And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Lyrics – Country Joe and the Fish
I went to see that movie American Sniper last night. It was a rather sobering experience. But how much more sober can you get than stone cold? Who knows? If you haven’t heard about this movie it’s based on the biography of Chris Kyle, a sniper who did 4 tours in Iraq. He is known as the most lethal sniper in American History with 160 confirmed kills. He made it home alive and was murdered by a troubled veteran he was trying to help.
I’m not even going to go into the nasty debate about whether he was a hero or a coward. My opinion is that he was a soldier doing what he thought was the right thing to do to protect his family and country. He didn’t start the war – he just did what he had to do.
That being said, I’ve been pondering the whole war conundrum. I laid awake much of last night thinking about it. In a way we treat our returning warriors the same way we treat people with mental illness. We sweep it under the rug and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.
Those caught up in the war machine seem have the same mental kinks as people who are mentally ill and/or have mental illness or substance abuse problems. “Oh this is just affecting us, no one else has to deal with it, and we’re handling it just fine.” Hogwash!
As I look back over my life I can see that war has tainted my entire life. I was in my mid-teens when the Vietnam War was going on. I faced the fear that if it continued for a few more years that my brothers would have to go. I was the oldest in my family and female, but my girlfriends had older brothers that were sent off to Vietnam. They came home in a box. One of those brothers was the first boy I ever kissed. He kissed me the night before he went off to boot camp.
During that era teenage trouble making was a death sentence if you were boy from a blue collar family. The judge gave them a choice “jail or Vietnam.” Stupid boys chose Nam. I would have much rather they went to jail, but I was a 14 year old girl, my say didn’t matter much then. It probably doesn’t matter much more now. I just have a wider audience.
After my girlfriends lost their brothers, we three musketeers decided to wear black arm bands to school. We got in all kinds of trouble for it. Being teen aged innocents we didn’t know we were protesting, we just knew that our guys died and we were sad and very angry. We had to stay after school for detention every day that we wore those arm bands. Funny thing was no one ever tried to confiscate them. If this happened in the present they probably would have them confiscated. Can’t wear or carry anything to school that might offend someone nowadays. I don’t remember how long we wore them and when we stopped either. How odd. We drifted apart, life goes on I guess.
Fast forward to when I was 18 years old. I fell in love with a Vietnam vet who was one of those who made it home in body but not in mind. My mother hated him and knew he was trouble. She finally told me to not talk to her until I was finished with him. She was right in a way. He was trouble because he was troubled. When we walked down the street he was constantly scanning and looking around at trees, roof tops, alleyways. I thought he was just unusually alert. What did I know about soldiers and PTSD? My dead friends don’t talk about that. 6 months later he committed suicide by cop. Meaning they tried to arrest him, he said “you’re not taking me alive” and boom he’s dead.
So at the tender age of 14 I learned that I was not invincible. People die because of other people’s decisions, shit happens. Should children have to learn that? I don’t know but there are children all over the world in war zones learning this every day. Are we better for it? I don’t think so. But that’s just my opinion among billions of others.
Well, I know I’ve hit a rough patch when I go on a binge of reading Zombie Apocalypse novels to cheer up. After the death of a loved one there’s not much in there to scare you, and just like grieving – it goes on and on …and on. Zombies, here, there and everywhere.
Over the past week I’ve read about 15 zombie books on my Kindle. They are actually pretty funny. If you want to read about all the creative and almost hilarious ways people can screw up and be branded “too stupid to live” immediately before their inevitable demise, it’s all that and so much more. Sorry if I’m referring to death as funny, but come on. Check out the Darwin awards if you have questions. (The stupid ways that people actually, in real life, removed themselves from the gene pool.)
But back to my original question, is there any logical reason to throw away a firearm just because you’re out of ammo? If I’m out of food I don’t throw away my stove and refrigerator. I’m assuming that if you are on the run in an ongoing survival situation; war, extended riots, zombie or other kind of hair-raising apocalyptic situation, you would probably hope against hope to acquire more ammo at some point.
