As a veteran I know that not all veterans serve with equal honor or valor. I also recognize that many civilians make vital contributions to our civilization, doing so at great personal cost in some cases. So I cringe a little when I hear suggestions that only veterans are entitled to call themselves "patriotic" or that only they can possess a valid understanding of national affairs. Chris Hayes is right.
I am a college professor and have been involved in scholarship interviews. Inevitably, applicants are asked to identify someone that is a hero to them. 99 percent of the time the students will tell us either their mom or their dad is their hero. I listen, waiting for a story of how this person pulled someone from a burning car...but no. When asked 'why?' they say things like, 'because she fed me and took care of me...' Certainly it would have been bad for them if their parents had not done that...but it does not qualify for heroic. Everyone is not heroic for meeting basic benchmarks...
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Looking for heroes is like looking for magic. It evokes some super human capacity that should be honored and emulated. But, we use the term hither dither for people who are just doing their jobs. Of course, the minute you get cancer you seem to become a hero of sorts. It's cancer, it's biological, you are not a hero for getting cancer, you are unlucky and no matter how much you want to fight it, like a warrior, if it wants it will win.
I am glad he started the discussion. We have two days to celebrate our wars, Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Of course we glorify war and the warriors in this country. There were no heroes in Iraq, we all sat and watched our country go into a war just like the Germans did. We did nothing to stop it, oh a few signs and protests. We are all guilty.
Heroes are mythological relics. Fascists and right wingers love to evoke mythological relics. It sustains them. Chris is right.
First, I think he made a serious mistake for apologizing. What, exactly, did he have to apologize for? Second, we use the term "hero" for a variety of non-heroic activities....catching the winning touchdown, making the winning basket or home run. What crap! A hero is, to me anyway, one who selflessly sacrifices his life to save another....falling on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers, for example.
The only thing worse than the self-serving public sector is the pathological pursuit of the almighty dollar, everything else be damned, by the upper crust of the private sector. It seems the only decent folks left are the rest of us, who scrabble and scrape for peanuts in the private sector, with neither the job security of the gov't folk nor the piles of money and influence racked up by private business execs.
The “hero” label as a rhetorical tool pales in comparison tothe author’s use of official rhetoric: “Semantic debates aside, the armedforces deserve our respect and gratitude for the work they do on our behalf,like all public servants.”
No self-respecting individual working in government circlesfor any length of time could possibly consider public servants deserving ofrespect and gratitude as a group. And precisely what respectable work is done bythe armed forces on our behalf? Ill-conceived invasions of sovereign nations? Unnecessaryslaughter of citizens of foreign nations? Surely even an “award winninginvestigative journalist” can see through platitudinous horse-hockey like “preservingfreedom” and “protecting democracy”. Take a cue from Samuel Clemens, AKA MarkTwain, who called our heroic troops “Christian butchers” during the SpanishAmerican War for the calloused slaughter of Muslims. Check out the “battle” of BudDajo as exemplary. Some things never change and unfortunately My Laioccurred near my watch. Nonetheless progress marches on. Nowadays thanks toUAVs innocents can be blown to smithereens without the troops even breaking asweat. Visit http://www.antiwaressays.com/ when youcan.
Have a look at http://www.dissentmagazine.org...
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