I Was Thinking About Something Else

That pretty much sums up my life nowadays. I will be doing something, walking into a room or driving, and I will go askew. Someone will inevitably ask at that same moment, "What are you doing?". Which will confuse me and I can only respond, "Yeah, well...I was thinking about something else".

(formerly A Connecticut Yankee)

Location: Connecticut, United States

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Monday, August 09, 2004

I don’t really give a shit about Viet Nam

I was reading another blog in which the author with reference to John Kerry was saying that he (the author) doesn’t give a shit about Viet Nam and is tired of hearing about Kerry’s war record and how it really doesn’t make any difference to him (the author) that he (Kerry) has a war record and that Bush does not, because there are other factors involved. The author is widely read so there were many respondents (seemingly all in favor of the author’s viewpoint, in fact he appears to be beloved).
For my own part, I don’t have trouble with the any viewpoint because, hey, it’s a free country, but I gotta tell ya, I’m deeply saddened by the implications of these simple statements.
I am a babyboomer, which makes me between 40 and 58. I’m happy to report the figure is much closer to 40 than it is to 58. That also means I fall into the minority part of the population. Those known as Gen-Xr’s make up the greater part of the populace. It makes sense that for Gen-X Viet Nam is such a distant and abstract concept that who would care? There isn’t any direct impact from the Nam experience. They know fewer and fewer people who were actually connected with the event (a relative or friend who went that either died there or came back so fucked up that the war still continues for them, even as we speak).
I think back to when I was a kid growing up in the Sixties and Seventies and the Gen-X equivalent of Nam is WWII (World War II). I was no part of it, have no experiences from it, and yet I don’t have that, “Well ain’t that just too fuckin’ bad since I wasn’t there” attitude about it. I know my parents went through WWII and when I was in grade school a rhyme that went around (and it was only because the word weenie was used in a penile context for comedy and rhyming purposes) was;

Adolph Hitler was a jerk
Mussolini bit his weenie
Now it doesn’t work

Oh yeah, had the fifth graders roarin’ with that one. Here we were in the Sixties so Hitler and Mussolini for me, totally foreign concepts! No Holocaust implied or otherwise at that point in my life.

One of my first jobs was as a security guard and I worked with a guy named Dean who was in his early twenties and had served in Nam and was now home. He was quiet and kept to himself mostly. One night he and I were standing and talking outside on the sidewalk in front of the tire factory that we were ‘guarding’, when a car that was driving by backfired. In a split second, and I mean that in all sincerity, it was a split second, Dean was spread eagle and flatter than roadkill on the sidewalk. The moment apparently brought to mind a mental souvenir of his trip to Nam.
One could easily say, “so?” I can even say that myself. I can also say that it didn’t change my life or dissuade me from joining the Air Force six years later but I do remember it crystal clear…even after thirty years, and I care about it because it affected someone else. That’s why you don’t have to pay homage, or get down on your knees and pray about all the wonderful (or non-wonderful) things in your life. Just remember that there was a time when it was a real BFD, and that doing so is not a pain in the ass (like Bush).
I wonder how long it’s going to be before there are blogs stating, “I don’t give a shit about 9/11.
When I hear someone say, “If Bush wins”. Please someone explain to me how it is not that obvious that he is a moron. I was in Boston over the weekend and a T-Shirt that I saw said, ‘I’m for the Red Sox, and anybody who beats the Yankees!’. Let me extend that to say, “I’m for Kerry, and anybody who beats Bush!”


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