May 13th, 2005

dead wombat

Would it be enough for your teenage lust? Would it help to ease your pain?

(Note: Originally written on the cold and damp afternoon of May 12, but not posted until the equally cold and damp morning of May 13 due to problems on LJ's end.)

I'd thought about doing my own version of Michele's Labor of Love and sticking it on my Geocities site, but after a lot of reflection, I've decided not to do it. A lot of the songs on my list are the kind of songs that dredge up fairly painful memories, and I'm just not the kind of person who wants to hang that much of himself out in public. Besides, as I learned the hard way on a couple of occasions, the important people in your life don't really want or need to know the whole truth sometimes. Sure, they might talk a big line about how truth is really important and you should always be honest about your feelings, but when you open up and show them exactly what kind of dark, yawning void you're brooding about they either recoil and give you shit about being a depressed/depressing person, or they run like hell. So, you keep some things to yourself, and everyone's happier that way.

Isn't that hypocritical, though? Isn't that lying? If it's lying, it's in a good cause. As for hypocrisy, Oscar Wilde did call it the tribute vice pays to virtue; me, I've never believed that complete honesty is a virtue. It would be hard to reconcile that with the way I've lived my life anyway. As the second-generation holder of a TS (Codeword) clearance, I knew from childhood that telling people everything was not always the right answer, much less the best answer, but I don't think it really sank in at the gut level until I was all grown up and married. My friends and family know me well enough and can tell what music moves me, even if they don't always know what's playing in my brain while the music is playing. For example, when I hear Soft Cell's "Tainted Love", well, that one's fairly benign. It reminds me of being on temporary duty in Berlin, 1982. I can't say that about James McMurtry's "Outskirts", which sets off an entirely different chain of memories.

That's as much as you get, though. Move along; nothing else to see here.
  • Current Music
    Rolling Stones - It's Only Rock & Roll
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die now

We can handle our enemies; God save us from our friends!

You know, it's crap like this that feeds the cynical attitude that there's really no difference between the Republican and Democrat parties, that they're both there for the benefit of the rich and well-connected and the only difference is which set of Cruster hogs gets slopped out of the public trough. While I voted for Neil Peterson last fall, I'm aggravated enough to consider running against the guy in the primary next year, if only to remind him and the other RINOs in Presitigious West Bloomington that there are some of us who expected him to keep his promises and not stick the hand of the state any further into our wallets than it already is. Ten cents more per gallon may not sound like much, but over the course of the year it's going to add another $68 to my annual expenses, which are high enough already, thank you very much. On top of that, I fully expect Metro Transit to go ahead and jack up the fares by a quarter even if this bill survives the Governor's veto, because as an appointed body, the Met Council doesn't have to answer to anyone until their terms are up.

So much for that Taxpayer's League pledge, eh Neil?
Boss Coffee

Time and fandom

Reading this post by animeamiee made me think about the backlog of stuff I have sitting around the bedroom that I haven't watched yet, which is a big part of the reason I haven't ben buying any anime lately. Well, the cash flow is a bigger reason, but it's gotten to the point where I can't really justify buying new anime or videos until I watch some of the stuff I have piled up. Among other things, there's the whole DNA-Squared set, which I picked up for really cheap some time ago and still haven't watched.

I'm beginning to think that I'm not going to have time to watch a lot of this stuff until I'm retired and settled into my cardboard box at the Old Soldiers' Home. Unlike books, videos don't lend themselves well to intermittent reading; you need to take at least half an hour to watch an episode of anime. Plus, I'm just getting too old and weak to stay up half the night watching an entire DVD or three.
  • Current Music
    Shojo Kakumei Utena OST 2 - Absolute Destiny Apocalypse (w/Universal Gravitation)
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Women in combat

Call me an old-fashioned paternalistic troglodyte, but I don't agree with Professor Reynolds about the McHugh bill, which would get women out of combat support units in combat zones. At the root of it, this would force the Army to do what it has claimed to be doing all along, which is keeping women out of combat zones. Quite possibly, it would end the schizophrenic policies that slot women who are physically incapable of doing the work into MOS and duty positions that require them to do heavy physical work. I used to see this in the Reserves, and I understand from my classmates that it was even worse in division support units that used tracked vehicles.

I agree with Professor Reynolds that women have done well in combat, but the decision not to put them in combat units was a political one, and one that has forced the Army into a position where it has to lie with a straight face about what women can and cannot do and where they will and will not be assigned. The late Colonel Hackworth nailed this issue by saying that the politicians want women in the military in the name of equality, but the military isn't about equality. It's about killing people and breaking things while getting as few of your own people killed as possible.

I'm not going to go into a long discussion about the massive hypocrisy involved in having women in the Army; entire books have been written about that, and this is just a short LJ post. What I will say is that I've never had a problem with women in the Army that pulled their weight, passed the PT test by doing the same push-ups, sit-ups and run times as men, and did all the other things by the numbers. I have always had a problem with the women who only passed the PT test because the womens' test was normed differently so they could pass while doing fewer situps, pushups and running slower than a fatbody like me. I have always had a problem with women who stayed in the Army after becoming pregnant and took up slots while being completely incapable of doing their jobs. Unfortunately, I don't think the politicians or the generals have the stones to do anything about either one of those, so I don't think the McHugh bill is going to really change things.
All it's going to do is let the Pentagon know that some Congressmen are paying attention to the issue, and they're not okay with having their constituents' daughters and wives come back with missing limbs, or worse yet in body bags.
Boss Coffee

The plan for this weekend

1. Storm the beaches of Kyushu..., wait, wrong plan, damn it.

Tonight Scott and I will do grocery shopping, after which I'm going to do some laundry since I have a bad case of the outofits.
Tomorrow, the ATC Board meeting in the early part of lunchtime followed by the AD staff meeting, with more carnage & death to follow courtesy of stuckintraffik, who will be hosting the HALO session on account of having the two large TVs. Depending on how late the meeting runs, I may be able to make Confession for the first time in about four and a half years.
Sunday I'm going to try and find my reading textbook, which I don't think I sold last year, and I'm also going to do some of the preliminary work to make up things I'm going to miss by not being in class on May 21 due to SogenCon.

We'll see how this all works out; nothing ever goes exactly as planned, as y'all know very well.

UPDATE: Wow, this didn't even last four hours before it went up in flames. Scott's working tomorrow out in Eagan, so Melody and I will do shopping tomorrow morning. Yay.
  • Current Music
    Butthole Surfers - Ulcer Breakout