oh - my - Gaia

in General Discussion edited January 2014
James Lileks? <a href="http://www.lileks.com/screed/college.html"; target="_blank">Screed</a>

[quote]When I was a college student there were rumblings about the return of the draft. Madman Reagan was in power, and we feared he would conscript the fruit of American youth to fight the goodly Sandinistas - why, we were certain Al Haig labored every night airbrushing pictures of the Nicaraguan hunta to remove the halos, just to convince that addled tool Bonzo Ronnie to gather up young men and send them in Verdun-like waves against the "enemy."

I wondered if I could avoid this fate. I wondered how I'd beat a draft. I had a conversation with a coffeehouse habitue, a veteran of the 60s - which is to say, not a veteran at all. Unless you regard protesting the war as the equivalent of war itself, as if chanting and marching was the moral, physical, spiritual, intellectual, and emotional equivalent of squatting in a rice paddy with your britches full of half-metabolized C-rations, hearing the screams of your buddies. Maybe it's the same. One guy spent an afternoon spend stuffing envelopes to mail to politcians; the other spent a minute stuffing his intestines back into his gut after a shell hit his position. A matter of semantics. I wasn't there and cannot say. I only know that when confronted with the simple possibility of the draft, I wanted out. I did not want to go, and I turned to my elders for advice.

The coffeehouse vets were pleased to hear that their Padewan was eager to learn. They laid out the options: conscientious objector. No, I had no religious objections. I'm not about to dress like the guy on the Quaker Oats box and pretend I'm under orders from God, because that would be a lie. Well, then there's Canada. Really. Hmm. Uh... no, I'm not leaving home; I'm not leaving America. Isn't there some deferrment for people who are too...artistic? I was a poetry major at the time, after all. What sort of nation sends POETS to war?

I could not escape the unflattering truth: I didn't want to be drafted because it would have screwed up my social life. No more coffee houses and long afternoon arguments and cheap wine and flirting with waitresses. I realized, with a sick sinking feeling, that if I was drafted, I would go.

On the other hand, I could lord it over my peers for years to come, so there was a theoretical upside...<hr></blockquote>

Don?t stop here. Click on the link and read the rest of it.


  • Reply 1 of 8
    noahjnoahj Posts: 4,503member
    Boy, I was unsure of where he was going for a while there. However I think his points were well made behind his very thick screen of sarcasm.
  • Reply 2 of 8
    ijerryijerry Posts: 615member
    I too was initially lost. Overall rating of good. Was interesting to read though.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    I was wondering where the hell that email came from <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
  • Reply 4 of 8
    [quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:

    <strong>I was wondering where the hell that email came from :confused: </strong><hr></blockquote>

    Sorry about that. I forgot you were still in my address book. I just selected "all" and then I started sorting from there. Some of the people in my address book who I don't really write to (like you) got copies by accident.

    I have your address from when you sent me an email way back when you left MacNN.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    It's okay I just didn't know who it was from.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    macfenianmacfenian Posts: 276member
    I´m just missing the picture of the Palestinian child shelled to bits because someone threw a rock at a tank.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    mimacmimac Posts: 872member
  • Reply 8 of 8
    macfenianmacfenian Posts: 276member
    [quote]Originally posted by MiMac:

    <strong>Macvasco? </strong><hr></blockquote>

    In honour of iminent return to Ireland, I´ve changed my handle.
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