Freedom, it is the gods' radiant spark,
And with blood we'll defend it on a lark,
So, let us glut ourselves with gooey globs of pornographic sex,
As we feed the military industrial complex.
[Readers of my old weblog will no doubt recognize this rather cynical and dark quatrain. And, yes, I do intend it to be cynical and dark. The American notion of freedom is simply decadent license and as such not worth dying for. Actually, our wars are not for freedom at all. We just say that because we want to be noble somehow, but we're really fighting for what Dwight D. Eisenhower (a Republican, mind you, not a tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, tie-dyed, Chomskyite, commie pinko pothead) notoriously called the Military Industrial Complex. Now, I know some self-satisfied, flag-waving fascists like to laugh at people who use this term, joking that these like to use an intimidating polysyllabic simply as a substitute for thought which they have evidently toked away. I will agree that "Military Industrial Complex" is a ridiculously clumsy term that invites parody, but Eisenhower was always known for his labored and cumbersome rhetoric. Neverthetheless, the term does mean something. It means nothing more than our reliance on our military might to prop up our militarized economy. We must kill lots of people so that Haliburton's stock will go up, for instance. Or we keep the world in a perpetual state of fear and strife so that there will be a market for one of our last remaining manufactures, stuff that maims, destroys, and kills. Baghdad has just agreed to buy three billion dollars worth of our death technology. Maybe that will rescue us from the very messy burst of the housing bubble. Yeah, of course, "Military Industrial Complex" is an ugly term; it describes an ugly thing. But, at least, the Memorial Day Ceremonies are quite lovely.--PSR]