Watch what you say

Les Schaffer schaffer at
Wed Jul 9 07:23:32 MDT 2003

well, experiences vary.

the other day i was in the gym, and i saw a big hulk of a guy walking
around on a cane, doing various exercises. i had seen him there for
years [ always w/ cane], seemed to be friendly enough. but now i
noticed he was sporting one of those Marine-looking haircuts, the kind
where there is a little hair on top and then shaved around the sides.

so i figure, hell, its july-4th weekend, i'll give this a shot.

  [ dialogue condensed by factor of 10, caricature subsitituted for
  arguments ]

Me:  why do you use a cane?
Him: armed forces, green beret [or maybe he said special ops]
     shot in leg, etc. (unzips leg on exercise pants, displays wounds)
Me:  lot ouf trouble?
Him: pain, depression, sexual dysfunction
Me:  how are the VA hospitals?
Him: terrible, i use insurance from where i work.
Me:  where did you fight?
Him: el salvador, the 80's
Me:  [aside] tread lightly here
Me:  so what did you think of that "war"?
Him: we needed to stop the russians.
Me   [aside] lets get the bigger picture here.
Me:  so what do you think about iraq?
Him: its totally fucked up, man
Me:  WMD?
Him: (shakes head in disbelief) they LIED to us, man
Me:  [aside] ok, lets test the waters again
Me:  they lied about el salvador too, no?
Him: hey, the truth is, i liked the excitement of the services, i
     enjoyed the thrill. but there were no russians down there
Me:  [aside] i wont correct him on that point
Me:  what do you make of Colin Powell?
Him: liar, sold himself out. not a soldiers' general, disgraced
     himself at UN.
Me:  Bunker Cheney, Bush bouncing around bunkers 9/11
Him: cowards
Me:  the rich don't fight, they send you instead
Him: [total agreement] gas, pipelines, etc.
Me:  Halliburton
Him: [total agreement]
Him: but look man, they're going to come after us (The Arabs will come
     and get us).
Me:  Rumsfeld and those clowns just play that movie up so get people
     to fight.
Him: [ nods ]
Me:  You've seen Rumsfeld and these other clowns before, no?
Him: yea, man, back in the 80's
Me:  yea, you were married to these clowns once before and the
     marriage failed, no?
Him: [ laughs ] ... goddamn liars.
Him: it just pains me though to see one of our boys shot down.
Me:  [ mentally formulating notion of soldier as just another
       commodity for these pigs to invest in and then use up for their
       own ends.] so get out there and protest!
Him: [ nods ]
Me:  i went to demos in NYC
Him: [ body language says: ] cool
Him: but man, you know why we really went to afghanistan and iraq?
Me:  tell me why.
Him: we wanted bases over these so we can ultimately position
     ourselves to corral China.
Me:  well you know, right before 9/11, China was in fact the place Bush
     and thugs warned we'd have our next good fight. he was already
     talking about repositioning troops and bases, etc
Him: [ nods ]
Him: blah blah blah
Me:  [aside] hmmm, this guy reads the news, follows things on the
     internet, in general educates himself now.
Him: what religion you?
Me:  ex-Jew
Him: Israel?
Me:  Power to the Palestinians, US out of israel!
Him: huh. you know, we need Israel as a foothold to control the people
     that hate us over there.
Me:  [aside] i'm gonna leave this alone, been asked and answered
     already in earlier testimony. and i need a shower!
Him: you like Lieberman?
Me:  i despise him.
Him: yea, me too.

[ pause while we lift weights ]

Him: we're going see nukes some day. terrorism ...
Me:  there are problems requiring political solutions, like
     Palestinians. us fightin these wars got nuttin to do with fixin
     those problems.
Him: [grudging nod ]

[ showertime ]

Me:  (drying underarms after a shower) see you around again some time,
     we'll talk more.
Him: great...

moral of the story???

don't talk politics to a soldier at his drinking hole??

les schaffer

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