I apologize to everyone for not posting on Friday. My wife and I are about a week from having another baby. For all of you guys out there who have been through pregnancy before I’m sure that’s all I need to say. If you haven’t then I should add that pregnant women are, by any medical and legal standard, out of their goddamn minds. But hey, that’s awesome. Pregnant women are beautiful. You can’t help but give up everything in your life for them. Every time my wife starts crying after a Raisin Bran commercial or throws things at me because I wore a shirt she doesn’t like I am reminded of just how powerful love really is.

Anyway, today is Memorial Day. We’re supposed to take the time to remember the Americans who have died in war. And I’m not talking about the big famous ones. The ones we love seeing movies or playing video games about. Americans have died in places like Somalia, Panama, Lebanon, Korea and Afghanistan too. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that if there’s a faraway dump of a place somewhere there’s a good chance an American died fighting there.

Remember all the men and women the Bush family sent to their deaths in Iraq over the last 20 years the next time you fill up your gas tank so you can drive three blocks to the drive-thru at fucking Burger King. And when you’re complaining because your health insurance won’t pay for your lap band or your liposuction try to remember that soldiers coming back from war don’t have it half as good as you do. And they have real problems like PTSD and missing limbs.

Try to remember that you only have the luxury of being a pacifist because men and women have gone out into the world and died fighting all the bad, ugly people who really don’t give a shit about your deeply personal reasons for opposing conflict.

Try to remember that war and death are not simply numbers to be factored into the stock market and… whatever it is that people on Wall Street do. The only reason you get to enjoy all that math and money is because somebody whose pension you helped decimate died in a foxhole in some foreign toilet.

When you’re sitting around your church basement talking about bringing Jesus to the rest of the world, try and remember that the rest of the world doesn’t want Jesus and somebody’s son or daughter is going to get their head blown off because you think being a missionary with an assault rifle is a good idea.

Try to remember that patriotism is dangerous. It’s like the red cape a matador waves in front of a bull to piss him off and get him to do something stupid. Your country is not a football team to be blindly cheered on and supported. It’s more like a pregnant spouse who, as I said, is totally nuts but you try to do what’s best for them anyway.

Try to remember that, more often than not, we have more in common with the people in other countries we’re fighting than we do the wealthy and powerful leaders who started the war in the first place.

And try to remember that despite all the feel-good imagery and rousing speeches that war ultimately comes down to actual people stabbing, shooting, burning, bombing and dismembering each other for reasons that the rest of us get to spend years debating afterward. And the next time you’ve had a few beers and take it upon yourself to blab about how we should deal with the rest of the world, try to remember that someone a lot braver than you actually has to take a gun, go out there and make it happen.


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