My father has been forwarding every e-mail he is sent supporting the war, and containing stories of some unwashed anti-war protrester getting a can of Shut-Up opened on him by someone whose brother died in France (those ungrateful wretches!), etc. I was finally compelled to send this reply:
Here’s a story you can also forward to everyone on your list. You do forward them, don’t you, or do you actually agree with everything you send on?
Anyway, I know this one is true, because it happened to me!
I am currently working second shift at a downtown Chicago office building. Upon the start "Iraq II: the Revenge!", a number of anti-war protests had been organized that went through the Loop. One evening, as I was coming back to the office from my lunch break, I saw the protest of the day was parading down Wacker, right in front of my building. The procession of several thousand was big enough that it had to use the street, which was lined on both sides by a row of police from departments all over the area. I walk back to my entrance, holding my hand up in solidarity (boy, that peace sign thing just doesn’t cut it gesture-wise).
Right at the corner of my building, some twentysomething lout is shouting at the protest: "LO-O-O-OSERS! GET A JOB!" Now, it’s 7:30 in the evening. I wonder how anyone would assume someone marching in a protest at this hour didn’t have a job. I shout back at the guy: "Hey, maybe next someone will liberate US from from OUR dictator! Y’know, a dictator? Someone who takes over a country without being elected?"
(Now here I am picking a fight with some frat boy on a street corner surrounded by more police than appeared in all of Buster Keaton’s movies. That’s why I don’t join movements. They’re safer without me.)
As expected, he lays into me with some more brilliant invective: "Why don’t you get a JOB!!!"
Me: "Why I have a job. I’m going back to it right now."
Him: "Probably cleaning TOILETS!"
"No, I work for the very company after whom this building is named!"
"No you don’t! _I_ work here!"
"Really? What do you do?"
"I’m a LAWYER!" He bellowed it out like it would stun me into reverent silence. Meantime, I’m showing my building ID to the desk guard. He continues: "Hey, that guy doesn’t WORK here, does he?"
The guard says, "Yes, he does."
Frat boy can’t take it. "It’s a sad day when people like HIM work in this building! He probably cleans TOILETS!" I shrug my shoulders at him, thinking whoever has to clean up after him must be getting little pay and less respect. He turns to enter the bar in our building’s entrance, with one last "I’m a LAWYER!!!"
The guard just watches him, then tells me, "Yeah, he’s already had a few." Me, I wonder if gets to argue cases in court, with that kind of brilliant declamation.
This is the kind of pro-war person we encounter more often than not. The kind of ditto-head who found time to go the Florida in 2000 and assault recount judges with their "Sore/Loserman" signs. They seem totally incapable of understanding that people who oppose Bush’s little vendetta are anything but leftover hippies, too indolent to look for work or form a well-reasoned opinion.
They’re the people passing along lists of French corporations to boycott, while completely forgetting that it was American firms like Honeywell, Rockwell, and others, that sold Saddam his weapons of mass destruction, with Bush I’s blessing. They focus on getting REVENGE for 9/11, even though the perpetrators were born in Saudi Arabia, funded by Saudi oil money (that’s your car and my car), educated in America, and took refuge in Pakistan. They never see the many veterans of previous wars, 9/11 family members, and religious leaders asking why we are starting another war with a former CIA "friendly."
Instead, they’re the guy in Houston who last week assaulted a spectator at a rodeo because he wouldn’t stand up for a recording of Lee Greenwood’s "God Bless the USA."
(Here’s the link to the story: abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/31403_local_rodeofight.html#. I verify MY sources). Update: the link has long expired. Now last I heard, this song isn’t the national anthem, at least outside of Branson. It also happens to be owned by MCA Records, a division of Vivendi-Universal, part of the new French "axis of evil." (I also don’t know how all the news reports reported the song’s title as "I’m Proud to Be an American." Maybe the policeman who wrote up the report got it wrong.)
By the way, the Marquis de Lafayette is buried on a plot of American soil he had transported to France. Maybe our brave Congress will sponsor a resolution to go rip the American dirt out of his grave. If it wasn’t for Lafayette and the French fleet at the Battle of Yorktown, there may not even be a United States.