The porn-star named Stormy was nice
And of course everything has its price
And public confession:
The ethics aren’t all that precise.
The porn-star named Stormy was nice
And of course everything has its price
And public confession:
The ethics aren’t all that precise.
Stopping a train just ain’t easy
The methods are bloody and sleazy
But changing direction
Requires a correction
More solid than whiney and breezy.
Made his money the hard way, inherited.
Went to Yale where he struggled and merited
Every cent that he earned
With his MBA; spurned
Do-nothings with slogans he parroted.
Old Jules – July 31, 2012 blog entry
WWI had an Armistice Day… it celebrated the end of that particular horror. WWII had VE [Victory in Europe] Day, and VJ [Victory over Japan] Days. Celebrations to the end of two more horrors. Then there was Korean Armistice Day, which nobody ever heard of, much less celebrated. And, of course, there’s Veterans Day, just acknowledging all us veterans no matter when we were in the military.
The trouble with having undeclared wars and losing them is that nobody knows why they’re there in the first place, what it takes to win it, or how to know when it ends. Maybe for Vietnam we should celebrate the day the last helicopter with people hanging off it lifted from the US Embassy in Saigon.
But now there’s this:
Honoring Vietnam Veterans Day, March 29, 2018
Ever noticed [assuming you’re old enough] you never heard a WWI vet bragging about whatever it was he did during his time in the service? Most I ever encountered never spoke of it at all.
And WWII veterans are pleased to tell you they spent the war burying bodies in the Solomon Islands, or in a Japanese POW camp, surrendered without firing a shot, or as a postal clerk in North Africa. It’s always been surprising to me just how few guys actually were on the front lines ducking bullets [or saying they were during the decades afterward].
Same with Korean War veterans. Nobody ever wants to tell you he was on a ridge with a bunch of other cold, hungry, scared GIs gunning down swaths of Chinese with a quad .50 machine gun. In fact, Korean War vets hardly say anything at all.
That’s the reason I’ve wondered many times why the same is not and has never been true of Vietnam vets. I’ve seen file clerks, supply clerks, mechanics, and one particular logistics officer all claim to have been heroes, laying ambushes in the jungle. More recently I even ran across a guy who was in Korea at the same time I was when there were few incursions and firefights on the DMZ a decade after the ceasefire. Even knowing I was THERE the silly bastard began laying BS about how he and his unit were setting up ambushes on the DMZ… he was in the 8th Cavalry, which was on the DMZ….. But nothing else he said held any water. Maybe he was jealous of all those finance clerks in DaNang who’ve now become jungle fighters by hindsight.
But I’ve digressed. My real question is this: What was it about the Vietnam War that brought out the lies and the brags? Why were WWII file clerks never tempted to pretend they were heroes, but the Vietnam War file clerks bought themselves ball caps proclaiming themselves brothers to the finance clerks, the supply clerks, and all the other rear echelon folks who discovered later they’d been combat vets. Hell hundreds happily tell one another they’ve been troubled with PTSD. Not more than two hours ago I was talking to one who was in personnel administration who is actually drawing a service-connected disability for PTSD. A personnel admin clerk.
Vietnam never had an Iwo Jima. No Guadalcanal or Midway. No Bataan Death March. When US troops landed on Guadalcanal August, 1942, they’d never seen any movies about jungle warfare. Surprise! They had no idea what they were in for.
Maybe that’s the distinguishing factor. Maybe it was all those WWII movies, John Wayne pulling the pins out of grenades with his teeth. Frank Sinatra drooling over Gina Lollobrigida between firefights in Burma. Robert Mitchum outsmarting the Japanese while protecting a nun [Deborah Kerr]. Maybe that was the missing factor, the systemic flaw in the Vietnam War that caused all those non-combatants to spend all the remaining decades of their lives trying to correct it.
After all, shooting water buffalo out the door of a helicopter with a machine gun is a story that can be embellished with a lot more vigor than stories about typing a company morning report at the motor pool.
Don’t get me wrong. Not all Vietnam veterans are lying. If a guy tells you he was a Navy engineer, and upon questioning tells you he ‘poured concrete for the Navy’, he’s telling you the truth. If he tells you he repaired field telephones, he’s telling you the truth.
And there’s always that one-out-of-ten, or one-out-of-twenty, who actually did serve in the jungle and participated in all that stuff you’ve seen in the same movies the file clerks with the Vietnam veteran caps got their stories from.
So how can you tell if a Vietnam veteran is lying to you? Well one of the ways is to listen to his claim. If he says he was a medic in a VD clinic he’s probably telling you the truth.
But if the US is going to carry on endless presidential wars without having to re-institute the draft they’re going to have to keep glorifying their warriors. And a person who spent a tour in Asia greasing and changing the oil on jeeps in Saigon loves being called a warrior. Loves the feel when he pulls a straight face and announces, “Yeah, I fought in Vietnam.”
Sky Pieces by Carl Sandburg
Proudly the fedoras march on the heads of the somewhat careless men.
Proudly the slouches march on the heads of the still more careless men.
Proudly the panamas perch on the noggins of dapper debonair men.
Comically somber the derbies gloom on the earnest solemn noodles.
And the sombrero, most proud, most careless, most dapper and debonair of all, somberly the sombrero marches on the heads of important men who know what they want.
Hats are sky pieces; hats have a destiny; wish your hat slowly; your hat is you.
Kansans aren’t as big on bumper stickers as a means of broadcasting what they consider important about themselves to the world. They’re more prone to mount a couple of flags in the sideboard wells in some fantasy they’re the US Cavalry coming to do meanness to the Injuns or other enemies of Christianity and democracy. But although I haven’t been in Texas since 2013, I’m betting the guy who owned that truck and thousands of others of like mind still advertise by bumper-sticker ….. Old Jules
And too few handicapped spaces
It’s mostly complete.
