Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
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I had Brazil pegged to win at 3-0 but they didn't play to win and France sure did and reversed my prediction precisely! Not the most exciting game of the series in terms of play but in terms of emotion and importance it rocked the world. Congratulations to all the French fans out there (I know there must be some!) This concludes the Sports section of Electric Degeneration for another 4 years.
Friday it was the Star Bar's last hosting of Slim Chance and the Convicts, a cry-in-your-beer night of roots country. One Fell Swoop from St. Louis kicked things off with some sleepy tunes by a singer with a reel purty voice. Slim slid on about midnight and cranked things up a bit, then a bit more, then his dad came on and did some damn good singin' too! A real night of family fun for all. Slim announced his last show in town at Austin Ave. Buffet in a couple of weeks, we're trying to confirm the date so pay attention to your local degenerate prophet!
The militant debate continues, fresh and full of humor:
"degenerate RVI has an awful lot of anger, doesn't he?"
"For those degenerates wishing a well-researched, anti-pentagon viewpoint,
suggest the Center for Defense Information at "http://www.cdi.org". CDI is
comprised mainly of ex-military people who do not especially love the
military-industrial complex. They're the good guys. I've met them. Please
check em' out."
<< The US Army is the biggest welfare dodge to have ever seen the
light of day; yet, as it is 'right-wing welfare,' our nation generally
accepts its present form of existence as necessary and unquestionable. >>
"What an idiot you are. In fact, you're such an idiot that I'd like you to take me off this mailing list. Thanks."
Former degenerate SGM
And this lengthy one where the comments by RVI and HBG are not separated from
their response so it'll be tough to sort it out but we don't have time:
I would like to address some comments made by both you and the HGB fellow:
Thus far the topics drawing the most flame in Electric Degeneration have
been feminism, smoking, and now the U.S. Armed Forces! Read on, if you can
take the heat:
"THE U.S. SMARMY: Beat All That You Can Beat
Degenerate Press reported a week back that the US Army was advertizing
itself with the following: "Join the U.S. Army, the toughest, smartest army
world." The US Army is the biggest welfare dodge to have ever seen the
light of day; yet, as it is 'right-wing welfare,' our nation generally
accepts its present form of existence as necessary and unquestionable.
I'm not sure I quite understand this. What's a welfare dodge?
Also, what is "right-wing" welfare?
Former Army person HGB tells us: "I take great offence at your statement
that the US solder is not tough. I challenge YOU to get up at 5 AM, do 2
hours of PT (physical training), and then work a 10 hour day." To which
I respond: Many Yuppies do just this and more -- running in the A.M.,
working ridiculous hours, spending more hours after work or at lunch in a
gym. So what? What HGB doesn't tell us is how many military men and
women spend a lot of idle time during that '10 hour workday.' A friend
of mine, who was supposed to be flying Cobras for the 'great fighting
force' in question, spent most of his career cleaning tools, painting
things, and, in his last two years, reading comic books and handing out
basketballs in the gym. And this was during the boom years of the
Reagan-era Pentagon budgets, so it isn't as if they couldn't have been
training! Oh, and if you're tempted to ask what whimpish outfit this
fellow was assigned to, it was the 82nd Airborne.
I am inclined to agree with HGB on this not, however, because I think that
an average military man and woman has it rough (I'm inclined to believe that
it is as you say, a whole lot of down time) but rather because of the core
purpose of the military in the first place.
Yuppies, no matter what their job, will never be asked to stand in front of
oncoming projectiles to insure the stability and existence of the nation.
Now, before you think me some jingoist waving a flag around touting the
un-erring good sense of the US military, know that as a military historian I
understand that the system is deeply flawed. I am only trying to get across
that while flawed, it is not unworthy of respect from citizens such as
HBG also says: "As far as Vietnam is concerned, those solders
were involuntarily drafted, not like the volunteers in today's Army.
I think this to be a deeply flawed argument in that it discounts the
fighting ability and overall fitness of Vietnam vets on the fact that they
were conscripts rather than volunteers. First of all, many of the fighting
men in Vietnam WERE volunteers. Second, to think that these men's ability to
fight was somehow degraded by the fact that they were drafted is ludicrous
to say the least. The combat effectiveness of most Vietnam vets was much
higher if for no other reason than that stupid soldiers are quickly weeded
out in a combat zone. For the most part, only soldiers that learn quickly
and have a good head on their soldiers are able to hold on to that head.
