“If you want to tell people the truth, make ’em laugh. Otherwise, they’ll kill you.” –Oscar Wilde
Writing a comedic article about militarism is a lot like trying to escape a straightjacket: finding leverage in the midst of constriction is not nearly as easy as you think it is, and the padded room only softens the blow so much before you’re just crying yourself to sleep in the corner. But, like Mel Gibson’s character Riggs in Lethal Weapon, let it never be said that I backed away from a double dog dare. Not that anybody double dog dared me to write this, but it occurred to me that the military industrial complex has a complex and, also like Riggs in Lethal Weapon, it is way too quick to pull the trigger. I can write articles about self-actualized love, heuristic inquiries into consciousness, and how to get power over power until I’m blue in the face, and there will always be readers who think I’m too serious and idealistic with issues that need slow massaging rather than full-on smacked in the ass. So be it.
But militarism… now that is something we can all get behind. I mean, we’re a nation of gun-toting sheeple. We’re warmongering West Highland Terriers who believe we’re wild-eyed wolverines. We all grew up watching Rambo First Blood part two, and all of us imagine there’s a tiny little Rambo inside us wrapping a tiny little red kerchief around his tiny little blood-soaked head. We’re a nation of pawns with cartoons for brains singing “America, fuck yeah!” while the rest of the world is screaming “America, fuck you!” And then we wonder, why don’t they like us? Don’t they see we’re just trying to help them? Don’t they see that our leaders are honorable and just and would never take over a country just to exploit it for its resources and brainwash its people into adopting a materialistic consumer society?
There are a lot of people who will wail and ballyhoo that war is not a thing that should be poked fun at, and that, by and large, militarism is so integral an aspect of the United States’ condition that it is too sacred a thing to laugh at. But why shouldn’t it be satirized? And why does it need to be all hush-hush just because the president can indefinitely detain you without trial for no other reason than that he feels you’re a threat to “national security”? Like he’s Xerxis and you’re that hunchback-guy kowtowing at his feet. So for the benefit of those who are not scared shitless and hiding behind their weapons like good little paranoid extremists, here are five helpful observations by some dude on the internet, who is the closest thing you’ll ever get to King Leonidas throwing a spear at the powers-that-be just to see if it bleeds.
#1. Propaganda: the Psychology of the Spectacle
There’s a kind of weird social pressure when it comes to the United States military. The patriotic whimsy of an entire nation is dancing a jig on our conscience practically every day in regard to supporting the troops or supporting the war in Wherever-istan. God forbid somebody voice an opposite opinion, or even an indifferent tone. The social ramification of such an act is deemed unpatriotic and grounds for treason. But how did we get to this over-exaggerated sense of nationalistic pride? When did we transform from a nation founded upon dissent to a nation dumbfounded by flippant tyrants of fuckery flying around the world dropping bombs on people?
The thing not a lot of people appreciate is the psychological genius of propaganda. On the one side of the coin there are those in power flipping the coin. On the other side of the coin, there’s the mass majority of society, spell-bound and mesmerized by the flickering-flickeryness of the coins pleasing arc. The ease by which people are brainwashed into forming their so-called “own opinions” is astounding. Since World War One we have been swallowing a steady dose of “War is awesome” or “there can be no peace without war,” and, “a camouflaged idiot carrying a cock-rifle while grabbing his rifle-cock is somehow cool.”
Cue whiney armchair quarterbacks with scrambled US Grade-A eggs for brains: “how dare you speak ill of those who die for our country?” or “those soldiers died defending your right to write this anti-American garbage!” or “it’s the height of courage and honor to fight and die defending one’s country, you unsympathetic terrorist!” …People say the darndest things. But all this myopic yodeling aside, I love my country. But love does NOT imply pacifism, especially when my so-called “leaders” are acting like prepackaged douchenozzles for rancid doucher-elitists. Also, I proudly served my country for ten years, but I NEVER allowed my pride to blind me to the atrocities committed daily by the hands of my own countrymen. Freedom, it seems, is a fickle beast. But if this article is proof of anything, it’s that I can ride the hell out of that fickle beast longer than Lane Frost can say “8 seconds!”
All freedom-of-speech cock-blockery aside, the lobbyists and propagandists are here to stay. And they will continue to shape and mold our society into any shape they so desire, using any mold they see fit. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: How do I, daily, rise above this system that suborns the people, and how do I see the well-disguised truth through the almost ubiquitous smokescreen. Having a good sense of humor is one way to slice through this un-American Apple Pie, but our silliness must eventually give way to sincerity, lest we lose ourselves in our own seriousness.
#2. Weaponry & War Profiteering
If you’re lucky, you weren’t born in Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia in the last few decades. I count my 50 lucky stars that I was born in the good ole US of A. If you’re less than lucky, and you were born in Pakistan, Yemen or Somalia, then your daily grind of dodging kidnappings, night raids, torture, and drone strikes makes the American daily grind look like strawberry-picking on a warm spring afternoon.
It really is no joking matter, but having a good sense of humor is sometimes the only thing we have to keep us sane in such an insane world. And what is the height of insanity? Like Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” Should I say Amen! or ahem!
