Loving the Military Because It’s More Diverse

Women and war: the Roman goddess of war, Bellona

W.J. Astore

At the Guardian today, I saw the following headline: US Navy: for first time in history four women of color command war ships; Kimberly Jones, LaDonna Simpson, Kristel O’Cañas and Kathryn Wijnaldum break new ground in white and male-dominated field.

Are we supposed to love the military because more women of color are reaching positions of command?

Don’t get me wrong: this is a good thing. My boss at my last job in the Air Force was a Black female colonel. Serving in the U.S. military, I saw and befriended plenty of “diverse” people during my career. (In today’s military-media context, I guess “diverse” means anything but your standard white male.) Few people seemed to care about gender, race, sex, color, ethnicity, and so on as long as the person was competent. Good bosses come in all shapes, shades, and sizes — and so do bad ones.

So, I don’t want to join Tucker Carlson in a misinformed and ridiculous rant against an alleged feminization of the U.S. military. For a military and a country that is supposedly too feminine or too soft or whatever, we still spend more on war than the next ten countries combined (and most of those countries are America’s allies); we continue to have a global network of 800 or so military bases; we still dominate the world’s trade in deadly weaponry; we still throw our weight around like bullies and fancy ourselves the world’s lone superpower. Are any of these facts changed or softened because more women or more people of color are reaching high rank within that military?

That the Secretary of Defense is a Black male doesn’t seem to have affected policy decisions in any meaningful way. Why should it, when he spent his life in the U.S. military and then joined Raytheon and profited greatly after retiring?

Again, it’s a good thing that people of color aren’t as hamstrung as they used to be in reaching positions of command in the U.S. military. But does it change anything if the Hellfire missiles that kill civilians in Afghanistan are launched from a Reaper drone by a Black female pilot rather than a white guy?

I remember during this year’s Super Bowl festivities that the lead B-2 bomber pilot was a woman. Good for her! But if she pilots a B-2 into a nuclear war, will anyone be pleased that a city gets nuked by a woman rather than a man?

The only “diversity” the Pentagon seemingly rejects is anyone who wants to pursue a new, more peaceful, course, in which the military is not the primary tool of U.S. foreign policy. How about some “diverse” people who will put an end to the war in Afghanistan? Who will argue for less spending on wars and weapons?

Women can be warriors too. We get it. The Greeks had Athena. The Romans had Bellona. This is not new. As others have said, it’s not enough to put Black faces in high places. Or for women to shatter glass ceilings. Not if the policies and power arrangements stay the same.

35 thoughts on “Loving the Military Because It’s More Diverse

  1. I’ll see your Guardian article and raise you one….
    I’ll see the militaries Greek goddess of war Athena
    And rise them the Greek goddess of peace… Eirene
    Anyway I thought you would appreciate the article I saw at the Guardian today. You were the first of many I will share this with.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/01/isnt-it-irenic-its-time-to-bring-back-beautiful-words-we-have-lost?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stopped at that strange word Irenic because I felt the tug of miss Jeanie who has inspired me to expand my vocabulary. Also the hook from miss Morissette’s song made me pause thinking that maybe it was also some form of weird irony…. well that was a wrong calculation; but I sure am happy I learned a new word today. I appreciate Adrian Chiles for bringing this to my attention and reminding me what the goal of any good leader should be “fighting” for…

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      1. you are a sketch, utejack! you will assess it as prevenient [expected] that one of the most trivialized phrases from my banausic bromidic blandishments that i used whenever my 7 bantlings were exercised over a difference of opinion was, “please, my bairns, practice irenic [peaceful] behaviour in your intellectual confrontations!”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. “Irenic” is a word I came across in studying the history of religion. The idea of ecumenical tolerance and cooperation rather than sectarian disputes and wars.

      We need more irenic policies, for sure!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Speaking of women in command, it’s a shame that “Star Trek’s” Number One character, the second-in-command to Captain Christopher Pike in the original pilot, c.1965, was eliminated, with the actress becoming Nurse Chapel instead.

