Saturday, January 16, 2010

Living in America

So what's it like to come back to America after being gone for most of a year? Part of it remains to be seen. I have not left the Fort Dix/McGuire Air Force Base complex yet, so I still have more to see and get used to. I suppose it is better to return slowly.

My first funny shock was the Taco Bell commercials, recommending the new Drive-Thru diet. Taco Bell has very funny commercials. What could be more American than the idea of a diet that you can do just sitting on your butt in your car!! And what could be more sneeringly American than to put the idea on TV for an audience that is drowning in flippancy.

This evening I saw a commercial for a healthy lifestyle diet plan. I don't remember which one it was, but all around the day room where the TV was playing mostly unwatched were men in their late 20s to mid 30s surrounded by pizza boxes and other delivery food containers. They were playing a video war game on line with each other. It was a beautiful day today, almost 50 degrees. These plus-size guys had been playing for hours, eating pizza.

I have been to the PX a half-dozen times already. It's fun just to walk around and look at all the stuff you can buy here in America. I can get any kind of shampoo I want.

I haven't yet had to ride in traffic, drive a car, commute or any of the dangerous stuff I have been spared for the last year. I ordered a new internet serive for our house that had me on the phone for almost an hour. I have to make two more calls for that one.

And sadly, I am no longer immune from the news. I read about Pat Robertson saying that the earthquake in Haiti was God's judgement on the Haitian people and read Rush Limbaugh's predictably callous comments about the plight of the Haitians. Thousands dead and suffering is, for him, nothing more than a chance to take a shot at Liberals for being willing to help. Sometimes I hate the idea that all of us who served went over there in part to defend free speech for people like Robertson and Limbaugh, but in America they have as much right to speak as anyone else. But whether they have a right or not, they are no less pathetic cowards for doing so.

The Philosopher of War and Terror and Politics: Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt 1906-1975 Today a friend asked and I were talking about politics and how refugee problems have led to wars in the pas...