Flak From Memorial Day Posts Made Some Interesting (and Probably Unintended) Points

photo of soldier saluting the american flag in the desert

Things got very interesting in our little internet world on the subject of Memorial Day.

Selfishly, I was very relieved to get an e-mail telling me to pig out on red meat and drink a lot of beer and not even think about writing.  It’s that time of year when I’m trying to get all the grading I’ve procrastinated on finished up while writing final exams and trying to get the final edition of the student newspaper published and … well, you get it.

From the official Zelda Lily post:

We’re taking a day off from ZL today so we can celebrate the fallen who served us nobly in defending America’s freedom.

Take the day to enjoy, eat lots of over-processed red meat, eat enough corn on the cob to make the next few days, uh, interesting, and indulge in celebrating with friends and family.

The coolest part is that, when one commenter, questioned the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day, another commenter provided the answer.  Our audience is just great—they look out for each other and really interact with the site in a (mostly) positive way.

“Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.”

While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.”

Evil Beet had a similar post:

We’re taking the day off around here to enjoy the start of summer. We assume you’re doing the same, and we’re sad for the people (you know who you are) who are spending their day off trolling around a site like this leaving mean comments. Get outside and drink some beer and try saying that shit to someone’s face for a change.

We’ll catch y’all Tuesday.

The comment thread?  It really kind of scared me. 

The gist of most complaints is that it was disrespectful not to make reference to the true purpose of Memorial Day.  I kind of wanted to comment thus: “IT’S A GOSSIP BLOG.  YOU COME HERE TO FIND OUT WHO’S GETTING DIVORCED (currently, Al and Tipper Gore … oh, and the Dog Whisperer guy) AND WHICH CELEB GOT CAUGHT WITH DRUGS ON HIM (Chace Crawford).  THERE IS AN INTENDED AUDIENCE HERE THAT THE WRITERS ARE ‘SPEAKING’ TO IN A CERTAIN VOICE.  WHY DON’T YOU GET OFF THE FUCKING INTERNET AND GO VOLUNTEER AT A VA HOSPITAL?  IT WOULD BE MUCH MORE PRODUCTIVE THAN INSULTING PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET!”  I didn’t, but I really kind of wanted to.

Anyway, the great Sasha Pasulka, aka, Evil Beet, addressed the issue on her personal blog:

For the record, yes, I’m beyond grateful to the people who fought and died so that I could post whatever the fuck I want to post on the Internet, especially as relates to Memorial Day. I’m also grateful to the young men and women who put their lives on the line every day so that I can have — er — oil, is it? Is it oil still?

Because we’ve got satellites that can catch you reading in the park and read right along with you and we’ve got these computers that can process terabytes of data in fractions of a second, and we have these governments with better cash flow than God and somehow we are still resolving arguments by sending teenagers with guns away from their families and to kill people and be killed.

If these governments were run by women, these kids would never be out there killing each other. It is 2010 and we are still resolving political conflict by murdering our teenagers. Read that again and let it sink in. If you can’t have a happy Memorial Day, at least have a goddamn angry one. You should be angry that we continue to crank out 18-year-old kids that will soon need to be memorialized because we can’t resolve our conflict using the tools we taught those kids, a decade ago, in school.

So, ya know, I’m not going to spend the day somber. I’m going to catch some rays and play with my dog and barbeque and hope that, at some point, we’ll have to provide these soldiers a career alternative because we’re going to sort these messes out by using our words and sharing.

Interesting how these three sites—Evil Beet Gossip, Zelda Lily, and Sasha is a Monster—kind of joined together to make a very interesting statement about how women can and should and do and might respond to a (typically male-focused … although that’s changing) holiday like Memorial Day.

Thoughts?



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44 thoughts on “Flak From Memorial Day Posts Made Some Interesting (and Probably Unintended) Points

  1. Eh, I tend to write that kind of thing off as just a manifestation of the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (take a normal person, give them anonymity and and audience, and they are much more likely to become a fuckwad).