    The network execs in the 1960s could tolerate a male alien, Mr. Spock, as second in command, but not a woman.

    By season three, “Star Trek” was allowed a strong female captain — but she was Romulan!

    It’s been good to see so many strong female characters in newer iterations of “Star Trek.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. According to my reading about the history of the original Star Trek, Desilu Studios (headed by Lucille Ball, of course) was the only entity that had any interest in producing Star Trek. Evidently, Ms. Ball was in favor of having Pike’s second-in-command be a female, but management persuaded her it would tank the series, which took a season to catch on, anyway. And so it went….

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      1. When Gene Roddenberry cast the pilot episode for Star Trek, he placed a woman in position as #1 who as “first officer” would assume command of the Enterprise whenever Captain Pike would “go ashore.” Roddenberry had to scuttle that idea due to irate letters from women fans who indignantly demanded to know of the female character: “Who does she think she is?”

        Anyway, for an excellent documentary of the whole “Star Trek” sci-fi fandom phenomena, I would highly recommend viewing (1) Never Surrender: a Galaxy Quest and, of course, (2) the 1999 film itself: Galaxy Quest.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Mike: The pilot wasn’t aired. From what I’ve read, it was the network execs, the “suits,” who objected to a female #1.

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          1. CTV has a Sci-fi channel showing Captain Kirk Mondays, Captain Picard Tuesdays, Captain Janeway Wednesdays, Captain Sisco Thursdays, and Captain Archer Fridays.

            Last night’s episode of Deep Space Nine with Black Captain Sisco in Command, had him transported in a dream to New York as the only Black Science Fiction writer among a group of Whites in the late 30s.
            For the 1st Time in his writing, he wrote of a Black in a Command position on Deep Space Nine all the other White writers in the Office agreed was the best he ever wrote.

            The Publisher refused to print it since the readers would not accept the ides of a Black in Command and he was fired.

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          2. Bill, I have a DVD box set of all 79 episodes of the original Star Trek television series, which includes special features background commentary by creator Gene Roddenberry and producer Bob Justman (in addition to the actors, writers, set designers, and other associated persons). Roddenberry related the quote about women viewers writing in to complain about a woman in the #1 crew position in the original pilot. But the real studio objection to the pilot had to do with feeling “had” by Roddenberry who originally sold them the concept of a “Wagon Train” (Western) in Space “with space ships instead of horses and phasers instead of six-shooters”: something they would easily recognize. But when Roddenberry gave them something they didn’t immediately recognize, they balked at airing the pilot. Still, a few executive vice presidents felt comfortable enough with the concept of “Captain Horatio Hornblower” in space, that they gave Roddenberry some additional money and the go-ahead to launch the series with “The Man Trap” airing first.

            But as Bob Justman relates, after ten episodes, the producers had just about run out of scripts for coming episodes and faced the awful prospects of “missing their air date.” So the network tasked Roddenberry with resurrecting the original pilot and folding it into an enveloping narrative, which resulted in the only two-part program in the series: The Menagerie, Part I and The Menagerie, Part II. This gave the producers another two weeks lead time in which to complete further episodes and stay — at least barely — ahead of schedule for the first season. So the original pilot eventually did make it into the Star Trek series and, eventually, into Trek Canonical Tradition.

            The networks also originally didn’t want a black female cast as part of the bridge crew, but Gene Roddenberry said: “Either she stays or I go.” As we all know, Nichelle Nichols stayed with the series (and subsequent movies) but felt somewhat constrained by the part. When she thought of moving on to other pursuits, however, Martin Luther King, Jr. talked her into staying as a role model for younger generations of African Americans. So a bit of history there . . .

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I’m still confused, Mike. How could women viewers of the pilot complain when the pilot was never aired? Was it screened by a test audience? Because it was never aired, except of course as the two-part episode you mentioned from Season 1.

            No matter. Perhaps it was a combination of objections from the suits and a test audience.

