January 11, 2011

MEMO TO SARAH PALIN AND THE TEA PARTY: IF YOU ARE NOT A SOLDIER, THAT CAMOUFLAGE YOU ARE WEARING IS A HALLOWEEN COSTUME


One of the signs that a society is devolving from a civil state to a fragmented array of different tectonic plates that are about to crash into each other is...fashion?

Yes, you may laugh now, but that is exactly what it is. Fashion. While society in itself is already fragmented into certain groups that not only differentiate themselves by language, their heritage, their monetary class, it is also fragmented through the use of fashion as a group identifier. Abercrombie & Fitch is for hipsters with poor taste and a full wallet, Armani is for those who wish to be recognised in a crowd...and camouflage is for idiots.

Be they rap stars, be they Hollywood stars, be they tea partiers or be they Sarah Palin.

You, all of you, are idiots.

It is supposed to show manhood, to show strength, but in the end, all that you do is to show - just like George W. Bush has shown in his delightfully ironic (because he had no fucking clue, just like you all don't), Academy Award winning performance as the Commander in Chief during the movie "Mission Accomplished" - is that you like to play dress-up.

You know, like when you are seven and you pretend to be a cowboy (also one of George W. Bush's Award-winning performances), just like when you are in your early twens and wear a fireman costume to that campus Halloween party in order to get laid. If you dress up in camouflage, and you are not anywhere near the frontlines, if you do not get shot at, if you are not in a foxhole...

... you are wearing not a uniform, you are wearing a costume. You are deluding yourself. You are not a soldier. You are merely somebody who is so insecure about your own standing in the world that you feel you must steal and thieve the social standing of those who fight for retards like you to even exist.

And not only are these people, those who are forced to wear camouflage, those who fight your unjust wars, those who put their lives and their honour on the line for you and your lies, better than you.... you also treat them like dirt once they have fulfilled their duties. You put them on food stamps. You deny them health care. Your Secretary of Defense, looking to slash 60 billion dollars from the defense budget targets (yes, I know that is a horrible word now, but still, he does target, because he wishes to eliminate it, to kill it, to make it go away) none other than the health care benefits for veterans and their families.

What? You didn't die in the line of duty? Too bad.

We have no need for you anymore, soldier.

But people like Sarah Palin, they have militarised politics, in their rhetoric, but also in the way they like to present themselves to their voters, to their faithful flock, you know, the ones who go to gun shows and dress up in camouflage as well. Look at me! I'm a soldier!

No. No, you are not. Unless you are in the service, unless that uniform, that camouflage means that you are about to be shipped out to a god-forsaken place on the planet, where people are going to shoot at you, where you are going to eat dust and breathe hot air...

... you have no right to wear these clothes.

Not only do you not have the right to wear them, but by wearing them anyway, you are glorifying violence not only in your words, but also in your visuals. And no, you don't get to tell me that you need to wear these clothes while you are hunting, either. You don't.

I have hunted, and you don't.

And as opposed to you "good" folks, I have worn the uniform, albeit of my country, I have been in camouflage, and I wouldn't wear it now, no longer being in my country's service.

In fact, even when I was in the army, my comrades and me, we made it a point to not wear the uniform outside the base or while being out in the field. It's clothing for work, the uniform is, it should remind you that it is designed to be worn in the field, that its pockets, its very design is made so that you can have all of the relevant tools with you, and what you are lying about is this... all these relevant tools are made for killing people. That is the first thing my drill insructor taught me (after he had bearted me for about an hour for not taking things seriously enough).

"These," he said, holding up the Walther P1, unloading it sclip and making sure it was safe, "are created for one reason, and one reason only. To kill. Are we clear on that, girls? These things are not cool, they are not from a TV show, you are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, these are made to kill another person. And you will treat them like that. Just like your assault rifle. Just like the Uzi that we are going to train you with later. And the grenades. And the long-range rifles. All of them, made to kill people. Some may tell you that they can be used to hunt, some may tell you that they are there for self-defense. Know this, girls. That. Is. Bull. Shit. If you pick up a gun, you better know that it is made to kill another human being. Respect that. Think of that. This is your last resort. If you need to use this, everything else must have failed. It must have failed! Okay? Politics...must have failed. Diplomacy...must have failed. Talking...must have failed."

It's one of the reasons I don't like guns.

Don't get me wrong. I can use them. I was trained to use them. Fact is, I can kill a man from about 600 metres without a scope. If the winds are right. And I have a good position. With scope?  Make that 800 metres, maybe more. I haven't shot in quite a while now.

I don't like guns.

I don't like people who use them as props. I don't like people who use the uniform as a costume. Because none of them ever thought about what they were made for, what they were designed for.

And they don't know how much they change the tone in a civil society, in what should be a civilised society. I'm not a pacifist. I never was. But one of the things that I learned, and that everybody should always learn...is that you do not wear them lightly, those uniforms. You do not wear them to make a statement. You do not carry guns to make a statement.

There are those who are wearing the uniform.

There are those who are carrying the guns.

They are here to protect you, all of you. And to them, it is a burden. And an honour. And their duty.

To you, it is a costume.