leden 2010

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This work by Jaime Nichols is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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Comments

Tara H.

Those boys are NOT over there so we can keep "drinking beer at Irish Pubs and moshing at the rockshow without a care in the world"...

That is BULLSHIT.

I could do that any day of the week in Ireland and what's their involvement in this BULLSHIT war?

This war does not benefit us.... It hurts EVERYONE and benefits a handful. Also, it's costing a fortune! Who's going to pay for it? We are! Our children are.

I would find it far easier to drink and be merry in an Irish pub WITHOUT marines there to tell me about the horrors of war in Iraq... about the children they've killed and the families and the dogs. Is this moshing without a care in the world?

What kind of horrific nightmare is this when we believe that bloodshed is necessary for us to have a good time in a god damn pub.

Jane Herself

That isn't what I was saying, Tara. In reporting what was said to me, I am not expressing my personal view.

What I am hoping to communicate here is that the whole evening was such an unsettling confluence. As a writer, I had a hard time finding a tone I could live with to talk about it. I think these are evil times, and I don't think that changes during a rock show. Maybe I am overwrought, but I do, personally, feel a little funny about partying on in the face of what's going on in the world. But, there's something about how complicated it all felt at the end of the day that is actually, in some way, comforting to me. I was laughing at myself for fully making out with a 21 year old Marine next to his purple Japanese hotrod when I was there, but when I went to write about it here, I found that, all in all, it wasn't funny, and I couldn't decide how I felt.

Personally, I think agreement or disagreement with any of it is beside the point. What's hard for me to shake is what they said, and who we are. I think it's true that we are all complicit in this ugly war, and I think it's true that our complicity rests in out comfortable lifestyle. There were a lot of people at that show who had no idea they were moshing in the company of boys with weight like that on their shoulders, and that is the point, I think.

I was glad to hear what they said. I don't need to agree or disagree with it.

Tara H.

I didn't say you said anything. I was commenting on what they said.

You did imply, however, that we have a callous indifference to this war. You stated an opinion about how disgusting the war is and then went on to say how much fun we had at the concert... "As we raised our plastic cups of Miller Lite, he told me that the war was all about money, and that they were over there so everyone back here could keep drinking beer at Irish Pubs and moshing at the rockshow without a care in the world. They both hated the war and their part in it, but they were there too, unable to deny enjoying being young, rich and American."

I think you were implying something here, but that aside, I was referring to the comment, not anything you said about it or that you didn't say about it.

You say that we are complacent because our lifestyle is more than satisfactory and I agree with you. What, I don't agree with is the idea that Americans in general are able to live a better life because of our military involvement in foreign lands. Again, I was commenting on what the Marine said, not on anything you said. If what I said came across as an attack against you, I apologize. You and I have discussed this topic many times, and I don't think I have ever disagreed with you on any point.

In any case, you don't need to agree or disagree with anything. This is true. I don't understand, though, how you say that my disagreement on the matter is "beside the point". It makes me angry when a Marine says that they're over there killing people so that we can have fun in the pub.

Jane Herself

My entire point, my dear friend, is that it was strange to hear such ugly things, and then have such a good time. It was strange to think about that smooth-skinned boy killing and feel him kissing; to see the numbness in him, but also the sweetness and hunger.

I'm not implying something - I'm trying to record what it felt like, and what they said, but if you want my opinion straight out, I think we are, culturally, fairly callous and indifferent.

Moreover, I think there is a very strong relationship between our comfortable lifestyle and these imperialist US foreign policy decisions. If we can control the immense natural resources of that land, destroy existing infastructure and gut local business, thereby opening a desperate developing market to our goods and services, and then control who gets those contracts, that makes us richer and more able to afford the leisure to drink beer and mosh. I actually do agree that we lead our wealthy lives on the backs of the less fortunate, and that, in fact, we do send our boys to do the dirty work in making sure we can continue to do that. If there's something to be angry about in what they said, that's it.

Tara H.

CJ, I got your point in the first place. That was obvious.

Again, I was not commenting on your point. And, whether or not you were implying anything, this was not what I was originally commenting on.

But, you're right. It was weird to hear such horrid things and still have a good time. It was running around in my head the entire time and to be honest, I was creeped out and bothered by it, too, and yet still I moshed in the pit and had another Jack and Coke... I got your point and well said. I was not missing your point or attacking your point, but responding to one little thing. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear or if I blew it all out of proportion or whatever.

