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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It strikes me this time every year that people are so quick to thank those who defend them, or at least who they think defend them, but so reluctant to actually stand up for the supposed same ideals that are meant to have been defended. The archetypal Soldier has been deified for the cause of any given moment, entrenched in modern sacraments of the military industrial faith to be waved about whenever someone needs to lend some sort of moral weight to their cause.

'Oh you don't support the war but surely you support the soldiers?'

How often have I overheard that in a conversation? (A lot.) It’s a load of old rubbish. At best it's a polite way to excuse yourself from an argument, transfer the moral weight onto something sacred to the national image – reintegrate with the peer group. But it has no reasoned weight in an argument over causes. Yet people use it as a collection of pathetic emotional tricks to drum up support for things. At the end of the day, ‘War,’ is just the word for a specific set of collective actions of a group of people, mostly soldiers. If you support the soldiers you support the vast majority of what makes the war. Send them aid packages, speak of them well. It’s not supporting just the soldiers, it’s supporting their actions and by that measure the associated institutions and their actions. The two are twined, one with the other, and if you’d have one you’re going to have the other. The archetypal Soldier needs to be made morally mortal in the eyes of his fellows.

Not every soldier who died did so in defence of freedom. A lot of them did it because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got drafted, or otherwise screwed into it; some others did it because they liked killing or needed money. Maybe they didn’t know any better and got screwed into a war that had nothing to do with freedom at all under the pretext that it did. In that case they’re victims, but they certainly didn’t die fighting for your freedoms; they died fighting for whatever the person who screwed them into it wanted them to; at best a mistake, at worst money, power, a bit of land on a map; the old vices. To honour them all as defenders of freedom makes the man into nothing but a caricature to be flung around whenever it’s convenient.

Ultimately the best memorial to the people who honestly did stand up for those sorts of things is non-verbal – and is irrespective of whether they were a soldier or not. So if you want to remember those who gave their lives for others I suggest you go and join the volunteer police force, become a fireman, teach kids in an after school club - make society a better place - that's the sort of memorial that means something. Unless professed ideology is backed by actions ultimately it's just a polite form of hypocrisy; dangerous as it has always been, and no more desirable for the passage of time.

Today I slept for fifteen hours and am still sleepy.

Today I noticed that increasing my vitamin C intake has helped some wounds heal. w00tage for not bleeding ^_^

Today I note for those who didn't know that the above rant was motivated by memorial day, which I see a lot of in some of the forums I frequent.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that you're right, there are some people who wouldn't stand up for a cause that they're quick to let others defend. However, there are also people who know they're not cut out for physically defending their country, and know that it takes a whole lot of bravery to go and fight. Memorial Day is not for those that are cowards or ignorant - it's for the people who knowingly went into danger and gave their lives anyway. Take it as what it's meant to be, and leave out the rest.

Sometimes your cynicism goes to far, Nem, and what you've expressed here offends me and what I hold this day to be.
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I rather think you've missed my point, AsA. I find it disgusting that so many people pay lip service to freedom through armed force yet don't protect freedom in any sense personally. What's the better tribute to someone who dies defending freedom; a few hurriedly mumbled words once a year, or teaching children?

Some people aren't physically or psychologically cut out to defend their country it's true, and I don't think poorly of them for that. But almost everyone is physically cut out to contribute to freedom, and hardly anyone does it.

Maybe that's not what today's about to you, and if it motivates you to contribute to a child's learning, or save a life, or even just to give blood, then that is in a way beautiful. But honour is, to me, more than a few mumbled words over a dinner table; if you want to honour people's sacrifices it demands a duty of action from you. And for better or worse most people's concept of honour is those few words over a dinner table.

It may offend you, and I prefer not to, but I don't see that it's untrue.
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Asa



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3531
Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for clarifying. I think that I would add to your range of personal ways people can 'defend freedom' (which isn't what this day's really about - it's about honoring those who died in the armed services). I think people can honor their memories by being honest and moral in their everyday lives. time. People who try to be decent because of the motivation past soldiers have given them does as much to honor their memory than anything more public.

And I think that having one day a year is better than none at all. At least it's a pointed opportunity to pause one moment and give a thought of thanks. People need labeled moments like this, whether they should or shouldn't. It's good to have them.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tyris



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 876
Location: Beneath a vast mound of curly hair

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
Today I note for those who didn't know that the above rant was motivated by memorial day, which I see a lot of in some of the forums I frequent.
Well, some countries observe it in November.
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sunshine



Joined: 05 Sep 2008
Posts: 592
Location: Up in the Clouds

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I return to the forums, whee! And copy somebody else's idea about recapping my lost Today posts... Razz

Wed - Flew to Key West with the new hubby, checked into the cutest B&B ever, and began a five-day experience in AMAZING food by having stuffed crabs, yucca and tamales at the best little cuban place on the island, followed by dessert of flourless chocolate cake w/ mango sherbet and a glass of sparkling red wine dipped in white chocolate. Watched a hilarious street performer eat fire and escape from a straight jacket & chains.

