Monday, May 28, 2012

Not Your Greatest Moment

MSNBC host Chris Hayes stepped in it Sunday when he said the following about Memorial Day and the US armed forces as "heroes":

“I feel… uncomfortable, about the word because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war. Um, and, I don’t want to obviously desecrate or disrespect memory of anyone that’s fallen, and obviously there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers, and things like that. But it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic. But maybe I’m wrong about that.”

It's a valid concern from a technical and word usage point of view, but as BooMan says, it's a pretty thickheaded thing to say on Memorial Day weekend on national TV.

 Now, some might say that calling all our dead soldiers 'heroes' is rhetorically proximate to legitimizing whatever they've been asked to do. If we call them 'heroes' then we are somehow making it more likely that we'll fight more stupid and unnecessary wars in the future. This is overwrought hand-wringing. We do have a problem when we make it taboo to criticize our soldiers or their missions. But we can segregate discussions of policy from maintaining some solemnity and respect for the dead

And Hayes did say he meant no disrespect to our men and women in uniform, true.  Choosing to say so on Memorial Day weekend, kind of a bad time to make that point.  Just saying.

On the other hand, if you want to be truly angry at someone who absolutely means disrespect for our fallen troops, there's freelance author and anti-war activist Charles Davis.

There is nothing honorable about serving in the US military. Good people join the armed forces, no doubt. But that's tragic, not heroic.

So on further analysis, Chris Hayes is off the hook, and Charles Davis is a complete asshole.  What a surprise, not all of the douchenozzles on the internet are conservatives.

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