When Americans use bumper stickers to tell everything about themselves worth knowing they usually don’t need so much vehicle to do it. Bumper stickers to describe the depth and breadth of their thought processes, their tastes in literature and philosophy, everything important about themselves don’t take up a lot of space:
“Pro- Choice“: a telegraphic way to say, “I don’t have a fetus inside me, but if you are unlucky enough to have one I’m rabidly enthusiastic about your right to kill it and flush it down the toilet.”
“Right to Life“ – translates: “I think abortion’s a bad choice and I’d like to kill, or imprison anyone who believes differently. Knitting needles in the bathtub were good enough for grandma and they’re good enough for you.”
“Support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms” Translates: “
View original post 493 more words
Hi readers Thanks for coming by.
I don’t believe I ever doubted anytime during my 74 times around the sun that my parents and their generation experienced far more difficulties on average in life than did my own generation. I’d go a step further and conjecture that in general all previous generations to mine tended to be more challenging to the folks living in them than my own as a genre experienced.
To me this doesn’t seem a subject of controversy . More than likely the great majority of people who traveled that piece of time with me would agree.
But unless I’m mistaken, we’ve come to a place in history where convictions of that sort among the young no longer exist. Everything I see of young people suggests to me they believe their generation actually doesn’t have it as ‘good’ as their parents or their grandparents. As measured in almost everything they value.
In some ways I believe they are right. The baby-boomers beginning during WWII in the United States were blessed with an affluence beyond anything that’s gone before in the entire history of mankind. We lived in a time when the pantheon of individual choices ranged from entrepreneur, to beatnik, to hippy, to hitch-hiker to corporate climber. Or any combination of those and countless others.
It wasn’t our fault. We lived in a world in transition, born into a bubble of expectations and hope that allowed us a confidence we had no reason to doubt, but no business believing. And because of that, while many of us merely submerged ourselves in numb mediocrity, a substantial piece of the whole went out and lived our lives in ways that left no doubt that life could be lived.
So what happened to convert the confidence and enthusiasm, the trust, of the 1950s, 1960s, and to some extent, the 1970s, to the slough of despond and hopelessness that emerged among the youngsters in the 1990s and 2000s?
I don’t believe, despite their perceptions, that younger people have it more difficult than my generation. In fact, in many ways they appear to have it sufficiently easier to qualify as appalling. True, there aren’t a lot of manufacturing, skilled labor, whatever-middle-class-hell jobs were around back before everything went to the 3rd World. And it isn’t clear how the current population of mediocrity will provide for themselves so’s to accumulate tons of appliances, entertainment, transportation, bass boats, clothing and cosmetic surgery.
But is that really a quality of life issue? Isn’t it, rather, a challenge of personal values and priorities?
I’ll confess, reading posts of young people on FaceBook hasn’t given me much sympathy for them, hasn’t inspired much hope they’ll make the world a better place during their time here. But then, when it comes down to it, neither did mine own generation.
Sure, a lot of people I knew were moderately-to-wildly successful at accumulating wealth. A lot of them surpassed themselves in various ways far greater than anyone would have expected of them when we were kids. And many of them handed everything to their kids with a silver spoon, spoiled them beyond recognition. Indulged in precisely the same mindset as my generation’s parents who went through WWII and the great depression, determined that their children would have it easier than they, themselves had it.
But my generation had it so damned easy, making it even easier on those that followed might qualify as a crime in a better world. Might qualify as condemning our progeny to expectations that bear almost no relationship to anything related to happiness, fulfillment, or genuine satisfaction.
This isn’t the first generation in the history of man where many have been reduced to the moral and economic equivalent of flipping burgers to earn a living. The simple fact is, the affluence derived from a minimum wage 21st Century job would have been coveted by so many of our ancestors so far back we’d lose count trying to identify them.
“We’ is a terrible word. It pretends there’s some group of individuals who share some accomplishment, some responsibility, some abstraction. Something that happened on our watch.
And the fact is, there isn’t any such we. I’ve lived a life of 74 years and I didn’t have a damned thing to do with anything that happened during my time on this planet. Not a single damned thing.
And I honestly can’t say I’ve been in personal contact with anyone who did. The people who made things happen, who drove the events of my lifetime might as well have existed in comic books, movies, television shows and epic poems. Because I sure as hell never encountered one.
Jeese, what a life. What a ride this has been. What a phony, sexy, drug-induced hallucination.
I was searching around trying to find blogs about my challenges working up to leaving the ranch in Texas [back before fate and health took a possession of the steering wheel and gas pedal]. I wanted to reflect on the urgency and intensity I was pursuing in those days before the bottom fell out of my life and I had to find a different reason to stay alive than returning to all I love in New Mexico.
But as I’ve done so often, I find I’ve digressed, am digressing a moment. I came across this post and even though it’s been told before, I had to read it again.
And now you can read it again, too, if you’ve been here a while. Or for the first time if you haven’t. Old Jules
A legendary man in the Quemado/Reserve area nicknamed ‘Squirrelly’ Armijo had a good working claim down near Queen’s Head in the Gallos near Apache Creek in the 1940s through the 1960s. Maybe that’s where he came across a skeleton, and probably just figured he might as well take it home, so he put it in his truck.
Driving up those winding mountain roads he lost control of the truck and rolled it. Squirrelly was thrown clear and the truck caught fire. He must have been out of his head, maybe with a concussion, because he evidently wandered into the mountains in a daze.
The police arrived and found the burned out truck with a skeleton inside and assumed because the truck belonged to him the remains were Squirrelly’s. He was pronounced dead, an expensive funeral held, and he was buried.
Twelve days later Squirrelly wandered out of the woods several miles away…
View original post 632 more words