Heroes’ Welcome

Parades, parades, parades, parades in every town, every zip code, every backwater trailer park, on ABC, CBS, CNN, newspapers, t-shirts, bumper stickers, yellow ribbons, barbecues, air shows, antenna flags… and they aren’t going to stop, they’re never going to stop because damn it, we won.

Never mind that Iraq wasn’t a threat, or that the whole thing was a frat party for oil companies and profiteers; never mind that we were selling them weapons within weeks of their invasion of Kuwait. We won, and the whole country is jacking off like chimpanzees in a wild animal park, fantasizing on phallic images of Stealth Fighters and Patriot Missiles.

We won, and America has an erection—and by god, we’re going to stick it somewhere: first, the rest of the Middle East, then the mouths of all those hippies who wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon. “Give peace a chance,” they said. Fuck those pinkos. Hurray for homicide. Hurray for dropping bombs for Jesus. Hurray for George H.W. Bush and his drive-thru-order victory.

It’s everywhere, and there’s no escape. And guess what—we don’t want it. I don’t want it. I wasn’t even there. I never stood rifle sight to rifle sight with the Republican Guard; I never got the Gulf Syndrome; I was deployed in Honolulu the whole time. And yet the Navy gave us a service medal just for being enlisted, just for wearing a uniform 8,000 miles away from where the actual “service” was. I shit-canned it the next day and refused to wear it. But of course, that doesn’t matter: Hero™️

The ‘patriotism’ has gotten out of hand. I can’t even go shopping anymore. The other day I’m walking into a department store, and this prerecorded sales pitch breaks into the muzak…

“ATTENTION SHOPPERS DON’T MISS OUR COMBAT KHAKI DESERT TAN OLIVE DRAB DEAD CIVILIANS CHEMICALS BOMBS POISON GAS GASOLINE EMSIXTEENS TANKS WARGASM SALUTE THE TROOPS WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR…”

But I’m looking for something in red, you know what I mean?

 

August 1991

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