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          4. Just found this:

            “Roddenberry did relent and give up his female “Number One”. Her role was deemed “too domineering” by viewers and her cold and logical attributes were given to the alien science officer instead.

            The decision to eliminate “Number One” wasn’t the network’s, wrote producers Herb Solow and Robert Justman in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story (1996). NBC supported a strong female lead but didn’t think Majel Barrett, Roddenberry’s girlfriend at the time, was able to pull off such a role.”

            So I guess the “suits” weren’t against a strong female lead — they were against Majel Barrett? And I’m still not sure who these “viewers” were; a test audience?

            https://forgottentrek.com/the-cage-the-star-trek-pilot-that-wasnt-quite/

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      2. Ahhhhhh….
        Lucille Ball! She filled me with so much joy and laughter as a child…
        One of my favorite parts she ever played involved 3 idols of mine.
        The episode is Three Little Pigskins…
        The 3 Stooges were mistaken for 3 amateur star football players and recruited by the mob to play in “the big game!” Lucille and her 2 friends were molls and they end up in a wild romp with the boys who were wearing the girls negligees . Drinking and canoodling until the mobsters came home and spoiled all their fun. I believe Larry was romancing Lucille, right before the mayhem happened and a war broke out. Thanks for bringing her up. What a powerful soul ….

        Liked by 2 people

  3. At the risk of coming across as completely sexist, my thought about women as modern military commanders (as opposed to the ancient goddesses, who were another story entirely), is that such women are ambitious enough to do whatever it takes to reach top positions. Their eyes are on the rank designation, period. I believe they’re anomalies. I don’t think most women have militaristic tendencies—as a rule, we’re not wired that way. I’m in no way attempting to say that such women aren’t feminine or are warped individuals, or should be at home taking care of the children instead, just that they’re not of the common run of females. Gender differences have existed since the rise of homo sapiens, and it’s tough to overcome them. Quite frankly, I’ve always considered women in general to be too innately wise to risk becoming cannon fodder, especially for the very questionable “causes” for which the military is deployed these days. But I might possibly be a luddite in this area. ; )

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  4. I was a Trekie from the Time of Captain Kirk in 1966. It was just so Civilized.
    With the development in film, in retrospect, it seems so tacky and amateurish with fake sets.

    Captain Janeway of Voyageur projected a very strong, decisive woman.

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  5. The achievement aimed for is blindness to physical characteristics with attention only to ability.

    On the way to that goal, it’s ironic that appearances mean so much, ironic because that is precisely what we don’t want to regard when we reach the goal.

    But with the visually obsessed nature of modern life in the US, appearances are everything with companies going all out to make an impression with them along with individuals dressing for success. Think of the British Petroleum (BP) “beyond petroleum” effort complete with leafy green and blue decor for their stations pumping out the same old fossil fuel. Advertising left plain speaking long ago in pursuit of image, the Nike swoosh for example, that tells absolutely nothing about the product but presents an appearance that people demonstrably go for. Look at all the people running around in company logo T-shirts, volunteering their bodies as billboards. They do get a feeling from wearing these billboards because they associate with the cool imagery, not the hard facts of the product.

    With race and sex, every position obtained by a non-white or a woman for the first time is proclaimed. It really doesn’t matter who the individuals may be. Recall the breakthrough of black mayors of US cities? Was there a resulting breakthrough in the management of cities? Not at all and it would have been foolish to expect it. The result was completely predictable: no changes for better or worse other than what one would expect of any sequence of people of any race becoming mayor.

    The real showpiece is Barack Obama, President Hope, who came, saw, fell right into line with his individual history of accommodation with power, and left with nothing to show for it beyond the average performance of the long train of white guys who have held the office before him.

    As the good book says, “those that have eyes, let them see” but, please folks, use your mind carefully to process the eye candy that all but drowns us daily.

