Saturday, September 06, 2008

We are NOT Amused.

Here's the thing.

I've been a soldier for 22 of my 51 years. I've spent a LOT of time around soldiers. A lot of soldiers are real arrested development cases; they can be, the Army pretty much mommies you and daddies you until it needs to wad you up like a kleenex and throws you away. You get three hots and a cot, your decisions mostly made for you, your clothes, your recreation...you can be a sophomore frat rat without the coursework for twenty years, if that's what you want.

So, particularly in the hooah side of the Army - the Infantry, Armor, the combat arms where you're guaranteed to spend long stretches of your life away from women - you often get a kind of perpetual adolescent, a strutting, sniggering boy who both wants and loathes women and anything suggestive of "girlyness". It produces a very...odd...mindset. I've often thought that if you burned out one hemisphere of a person's brain, the one that houses the intuitive, creative, empathetic, curious parts of your personality you'd end up with a person like more than a couple of the GIs I've hung out with.

So when I come across examples of John McCain showing off this sort of personality it makes me go "hmmmm...". Because I wouldn't want someone like my old ambulance driver SP4 Varney running my country; he was a great guy, but he was also a clueless, impulsive, hindbrain-motivated dork whould could be bamboozled by a shiny object and lived his life primarily by a set of bumper-sticker slogans whose simplicity would have embarassed a blandishing gorilla.It would have been a very Varney-like thing to, having nastily insulted two women, first try and deny everything and then - and this is the critically dumb thing - apologize to the MAN who was the father and the employer of the women involved. Because, see, in the VarneyWorld only the Men Count.

That would have worked in, say, 1808. But this is 2008, and we're not trying to select a new Pasha of the Hareem. I'd consider an attitude that comes right out of the He-man Woman Hater's Club a major negative as an attribute for the Chief Executive of my country.

(The Poetess says much the same, and better, here, regarding what the whole Sarah Palin selection says about the GOP's attitude towards 51% of the American public.)

4 comments:

You Know Where You Are With said...

Yes. Yes. And here's the other thing:

I've often thought that if you burned out one hemisphere of a person's brain, the one that houses the intuitive, creative, empathetic, curious parts of your personality you'd end up with a person like more than a couple of the GIs I've hung out with.

I think you'd also end up with Sarah Palin. If she was curious, she would have traveled. If she was empathetic, she wouldn't have cut funding to special needs kids and teen pregnancy programs. If she was creative (not procreative, mind you), she'd be able to avoid cliches, stereotypes, and smirks to get her messages across. If she was intuitive, she would know she was being taken advantage of and used as a token.

Johnny said...

Hiya, I may have commented once or twice. I have a question for you concerning your political beliefs and your service to the country.

Have you always felt the way you do before, during and after your service?

I ask this because I have not run into that many...uhhh....left of center current or ex-military types.

I have one friend who spent 20 years in the Air Force and he's very similar to you. He said that they mostly put up with his rants while he was in.

Anyhoo, I actually agree on most things you espouse, I am just always surprised coming from an ex-service member.

thx.

FDChief said...

"If she was creative (not procreative, mind you)..."

You sarcastic thing, you. Who's to say that her tool of creation isn't her uterus!? And such a nice, WHITE girl, too...

Johnny: I was a Reagan Republican back in the day. It was exposure to the shenagans my government got me up to while I was still working for it that made me start to question the "truths" I'd been told and learned as a well-behaved middle class white kid.

And, no, there's not a lot of flaming leftists like me in uniform. The job takes a certain mindset that doesn't mesh well with cussedness and cynicism. But I think you'd be surprised; there's probably more of us subversive types out there in the barracks and on shipboard than you might suspect...

Lisa said...

"That would have worked in, say, 1808. But this is 2008"

And 2008 is the new 1808, Chief, in much of this godforsaken world. Gawd, you'd think everyone was an infantryman, for all their empathy toward women (and many of their non-Infantry fellows, for that matter.)