The Sanitizing of Death on Veterans’ Day

 

El 12 de noviembre de 2013. Hola. Yesterday was Veterans’ Day en los Estados Unidos/the US/The Cesspool. Veterans’ Day is a federal holiday, although strangely I got the sense that not too many people had the day off. I get the sense that Veterans’ Day is becoming or has become an outdated holiday. From what I could tell, it pretty much looked like a regular work day in San Francisco.

I had an interesting conversation at the Muni bus stop in San Francisco yesterday, Veterans’ Day. A muchacho looked at me, smiled and looked friendly. I smiled and he said, “Well it’s good to see that tech is honouring the federal holiday today (Veterans’ Day).” I sense he was being sarcastic because as we were waiting for the Muni bus, a few of the 2-story tall silver tech shuttles (they look like tanks) were going by and heading up Castro Street going North. They were coming from the tech companies in Silicon Valley (San Francisco is becoming a suburb of Silicon Valley).  I said, “Yes, I see they are running today so obviously tech didn’t have the day off even though it’s a federal holiday.” He said, “Well tech probably thinks Veterans’ Day is some app connected with the calendar.” I laughed. He continued, “all they care about is themselves so I doubt that they have even heard of Veterans’ Day or know what a veteran is.” Very possibly true. I said I had seen some coverage of the day in headlines online. He interrupted and asked, “Did they use the word ‘Fallen’ in the headlines you saw?” I said: Yes they did, isn’t that standard for this day? He rolled his eyes and said, “It’s a damn sugar-coating job that’s what it is! Ain’t nobody fallen anywhere. That’s just the corporate media and useless politicians trying to sanitize the death of the people, the troops. The only time anyone is “fallen” is if they were shot or bombed while standing and fell to the ground. Then you have “fallen.” Only with that exception. This “fallen” shit is nothing but sugar-coating death in the name of Empire building, world domination, imperalism and protecting the corporations which is what this corrupt country is all about, and I say that as a veteran. He asked me, “When was the last time you got a call from someone and they said, “our fallen friend [insert name] will have their funeral day after tomorrow.” Never.  Interesting that this “fallen” sanitizing of death is only used with the military and lying politicians to keep their wars and imperialism going. He continued on: But I know what you mean, I see every headline talking about “The Fallen…” And the troops didn’t give their life for their country as the lie goes, but rather for lies and a corrupt agenda that political liars cooked up so they could go kill brown-skinned people. It disgusts me what this useless lying country does. And this nut in the White House—just like the nut before him—is obsessed with terror, terrorism and terrorist when more people are killed by a typhoon in the Philippines (la República de Filipinas) and are starving to death than are ever killed by some so-called “terrorist” that these nuts are obsessed with. Corrupt politicians will stand at a microphone or get their big face in front of a network television camera on days like Veterans’ Day and talk about “supporting the troops” while they gut money from veterans’ (the troops) benefits. What happened to “supporting the troops?” You only “support the troops” with your sweet empty words and not with your budget?

Corn Poppies growing near the pink barrio

Corn Poppies growing near the pink barrio

As Muni came he thanked me for the conversation and thanked me for listening to him, and said that as a veteran he feels that it’s his duty to speak out against propaganda, misinformation and lies especially on days such as Veterans’ Day. I understand completely where he’s coming from. Chau.—rosa barrio