Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Arm Yourself With Some Truth

Let me do some shouts outs: Betty, Rebecca, Kat & C.I. thank you for linking to my site. You are the coolest.

Thanks to C.I. who gave me a shout out in an entry last night. Between The Common Ills and The Common Ills mirror site, I ended up getting a lot of e-mail.

I was read by people in England. That blows my mind.

Thank you to Pru, Gareth and the four others.

Everyone's been so supportive. Gareth asked me what I thought blogging was like as a new blogger?

Dude, it's like losing your cherry in front of the world! I feel like Jason Biggs in the American Pie movies.

A lot of you who wrote checked out my profile so I'm glad I put some stuff up there. My favorite White Stripes song is "Seven Nation Army," that's all time favorite. On the new album, I think "Blue Orchid" is da bomb.

Some of you wondered if I liked any older stuff coz I didn't list any. Yeah, I like the old stuff like Van Halen and Led Zepplin and all the other golden oldies like Nirvana. I don't have any of their stuff but I know it from the radio and relatives. But I didn't even know Tori Amos until Kat did her review of The Beekeeper. (I actually caught that when Third Estate Sunday Review reran Kat's review.)

For members of The Common Ills community who are new like me, I hope Kat will post all her reviews at her site because I know I missed some and Danny e-mailed to tell me I have to check out her Wilco review. And I searched that out to provide a link but I haven't read it but the thing that struck me was that the UK members that e-mailed told me they'd work my entry into other sites that sell CDs and DVDs and I was thinking, "Yeah sure." But that search turned up stuff from the UK like a DVD review for Life Is Beautiful where someone posted Kat's review of Wilco. I don't know the film but I mean wow you guys really do get the word out.

Wally e-mailed and he goes like do not tell your favorite b-ball team. I'm reading and all what's he worried about? Wally's a really cool guy and he should do his own blog coz he is just like so cool but I was reading on down and he goes, "You know most people aren't real happy right now." And I got that. If it helps any my team didn't make it.

It was so fun reading the e-mails and learning about you (I knew Wally already and he is so cool and so out there). I'm thinking about trying to figure out how to do a automatic e-mail like C.I. and Third Estate Sunday Review do coz I want you to know if I got it or not. That way if somebody writes something that stands out or needs an answer I can do it up here coz it's probably something worth sharing or something somebody else is thinking about.

Like Jodi e-mails and is all like "You are worried about talking sex and embarrassing your mother and what did you think she was thinking when she read you call yourself a male slut?"
Good point, Jodi, coz my Ma did read that and she did ask!

And another person who didn't say to use his name wrote and goes, "You are 19 and you are talking about drinking?" And I'm thinking all like, yeah. I mean is that a question? My age is up here and I do drink beer. I guess he was worried or bothered coz I'm not "drinking age" or something. Don't know what to tell you. I could go over to Iraq and get my head blown off or blow off somebody else's head so I think I'm old enough to drink dude.

But if I ever get busted, you'll be the first one I call.

Some of you asked about CounterRecruiter and I'm so into that site. I think it's important and stuff because it effects people my age. You should check it out. The latest entry is this quote from a thing. Here it is:

The new coalition Not Your Soldier has announced plans to host activist traning camps this summer

I've got friends who ended up enlisting and some of them were just pressured and pressured. They call you all the time and they send you stuff and when they get you on the phone it's like, if you're a dude, they try to make it like you can't be a man if you're not enlisting. It was really like a game of chicken for one of my friends, Joe, who signed up last summer.

He couldn't get a job and he was looking but blame it on Bully Boy economy, you know? And the recruiter was calling and calling and being all, "Are you scared?" and like, "Don't you want to serve your country?" and "You gonna work at Subway all your life, Joe? Oh, right, you don't have a job. Don't you think your parents are sick of that? Don't you want to be a man, Joe?"

The only way you get them to stop calling is to yell at them. I know that coz I was a junior in high school when my Dad started doing that. He did it over and over for like six or seven calls and they finally stopped calling. I mean he cussed them up and down the wall and across the carpet, you know?

Which is really about a question I got from Melody who wondered if I was ever tempted to sign up? Yeah, I was. And I was saying I was going to.

I was all "As soon as I turn 18" and Ma was all, "MICHAEL! You are not!" which I kind of expected but then Dad got in it on it too. That surprised me. Mothers are supposed to worry about you, you know?

Like if I'm on the phone with Ma and I sneeze it has to be I'm coming down with a cold. She worries about everything because she cares. But like Dad pulls me aside on the way to dinner one night and goes "After dinner, we're going out to the backyard."

And after dinner, Dad's all like, "This isn't going to be a war you're going to want to fight in."
This was like late 2002 and I was going, "Bush says they got weapons, Dad. They're going to attack us." I was all like in Starship Troopers mode. But Dad just goes that I need to turn off the hormones and listen.

And he just laid it out so clear. Joe, Robbie, Derek and me were all thinking then we were going to enlist. And we really started talking like that right after 9/11.

And Joe and Derek did end up enlisting. Derek first, then Joe. I worry about them all the time.
But I am so glad and proud to have a father like my Dad coz I was thinking, "Well it's on TV it must be true." And it wasn't.

And like today Dad could go "I told you so" but he's not that way. But if Ma reads this, yeah Dad could say "I told you so" to me and you can tell him I put it up here because he was right.

And like if Dad hadn't done that I wouldn't have been able to handle the recruiters face to face because you see them at school and you see them like in parking lots. And they come on like they're just good guys who want to be your bud with their "How you doing?" and "Hey let's talk a minute." There all dressed out so you can't not see them.

And they make this conversation with you but it's not really talking to you coz it's like they're trying to find your weakness and zero in on that.

So like I'm in high school and Dad's already had the talk with me but this recruiter and his bud are chatting like they're my best friends when all the sudden they zero in on my part-time job.

"So you like that? You bow for those men and women? You ask 'More pepper sir?' Like begging for tips? You wear an apron?"

And they're just like destroying me. I was a waiter coz it was good money and I could do it on weekends and all.

But they're saying stuff like, "Do you say 'I'm Mike you're serving wench, how may I serve you?'" Just pushing all the buttons. And I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck rising and even though I know they're trying to push my buttons and question my manhood I don't walk off and I start justifying my job.

And right in the middle of it I realize I'm being hooked and this is what they do, open up that conversation and act like they are the big men and you're not and you can only be one by being like them. But they're not going over to Iraq. They're going to schools and parking lots and malls. Then they desk jockey so who are they to question anyone?

So I just walked away because they want you to engage with them even if you're arguing. They know they can hook you. They'll just keep hitting your sore spots whatever they are. That's what the "Hey dude, talk" is all about. They don't care about you or why you're at the mall that day or what your friends are like. They just listen to store up ammo to use against you.

So this is a big issue with me. I saw Joe and Derek and some other dudes I wasn't real tight with sign up and a lot of it was cause the recruiters knew what buttons to push and all. And with people not want to enlist these days you gotta wonder if the draft is waiting around the corner.

So I hope you'll go to CounterRecruiter and arm yourself with some truth. Man or woman, old or young. You never know when you might be bringing up something to some kid that later on he or she may really need. I think that's the title of this one, "Arm Yourself With Some Truth."

Or maybe I'm just ready to split.

I don't know if this will be day to day or every now and then. I think it'll be more like Kat and just when I feel like I got something to say so if you got a question ask me and I will answer it.