Tuesday, September 14, 2004


So I have this republican relative and it's absolutely breaking my heart. I mean really hurting me hard, lump in the throat, 24/7, crying like a baby, way down deep, every waking hour breaking my heart.

Because he was my hero.

I could go into that now, but maybe another day... let me leave it at this: he grew up in a home where the n-word was rampant and wife-beating seemed normal -- or at least that's what the legend says ... and he left as a teenager and never did either of those things. Did exactly the opposite, actually. But like I said, I'll leave that story to another day. He was my hero.

Then something happened somewhere along the way and now he's a repug. And we can't talk politix anymore -- which, consequently, leaves me speechless.

But not only is he a repug, he's a Hawkeye-Pierce-kind-of-Army-Veteran yet he supports Bush, dittohead repug... now that leaves me downright apoplectic.

However, we are lucky enough to have the internet where we can share innocuous little scraps of rehashed jokebook humor and the type of cartoons that used to be xeroxed and passed around the office water cooler.

Like this little gem that he sent me today:

Subject: Government Jobs

A guy goes to the Government to interview for a job. The
interviewer asks him, "Are you a veteran?"

"Yes sir, I served two tours in Vietnam."

"Good, that counts in your favor. Do you have any service-related

"I am 100% disabled. A mortar round blew off my testicles so they
declared me disabled, it doesn't affect my ability to work though."

"Sorry to hear about the damage, but I have some good news for you,
I can hire you right now! Our working hours are 8 to 4. Come on in
about 10, and we'll get you started."

"If working hours are from 8 to 4, why do you want me to come in at 10?"

"Well, here at the government, we don't do anything but sit around and
scratch our balls for the first two hours. No point of your coming in
for that."
I only wish I could send this back to him:
is that you what you did in the army? that was a gov't job wasn't it? i know that my teaching job is paid by taxes so i guess i'm working a gov't job too... i guess since i don't have any balls i don't have to go to work? don't know what i'll tell all those kids that i care so much about tho - i really don't want them to be left behind, so i guess i'll go in anyway, no matter how vilified i am on the radio as i drive to the school ... your son's teaching job is a gov't job too. then there's all those gov't jobs like firemen and trashmen and policemen but you'll never need to use them will you? or you'll never use those gov't doctors at the base either? oh well, let them - us - all stay home as long as we're just scratching our balls, why not? hell, just give us all a vacation, like the prez! he's got the ultimate gov't job of all!

I know that I sound snarky but I'm so discouraged.

I feel literally de-moralized. He really was my hero. He was by no means a big lefty but he taught me that we were all in the same boat, to respect people who were in need and to fight against injustice. Hell, he taught me to care. And half the time he did it by writing snarky letters. He was the town crank with a typewriter. If something bothered him enough it was worth writing a letter. He taught me to care. He taught me service.

Being a military brat is all about service. We are "in the service." Everyone else is a "civilian." My father and uncles and my grandfather and great grandfather were Servicemen. (No wonder I'm an "OCD Liberal" always looking for ways to be of service.)

There was a trade-off being in the service, we weren't as rich as other folks, we didn't get to choose where we lived, but we would be taken care of (medical care, housing, retirement - now those things are all in jeopardy for servicefolk) and we had the privilege of traveling the world and representing this great nation and serving our country. I really believed it, too.

Now I'm so fucking confused...

And I'm sure, if we could have a rational discussion about all of this, he would say that this was just a joke. I need to lighten up. Not take things so seriously. I guess, ultimately, I'm really just a humorless, pessimistic liberal. Looks like the joke's on me.

So while we're at it, let's yuck it up over this little giggle fest too! Why not?

"Just a scratch"

Ha Ha Ha


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