Sunday, December 17, 2006

Have Yourself a Patriotic Christmas

Here in Carolina, there are a couple of radio stations (Clear Channel) that play 24hr X-mas music. Now, I am all for holiday music. In fact, we've got our car radios tuned to the best of those stations, we've got our I-pod plugged into the stereo cycling through 60 some-odd favorites (Bare-Naked Ladies, the Muppets, and Aimee Mann are big in that 60). So I am all for it. But our 60 songs covers 3 hours or so, the stations need to cover 24 hours. This station has a penchant for two types of songs we DO NOT appreciate.
1. The super sappy song [Archetype = That song about the kid and the shoes]
2. Attempts to make X-mas patriotic. Talk about the war on Christmas! These inevitably have to do with some guy seeing a soldier, who without regard for his own life, or need of thanks, is happy to serve us, in the snow (of Iraq). How dare we enjoy our eggnog with US soldiers serving us abroad protecting our freedoms?
This leads me to the main rant of this post.

I saw both Coming Home AND First Blood, so I am pretty familiar with the shameful treatment of Vietnam War vets. Many of this sorry folks were conscripted (Drafted) to serve in this war, and though they may have be forced to commit atrocities, they probably did not deserve the vitriol that ought to have been reserved for the leaders (Kissinger, McNamara). Okay, that was wrong.
Now, I agree we should separate our anger towards politicians from the troops. They are, for the most part, unwitting accomplices of the politicians. So, let's not harass them, many of them are victims themselves, of propaganda, or economic hardship, or other pressures to join and fight.

But, let's look at this idea of glorifying the soldier:
1. Which freedoms are these soldiers protecting by fighting in Iraq or Afganistan?
2. Are these "volunteers" really volunteers, or are they (poorly) paid professionals who chose this job over the (crappy) alternatives.
3. Are those soldiers who join to serve the country really serving the country? Wouldn't they better the country by doing something productive?
4. Being a soldier is dangerous. Granted. But aren't there other jobs which are equally dangerous, and yet helpful? (Truck driver. Fire fighter. Construction worker. )

I look forward to the patriot song about my UPS delivery person.


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