Thurs - Rented bicycles, bought festive hats, sunglasses, and new sandals 'cause mine broke. Watched the hubby try his first slice of key lime pie and become thoroughly addicted, and enjoyed a chocolate-covered slice on a stick. Spent a few hours playing with pokeman on my new DS while lounging in a hammock. went to the beach and watched the sun set over sailboats.

Fri - Went sailing over ocean that averaged a depth of less than 3ft (all the water around the keys is extremely shallow, it's part of how they formed and why they're so cool), went kayaking around and into a mangrove island, and snorkeled with a friendly baracuda as big as I am. Got nasty sunburn on my back and didn't care, 'cause we also had tapas & wine (more fantastic food, OMG) on a sailboat at sunset.

Sat. - Took way too many pictures at a butterfly conservatory, bought some art & souveneirs, and flew to California. Had In&Out for a very late dinner.

Sun. - Had a blast with friends & family at the reception. The DJ was awesome, the venue absolutely gorgeous, and the mexican-themed buffet was almost as delicious as the dessert buffet that followed.

Mon. - Flew home to Boston. Flights sucked, food was all airport stuff and thus waaay overpriced. Came home, slept.


And now today I get to go to the social security office to start the official paper trail for having my name legally changed, then the RMV to register my car, then go hunting for a second job. My back itches like crazy, but that's a small price to pay for one heck of a fantastic vacation ^_^
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 1800
Location: The boring part of Washington

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Nem: At least it's not like Vietnam. Returning soldiers got stuff thrown at them.
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SumoFrog



Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 18

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today: Wrote a 5-page essay in 3 hours, finished 15 minutes before it was due.
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Tamir



Joined: 22 Mar 2008
Posts: 1629
Location: Israel

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today isn't a graduation, or a memorial day, or anything like that.

Today I've skipped both class and volunteer work.

Today I'm going to hear a lecture given by the project leader of the LHC.
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Allicat



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 1384
Location: Land of the troll.

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh! Fun Tam! You lucky thing, you.

Sunny: I'm so glad you had an awesome holiday ^_^

Today I revise.
Today I said goodbye to my parents. I miss them so much, and I'm having a tough time at the moment so I'm not feeling up to much.
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theBSDude



Joined: 09 Jul 2008
Posts: 1800
Location: The boring part of Washington

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SumoFrog wrote:
Today: Wrote a 5-page essay in 3 hours, finished 15 minutes before it was due.

Dude... that's like what I do all the time.
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...In accordance with the prophesy.

TheBSDude, dubbed 'BS' by Asa and nicknamed 'Thebes.'
Keeper of the Tristam, The Amazing Non-Emo Vampire!(tm) and a Massive List of Webcomics.

"I'm like a ninja with no hopes or dreams." --Wally of Dilbert
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Nem



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 2141
Location: England

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomorrow I've got a metaphysics exam. So exciting. I get to write about personal identity and fatalism, so there’s going to be all sorts of fun stuff going on. Eheheheheee *bounce bounce* ^_^;
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We stroll along the roof of hell
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- Issa
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Merlenyn



Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Posts: 201
Location: In my own little world, of course!

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today is sewing, dress picking up, more sewing. Tomorrow... I believe is babysitting, and more sewing.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today was my last Psychology class, rejoice!

Friday is my last day of school not counting one math exam and graduation practice. Very Happy
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TheBritishInvasion



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 1857
Location: The couch

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem, you pick the strangest things to be giddy about.

Today I am unahppy to learn that there is a problem with my diving plans this summer, my dad and I were supposed to go to Wales for a day of scuba diving, I think the trip's still on but it looks like we'll be diving in a flooded quarry instead of the sea.

I don't even know if I want to bother doing that, quarries are murky and generally don't have anything interesting but apparently, despite being qualified open water divers, we need to pay 80 for 'orientation' before we can go sea diving. I think it sounds like they're just trying to rip us off.

I suppose if it's a nice quarry it could be worth it but the last one I went to had two metres of visibility and the most interesting thing in it was some trout.

Today I revised, a lot and I want the exams to be over. Just one more week.
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