Thursday, May 03, 2012
Learned a thing or 2 from Charlie, don't you know?
Steve Earle isn't exacty a one hit wonder. He had 2 hits! Let's get both hits right out there: As usual, this was followed by coke, rehab, and a long career as a producer, including everybody's darlin', Lucinda Williams. Thing that gets my attention is how Vietnam was so much more involving than all our automated wars against Islam. There are 2 big differences : The draft, & body armor. I'm just young enough to have missed the draft, but old enough to have known a lot of screwed up vets. Heard tales of hair trigger roomates, worked with a lot of guys who had pre-1974 veterans preference. Made an ass of my teenage self in an Arizona ghost town occupied by a crew of mellow potheads trying to adjust. A few of the Vietnam vets are still around, the Korean ones are dropping like linebackers with CTE. One thing is clear : Our current relationship to the military is absolutely diseased. Soldiers are still primarily recruited from tose with no better options. Once they're done with the service, the undamaged move back to about where they were (veterans preference and weapons training still help many into police & other civil service jobs), the damaged attempt to deal with their wounds and demons. We've elevated them in myth, though not in reality, and that's a horribly unstable situation. Another thing to remember is that historically, armor comes and goes quite often. Soon after an effective set is developed, weapons are developed that make it worse than useless. Since the 2003 sack of Iraq, we've had extremely low fatalities relative to the level of opposition. It's mostly due to the fact that we have effective body armor. I don't expect it to last much longer. In any event, there's a point somewhere in here about our society deciding reality is optional. Celebrate the soldiers. Ignore the truth of empire. Don't even mention the drone attacks. Soon our weapons will rule the world!