    I do the same when I have people try to tell me — someone who has lived in New York City for 20+ years — that they know better than me how I should feel about the 9/11 attacks.

  2. Uh huh. Because men are all war-mongering violent psychopaths, while all women are peaceful, friendly flowers. And war only happens because of the big bad men.

    I refuse any assessment that makes one sex better than the other. I disagree with anything that assumes all men are one way and all men are the other.
    That is the sort of feminazism that gives feminism a bad name.

    I will support your Memorial Day. I will be grateful for the times that the American military has helped me to live in freedom.
    ‘It’s all about oil’ is easy to say from here. But then when countries don’t act (see Rwanda, Balkans), they get castigated for that too.
    If no-one was willing to fight for their beliefs, we would be ruled by whoever was strong enough and willing to push everyone around.
    Personally, I am very grateful for those who are willing to use force when necessary.

    • I couldn’t agree more. And its not all about oil,it seems to me that I remember a little incident called 9-11. Freedom isn’t free,and Obama is a nieve little man!

      • Joey, 9/11 was horrible, yes. I hope that we never see such a thing again – I hope no one does, no people, no country.

        However, we have yet to do anything to address this. Iraq had nothing to do with it, despite years of the Bush White House trying to prove otherwise. The whole war was and is a lie, the American people grasped at it – Saddam was easy to hate and fear, wasn’t he? And we had already tangled with him once with good results.

        If we really wanted to address the nightmare of 9/11, we would have bombed Saudi Arabia first, then Pakistan and Afghanistan.

        Because that is where these evil people came from, were bankrolled by and generally supported.

        ELEVEN of the 15 involved in the 9/11 terrorist bombings were Saudi. Here’s a link:

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2002/02/06/saudi.htm

        We all need to ask why.
        Why a *diversionary* war?
        Why were these people not brought to justice? Or at least asked some tough questions.

        I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

        • Saddam was given ample time to allow access and compliance to the UN resolutions,he didn’t. He also had the infrastructure and attitude that would allow terrorists to obtain weapons of mass destruction. He was a loose cannon. We also believed that setting up a democratic society in that part of the world would do a lot of good in the war on terror. It may still prove to be a big plus.

        • I’m still not seeing the connection to 9/11.

          Again, there is a laundry list of counties much more unstable and dangerous to the USA than Iraq was – countries that DID have ties to the 9/11 terrorists.

        • The invasion of Iraq was never to punish Saddam for knocking over the towers,we knew he had little to do with it. It was to get rid of him and establish a democratic alternative for the people of the mid east. 9-11 was a wake-up call about the intentions of radical Islam,the war in Iraq was what the Bush administration considered a good move towards changing the attitudes in the mid-east. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out. I’m not going to turn my back on the American men and women who fought there,like the we did to Vietnam veterans.

        • You’re preaching to the choir here, Joey.

          My eldest daughter is a Captain in the Army, a nurse. The interesting part is that she met her husband in Abu Gharib. Her unit was sent there for the transition from Abu Gharib to Camp Cropper. Her husband worked for the US Army as a medical interpreter.

        • My only problem with this:

          “he invasion of Iraq was never to punish Saddam for knocking over the towers,we knew he had little to do with it.”

          Why didn’t anyone tell Bush this? He said over and over that this is why we were there (Iraq).

          As an example:

          “The terrorists have lost a sponsor in Iraq. And no terrorist networks will ever gain weapons of mass destruction from Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

          (President Bush in his speech to the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, September, 2003.)

          There is no sugar coating this, Joey.

          This was a diversionary war. Something had to be done to deflect attention away from the true terrorists and the inability of our intelligence people to find Bin Laden.

        • I see that I didn’t clarify – My son-in-law is an Iraqi.

          The general view that I got from the Iraqis that I know (both friends and family) is that when the USA invaded, they were all happy – they felt that they were finally free.

