Saturday, November 1, 2008

Band? check. Flag corp? check. War machine?

So you're at your local sporting event and going through the motions of the opening ceremonies. The band is playing some incredible combination of songs that even 101 uses sparingly. And then, because it's the midwest and we love our military bases, and it's the Big 12 and we're not to be trifled with, you get the flyover. The PA draws your attention to the north. You stare into the sun. It's a long awkward moment of everyone staring into the sun. And then there they are, low to the ground, mounting Mt. Oread, two black hawks. And because this is America, you don't think of this:

Believe it or not, there are places in the world where it isn't necessary to have a military hardware demonstration to begin a respectable sporting event. But this is not that place. In this place, we celebrate the beginning of a game with displays of force under the guise of honoring those who serve.

Well guess what, asshat. It's not about respecting the troops. It's about respecting the need to continue to turn over the nation's wealth to those who build the hardware. If it were about the troops and celebrating their service in Iraq, we'd have them drive in from Topeka or where the fuck ever and put them on the field and raise our voices and hands in support and honor of their service. No, the troops are honored by the opportunity to fly that powerful machine over a crowd of friendlies who won't shoot at them. And the rest of us are trained to CHEER the display of military force. To see them fly over our homes and towns and be greeted as protectors, not aggressors.

It is wasteful to have these displays. Wasteful of resources and time to have war machines fly over football games. But the builders want us to view their products with warmth and affection. And it works. We see the flyover and we love our troops and we feel safe. But how fucking sick is it that at a time when American firepower is felt by innocents on the other side of the globe, we cheer these machines of death in the frivolous moment of a sporting event?

A B-2 bomber over Arrowhead is a moving thing. But how many who've witnessed it have thought about what it would be like to live in a place where that boom represents death and not the motherfucking home of the chiefs?

God Bless our Troops. And fuck the lot of assholes that keeps them so busy. Check out 2:09 and tell me if that looks like a fucking football field.

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