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  6. Agree with half of your argument: who commands or pulls the trigger or flies the plane in military activities is irrelevant compared to competence. Practicality matters. The unstated half of your argument, however, if that there is a strong historical reason to celebrate the achievements of those other than white males (e.g., Black History Month, followed by Women’s History Month). Celebrating those achievements gives the impression that we are making progress overcoming longstanding prejudices against those other than white males. The word impression is significant, though. Sometimes, we bend over backwards promoting (both rank and PR) those other than white males — but at the cost of competence.

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    1. It’s complicated. Think of the bad old days when competent women and minorities were passed over for promotion (wrong “look”) and the white male got the job almost regardless of competence. People tend to promote people who look like them, act like them, that they feel comfortable with. It’s often comfort and image over competence and substance.

      Actually, it used to be a certain type of white male got the job. Height always helped. Conformity (golf anyone? drinks on the 19th hole?). Putting the company first. And so on.

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      1. Agreed. You’re describing another sort of prejudice that ignores competence (there are many). I’m certainly not suggesting we go back to that.

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      2. When “white males” compete with other “white males” a “white male” wins but a great many more “white males” do not. And some “white males” enjoy the distinction of losing out on careers to both other “white males” and “non-white” males and females too. As case in point:

        I finally managed to graduate from college in 1977. I had thought that, given the awful policy disaster of Vietnam (after the awful policy disaster of China) that America’s State Department could really use some persons with knowledge and experience both of Asia and the U.S military. So I planned my education accordingly. On my resume, I listed (1) my Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with a minor in Asian Studies, (2) six years of military experience in the Navy, which included Nuclear Power and Vietnamese foreign language training as well as a year-and-a-half foreign service as an advisor/translator in Vietnam, and (3) a year-and-half in Taiwan as a foreign exchange student studying Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. So, when the State Department recruiter came around to interview prospective candidates recently graduated from California State University, Long Beach, I felt a sense of justifiable confidence. The interviewer looked over my resume and then said, in words I will never forget:

        “You have obviously prepared yourself as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. But I came out here to the West Coast to recruit minorities. We get our white guys from Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale. I can’t go back to my boss and tell him I came three thousand miles just to come back with one more white guy who speaks three Asian languages.”

        I felt like asking him: “What other white guy?” but saw no purpose in prolonging the humiliation. So I went home and told my wife that I would have to find some other way to make a living for us. Then I went out and got a day job as a substitute teacher and a night job as a security guard down at the petroleum storage tanks in Wilmington. After a year of that, my mom (an electronics assembly tester) helped me get an entry-level job at Hughes Aircraft Company as a manufacturing assembly planner. Later I taught myself computer programming and worked my way into the engineering department where I eventually became a Member of the Computing Staff earning a modest living for fifteen years helping to design and manufacture radar and communications equipment for the Air Force , Navy, and Army — long enough to get my two sons through high school and off to make their way in the world (which both have done to my immeasurable satisfaction).

        From my seventeen happy years of retirement here in Taiwan I can see that my education and background have informed and enriched my own views considerably but never had much chance of influencing the lunatic U.S. government in its dealings with Asia and the world. Judging from all the white and non-white, male and non-male political and military “professionals” running the United States and its tributary vassals today, I can see nothing that I might have contributed to changing one damn thing for the better even had I somehow gained admittance to their “diverse” ranks.

        I guess I just got lucky to have lived a rather ordinary but personally fulfilling life despite all the “privileges” that come from having a “Y” chromosome and “white” skin.

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        1. Yes. A certain kind of White guy. From Yale or Harvard or Princeton. Just look at the Supreme Court. The brightest and best — how well they did for us in Southeast Asia, all those products of the Ivies.

          “Diversity” can be a remarkably imprecise and labile word. So too can be “meritocracy.” For what counts as diversity? What counts as merit? They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You can say the same of diversity and merit.

