oh about the cops.
I agree that the number of veterans that are coming back and becoming cops is a big big problem.
We have a bumper crop of real asshole cops these days.
Here's a local one from just last week. He resigned as a result of this video.
Good fucking riddance. What a fucking asshole.
These kids hadn't done anything.
Quote
A man filmed his friend?s encounter with 48-year-old Sgt. Shawn R. Glans early Friday in Halfmoon. The officer confronted them after he said they walked out of the woods to their vehicle, which was parked in front of a business. The 27-year veteran said they were wearing dark clothes and acting suspiciously.

Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XExqABO4kc
Article
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Pair-who-taped-slapping-incident-plan-to-sue-5886565.php
Another article
http://pix11.com/2014/11/09/upstate-ny-officer-suspended-after-video-of-slapping-civilian-goes-viral/
Says he's suspended. He's since "resigned". I'm sure he was screwed and resigned to save the sheriff's office from firing him.
Note. It's hunting season here. Sometime I have a hunting rifle in my car this time of year.
I did all this past weekend.

Interview with a Lawyer who was confronted by a SWAT team when he sat outside his apartment in his car listening to JAZZ. They rolled up guns drawn and pulled him from his car at gunpoint. (Yeah of course he's black)
http://www.npr.org/2014/10/20/356964925/one-lawyers-fight-for-young-blacks-and-just-mercy

Bad police is happening all over the place and I can't help but suspect that a LOT of it is because of the prevalence of Iraq and Afghanistan vets being cops.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 10:01:02 AM by BikerDude »

Out here we are all his children

DigitalBuddha

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2014, 05:00:26 AM »

(And fwiw, DB, I agree with your comment - those dudes in WWII were heroes - they were trying to stop a foreign power that attacked us).


Fuckin' eh, man.

BikerDude

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Re: Salon.com Essay on US "Troop Worship"
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2014, 07:38:17 AM »

(And fwiw, DB, I agree with your comment - those dudes in WWII were heroes - they were trying to stop a foreign power that attacked us).


Fuckin' eh, man.

And hell anybody who put it on the line in Vietnam or Korea or Iraq or Afghanistan.
As far as I'm concerned the legitimacy of the war is way above their pay grade.
They aren't answerable for that.

Out here we are all his children

 

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