Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Propaganda Land

With enlistment rates plummeting, the U.S. Army is looking to avail itself of a new tactic to create the next generation of super-dirty-war fighters: ARMY LAND!

Says the AP: The Army is considering a proposal to allow a private developer to build a military-themed park that would include Cobra Gunship rides and bars including a "1st Division Lounge."

This reminds me of an experience I had in the eighth grade. I was fortunate enough to have attended a very progressive middle school in Park Slope -- in fact, I think of the three years I spent at William Alexander Middle School 51 as one of the most life-changing experiences I ever went through.

Anyway, a lot of us in the graduating class of 1994 were very fond of the school's photography teacher, Mr. Joe Zarba. He taught us how to make pin-hole cameras out of Quaker Oats containers and he talked about our own photographs in the same breath as Ansel Adams. Needless to say, we thought of him as a "cool" adult. So when he was asked to take us on a trip to the Intrepid Air & Space Museum in Hell's Kitchen, we were surprised that our go-with-the-flow teacher refused. "I refuse to take children to that place," he told us, and then proceeded to explain proper rinsing procedures for fresh prints.

Looking back on that otherwise unmemorable moment with this latest news story in mind, I realize that as a nation we really should be concerned with grooming our youth to be conscientious, compassionate, aware citizens of the world. War is not an amusement park, we shouldn't marvel at stealth bombers and warships. If there's money to spend on glamourizing military life, there should be money to spend on teaching kids foreign languages, art and music, and on challenging math and global studies curriculae.

Real American heroes will be the most astute and globally conscious leaders the world has ever seen -- can we produce those by the millions?

4 comments:

Adam said...

Amen to that. You know, one of the most disturbing things I often see is spectators at our military training. When I was at Air Assault School, there were hundreds of family members watching us, snapping pictures and gasping as we rapelled out of black hawks. I realize it was impressive to anyone who isn't doing it (it's really not all that difficult or useful though, to be honest), but what I couldn't grasp was how they didn't seem to realize what we were training for was to fight, kill and die.

It's far too easy to lose sight of the fact that war, while giving us some of the "coolest" things all guys like to play with (trucks, guns, knives, and cool uniforms), the entire point is the destruction of human life.

I had a parent I was giving a tour to point to the quote at the base of MacArthur statue where he said, "In war, there is no substitute for victory" and elbow me saying, "I know some Democrats in the house who should read that." I responded with, "You know, in the same speech, he also said, 'The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.'"

War is not fun, and the military is not a dress-up, play time. Unfortunately, I don't find it hard to believe our government would be willing to make it seem so in order to fill recruiting goals before they'd allow all the gays they kicked out to return.

ThatGayConservative said...

First of all, what does it have to do with recruiting? It doesn't.

Further, you said:
If there's money to spend on glamourizing military life, there should be money to spend on teaching kids foreign languages, art and music, and on challenging math and global studies curriculae.

If you had bothered to read the article, you would see that it's not the federal government planning on building it, but rather an individual business. Not only that, but there's over $6 Billion (that's 6,000,000,000 dollars, for your liberal readers) in federal money for schools to teach your mentioned classes. Military funding has NOTHING to do with it.

Could you at least TRY to be honest?

GayConservativeLiberal said...

TGC, I am being honest. If the Republican party is really serious about engaging the private sector's support for the betterment of society then people should speak up when the private sector is being reckless. I stand by my point, if there's money anywhere for a bogus idea like Army Land then there should be money for real, productive initiatives. I, for instance, have a penchant for pricey jeans but try to balance that by giving to charity whenever I can...the same logic applies here.

GayConservativeLiberal said...

TGC, I am being honest. If the Republican party is really serious about engaging the private sector's support for the betterment of society then people should speak up when the private sector is being reckless. I stand by my point, if there's money anywhere for a bogus idea like Army Land then there should be money for real, productive initiatives. I, for instance, have a penchant for pricey jeans but try to balance that by giving to charity whenever I can...the same logic applies here. applies here.