This is not the first time the President has addressed the nation --and the world-- from a military venue. He has made speeches on and before tanks, or with an F-16 in the background, ostensibly to draw attention to the armed forces' technology and sacrifice alike, but more importantly, it seems, to play on the image of himself as Commander-in-Chief.
While I won't (and don't want anyone else to) go into "Bush pays too much attention to foreign policy" or whatever, I do want to ask the question in the thread title: do we venerate the military a bit too much?
I mean, I type this surrounded by first-person shooter games, real-time strategy games, and flight simulator games based on military or science-fiction military settings-- basically, fighting a war. I have seen many a war movie, watched more than one war on CNN or (usually) the BBC, have researched past wars (I am, after all, a military historian by education) and have toyed with the notion of enlisting for officer training in the Canadian armed forces more than once.
And I know that on many levels, I'm not the only one here who probably meets some of that criteria. Many here have military knowledge (most notably Aegis and jon, but also many others) which requires a specialization of reading that even I can't claim to have done. Still others enjoy a good war play or movie --I've heard Henry V bantered around from time to time, among others. And a lot of us can claim being fans of a movie or TV series devoted entirely to one form or war or another. Notable examples include the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Matrix trilogy, the X-Men trilogy, the Star Wars trilogies, various (but not all) Star Trek films, DS9, B5, and others not so prevalent in my memory ----all of which, on one level or another, are about two or more great powers grappling with each other in mass combat on a field of battle somewhere.
In fact, the most notable example --and one against which I have juxtaposed my thinking on this line repeatedly-- in science fiction of a culture that lionizes combat and the warrior in a similar manner, at least to my eyes, would be the Klingon Empire. Recent eps of Enterprise have shown that over the centuries, the Klingon Empire was not always about "honour" and combat and death & glory. Yet their culture evolved to emphasize personal honour not so much in the quotidian matters, but in battle. The most prominent example I can think of to make my case is Sto-Vo-Kor, the Klingon 'heaven', where warriors who have fallen in glorious battle (no matter if they win or lose) go to dwell in paradise. Apparently the blood wine flows like a river. I don't know. I've never been.
All I can really say is that, to me, there is a sort of militaryish regimentation of society ---and a strong emphasis on the military's place within that society, as though subjecting and submitting yourself to a chain of command is the greatest thing any man or woman can choose to do--- which I find most unsettling. And the President's words this evening, despite my long-standing support for "regime change" everywhere, struck the wrong chord with me.
And I figured I'd start a thread and ask the question.
Replies, comments, all that good stuff, is absolutely welcome. Just don't call me sir.
Edited by Certifiably Cait, 26 August 2012 - 03:28 PM.