Random Thoughts On The Violence of #Veteran’s Day


Ok fuck it. I can’t do this no more. So this Veteran’s Day ritual we do every year…It’s all types of fucked up. We invest in, perform and reproduce these images of veterans as “brave, strong and sacrificial”–which isn’t to say individuals aren’t–and disseminate these superlatives as a type of capital. This capital functions as a psychological and cultural payment–a check with insufficient funds, bouncing through psyches–to reshape the experience and violence of conscription as an honor, this in turn makes the experience of war not only a step toward martyrdom but also beyond critique, for soldier and civilian alike. Soldiers cannot protest the fuckery of dumb wars, dehumanizing wars, state-sanctioned genocide and..well uh..wars…without also discarding the “service” part. Of course, this honor–one we perform daily and annually through dubious small,l tokens of kindness–allows Americans to absolve themselves of the blood we spill and the soldiers we hang out to dry. It also allows us to engage in a community, ceremonial cleansing of guilt. We send folks to murder and die, so that we might enjoy the freedom to consume without regard for the lives of other peoples of this world, without regards of our defacto servants or their families, and without the decency to pay folks a living wage, provide for protection from predatory lenders, access to mental health services, or invest in the healing of their bodies, spirits and bank accounts. Veterans Day is a moment for the American collective to forget the violence we cause to all who dare to serve our bloodstained interests. Soldiers confront the skeletons in our closet, the buried and dismembered bodies we require to be, us. They do so for the American ideal, for you and for me…silently..quietly…politely..and for that we give faux thanks. And chile, let us not talk about freedom. Our freedoms are more vulnerable to attacks from the officer around the corner, the callous racist teacher in the schoolhouse, the man with a crisis of masculinity and lack of sexual self control, the politico who votes for the oligarchy because that’s the way democracy here works…than any deranged or sensibly angry person overseas. Now it’s time to watch Empire, because I’m a free Negro and shit.

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