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        2. an inspiring personal exegesis, sir murray. thank you for your searingly insightful and masterful observations. we all make the error of assessing others via sweeping parameters that aim to distinguish one from ‘other’. tho’ my 7 adult white progeny, all of whom were raised in 3rd- and 4th-world ambits, and who graduated from what are classified as elite universities in canada and the US [queen’s U., U. of Toronto, harvard, and vassar], every single one has spent his/her life championing indigenous populations across the globe, as well as the life-sustaining environmental conservation practices necessary for indigenous cultures to survive. they have done so at their peril, in hazardous opposition to the global political elites’ predispositions for commandeering whatever resources are available for extraction by those elites. despite nary a subauditum zephyr of protest from the marginalized, benighted, gullible, and deluded inhabitants of those exploited lands, they, in solidarity w/ other ‘elite school’ graduates, persist in their consociate efforts to honour, enable, and uplift those who are defenceless against the political and corporate elite. please be reassured that there are multifarious academics from the soi-disant ‘elite schools’ who are busting their butts to bring some semblance of compassion and eleemosynary contributions to those our political elites have marginalized and perniciously exploited… just like you! you are one of the outstanding provacateurs for global humanitarianism and the dispossessed and the depauperate. if only we could spread your message to wall street, the MIC, and DC’s politicos!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Getting back to the REAL World, and a more immediate threat, Western propaganda is reporting Russia is the aggressor, moving Tanks and other War machinery close to the Ukraine border AFTER the Ukraine President signed this order,
    In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decree:

    1. To put into effect the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine of March 11, 2021 “On the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol” (attached).

    2. To approve the Strategy of deoccupation and reintegration of the temporarily occupied territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (attached).

    3. Control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, enacted by this Decree, shall be vested in the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine.

    4. This Decree shall enter into force on the day of its publication.

    President of Ukraine V. ZELENSKY
    March 24, 2021

    Basically, this decree makes it the official policy of the government of Ukraine to retake Crimea from Russia.

    Of course the Russians will never hand over Crimea willingly because they consider it to be Russian territory, and so Ukraine would have to take it by force.

    This is essentially a declaration of war against Russia, and Zelensky would have never signed such a document without the approval of the Biden administration.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/russian-tanks-move-toward-ukraine-globe-braces-world-war-3

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    1. Yes. What passes for a “government” in [Western] Ukraine did publish that rather pathetic manifesto. What passes for a Ukrainian military [essentially neo-Nazi gangs] also began “troop” and heavy equipment-movements toward the Russian border (including Russian Crimea). To these flagrant provocations Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov simply remarked: “Those who try to unleash a new war in Donbass [the independent Russian-speaking republics along the Russian border] will destroy Ukraine.

      So much for REALITY which, unfortunately, will not likely appear on American televisions or cell-phone entertainment systems. And what doesn’t appear on those glowing screens (accompanied by mood-manipulating musical background) does not exist for most Americans.

      But once the shooting starts, then . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is the latest development from Yesterday.
        The Kremlin’s latest statements out Friday amid the potential new Ukraine crisis which has seen a serious flare-up in fighting in the Donbass region, along with what appears to be far bigger-than-usual troop movements on Russia’s side of the border, has raised the stakes further.

        Russia has vowed it will take “extra measures to ensure its own security” should it observe any deployment of NATO troops inside Ukraine, the Kremlin statement said Friday according to Reuters.

        It firmly warned against any potential looming NATO troop movements following Brussels voicing concern the day prior over the widespread reports and videos purporting to show a significant Russian build-up of forces along Ukraine’s eastern border.

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday that the situation at the contact line in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatist forces was quite frightening and that multiple “provocations” were taking place there.

        U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Thursday spoke with his Ukrainian counterpart, Andrii Taran, and “condemned recent escalations of Russian aggressive and provocative actions in eastern Ukraine,” the Pentagon said.

