I’m sitting in the “Aid Station” AKA classroom at Dunbar High, on standby for the presidential inauguration. We’re watching the event itself on someone’s cell phone. There are jokes: “I can’t believe he didn’t say ‘huge’ a single time,” “He’s got like an eighth grade reading level, max,” “he looks like an American President, all old and white and crinkly,” and so forth. But not by everyone. One of the medics is beat red, flustered with the jokes about his new president. He might not be able to take it, even though his man won and there won’t be woman in the White House, or likely a nigger ever again. He leaves the room to sulk.
Outside the aid station, in the cafeteria, there are cheers. Soldiers from all over stand up and clap at the screen; it’s the most excited they’ve been this whole time. They’re happy. They hoot when he says things like “law and order” and “protection” and “America first” and “jobs.” The lack of context feels like a necessity, whether an appeal to the reptilian brains of his supporters or a continuation of standard political lies of omission. There is a simplicity to these soldier’s happiness that I wish I could get down with. Many of them are happy because they can only be one thing. They’ve fallen so deeply into the soldier first paradigm that their eyes hurt looking at anything else.
It’s easy to see how this happens. It takes little, if any mental effort to become a soldier, to continue being one. In fact, it’s easier to get by if you consciously refuse to think. Try it, might fuck around and get promoted. Other soldiers will like you more too, it’s cray. Anyway, one of the things I’ve heard these people get excited about is that there will be a pay raise, which many of them believe to be the first in five years. Why they believe that, who knows. I imagine it’s because they really want to, must be like some Neverland shit.
*Hold on, the janitor is cursing me out about sitting in one of the nice chairs, just gonna write this while he talks… Okay, back.
Why army dudes would tout such a singular, mostly insignificant (especially for M-Day soldiers), untrue issue is part of the inability to be more than one thing, an especially depressing issue for M-Dayers, seriously. Of course there’s also the fact that they simply refuse to acknowledge issues outside of their subject positions. The intellectual and social sloth that comes with being a soldier is too tempting–not to mention the bullshit where conservative media forces people to imagine us all as heroes for existing; have you met many of these fucking soldiers?–and since you’re brainwashed and bleeding green and blah blah something like intersectionality would never occur to you, the soldier, someone given social capital, whose fragile ass masculinity is bolstered simply by putting on a uniform.
*Another one, this private is interrupting me to ask whether being born on March 10th makes you a Pisces. I’m just gonna write this and stare at him, should make his ass stand at parade rest… Back again.
The whole thing is super ironic because the slogan of the army national guard is that citizen soldier shit. Citizen AND soldier. Like both. That’s two different things. Can you think of any others? Remember when like Nickleback or Three Doors Down or whatever had that song for the recruitment commercial “Citizen Soldier”?
*Hold on, there’s a soldier complaining to me because he can’t watch the tear gassing live. I ignore him, imagining his little pink dick sliding from its sheathe when he finds a raunchy enough Youtube channel… Ok, back.
But yea, if one can’t be more than one thing (soldier) and you’re tricked into believing that everyone (liberals) hates that one thing, then you naturally align with the mortal enemy (women) of your new found cult faction, the in-group that has accepted you. (This can be applied to police officers, churches, corrections officers, more traditional cults, etc.)
You are no longer, if you’d ever considered yourself before: a woman, a POC, a teacher, a plumber, a doctor, a spouse, a clerk, a citizen, a human. Soldier, like so many other occupations where aggression as opposed to brains is lauded, accepts only one other identity. There is only one place the pent up monolith can expand–into masculinity. A musty ass, hairy nut sack having, homophobic, rapey, farting all over, play wrestling all the time, drinking shitty beer cheating on your spouse and beating her, hyper aggressive, Monster drinking, dipping and chewing and spitting ass masculine identity. A fucking hero. Now go out and be proud of your new president.