Friday, February 18, 2005

As a clownish, under-educated, poorly read, mostly-white guy,....

feelings of insufficiency are not new. In fact compared to the bold and brazen intellect of my three compadres here at INFDL, my logical abilities register somewhere between Tony Danza and Jessica Simpson. I can cope with these feelings usually by reading some posts on INFDL, or checking out the current brilliant piece by Victor Davis Hanson. Last night, though, I had a real run-in with this complex.

Most of you know that I serve tables on the weekends for cash. Among many other guests, I had a table of five-- three gents and two ladies (one great with child). It was a night hewn from pure server-nightmares. I was, of course, the only server there, seeing as the people of Salt Lake still haven't caught on to the idea of reservations or realized their usefulness from a staffing standpoint. But this table caught my attention. They were obviously military personnel of some sort. I kept catching words coming from the table like "sortie", "Mosul", and "50 mm".

Surely these men couldn't be in the Air Force. Not with their keen knowledge of food and the casual banter about Balkan history. Especially not with their deep understanding of wine (two bottles of mid-90's Super Tuscan). Aren't they supposed to be torturing helpless Baathists and pointing at their genitals? Aren't they supposed to be blood-thirsty knuckle-dragging, sister pokers? Or, as in Michael Moore's alternate universe, perhaps they are small town middle Americans who's jobs have been outsourced so they have no choice but to enlist?

As the place wound down, I decided to thank them (and their ladies) for the obvious sacrifice that they had made. I told them that I thought they were helping hold the world together. Upon doing so, they told me that two of the three gents had just gotten back from their second six-month tour in Iraq. They were both eager to go back.

As I watched one of the men help his very pregnant wife out of her seat, I could not help but feel small. Very small compared to these brave men. After all, what the hell have I done lately to help advance Democracy? How ironic that they were making the ultimate sacrifice so that the table three spaces down could sit back, drunken and full of themselves, and say stupid shit like "George Bush looks like a monkey" (direct quote from a Univ. of Utah professor) or "What we need is a runoff election like Russia" (same table, different professor) or "Capitalism is truly the most dangerous thing in the world" (same table, yet another professor).

While some don't think twice about slandering those who sacrifice themselves to ensure that the Eason Jordans and Ward Churchilsl can continue spouting their idiotic propaganda, there are many of us who really do recognize what's going on. We recognize that we are part of another "Greatest Generation".

Tom would like to add: do you mean to say that these military families actually did not resemble these brilliantly creative and original caricatures provided by the ever increasingly creative and original Village Voice? Notice that the guy in the first frame with the cowboy hat is made to look like he is literally devoid of a cerebrum! Nothing less, and nothing more, than Shari'a on all those twits at the Voice could be more appropriate.

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