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and spies everywhere

I have three judges so far. I need one more. Entries in the Pro-War Jingle Contest accepted until Friday, 6pm (EST). Offer void to members of The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy and to members of any terrorist organizations

Thanks Laurence, Dodd, Stacy and Joe for subjecting yourselves to this as judges. Dodd is going to do his judgining in haiku, by the way.

...and spies everywhere

I was thinking of how I spent my childhood afraid of the Russians. The Russian government was a constant shadow in the corner, always lurking, always promising darkness and misery.

The thing is, I never really knew that much about the Russians. I just knew what the adults let us in on; Russia was powerful. Russia was evil. Russia was our enemy. Russia wanted to destroy us.

I didn't know why, I only knew how. They would aim their nuclear weapons at us and someone would hit a red button and we would all be dead within seconds. That's the way my mind recorded it, anyhow.

I heard scattered rumors here and there. Russians who spoke out against their government were sent to Siberia, where they would live in a tiny little one room hut in the middle of a snow slicked wasteland. They would freeze to death in a matter of days or weeks, a slow torturous death for saying the wrong thing. I had nightmares about Russia. She had become the monster in my closet, the thing under my bed, my own personal bogeyman.

Cut to 30 or so years later. My kids are afraid of Iraq. They are afraid of Saddam Hussein. And they have reason to be. The difference between my rumor-fueled nightmares and the real fears of my children is knowledge. People today do not treat children as if they should be kept from everything going on in the world.

I had a discussion with DJ today and he said things like "aerial attacks," and "axis of evil" and "weapons of mass destruction." He is nine. he knows these things because he reads the paper and watches the news and they discuss it in school.

Their fears are real. More importantly, their fears are greater than any nightmare I had about the Russians. I didn't really know what could happen then. I made it all up in my head, the whole scenario from pushing a simple little button to the mushroom cloud to the walking undead taking over the country.

Our kids don't have to make up scenarios. They know. They know about terror, they know about people leaping from the World Trade Center, they know about terror alterts and colored warnings and airplanes that crash into buildings.

Until the hostage situation in Iran, I never really witnessed real terror. I was in high school by then, all too aware of the ways of the world.

My kids live with a sort of fear I never realized. They may not be crouching down in the hallways like I used to during air raid drills, but to my daughter, the fact that they don't do that is scary in and of itself. "If they don't even bother having drills," she said, "that means that once someone attacks us with nuclear weapons, we are dead meat."

They worry about their future. They are afraid. They are afraid of a very real, very ominous threat. I was just afraid of the Russians; a general all-encompassing fright that was more a fear of communism than anything else. Natalie and DJ and a million other kids are afraid of one single man. One man who is harboring the means to make their fears realized. We have the means and enough reasons to blot this bogeyman out of existence.

Faster, please.

Comments

iraq is nothing like russia. as much as it freaks me out to know that dj knows the words "weapons of mass destruction," they have far more reason to be afraid than we did.

like the song says, "the russians love their children too." no muscovite ever thought his kid was going to heaven for blowing up a bunch of innocent women and children.

Saddam Hussein isn't like that, either. He's a nutjob who runs a country during the 21st century, which happens to be worse than having an army in the 18th or 19th centuries. The weapons are worse, the implements of torture are worse, and the media are much, much better.

I'm assuming you live out on Lawn Guyland. Tell your kids not to worry, the wind will carry the radiation over to NJ. I think. Can't remember if it goes east or west. Hm. If it's west, you're screwed.

I guess that wasn't so helpful after all, was it?

Michele, I stopped having nuclear nightmares sometime after the Berlin Wall fell. They came back about a year or so ago. I expect they'll go away again once the wars are well begun.

Laughter is the best medicine. Laugh at the pathetic mutawwa'in. Laugh at the pathetic terrorists in the Philippines who gave away their position with a hot pizza. Laughter and JDAMs, I say. The mighty USAF can take care of the JDAMs, let us take care of the laughter.

I'll be a judge if ya still need one. I'm a cynical bastard, so why not?

I remember "duck and cover" from kindergarden in '58... and even at that age I thought it was stupid because I had seen the films of the atomic tests and knew what a nuclear bomb could do... I was a cynic at five years old... a few years later we had moved to LA and then to South Miami Heights (west of Cutler Ridge, south of Coral Gables)... we lived just a couple of miles from Homestead Airforce base, a SAC center at the time... I had just started fourth grade and some kind of shit started with Cuba... I remember the B-52s flying at tree-top level over the neighborhood every ten minutes or so and the F-104s flying by in between... we lived in a development that had many empty lots and the Army had set up anti-aircraft missles on these spots... one was right by my bus stop... we waited for the bus with the targeting radar dish spinning and darting about 50 feet away... the missle launcher was always raised and ready...
One day the Army (or maybe the Marines) did a practice air drop into our school yard... parachutes and men in green with guns and equipment, yelling and forming into columns and marching off and away... scared the shit out of me...
I knew that I, my family and everyone I knew was going to die at any minute...
We didn't... but a part of me did... deep inside, I didn't believe that I had a future, that there was gonna be no future for anyone...
Sounds like a lead in for a story about the beginnings of a serial killer or some other sort of anti social misfit, eh?
What I have done is live a life without regret, tasted all the sweet stuff, kissed every girl I could, been a good friend, raised a couple of good kids... all because I figured that tomorrow may never come... life made me a daoist and I didn't even know it...
War may be bad for children and other living things but it's never too early to learn that life is hard so you have to enjoy the good when it presents itself.
One more thing, retire for a few years when you're young ( say 20 - 25 ) when you can stay drunk for a week without the hangover killing you...