        This could get deadly serious suddenly!

        https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/frightening-escalation-looms-russia-warns-nato-against-sending-any-troops-ukraine

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      2. In a somewhat more harmonically structured phraseology:

        Worshipping the Whip

        “Abhorent adoration,” that’s the term:
        An oxymoron crafted to describe
        “Resistance” with the backbone of a worm

        Or, “Democrats,” the other right-wing tribe,
        Those now attacking Fascists from the right
        Who call them “Leftists” anyway, a jibe

        Full of contempt for those who will not fight
        For anything but table scraps and trash
        Who kneel for every lobbyist in sight

        Who shun the take-off but embrace the crash
        Providing cover for the donor class
        Who for a quid-pro-quo supply the stash

        The Slogan of The Owners, crude and crass:
        “You buy the Elephant and rent the Ass.”

        A contradiction joining hate and love
        Like Stockholm Syndrome, victims of abuse
        Become enablers of the one above

        Whom they profess to find lewd and obtuse
        While, in reality, they bow and scrape
        Excusing conduct lecherous and loose

        “Forgiving” rich men like the Orange Ape
        In hopes that he might “trickle down” to them
        Some funding for their Culture War escape

        So they can blame the poor, a strategem
        Republicans have long perfected which
        Permits the trust-fund wealthy to condemn

        As “unsuccessful” those below their niche
        Who live in tents beside the drainage ditch

        Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2018

        Liked by 1 person

          1. An interesting observation, Ray. But if modesty did not forbid (and in my case it doesn’t) I would prefer the adjective “timely” instead of “old” as the proper adjective characterizing my vitriolic verse compositions. Especially since I only wrote “Worshiping the Whip” in 2018, not even three years ago, and “nothing new under the sun” has taken place in American political and military affairs (pardon the redundancy) since then. Actually, the Corporate Military Junta ruling the United States has done nothing “new” since at least 1945, resulting in the moral, economic, and cultural bankruptcy of America at this point in time. But as for my own “verse essays,” as I like to consider them, they now span a period of seventeen years which I think qualifies as at least historically “recent.”

            Sometime in 2004, my younger brother Jack, the high school history and English teacher, challenged me to write an anti-war poem — in the particular stanza format that he provided as a guide. This led to one of my first verse compositions:

            Bread and Circuses
            (in the Gaelic Bardic verse style)

            Mired in heat and dust and sand
            Gallant band of brothers true
            Country’s service is their aim
            Death and maiming is their due

            In where angels fear to tread
            Foolish, dreaded leaders rush
            Bringing power’s fearsome groan
            Leaving only graveyard’s hush

            “By the pricking of my thumbs”
            This way comes the wicked pawn
            Drunk with drinking conquest’s draught
            Juggernaut goes crushing on

            Won with honest trifles’ lure
            Still so sure in dwindling light
            Now betrayed in consequence
            Of the senseless, needless fight

            Can this be the path they chose?
            How can those who serve inquire?
            Why has this rough beast come ’round,
            To be drowned and born in fire?

            Stillborn monster, undead thing!
            How we sing your praises high!
            Those whom we’ve made destitute
            Still salute and fight and die

            Hear the crowd’s roar! Feel the heat:
            Sizzling meat now roasting slow
            Do they die for reasons known?
            Or for only pomp and show?

            Who has wavered; who stands fast
            ‘Till the last good soul goes free?
            Who says “he” and who says “she”?
            Who but thee and who but me

            Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright 2004

            Written seventeen years ago, but still “timely” (the adjective I prefer instead of “new”). Or so I prefer to think. That exercise started me off on an exploration of verse formats which has still not lost its interest for me. Anyway, you can find my collected efforts at polemical versification (or “Bibliotherapeutic Bitching)” on the Poetic License page of my website. As I like to say about creative/therapeutic literary matters: “Freedom means absence of restraint. License means taking advantage of it.”

            I hope this helps to clarify my own views about the “old-new” misnomers. I mean when Muhammad Ali said (refusing conscription into the US Army): “I ain’t got nothin’ against no Viet Cong,” how does that differ from what Homer wrote thousands of years ago in The Iliad: “What cause have I to war at thy decree/The distant Trojans never injured me.” The same song in a different key. Not “old”. Not “new.” Just “timely” in any age of the world. Personally, I prefer “tedious” and “tiresome” instead of “old” in reference to the unnecessary U.S. military and its ruinous activities, but in a television world cut off from all written history only the present instant matters — until the next present instant 3.7 seconds later. Who can even speak of “time” when visually assaulted by an endless succession of 3.7-second “worlds”?