Soldiers in today's volunteer army are not subjected to that "weeding out"
"Also, the outcome of that conflict was due not to the conduct of the
solders, but due to the lack of concrete goals and the micro management
of the war by the administration then in office."
This is a vast simplification but I'll let that go.
First, the Special
Forces men, for example, there were NOT draftees and they were the FIRST
men in Vietnam - as battlefield advisors to the South Vietnamese.
Secondly, I'd put my money on ANY of the men who served in Vietnam before
I'd even consider the 'toughness' of one of our pampered, present day
'volunteers' whose great accomplishments include the aborted Iran Hostage
mission, the invasion of the truly terrifying nation of Grenada, the
possibly illegal invasion of an ally - Panama - in order to arrest one
man, and the ridiculous overkill involved in invading the 4th world power
I think you are confusing political and strategic maneuvers (or
blunders) with the tactical efficiency of the US armed forces. In every one
of those conflicts that you mention, the military units involved, for the
most part, completed their missions with extreme efficiency and tactical
prowess. Whether we should have been in these places in the first place is
another matter. But if you take the time (as you urge HGB to) to do a little
research, you would understand that the US armed forces are every bit as
"tough" as eras past. If not more so. The tactics and the doctrines have
changed but to say that present day soldiers don't deserve respect because
they haven't been to a conflict that you deem worthy of respect is a little
Vietnam Vets deserve respect, no matter what one thinks of that
conflict they went to, as they have EARNED it.
Again, I have a hard time understanding the basic difference between the
Vietnam conflict and the Gulf War. Why does participating in one make a
soldier worthy of your respect while the other one doesn't?
And then there's this gem concerning " ...our Army (whose
presence, if not allways it's actions, have preserved our freedoms
(including the right to say anything you want)...." Do the words 'Four
Dead in Ohio' mean anything to you, HGB? I guess they didn't encourage
historical studies when you were doing all that PT, right? You mean to
tell me that you have no recollection that 4 students got gunned down in
an unprovoked massacre by National Guardsmen at Kent State in the late
'60s? Unarmed people, utilising their 1st Amendment rights, protesting
the use of Napalm on children and research by DOW Chemicals (makers of
Napalm) at Kent State labs, got mowed down by a US Military unit gone out
of control. And why the military had to be there - 'protecting' free
speech - is a mystery to me, as free speech usually tends to itself
pretty well in the USA.
The Guardsmen were there at the behest of the Governor of Ohio. A civilian.
I agree that they shouldn't have been there however to say that the National
Guard (undertrained, poorer cousins of the standing army - hint hint)
intentionally shot these people down is irresponsible. You're not saying
If that example of the danger of the military to
the freedom of the citizen isn't enough, go look up the Hoover
administration in a good encyclopedia; you will find there an article on
how, when the WWI Vets marched on Washington in order to recover the
monies owed them from service in that war, Hoover called out Gen. Patton
who, in turn, let loose armed regular Army troops on unarmed US Vets and
employed tanks in the streets of this nation's capital to chase them out
of town. People got killed.
Again I think you are confusing the policies of civilian leaders with the
performance of the army in and of itself.
The Army, HBG, is always, at best, a
necessary evil, which has to be kept under strict civilian control
Like the governor of Ohio.
which ought never to be turned against civilians. But it has happened
many times (more examples might be too boring) that the US Army has
bullied the US Citizen and vitiated the guarantees of the Bill of Rights,
thus stifling speech and thought -- just the contrary of your claims.
What you say is true. But I think a baser truth is that without the Armed
Forces there would be no free speech to stifle in those limited instances
where it has happened.
My intent was not to flame but rather to point out that the men and women of
today's armed forces do deserve respect. These are the people that will be
risking their lives protecting the freedoms (and yes lower gas prices) that
we have become accustomed to. The fact is this: Political leaders are always
gonna fuck up and they will not always use the military tools that they have
at their disposal in the best way or for the best causes. However, that
doesn't mean that the people who serve are not without merit.
The Human Tourch, from Marvel's Fantastic Four comic.
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