Apologies, and some not apologies
Holy hell, you leave the internet for a day or two and everything goes to pot.
Some of you have noted that I deleted my poem "Memorial Day". There has been some speculation as to why that is, and I just felt like clarifying some things. I deleted the post because some of the comments were getting downright abusive (suggestions that I needed to be "raped by a marine" were particularly not appreciated, whoever that anonymous coward was). Rather than trying to keep on top of these comments, and the weird places that the thread was going, I just scrapped the whole thing.
So, here are the apologies: I'm sorry I wrote a crappy poem, I am sorry that what I portrayed was not what I meant. I really should leave the subtlety to Keats. The point of the poem was a criticism of Memorial Day; I do not like it, I do not like how we glorify soldiers, and I do not like the violence we encouraged because of it. The point of the poem was not how all soldiers are evil, but rather, how most can and do evil when it is ordered of them. The soldier really saw himself as all of the things in the poem: strong, hard-working, capable, moral et cetera and he really saw his enemy as evil, amoral, a terrorist. BUT, when he was told to do something immoral, he jumped to it, because soldiers follow orders, even more so then we do (a le Milligram). They did for the Trail of Tears, they did it for pretty much every war, and they have done it in
I am not sorry of the feeling that compelled me to write the poem. We pick heroes of the most violent among us, and that should stop. If we wanted to memorialize people who sacrifice, why not firefighters? Why not Peace Corps members? Why not doctors? They are in the
people who do positive things for the greater good: they save lives, and don't kill to do it. But no, we pick people who kill to protect as our heroes, we memorialize who destroys as opposed to who creates. The people necessary for a vibrant democracy: journalists, educators, active citizens, lawyers, judges: we malign them in favor of something that every country on the planet has. For every war we have ever been in, the other side had soldiers too, doing the same thing that our soldiers did (if we torture less it's still a matter of degree, not actions). I will not buy into American exceptionalism, nor will I bow to the god of blind patriotism.
And just because my friends AND family were in/ are in the military, does not mean that it changes what their job is, nor how I feel about it. It just normally means that we don't talk about it. Oh, and along the same lines, I still don't think we should cut veterans’ benefits, a soldier may kill, but the government's the one who sent them to do it in the first place.