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December 11, 2008

Bravo to Brilliant Satire!!!

For eight long years, real Americans like Keith Olbermann have had to choke back their patriotic dissent, cowed by fear of violent, jackbooted fascists like this and their henchmen: the Chinese-toy loving minions of the richest 1%.

But no more.

The election of Barack Obama promises to do more than just heal the planet and return French distain for America to pre-2000 levels. The election of President-elect Obama (who has already garnered the highest approval ratings of any pre-President in history!!!) will heal a festering scar on our national souls: the scourge of mindless respect for our stupidly courageous armed forces and the fat, lumbering, ox babies who serve in them.

As that great wit Dick Cavett reminded us so trenchantly, "Anyone who gives his life in war is an idiot."

And indeed, who can speak more authoritatively on the topic of idiots than Mr. Cavett? Arguably, he is the go-to guy on the subject. It's just so darned refreshing to finally see someone who loves his country enough to come out and say what we're all secretly thinking:

If Josef Goebbels was correct, and patriotism is indeed "the hairy hausfrau of fascism", then reason dictates that the exact opposite must also be true of democracy. While jingoist displays of national pride edge us ever closer to a totalitarian state, liberty will only be preserved by progressive leaders who can barely conceal their disgust for America, her people, and especially her armed forces. Decorated Vietnam war hero John Kerry demonstrated this perfectly when he kicked America in the nards during his famous 1971 Winter Soldier testimony, and again in 2004 when he sailed his glorious campaign swiftboat to near victory on a "Screw Morale, I Wanna Be President!" platform.

By contrast, George Bush's peeResidency has been one jingoist photo-op after another, often with hand picked U.S. troops who don't hate his stinking guts and are therefore incapable of providing the sort of objective war commentary one finds on Arianna Huffington's website. His recent teleconference with brainwashed U.S. troops is no exception. In a televised and obviously staged event, Bush spoke with a group of "soldiers" who were upbeat and optimistic about the war in Iraq and the upcoming elections - a complete contradiction of the latest CNN poll showing that a majority of Americans think we should immediately surrender and beg the International Community for forgiveness. Heck, I doubt any of Bush's pet grunts could even read, let alone peruse the op-ed pages of the New York Times for a clue about what's really going on over there.

Yessir, it's pretty obvious who really cares about our men and women in uniform:

The last thing we should want is for any of these folks to get the idea that wounds of war are something they can recover from. No sir - let them go too far down that route and before you know it, they'll start thinking they're "like us" - you know, "normal" folks who are capable of living productive, happy, useful lives; not washed-up sociopaths whose only real use to society is to serve as fodder for Dana Priest's next Pulitzer prize-winning expose on the heretofore unexplored depths of Republican incompetence.

Of course misguided folks have already begun taking offense at this brilliant social commentary. They need to get a life.

Coming from anyone else, the implication that American soldiers are just hapless dupes might be considered patronizing, even insulting in light of the enormous bravery, willpower and determination needed to volunteer to return to a combat zone after being seriously wounded.

Fortunately, since this is the Onion we can dismiss such obviously unfounded criticisms as being the product of an insufficiently nuanced world view.

Posted by Cassandra at December 11, 2008 05:04 PM

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Ya know, there are usually only a few instances in any year where I completely abandon my sense of equanimity and logic and simply utter the phrase "f*ck 'em" as the final and absolute synthesis of my otherwise egalitarian worldview.

This is such an occasion.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 11, 2008 08:06 PM

Glad to know I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 11, 2008 08:36 PM

there is satire... and then there is the point where it crosses completely out of the bounds of comedy into outright contempt disguised (however loosely) as satire. the judgment of whether it is the former or the latter is the sense of the common man -- and this is the latter. only the posers that put this crap together would or could believe otherwise.

Posted by: Some Soldier's Mom at December 11, 2008 08:48 PM

I don't want to get all pseudo-intellectual about it, but whenever I see something like this I am reminded of Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead. There's an absolutely creepy passage where he talks about how to rule men's souls:

Kill man’s sense of values. Kill his capacity to recognise greatness or to achieve it. Great men can’t be ruled. We don’t want any great men. Don’t deny conception of greatness. Destroy it from within. The great is the rare, the difficult, the exceptional. Set up standards of achievement open to all, to the least, to the most inept – and you stop the impetus to effort in men, great or small. You stop all incentive to improvement, to excellence, to perfection. ...