I agree that the comfortable lifestyle of most Americans is, indeed, made possible in large part, by imperialist US foreign policy decisions (if by 'comfortable', you mean large SUV's and ten pairs of everything from Nike and The Gap). If by comfortable, you mean good times, good friends, a good show, and a good laugh... sorry, but we don't need imperialist US foreign policies for that. This is why I made the comment in the first place. I disagreed with what the Marine said. Not what you said. I got your point. I was not commenting on your point.

What I despise, is when we implicate ourselves in this evil and do nothing about it. I don't get how we sit around talking about how callous and indifferent we are in regard to the war, while meanwhile, everyone continues to buy shoes and clothes that were made in sweatshops, chocolate from the ivory coast where they use child slaves, food products from factory farms, SUV's, etc. I say boycott the crap and go have a drink and enjoy yourself.

How can I be angry that our boys are sent to do the dirty work of maintaining my lifestyle of wicked consumption if I'm still consuming the crap?! I'm angry at what the Marine said because he implicated all of us in this war by saying that they are there so we can party on. BULLSHIT. We don't need this war to have a good time and see Flogging Molly! That is completely absurd!

It doesn't take much money to have a good laugh in an Irish pub. They've been doing it in Ireland for god knows how long. You can say we need wealth to have much of what we have, but not for that one. And, the Marine can say he's over there so I can drive an SUV if I choose to, but he's not over there so I can afford a laugh at the pub. That one is mine with no thanks to any war or foreign policy or George W. Bush.

The Marine says he's in Iraq so that we can drink beer. This is a defeatist attitude. Pick something we can't do anything about - being happy at a concert and blame that and say that's why we're there. That's just great. Nevermind anything we actually can do.

Jane Herself

I agree with you that we don't need killer teens in Iraq to be happy or enjoy the rockshow, and I don't think he meant that either. I think you're taking a larger cultural comment and applying it very narrowly and literally.

Of course you can make choices that lessen your participation in violence, but none of us can truly exempt ourselves, because in so many ways, our culture and our economy is predicated on violence, and no matter how many choices you make, there's always going to be something we just don't know about that you are feeding... but forget that: if you pay taxes, you are participating.

I guess find it harder to remove the sense of implication from myself. That boy made me sad. It aches me to think of him wielding a machine gun. It's revolting. I think part of why I kissed him was because I wanted to make that sense of tragedy even more real, if that makes sense. I wanted to know how he feels, and I couldn't tell that from listening to him talk.

Having gone there, I can tell you this: he feels sweet and guileless. Like so much else that's going around today, that makes me feel like choices aren't enough - it's important to find a way to truly work against it. That doesn't necessarily mean giving up laughing in pubs, but I feel like I need to find out what it does mean, and that's kind of the question I am asking here.

Tara H.

I can't imagine that he meant it literally, but still, this sort of vagueness doesn't solve anything. I think it's important to define what we mean by quality of life and comfort. If we are benefiting from someone else's suffering, we should know exactly how. In my opinion, it's all about choices. What is it to truly work against something? We all protested. You and I voted. All we have are the choices we make everyday. It's true that we will never be able to truly exempt ourselves from taking part in violence as we simply cannot know how the choices we make effect every single thing in the world. To me, it's important, though that as we become aware of the implications of our actions, that we do our best to think of others before acting. We don't know everything and we can't do everything, but every little bit helps.

As for the Marine, he seemed like a really nice boy in his demeanor, but his stories were sad and unbelievable. Amazing, really.

Jane Herself

Fair Enough. Maybe you're right. That kid really got under my skin, though.

rcjohnso


You drank MILLER LIGHT?!

Jane Herself

When in Rome....


PS. I don't THINK I love you, Mr. Johnso, I KNOW I do.

Tara H.

Like a 1000 burning suns, Mr. Johnso

Nick C.

As they once said in the 1960's, during the Vietnam days:
"Make Love Not War".

To change the topic a little bit, the famous compositing expert Richard W. has e-mailed me his latest set of Iceland pics. Check:
www.nicholascroft.org/iceland-2.htm

These are a little more serious than last time, so I hope you enjoy them.

slim

We need to bottle whatever this Mr. Johnso has going for him.

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