            As Neil Postman wrote in Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985): “Television does not extend or amplify literate culture. It attacks it.” Message received. But in whatever small way I can, I intend to deflect television’s assault on at least my own mind through rearranging words-as-sounds in a manner of my own choosing. If other people also find these efforts of some value, then so much the better. We do what we can.

            Liked by 1 person

      3. This is the last line from my comment posted in the Zerohedge article linked below 5 hours ago. It’s related to your last line.

        When 40% of American workers are barely able to get through from pay to pay, with the rising costs of rent, food and everything else to stay afloat, they’re so focused on that, they don’t pay attention to the buildup to Armageddon/WWIII until it will be too late to stop.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Michael, I don’t know why there is no reply link in your post ‘Bread and Circuses, but please excuse me for using “old” when Timely is so much more appropriate.
          I certainly did not mean ‘old’ in any pejorative sense.

          Going to your Web page, makes me think I’m too lazy, seeing your prolific writing posted since 2005, having so many ideas and significant notions about this Material World.
          It makes me think my Blog is so Amateur in my writing style, and I have yet to start at 77, with that many articles posted, most of them too long for the average mentality to follow.

          I’ve bookmarked your Index single page.
          It will take Time, and for now I stopped counting at 200 posts with at least 50 more to the count. I don’t know where to start there are so many titles and categories?

          I started with ‘An Orangutan in the Oval Office’ posted in 2018. Different style from what I’ve appreciated about your writing, only learning of your being here.
          My opinion is it’s Short, cutting right to the chase.

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  8. WJA – Great post! I’ve often thought and expressed the exact same sentiments regarding the mainstream media’s glorification of minorities and women in the military finally achieving parity with their white male counterparts, but completely ignoring the morality of the missions they’re performing (vaguely implying that bombs & bullets from them ONLY kill/maim ‘the bad guys’ and NEVER innocent children, women, and men). A classic example is Colin Powell, who was almost constantly celebrated for 2 or 3 decades even though he played a significant role in covering-up & downplaying the infamous My Lai massacre (as any ‘good, team-player’ – especially an upwardly-mobile ambitious one – would do), and then later using his credibility with the US populace to help grease the skids for the invasion of Iraq, even though he privately was disgustedly skeptical of the ‘script’ given him.

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  9. Just a note for Bill and anyone else interested in Gene Roddenberry’s commentary on the Star Trek pilot episode: “The Cage.” I’ve done a transcript from my DVD collection, Season 3 Disk 7, here. The relevant quotes about test audience reactions include:

    “I put a woman second in command of our star ship, on top of which my script required our actress, Majel Barett to play this woman as having a highly superior, computerized mind.”

    “You might have thought that the ladies in our test audience would have appreciated that. Instead, their comments were: ‘Who does she think SHE is?‘.”

    I hope this clears up any lingering confusion about Gene Roddenberry’s views vis-a-vis network studio executives, television broadcast censors, and test audiences in the mid-to-late 1960s. For my part, I think the quote resonates with what I experienced growing up and working in arch-conservative Orange County, California, where — as received wisdom proclaims — “No woman has a worse enemy than her best friend. And if you don’t believe that, ask Monica Lewinsky what she thinks of Linda Tripp.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fascinating, as Spock might say. I wonder if it was because she was portrayed as “cool” and “rational” and “calculating,” i.e, as man-like, to resort to gender stereotypes? If she’d been more “feminine,” i.e. emotional, vulnerable, warm, whatever, maybe the test audience would have accepted the character.

      Fortunately, from all this we ended up with Mr. Spock, to me the greatest sci-fi character ever.

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