Then there’s another way. Kill by laughter. Laughter is an instrument of human joy. Learn to use it as a weapon of destruction. Turn it into a sneer. It’s simple. Tell them to laugh at everything. Tell them that a sense of humour is an unlimited virtue. Don't let anything remain sacred in a man’s soul – and his soul won’t be sacred to him. Kill reverence and you’ve killed the hero in man. One doesn’t reverence with a giggle. He’ll obey and he’ll set no limits to obedience – anything goes – nothing is too serious.

I am not a soldier, not one of them, so I can't argue esprit de corps convincingly. And these men are warriors, not victims so I won't treat them like little children who need me to come rushing to their defense.

I can and will, however, show my utter contempt for the Onion's faux 'concern' under the guise of biting social satire and if I can turn their own weapon back on them to do it, so much the better :p

Posted by: Cassandra at December 11, 2008 09:04 PM

IOW, I suppose this is my small way of saying, "Who gives a sh*t about the Onion?"

They can sneer all they like. Anyone who matters recognizes what these men and women are made of. And if they can't, well...

spd's comment applies.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 11, 2008 09:06 PM

Some things should be out of bounds for decent folks.

And indeed they are...for decent folks.

Posted by: camojack at December 12, 2008 01:19 AM

That was disgusting and not a bit funny.

Now, for a palate cleanser of happiness, I'd like for everyone to set their alarms for 7pm Central time today -- as that is when my grandchild will be greeting her father, who is returning from his 2nd Iraq tour.

When the alarm goes off, grab someone you love and hug them tight as you can.

Posted by: Donna B. at December 12, 2008 05:57 AM

Congratulations, Donna :)

Please thank him when you get a chance. It's been 9 months since my husband got back and some days I still have to pinch myself.

I think that is the good side of long deployments. They make it a lot harder to take your blessings for granted.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2008 06:06 AM

I took it as a satire on the talking heads who spew so much sanctimonious twaddle about "the troops" and then segue right into "the bleed"...

Posted by: BillT at December 12, 2008 10:56 AM

...buuuuuut that's just me.

Posted by: BillT at December 12, 2008 10:58 AM

BillT, I'd almost believe that except that this is how The Onion itself describes the skit (click through on the video to their YouTube channel):

"Panelists praise the Army's commitment to getting gravely wounded troops back on the battlefield with innovations like armor-clad wheelchairs."

The emphasis is obviously on the Army and "gravely wounded troops" rather than the panelists.


I'm ashamed to admit it, but I don't even have the energy to be enraged about this kind of thing anymore... I think I used up all I had left on that stupid AP article I posted about yesterday (at the Castle).

Posted by: FbL at December 12, 2008 11:08 AM

I've refused to watch it. I understand what (generally) the content is, and that's enough. I don't need to let them make me angry.

Posted by: MikeD at December 12, 2008 11:22 AM


I may have been over-subtle :p I thought the point of this post was crystal clear, but perhaps not.

The Onion video (I thought) was mocking the Pentagon for "lowering barriers" and allowing wounded troops to return to active service in a combat zone. According to the video, "catatonic" (this is a term associated with schizophrenia) troops could be propped up as sentries. It implied they were being used and (IMO) minimized and/or mocked the desire of soldiers who have recovered from their injuries to resume serving their country as they did before they were wounded.

My post mocked those who think they are "supporting the troops" by preventing them from doing what they have voluntarily decided to do or by undermining their mission. I pointed out that the arguments these folks made are profoundly disrespectful and demeaning.

Arguing that only stupid, uneducated and ill informed people end up in Iraq/the military, or that returning vets are ticking time bombs who have been dehumanized and irreparably damaged by war, or that if you are wounded you should slink back into your corner and lick your wounds - that you're of no further use to your country... even if you want to be ... is patronizing and insulting.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2008 11:25 AM

I remember Jane Fonda sitting on an AA gun in Hanoi looking precious in the infamous photo-op not far from the "Hanoi Hilton". That was the low point in the war for me. I became familiar with the phrase "It don't mean nuthin'" as a civilized version of "F___ 'em!"

I was riding in a carry-all with other crew members a while back when one of the newbies started talking earnestly about Ted Turner and Jane Fonda versus "Faux News". One of the veterans in the back asked me if I cared to comment on the matter. I called Fonda, with all due respect, a "Commie B_____h " and explained the meaning of "It don't mean nuthin'" which it apparently did mean something, but I digress. I explained the history briefly to the surprised newbie who stated he had never heard of that occurrence. Turns out, the schools don't teach that part of history that strays from the hegemonic and evil intentions of the U.S. back then.

