Thursday, February 16, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 02/15/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Student "Social Experts"
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

There are times when a certain subject comes up that really just gets under my skin… and today I came across one of them. This issue may seem to be a bit trite, but this something that really bugs me.

This issue comes to us by syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz and it concerns a decorated World War II fighter pilot by the name of "Pappy" Boyington. Now my fellow Generation X’ers may remember the name "Pappy" Boyington from the late-1970’s NBC TV show "Black Sheep Squadron" starring Robert Conrad. But the TV show was based on the real-life men of Marine Corps aviation unit VMF-214, otherwise known as the "Black Sheep Squadron", under the command of one Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington. This man commanded one of the more successful and noteworthy Marine air squadrons in the South Pacific during World War II. He was given the Congressional Medal of Honor from President Roosevelt in March of 1944 and the Navy Cross by President Truman in October of 1945. He was also a prisoner of war, being held by the Japanese after his last mission in January of 1944, which meant that he couldn’t receive his Medal of Honor until after the war when Japan surrendered and let him go. He eventually was promoted to the rank of colonel and died in 1988 at the age of 75. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.

He was also a college graduate from the University of Washington, where he was in the ROTC program and earned his Bachelors of Science degree in aeronautical engineering. Before the war he was an engineer at Boeing.

So now let’s fast-forward to the present. A member of the UW student senate came up with the idea of some sort of way to honor Colonel Boyington. He wasn’t looking for a building to be named in the man’s honor or to have some huge statue carved. He simply thought that a plaque acknowledging one of the more noteworthy graduates of their university would suffice. Sounds simple enough, right? Hey, this guy not only received the highest medal in America, was recognized by TWO sitting presidents, AND had a TV show made about his life! There are politicians who get whole neighborhoods named after them for simply winning an election, so setting up a plaque for Colonel Boyington is THE VERY LEAST that the University of Washington could do!

BUT… apparently NOT for a couple of flaky female members of that student senate.

One female student by the name of Jill Edwards tried to table the whole idea, and when that failed, she gave her REAL reason why they shouldn’t have a plaque made for Colonel Boyington. She said – and this was put on the record – that it wasn’t appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. She said she didn’t believe that a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person that the University of Washington wanted to produce.

Another flaky female by the name of Ashley Miller even said that the campus was already full of monuments to, and I quote, "rich white men". Apparently MIZ Miller didn’t know squat who Gregory Boyington was, because he certainly wasn’t a "rich white man".

Well I happen to take offense to that kind of characterization given by Jill Edwards. She has the LUXURY to believe that a member of the Marine Corps wouldn’t be the example of the kind of person that university wanted to produce. But as someone who put in his four years in college and has his degree and has family members who served in the military, I have one simple question to MIZ Jill Edwards and MIZ Ashley Miller and the other flakes who successfully managed to stop this modest memorial…


Seriously. WHO ARE YOU MIZ Jill Edwards to believe that someone who spent his time and sacrificed years of his life to organize a bunch of strangers into a successful military unit to fight an ugly war shouldn’t somehow be the kind of "example" that would reflect your university? Who the hell are you to make that kind of declaration? Colonel Boyington survived imprisonment and torture at the hands of the Japanese during a time of war. How would YOU handle such imprisonment, MIZ Edwards? Colonel Boyington refused to call the 26 airplanes he shot down in his career as "kills", preferring instead to call them "victories". Does that sound like something a barbaric warmonger would say, MIZ Edwards? This man worked with one of America’s largest aircraft companies to design airplanes prior to the war. He trained pilots, not just here but also for other countries to defend against the Japanese Empire prior to the war. What are YOUR achievements thus far? What have YOU done so far in your life to offset that kind of example that you frown down on? And what qualifies YOU to determine what sort of example should be set by an alumnus of that university? You haven’t even GRADUATED yet!

And the same goes to MIZ Ashley Miller. You’re right in that there ARE plenty of memorials to, quote, "rich white men". But do you know WHY they have memorials? What did they do? Do you even KNOW what those things are? Go find out, and then match those attributes to the person whose career you spit upon and carelessly discarded as being just another "rich white man". Who knows… you may even LEARN something in the process!

You know what, folks… this may seem to be a bit about nothing, but when you have someone who is recognized for his or her military service and they’re looked down upon by a bunch of students who think that they know everything… then that really gets under my skin. My great-uncle fought in World War II. I even have his medal. My father was on point during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I have a picture of him risking his neck on the high seas during that time. And I would be thoroughly pissed off to hear that some snot-nosed flaky college student would look down on the things that my father or my great-uncle did and say that simply BECAUSE of their service, that they weren’t somehow "examples" for other people to look up to or remember.

And let’s get brutally honest here… when you hear about student governments, you have to understand that these aren’t people who are trying to change the world. When I was in college I was HEAVILY involved with student government and student activities. I was that ONE percent of the students who actually busted their butts and sacrificed sleep, a social life, and sometimes even studies for the cause of student government. And student governments are really only concerned with the following things:

    1. When’s the next party?
    2. Who’s going to be playing at our next concert?
    3. Why can’t I park my car closer to my dorm or classroom building? And…
    4. How can I spin this to make it look good in my future resume?

And the people who GET elected to these student government positions? They’re still stuck playing high school popularity games! They’re only in there because their friends think they can get better parties. Been there, done that, and I still have the beer T-shirts to prove it!

You may not like the soldier for what he or she has to do when the situation calls for it; and you have every RIGHT to voice your objection to what they do… but when circumstances arise to where you’re asked to help honor an alumnus whose career exemplified the better parts of society during one of their ugliest times, then the very least that you can do is to put your PERSONAL biases aside. The student government at the University of Washington actually did themselves AND their university a huge disservice when they voted down such a modest memorial, and I would only hope that the University system itself and those private sources that agreed to help fund the project would take a stand and teach these self-professed know-it-alls about the reality of their situation.

You know, maybe University administration ought to change the name of the building that MIZ Miller and MIZ Edwards live in and call it the Boyington Residency Hall. Change the name of their street to Boyington Boulevard, and change the name of whatever scholarship or tuition grant they’re using to the "Black Sheep Squadron Financial Assistance Fund". I think it would be absolutely poetic.

(Computer – weird mix of stuff that you have to hear)
(Fade Music In – "Heretic, Hero" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

You know, it’s one thing to oppose a military action. You want to protest American policy, then go right ahead and protest to your heart’s content. I’ll back up your right to do that all the way. But simply being a soldier should not automatically disqualify a person from being recognized for their achievements. And it certainly doesn’t entitle them to the scorn that some college students wrongly give.

The serviceman doesn’t have the luxury to pick and choose which conflicts he or she wants to get involved in. They put their lives on the line to do whatever job they get told to do, and most of them don’t even get so much as a thank you from the great unwashed for what they do. They don’t deserve to get spat upon or to be told that their contributions to society are somehow not "worthy" simply because they DID serve! Especially not by young adults whose only major decision thus far in their short adult existence is to decide between "less filling" and "tastes great".


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]


AJ Blaze said...

And if it wasn't for people like that who put their lives on the lines so that little mz ditz can have her current lifestyle, we would all be speaking japanese and german right now.

David 2 said...

Just a quick update, boys and girls... Neal Boortz is now reporting that the UW Student Senate is moving to PURGE those comments from their minutes. So if you haven't visitied the minutes (I put a link in the transcript) to that meeting, do so now because those minutes are being WHITEWASHED and SANITIZED by the Student Senate.