May 31

Heroes

by fwoan | 5 Comments »
DVIDSHUB via flickr
DVIDSHUB via flickr

This last weekend, the U.S. media arsenal went all out in their yearly pseudo-patriotic orgies known as “Memorial Day coverage”; proclaiming every man or woman to have worn a uniform to be our “heroes”. We saw flag graphics sweeping across our screens or bald eagles animations bringing us the latest on whatever ceremony was being performed to reassure that America is a beacon of righteousness in an otherwise dark and evil world. The bleached hair, bleached teeth, and bleached content all there to comfort us as we cheer grenades landing in children’s cribs halfway across the world. President Obama congratulated the troops of current and previous wars, citing their protection of some nebulous concept of freedom – a concept he works daily to curtail in each of our lives. This is Memorial Day, fuck yeah.

However, something seemingly went wrong on Sunday, when MSNBC Chris Hayes briefly broke out of his fugue and muttered, “It is, I think, very difficult to talk about the war dead, the fallen, without invoking valor, without invoking the word ‘heroes’… I feel uncomfortable about the word ‘hero’ because it seems to me it is so rhetorically proximate to justification for more war… it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.” How the hell did MSNBC not immediately cut the broadcast after such an astonishingly honest statement was allowed to air on a corporate-powered news outlet? Cheering on war is not only good for ratings, but profitable for all its parent companies. Whatever the reasons, that such an honest statement was allowed to come out, on Memorial Day, of all days, is pretty amazing.

Rest assured, that the honest sentiment was immediately squashed by inane, brainless faux-patriotism. Hayes’ peers, seemingly terrified at such an honest statement started belching out canned statements to assure their masters that they harbored no such sentiments. But Hayes was right, they aren’t heroes. War isn’t heroic, it is an abomination. That people who directly profit from making war own the television channels that romanticize the act should tell us all we need to know. They need us to keep dying in order to improve profits.

Of course, Hayes immediately apologized for his independent thought, and squeezed himself back into the fold of child-like patriotism. While Hayes may be intelligent enough to recognize the utter bullshit is is forced to convey on whatever programs he hosts, he is not honest enough to let you know it.

5 Responses to "Heroes"

ms_xeno says

I wonder if any of these fuckwits managed any coverage for the vets who threw their medals at NATO a couple of weeks back. Probably not. The Gump-esque fantasy of vets as unrepentant right-wingers (or lifelong cheerleaders for their well-heeled, well-insulated bosses) must be preserved at all costs.

I guess the uniform only guarantees paens to “heroism” for as long as the “hero” is willing to back-pat and cheer the people who fucked him/her over in the first place.

Rosemary Molloy says

Boyohboy, try posting a sentiment like that on Facebook. I put on the famous poster of Uncle Sam pointing and saying this: “Join the army–Travel to exotic, distant lands, meet exciting, unusual people and kill them.” The furious anger that ensued by my “friends” was incredible. But how in the hell can we call military members “heroes” and say “support our troops” if we supposedly don’t “support” war? One person commented with this inane statement: “Blame the warriors, not the war.” Wha-a-t-t?! Makes no sense and I posted back, “Without the warriors, there’d be no war.”

fwoan says

Hi Rosemary,
Oh, I quickly learned the consequences of speaking from a leftist perspective on Facebook. I hardly ever update mine these days but use it to catch-up on what friends and family are up to. They love to frequently display their anti-human opinions and I simply refrain from even commenting.

People are willing to go through some pretty complex mental hurdles to maintain the world-view they are comfortable with. Uttering something as nonsensical as “blame the warriors, not the war” reeks of that effort. Hopefully that person will eventually let go of the comfortable opinions they hold and simply admit that those who would volunteer to kill individuals who could never hurt them are anything but heroes.

Rosemary Molloy says

I’m afraid the commenter was my cousin, whose son has just enlisted and is being deployed to Afghanistan. Cousin considers herself a liberal and, in fact, volunteers for the democratic party. It doesn’t ever, ever, seem to occur to her that the lesser of two evils (Obama, she thinks) is STILL evil. Thanks for your comment, anyway. How I wish there were more of us.

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