          Unfortunately, as time passed – the US allowed the religious extremists to take control. An Iraqi ex pat that I became friends with in Dubai put it this way:

          “Before the war, I went to University, got my Pharmacy degree and had a job that I loved in a hospital. I drove, wore makeup, listened to whatever kind of music that I liked and wore western clothing. I was free to move about Baghdad as I wished.

          Unfortunately, the religious fanatics have taken over. I have to wear traditional Muslim clothing or risk being beaten in the street, I am not permitted to drive or work. I am not allowed to leave my home without a male relative.

          Under Saddam, we knew that as long as we stayed out of politics, avoided confrontation and just lived our lives – we had it good.”

          The sad thing is, although Saddam was a certifiable madman, his regime was surprisingly progressive as far as it’s view on womens place in society.

        • Very progressive if you weren’t a Kurd

          Being a member of the Nazi Party was pretty great in Nazi Germany, but I don’t think that’s a very good argument against the partition

        • I’ll give you this,they viewed 9-11 as a good excuse to finish the job in Iraq. They also probably knew it was going to be a fairly easy conflict. But I sincerely believe the main objective was to establish a free society in the middle of the mid-east. As far as Bin Laden was concerned,I’m not so sure they wanted to catch him. It was nice to have a boogey man,and they knew he was too busy trying to stay one step ahead of us to be affective.

        • OK guys, going to put in my two cents. I haven’t even read all of the posts yet.

          I think we did a huge disservice to the Middle East when we toppled Saddam. All of the countries over there were afraid of him and nobody would start any shit. The US knew that he was harmless to the outside world (terrible to his people, yes), but it kept the region somewhat stablized. We as a country cannot continue to invade other countries trying to spread democracy. We have more than enough problems on our own turf that need addressed.

          Don’t blast me too hard on this theory please.

          I also agree that Bush knew that there weere no WMD’s over there and that Saddam wasn’t behind 9/11. Those were his excuses for the oil. The masterminds behind 9/11 haven’t been caught as of yet.

          (*side note) Blurry, my friend was just admitted to the hospital. They have found some small mass in her CT scan. Won’t know more until after a brain MRI on Tuesday.

        • As far as I can tell, the mistake in Iraq wasn’t the decision to go to war now. It was the decision not to do something a decade before when Hussain broke all the conditions he was required to follow after the Gulf War.
          Causes aside though, how much oil *are* you getting thanks to the war…?

      • “And its not all about oil,it seems to me that I remember a little incident called 9-11. Freedom isn’t free,and Obama is a nieve little man!”

        A few points:

        1. It’s spelled “Naive”, not “nieve”.

        2. 9-11 originated from Afghanistan, not Iraq.

        3. Obama is trying to wrap things up in Iraq, while continuing things in Afghanistan.

        4. Since Bush went to war in the wrong place, that tells me that it is BUSH who was naive (or, “nieve”, if you prefer).

        5. Speaking AS a New Yorker, I never wanted either one of them to go to war in the first place, because I know IT WOULDN’T TURN THE CLOCK BACK AND BRING THE TOWERS BACK. So kindly stop using the worst day of my life to show off how “patriotic” you are.

        • Kim, we’ll cut you a little slack here.

          Understand that Joey is an intelligent, funny person who often adds insight to whatever it is that is up for discussion. He nearly always adds laughter.

          Be nice to him or we’ll cut you.
          We have sporks and know how to use them.

        • Thank you Blurry,I feel better now. When I pull up on the job site the guys can always tell if I’ve been crying,but I feel better now!

        • In addition Kim. You are right. Most of us weren’t there on 9/11. I assume you were. You may/or may not have lost some loved ones also.

          Please don’t attack us since we weren’t there. I think we understand that you were under direct “attack” while we were all horrified and watched from our TV screens. No one can or should tell you how to feel about it.

          But please do not get petty and dumb down by insulting someone’s spelling, especially someone as loved as Joey. Please get some help if by attacking on a blog is you’re way of therapy.

