This year I was going to go with my usual, somber toned Memorial Day post wherein I discussed the humble nature of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines who laid down their lives for out benefit. I was going to remind the gentle reader that it was military men and women of the highest caliber that have earned them every right and freedom that they enjoy and that those men and women did so by ending what could have been their very own long, brilliant, peaceful lives both violently and prematurely. A subtle and well-phrased reminder of the true meaning of Memorial Day would have been sufficient to appease my need to honor the fallen and remind the public that it is right and good to do so. Not this year.
This year something has been brought to my attention that has stirred in me a fire. This year there will be no gentle Easter sunrise service or a praise-laden Christmas Mass, but a good, old-fashioned Baptist-styled fire and brimstone fury from the bully pulpit. This year, I’m pissed.
The reason I am about as pleased as a man with three penises, syphilis, and kidney stones is an article written by Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez of Bard College at Simon’s Rock. This “professor” wants Memorial Day to be “de-militarized.” That’s right, you read that correctly; she wants to de-militarize Memorial Day. This twit wants to take the one day reserved for remembering the selfless sacrifices of men and women who voluntarily laid down their lives for the good of the many and simply make it a day to remember all of the people that ever died. Allow me to deconstruct this one idiotic point at a time.
First and foremost I would like to talk about the institution at which de Hernandez “teaches” which is Bard College at Simon’s Rock. This college’s recruitment tactics when I was in high school bordered on desperation. I have seen elderly, amputee gutter trollops in third world countries pandering their desiccated wares at fifty cents a pop displaying more dignity than that with which Bard College at Simon’s Rock prostituted itself then and continues to prostitute itself today. I received pamphlets from them literally every week which, by the way, was more often than I received recruiting calls from all four branches of the service put together. Apparently their standards haven’t improved. According to US News and World Report, Bard College at Simon’s Rock is rated “less selective” admitting 80% of all applicants who apply. Now, bear this in mind: according to a recent article at the Huffington Post, only one in four high school graduates can pass the ASVAB. So, your chances of getting into the Army (based only on mental acuity and not physical capacity) are 25% while your chances of getting into Bard College at Simon’s Rock are 80%. AND you will actually PAY to got to Bard College at Simon’s Rock instead of GETTING PAID in the Army.
Basically, a diploma from Bard College at Simon’s Rock longs for the prestige that belongs to a soiled adult undergarment and doesn’t dare dream to strive for the unreachable apotheosis of respectability that a certificate of completion from a matchbook cover art school carries.
Now, as everyone knows an institution of higher learning is only as good as the weakest link in the chain that comprises its cadre of instructors and in this case, hopefully, the weakest link is Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez because if there are any weaker instructors at Bard College their student body is so epically screwed that Greek tragedies would seem like comedies in comparison. Jennifer Browdy de Hernandez teaches “comparative literature and gender studies with an activist bent at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.” Strike one. She poses this question in her article at CommonDreams.org: “why should we reduce our national day of mourning to just those who have died in the line of duty as soldiers?” Strike two. She goes on to say this about her dead family members; “just because none of them died in war doesn’t mean we shouldn’t honor them on Memorial Day” and then has the nerve to suggest that “perhaps we should turn Memorial Day into something more akin to the Meso-American Day of the Dead. Instead of a day of military-style parades, it should be a day to visit ancestral grave sites and lovingly remember those who have passed on.” Strike three, twit.
First things first, comparative literature and activist gender studies is nothing more than bloated opinion. There is no need for facts. There is no need for accurate sourcing. There is no need to teach it at a college because it serves no real purpose. If you want to hear someone talking about how holding hands is forcible rape there is no need to look further than any militant feminist blog or if you want to discuss why Shakespeare’s sonnets are reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s masturbatory wall scribblings in the men’s room at Oxford, you need look no further than the closest clove-smoking hipster at the local Starbucks. When Ms. de Hernandez starts teaching something that requires actual facts and can actually lead to real, meaningful employment, she can start calling herself a real professor.
Second, you cannot take back a holiday that was never yours. Memorial Day isn’t a national day of mourning for civilians nor was it EVER a national day of mourning for civilians. It was a day to remember our war dead and there is a reason for that. You see, everybody dies. Everybody. Not everybody dies FOR something. What Ms. de Hernandez fails to grasp is that there is a tremendous, mind-bogglingly vast difference between laying down your life for a cause and simply dying in your sleep. She wants to honor family members who died of natural causes on the same level as soldiers and sailors who died violent, often horrific deaths on OUR behalf. Sorry, lady, but I owe those soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines a debt that I can never repays them. We all owe them that. We don’t owe your dead uncle Marty jack shit. Your family members lived and died for themselves and themselves alone. Our war dead died for all of us. If you cannot recognize the difference between a soldier being torn to ribbons by Nazi machine gun fire on the beaches of Normandy trying to liberate Europe and crush the Nazi war machine that threatened the world and your grandpa dying of old age in bed at age eighty doing nothing more heroic than trying to eek in one more geriatric finger-banging of your grandma, you’re far too stupid to be teaching remedial obedience school for special ed dogs, let alone college students. The holiday always belonged to the war dead. Always. You cannot take back what was never yours.
Third, there already IS a holiday to honor ancestral forebears and it falls on November second. If that isn’t good enough for you, you can use October 31st or the Mexican Day of the Dead, all of which are devoted to ancestor homage. The days to celebrate the dead that DIDN’T die in extreme circumstances of self-sacrifice already exist. If you want a special day where your family tree is lauded for its service to the country and recognized for its extreme sacrifice, maybe you should have married someone with bigger balls than your gutless relatives and produced an heir that would actually bring REAL honor to your family instead of just concentrating on self-serving ventures that your relatives were only allowed to pursue under the aegis of better men than ever graced your genealogy.
Ms. de Hernandez said of her ancestors that “they bravely gathered what they could carry and set off to try to establish a better future for their descendants.” So basically the bravest thing they ever did was what soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines now call “packing your shit” for pre-deployment. The bravest thing your folks ever did was the most mundane shit ours did. You haven’t earned a fucking thing and neither have your forebears and the only reason that you even have a right to baselessly bitch and moan about it is because better men and women than you and yours stepped up to the plate while you and yours were whining about the baseball players getting all the glory while the spectators were whining about ticket prices.
In short, Ms. de Hernandez, you can feel free to honor your ancestors whenever you like, but Memorial Day is reserved for your moral superiors you ignorant, arrogant quim.