Skip to comments.There Are Many Lost Souls (we should weep openly for Pat Tillman's critics)
Posted on 05/05/2004 12:36:18 PM PDT by presidio9
A recent editorial in the University of Massachusetts The Daily Collegian exemplifies the great spiritual deficit that has struck many of the youth in our nation. A graduate student named Rene Gonzalez felt it necessary not only to analyze the outpouring of sympathy that has followed Pat Tillmans death -- perhaps a legitimate exercise if done tastefully -- but also took it upon himself to castigate Tillman as nothing more than a G.I. Joe guy who got what was coming to him, who should be used as a poster boy for the dangerous consequences of too much 'America is #1', frat boy, propaganda bull."
It is comforting that the president of the university openly criticized Gonzalezs comments. The attention that this story has received highlights the obvious fact that the vast majority of Americans are horrified by the irresponsible nature of these comments. It should be pointed out, however, that these comments are not totally isolated. Slate and MSNBC recently published a cartoon by Ted Rall that mirrored Gonzalezs sentiments: the cartoon was quickly withdrawn by the editors. The usual group of websites, including Democratic Underground, were teeming with messages filled with the same dumb jock evaluation of Tillman and his sacrifice soon after news of his death hit the airwaves.
There are far too many Rene Gonzalezes out there. We should all weep for these pathetic souls.
The comforts and privileges of the post-war generations have created a large contingent of men and women who are incapable of action. They are far too entrenched with their sense of entitlement and comfort to really value anything. Although they enjoy economic security, all the freedoms possible, and are provided with a graduate education that sometimes extends well into a decade, they retain a deep sense of anger and frustration that is unquenchable. They feel indelibly slighted by their inability to effect immediate change in their social setting, and so they rally to extreme causes that will never be fulfilled in order to perpetuate their identity, or lack thereof.
These pathetic men write, write, write, and scream nothing but words, more words, and even more words. They attend rallies and feed off each others anger. They pen sarcastic editorials and demonize political opponents. They begin to believe in conspiracy theories and neo-conservative domination. They wait eagerly for someone to attack them, to make them feel important, to thrust them upon the world stage. They create a grand phantom struggle in order to make themselves feel not like men of words, but men of action.
And then someone like Pat Tillman comes along. He has no phantom enemies. He is a man of action. He believes in something. He openly sacrifices his comfort, his entitlements, and his economic security to rally against a real enemy that threatens him and his familys existence. Most importantly, he is willing to sacrifice his life, to approach fate with open arms and face death like a man on two feet. He is so sincere that he never even revels in the accolades that the press wished to give him. He is the type of man we all look up to.
Pat Tillman is also the type of man who makes Rene Gonzalez feel insignificant. While Rene spends his life battling his pretend enemies and fooling himself into thinking he is saving the world, Tillmans legacy will always haunt him. Renes fifteen minutes of fame for striking out in anger at his demon -- the man of action -- will leave him forever unsatisfied. Rene Gonzalez and others like him hate Pat Tillman because Pat Tillman is the man they can never allow themselves to be: a man who is willing to hang it all on the line. Rene fools himself into thinking that he is brave for writing his editorial, but in reality he knows that all he did was tap a couple of computer keys in the comfort of his Massachusetts home. His graduate degree will probably afford him a comfortable living and a life without much risk.
We will all meet our end someday. Pat Tillman drew his last breath at a young age, but by his actions and accomplishments one could argue that he had already lived several lifetimes. Gonzalez and all his cohorts may live well into their eighties, past the mid-point of this century, and they will be witness to many struggles and changes that will take place under their generational watch. Decades from now, as they lay dying, will they feel satisfaction in what they did, what they accomplished, or will they still hold the same anger and resentment toward their phantoms? Will they be satisfied with themselves?
One does not have to be an Army Ranger to be a good person or even a hero. One must simply believe in something, do what is right, and act in accordance with ones own conscience. To be a good person is to act without notice or reward, but simply to act where action is needed. Our self-value comes by our actions, not by diminishing others with words. Words are hollow, and that is why no negative editorial can ever take away the brave actions of Pat Tillman.
I honor Pat Tillman for the man he was. I pray for Rene Gonzalez for the man he can become.
Odd you included "brainiacs" in that list of outcasts. Are you suggesting students should be stupid, to avoid being "outcasts"?
And as with Pat Tillman, so too with all dedicated servicemen (including women).
There, in a nutshell, is the kernel of ugliness, that soft stinking nugget of biowaste, which - hiding behind the layered facades of "alternative patriotism" and "pacifism" - lies at the heart and forms the core of ALL of the anti-Bush/anti-war/anti-military posturing with which we are all too familiar.
The little dears cannot stand to be so badly shown up for the mediocre wastes of air and space they assuredly are.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
'ware, ye happy few, and welcome Tillman and his band of brothers to your bosom.
oh, Rene? Yes, you... and your compadres in moral squalor and cowardice, those assorted vile pukes, scutlings, useful idiots? I shall not wait for your epiphany to hold your manhood cheep - it is, and may that truth scald your silly souls without let or mercy from now until the stroke of doom.
I doubt it. Gonzalez spends all of his intellectual energy weaving a fantasy world that constitutes a defense against precisely that sort of self-knowledge. If he does not denigrate Tillman that defense fails. But yes, somewhere deep down he knows it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.