        • I might add, I was taxiing down the runway when the first plane hit. Not as horrifing as what you witnessed, but believe me the series of events that followed that in my life were quite freaky.

        • *blinks*

          You know, I’m afraid I don’t find “freedom isn’t free” to be terribly “witty” or “intelligent.” In my experience, it’s one of the most hackneyed of cliches.

          Been good talking to you all, but I think I’ve misread the room. I’ll be moving on.

        • It may not be to you, but to someone who is Vietnam era, it means a lot more, I suppose.

          You can’t “read” a room in a day or so, Kim. This bunch takes more like a month to understand. We don’t all get along every day, but we generally manage to have some pretty good exchanges without too much fighting. (unless a troll is involved, then we just have fun with them).

          Joey and I have had our disagreements, Kai, Miree, Copa, Jorge (and so many others!) have pissed me off once or twice, Alzaetia amazes me, sometimes aggravates me (V and I could be twins, I swear) – but we all hold a mutual respect for one another.

          We welcome new points of view – just take your time and get to know the regs here at ZL.

          P.S. I am periodically a flaming bitch. I blame Sarah. Because.

          And where the hell is Rhonda?

        • One more thing Kim,I’ll use 9-11 to express my patriotism any time I wish,it was a bad day for anyone who loves this country. In fact the up side to that terrible day was that Americans seemed more patriotic and unified than I’ve ever seen them. New Yorkers don’t have a monopoly on that. Its a shame that we’ve already lost that unification.

        • Once again Blurry.. Agreed! And where is Lady GooGoo? Hello…………………I thought you said you were moving, but let us know how you are!

        • @Kim, Blurry is 100% correct in what she wrote. We all have a lot of differences, but pretty much agree to disagree. For me at least, I get a liittle irked when people with intelligent points of view result to pointing out spelling errors and name calling. Just my pet peeve. The people here have even swayed my opinion on a few things.

          I can read the hurt and anger in your postings, and would like to hear what that day was like for you and the aftermath. As I’ve said before, I can understand 9/11 being one of the “worst” days of your life.

        • And why you stated – “You know, I’m afraid I don’t find “freedom isn’t free” to be terribly “witty” or “intelligent.”

  3. **grin** Katie, I was thinking the same thing to myself about the three different posts and the comments that they generated!

    I agree with Kim W. on the differences. I’m not talking about the reasons for war as Kai is mentioning, but the vast difference in the comments from the three various blogs.

    I do follow all three and used to post on EB, but lately have found the comments to just be childish. I enjoy EB for the gossip side, the trashy, devil on the shoulder trash! Nothing more…but the last 9 months or so the comments have been just disgusting at times.

    I much rather follow ZL with its followers. Yes, we do get a few trolls and people that just like to stir up shit, but generally I like to hear others opinions about topics. Especially topics that I either haven’t thought about much, or am sitting on a fence about.

    SIAM gives one a glimse into Sasha’s mind….and I find that quite interesting.

    Thanks for the good posts.

    • I agree. It used to be, not long ago, that you could actually have a sort of decent back-and-forth with the commenters on EB, but now it’s all “I’m not stupid, you’re stupid” and “Quit hitting yourself”, “Stop touching me” kind of petty arguments. I very rarely look to see what people are commenting, unless one of the writers has talked about it in another post or it’s a topic I feel like commenting on.

      I don’t always come to ZL, but I know it’s a lot less likely I’ll have to throw my hands up in aggravation when trying to have a decent conversation on any of the postings.

  4. I’m tired of commentators telling bloggers what they can and can’t do with their sites. A blog is for public consumption, but it’s not put together by committee. And I love the readers who get all “I used to like this site but not anymore so I’m going to take my ball and go home” because you know they’re back the next day with a new handle.

  5. This makes me think of an episode of star trek where war was conducted via computer generations. There were no soldiers, people were just sent to the death-zapper-chambers when they strategically should have died.

    I think I’m a nerd.

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