Interestingly, Turner was talking with Bill O-Reilly earlier this week and professed ignorance regarding the Khmer Rouge, education camps, wholesale slaughter of south Viet Namese/Cambodians and the boat people problem after we abandoned our allies.

Turns out it really does mean something. I swear I recognize some of the Viet Namese who are doing nails in our town but that is for another day. "You choose your color..."

"F___K 'em and their so-called satire!"

Posted by: vet66 at December 12, 2008 11:28 AM

The Onion video (I thought) was mocking the Pentagon for "lowering barriers" and allowing wounded troops to return to active service in a combat zone.

I saw that, and I also saw the talking heads.

Don't matter, cuz it's just a thang. Don't mean nuthin'...

Posted by: BillT at December 12, 2008 12:03 PM

It's like a jungle sometimes
It makes me wonda
How I keep from goin' under...

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2008 12:21 PM

As you've determined, this guy is satirical, i.e. "Chomstein" as his pen name. I couldn't tell if you were saying this guys satire was disgusting, or if you found the irony appropriately mocking of the progressive blogs out there. I think it was a very good send up of something like the Daily Kos.

As for the video, although a bit distasteful, if surely juxtaposes appropriately against the administration and governments cut of vet benefits, which is probably more egregious when it comes to disrespecting our soldiers and vets. Where' the outrage about that? I believe that is the point of the video. Always putting the positive spin on something terrible.


Posted by: Miguel at December 12, 2008 12:28 PM

I forget that people often don't know how to take me. I love Liberal Larry (Chomstein).

In fact, I was the hairy hausfrau who commented about halfway down :p

Since it seems people didn't get the point of the post, I have a more serious one coming. Thanks, Miguel.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 12, 2008 01:27 PM


You won't find a more willing ear than mine should you want to discuss how our government has failed in its duty to our veterans. I mean to put it nicely, I think it's f*****g disgraceful that these individuals, who put themselves in harm's way to further the goals and security of this nation, and have paid a price that would bankrupt the soul of so many of us mere citizens, should now find their voices drowned out by those crying out for the government to relieve them of the burden of their own folly.

I simply cannot understand why the American people aren't as f*****g outraged as I am about this situation. I simply cannot understand why the American people choose to stand silently while those who have served no greater purpose than that of their own greed should suddenly be able to run to the head of the line.

I freely admit that I am foolishly idealistic, and that providing for the proper care of veterans (and their families) is not as sexy as say....um.... bailing out GM and the UAW.

I hnestly don't know how so many people who call themselves "patriots" can sleep at night knowing that our veterans are getting so short-changed. Perhaps we need to grow up and accept our responsibilities?

Posted by: spd rdr at December 12, 2008 02:44 PM


spd's hogging all the asterisks again!!!!! Doesn't he realize that after that whole Blago thing, there's a national shortage?

*running away with the last two asterisks in town before he can slap me silly*

Posted by: spd's little sister at December 12, 2008 02:56 PM

I make up for my overuse of astericks by kicking idiots in the groin.

Not a day to cross the rdr.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 12, 2008 03:39 PM

I am sorry if the joke fell flat, but that was unnecessary.

Posted by: spd's little sister at December 12, 2008 03:57 PM

Hey little sister, that wasn't aimed at you!

Posted by: spd rdr at December 12, 2008 04:36 PM

Now, now, children......don't you know it's Wookie time?

Posted by: spd's mthr at December 12, 2008 05:06 PM


Sometimes little sisters take everything literally.

[rubbing at big red palm mark in center of forehead]

Long week....

Posted by: spd's little sister at December 12, 2008 05:06 PM

I think it's time for beers all around.

I'm buying if you guys are drinking.

Posted by: spd's little sister at December 12, 2008 05:15 PM

If you're buying.....I'm drinking

Posted by: DL Sly at December 12, 2008 05:46 PM

Count me in too - I could use a drink or ten...

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at December 12, 2008 08:28 PM

Since it seems people didn't get the point of the post, I have a more serious one coming. Thanks, Miguel.

Such "people" are naturally disadvantaged when it comes to understanding new ideas. Another more "serious" post will not really help them. And for proof, just look at Logan under your "serious post", Cass ; )

Posted by: Ymarsakar at December 12, 2008 09:42 PM