Saturday, July 10, 2010

Old Bastards in the Hallway

Today the drill started early with a PT test at 0700.  I arrived at 0645.  I have a lot of PT test photos which I will post on FLICKR by next Tuesday.  After the PT Test, the over-40 soldiers from our unit went to the medical facility for annual health screening.  We all fasted since last night which was especially difficult for the soldiers who took the PT Test.  No food before or after.  I brought a bag of food with me and ate it as soon as I got the blood test.

At every Army medical event with multiple stations, one station ends up with a three-hour line.  I got blood, dental, eyes, ears, ekg all done in an hour and a half.  I am now in my second hour of the checkout line.  The doctor just came out of his office and said the computer is down.  So we have been waiting, are waiting and will be waiting in a line that won't move.

While we are waiting, some of the 40 yr olds got into one of those "Good old days" conversations which start out with the Old Soldiers in question bragging about who had the meanest mother and how much they got beat when they were kids.  Then as they keep speaking, it begins to be clear that despite their love of the old days, their actual techniques for discipline are as squishy as fresh marshmallows.

They "count to ten" while the disobedient child continues his disobedience until the count of nine.  One of the two parents is not sure about spanking.  They think talking back is normal.  They give 7-year-olds video games.  They may be paragons of an orderly family in their heads, but their actions say nothing matters but individual happiness and rights--which makes them Liberals by any traditional definition.  If actions speak louder than their (very loud) words, then they are to Left of the San Francisco city council.

And my wife, who allows no back talk, requires good behavior without exception, and thinks community is more important than individuality, turns out to be more Conservative in practice than all of the "Good old days" group put together.

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...