I just walked puppy to our normal frisbee and tennis ball park when we saw a large fair at one of the three churches within spitting distance. People walking there invited us in, dog and all, so we entered. Midddle eastern music, some Christian, some Muslim, and agnostics like us mingled and enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells. Kids, both Muslim and not, asked parents to ask me if they could pet my 95 Lb baby. She loved it, as did the many, many kids. Baby also met two camels (for kiddie rides) and touched noses with both.
Satisfied with our To-go purchases, all middle eastern fare, we headed home and turned on the T&V. Honey is a far more informed and excited futbol fan than I.
We turned on the futbol game involving the Chicago Bares, and the first thing we see is a playing field size US flag, held by tons of military in uniform, and some piss poor singer doing the national anthem. The corroded penny dropped. It hit me like a sledge I use when black smithing. It was all in your face propaganda. Tax dollars paying for a military presence and military ads, enriching TV stations and networks, as well as football team owners.
The subtle militarization of pro sports isn't so subtle anymore.
The advertising revenue spent by the military (your tax dollars at work) on the NFL alone, totals many millions per year. Tell me, please, why is there a need to do a PR job (for big bucks) for the military? What national security purpose is served by spending millions that enrich tv networks and team owners?
I say enough of this crap. It is propaganda, pure and simple, a steady Chinese water torture of smiling military, injured military, football playing military, followed by military ads, and the commentators making sure to mention the . . . Military. Plus ads by military suppliers. Promoting our military.
From the church of ineffable stupidity:
I may take some flak for this, but I am sick and tired even the national anthem being sung at each and every sports game. No other country does that, not like us, except In international play, or international events like the olympics. If a regular league game is being played, most countries do NOT stand and praise their military or their flag. They simply enjoy the game.
I am even sicker of the over the top military propaganda you see at every game. Advertising, huge flags, half time shows, and tv close ups.
Despite a few minor mistakes and errors, like the near extermination of an innocent group of people, the torture and deaths of millions, and the pesky, even troublesome invasions of many mainly peaceful countries, the Germany war machine did some great things. They industrialized access to outer space, they invented entirely new technologies, even sciences, and probably their most impressive feat was how they polluted the minds of everyone, especially their own citizens. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels may seem to be a cartoon character by today's smoother and higher tech efforts, but he was an immense success in his time, and even now survivors talk about how the Nazi machine awed and impressed the locals, while scaring the Shyte out of those they intended to invade.
What you see before any professional NFL game is no different than what the German leaders did to their own population. It is a sophisticated form of brain washing, it is a forced diet, not of patriotism, but something far darker, far scarier.
Ugly, fascist nationalism. Under its dark cloud, we never blame the troops for killing innocents through misguided, misinformed, or badly planned drone missile attacks on afghan wedding parties. We never question any higher ranking officers who ordered or sent down the chain orders to torture folks. We never seek criminal actions for war crimes, even against the military who conspire with major corporate thieves who ripped off the US for billions during IraqNam or Afghanistan. (Honestly, could Haliburton and others have stolen as much as they did without a willful blind eye, or more likely, the active assistance of the US military in Iraq? And how many of those later ended up in a cushy lobbying job once they left the military?)
The problem with this country is not that our navy is too small. (Think Floating Maginot Line) Rather, it is that in a post-Vietnam era, any criticism of our military seems to be inappropriate and frowned upon. Yes, I do respect those who serve honorably. I cry for those whose bodies are mangled, and I fully honor those who have died, too many in wars of choice, like IraqNam, not in wars of necessity. We have three, perhaps five active war zones in which our troops and unmanned drones are still actively killing people. Is there any political discussion or even a vote in the house or senate whether we should be doing them? Whether it is in our best interest? Whether we are creating more problems than solving them with such an active face in so many countries that pose absolutely no threat to us?
When I see a flag the size of the entire football field unfurled, being held by a hundred + active military folks, with a Rah Rah nationalism theme running at full blast, even before a game has started, I realize that our land of the free and home of the brave is a very scary, very different, and very troubling country.
Apparently, I am not the only one with a troubled conscience. The PTSD and mental health problem rates among drone operators are so high, that our military is suffering from serious staffing problems. They can no longer maintain their kill rate. Apparently, the video feeds are now so good that drone operators are having nervous breakdowns after repeatedly watching the results of their murderous missile attacks. It proves that they are more human, more humane, and better human beings than those who plan, create, and order our current undeclared drone wars. Drone operator PTSD
I know some will object. Go ahead. I can handle it. But do yourself a favor. Step back. Look at the ultra-nationalism being displayed by the Klown Kar Kandidopes seeking the GOP nomination. Look at the gaudy display of Pro War Nationalism before every big sports game. And start adding two and two. It is a symptom of something quite ugly that seems ever stronger in our country. And looking at the zoo that is the GOP race, with every single one of them becoming ever more irrational, more pro war, and less inclined to use diplomacy, rational thinking, or even just sitting back and thinking through their own words, it is becoming a scary country.
Land of the free? When ATT conspires with the NSA to spy on each and every one of us? When it takes a Snowden to learn about warrant less, intrusive spying on INNOCENT AMERCANS? When police use force first and foremost, and white racists cheer the deaths of unarmed innocents?
There is something rotten in the State of Denmark. Except, this ain't Denmark.