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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Well, it's Brazil vs. France in the World Cup. On one hand you can't help but root root root for the home team. On the other, they are French... But you couldn't have written a better story. Underdog home team against what is basically the all time world's best! Tune in July 12, this Sunday at 3 PM on Univision or ABC to see the only team sport with a true world championship!
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 in the
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.
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.
HBG also says: "As far as Vietnam is concerned, those solders
were involuntarily drafted, not like the volunteers in today's Army.
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." 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
of Iraq. Vietnam Vets deserve respect, no matter what one thinks of that
conflict they went to, as they have EARNED it. Present day 'soldiers,'
for the most part, don't even earn the paycheck they blow on tittie bars
and grain alcohol, much less anyone's respect. And remember, fear is not
respect. There are plenty of soldiers I'm afraid of right now yet I feel
not one iota of resect.
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. 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. The Army, HBG, is always, at best, a
necessary evil, which has to be kept under strict civilian control -- and
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.
'National Security' is the contemporary raison d'etate; anything which
doesn't sit well with the Generals of your fine organization could lead
to investigations, arrests, censorship. What we need isn't 'the
toughest, smartest Army,' anyway; what we need is the smartest, toughest
civilian population which doesn't take its eyes off the Army for one
second and doesn't forget who allegedly controls whom."
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