And what does it say about the sanity of our country when our news stations are the height of (bad) comedy and our comedy stations are the height of (good) news. Here’s what John Stewart had to say about the US defense budget, “We already spend more on defense than the next 12 countries combined, including China, including Russia. We’re like that lady on Jerry Springer who can’t stop getting breast implants.”
But seriously, do we really need to be spending roughly $200 million per B-52 Bomber? And who knows how much a drone or a stealth bomber costs. Does the military really need more money? Well, when you’re invested in war like most of the top companies in the world are, then hell yes the military needs more money. And screw your heathenish, terrorist backtalk if you think otherwise. I mean, the war industry is really the ONLY industry the US has. We’re the war machine of the western empire. Every other industry is just bottom-feeding the myopic herd that keeps it all propped up: Us, you and me! So what we can protect our nation at half the current cost, we have corporate fat-cats to keep fat and happy. We need them to manufacture more weapons. We need a giant military force that makes the rest of the world piss its collective pantaloons. Hell, why not just build the Death Star while we’re at it? Plop a Darth Vader helmet on the head of whoever is president and we’re good to go. Viva el Empire!
#3. Drone Strikes and Terrorists
Let’s stop kidding ourselves. The elephant in the room is a long-nosed heavy-breathing militant asshole with its trunk up our skirts. Even worse, it’s a flappy-eared, terrorist-generating war machine with an American flag tattooed on its flank. But nobody wants to acknowledge it. It reeks to high-hell of rotten peanuts and drone strikes, but nobody wants to admit that it’s standing right freaking there!
Wake up and smell the collateral damage! What the powers-that-be don’t want you to know is that they need terrorists, or at least the illusion of terrorists, to keep the war machine churning. In order to keep the oil flowing and the greenbacks stacked, they need pissed-off “Others” with a vendetta, who they can point the finger at and call “terrorists.” What better way to piss someone off than murder their kid and say, “Oops! We were aiming at that other towel-head over there, our bad!”
Jokes aside, this is some serious shit. It’s time that We the People got off our collective asses and made these motherfuckers up the so-called “chain of command” accountable. Imperialism only works if the people subjected to it go along with its military ventures. Debo is going to keep being Debo until someone has the cajones to stand up to him. In this case that someone has to be We the People. It begins with this article, and I’ve got mind control over Debo.
#4. Military Injustice
If, as Anais Nin wrote, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage” then Bradley Manning’s life has expanded to include us all. The debacle of his kangaroo court-martial should come as a body-blow to Justice itself. Or at least a bitch-slap across our collective truth-seeking faces. I mean, the death knells of Truth are howling like rabid hell hounds from the four corners of a Bill of Rights in flames. And nobody has the balls to point out there’s a fire, let alone put the damn thing out.
In 399 B.C. Socrates was on “trial” in similar fashion. Both cases are a mockery of the judicial system. Like Socrates, it is not Bradley Manning that is on trial but the very concepts of truth and justice. The real trial is in the minds of the American people. Who among us will roll over and play dead under the tyranny of a military-controlled state, and who will rise up with a full heart and courageously declare that our collective military mindset has crippled us into heartless sycophants hell-bent on allowing the powers-that-be to do whatever the hell they feel like in order to keep us “safe” and “secure” from the evil forces of “terrorism”.
So what Bradley Manning, along with Wikileaks, showed the entire world that the Emperor isn’t wearing any clothes? At least now we know the emperor is naked. At least now we can promptly laugh at his shriveled-up, Mr. Chow-esc penis and move on. At least now we can evolve past this culturally-conditioned state of militaristic crap. I said it to my shipmates when I served in the US Navy, and I’m saying it now: pull your head out of your chain-of-command’s ass. That’s right! Stop this failed interpretation of the Human Centipede. Think for yourselves. Get out there and learn about the true nature of tyranny and terrorism.
#5. NDAA, and the End of Free Speech
If, as Howard Zinn wrote, “They’ll say we’re disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war” then this article is saying screw their peace and their war. Comments like “you’re disturbing the peace” are just pathetic excuses for bovine-bedizened dumb asses to flex their fat, billowy frontal lobes of douchebaggery over the important things that need to be discussed. Hell yeah I’m going to disturb your peace when that “peace” means dropping bombs on other people, or when it means indefinitely detaining me because some bloated windbag in “power” deems me a “threat to society” based on nothing more than the NDAA slip of paper in his back pocket that I would use as toilet paper if given half the chance.
And if the president of the United States happens to be reading this (Xerxis forbid!): Pull your head out of that Darth Vader helmet, blow up the Death Star, burn the NDAA, free Bradley Manning, pull your pussy-panting FBI watchdogs off of Julian Assange, and pay attention to what the people are telling you. There is more to being president than warmongering and job creating. And if all of this has left a sour taste in your mouth, and you feel it necessary to “indefinitely detain me,” bring It! Catch me if you can. I am willing to die bringing water to the wasteland.
About the Author
Z, a former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world. His recent works can be seen here and also found at Z’s Hub.
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
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