A recurring theme in all the books I’ve read so far is this. The hero, heroes, heroine, etc. is/are in yet another fight for their life and run out of ammo, then they THROW AWAY THEIR WEAPON (???), and run away screaming, look for a blunt object, get in an argument with their companions, or lay down and die. What the hell is that all about? Excuse me, but if I run out of ammo for my revolver or rifle, I’m still holding a blunt object that I can brain someone or something with and hopefully am able to reload in the future. Maybe I’m just a practical gal, but I wouldn’t throw down my weapon like it was an empty juice box.
I guess if you are armed with some kind of weird antique revolver that only takes handmade ammo or something similar there would be a reason to lighten your load. OK, maybe if you’re running for your life, shooting it out has become a moot point, have an extremely heavy rifle and there is very little chance that you will be coming back to it with or without ammo I could see dropping it. However, in these zombie novels someone throws away their firearm every chapter or two without fail.
I think part of it is that in a zombie novel you pretty much invent everything that happens. It is total fiction and one has artistic license to come up with whatever whacked out unbelievable scenario that suits your fancy. In prepper, survivalist type novels the authors usually are a little more experienced in the weapons department or at least do their homework.
Another thing that the characters in these zombie novels do over and over that annoys me to no end is they drive right through the middle of a seemingly abandoned town at high noon, put their car in park, leave the vehicle unattended with the keys in it, running, cross their fingers, and plunge into a dark abandoned store. Chaos ensues, of course. Does anything go right at the end of the world?
Well, that’s a whole ‘nother rant so I’m going to stop here for now.
The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – are a part of the framework that makes up our learning to live with the one we lost. They are tools to help us frame and identify what we may be feeling. But they are not stops on some linear timeline in grief. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
All the death gurus I’ve read or heard quoted claim there are stages of grief. I have to say that at the moment I’m in the white hot lava mountain of rage otherwise known as anger.
It’ kind of hard to deal with because at the moment I’m angry with my family and everyone else I’ve even known who puts themselves in harm’s way to the sorrow and fear of their loved ones and friends.
I’m angry with my grandson for choosing to live a sad and dangerous life; choices that left his 26 year old beaten, drugged up, frozen dead body on the ground in a train station in Boston. Those of us left behind to mourn him are left holding the bag. I’m pissed off because it seems like he got off easy. He doesn’t have to face each day knowing that he’s gone forever. He’s not left with a life time of “what ifs.”
I’m angry at those members of my family who still abuse drugs and alcohol and live on the razors edge of death in a myriad of ways because of their actions. Who will I have to bury next?
I’m angry at family and friends who suffer from an assortment of mental illness and refuse to seek or maintain treatment. I’ve been told by a number of them that well “I’m not hurting anyone but myself.” Excuse me but that is total unadulterated bullshit. Hello but you are torturing those who love you.
Having substance abusing, and or mentally ill friends and relatives is like having a stalker. The situation grinds on relentlessly for years and then decades. Your heart jumps into your throat every time the phone rings. “What is it THIS time?” Are they in the hospital? Are they in jail? Are they missing…again. Are they dead?
It’s a slow kind of torture that never ends. You can’t do anything about it. Maybe having an actual stalker would be easier to deal with. You can report them to the police. You can take out a restraining order. You can go incognito. If all else fails, you can move to another city or country to get away from it.
But you can’t get away from substance abuse or untreated mental illness. You can hope, you can pray, you can go into denial and refuse to answer the phone, but you can never get away from it.
To anyone who thinks that their self destructive behavior is their business and not anyone else’s….I would like to brain you with an iron frying pan and then lock you in a closet for a year or three. You ARE hurting the people who love you.
The reality is you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be, nor would you want to. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and John Kessler.
As long I have to reinvent myself after a piece of my heart got cut out, I’m thinking about doing something I always wanted to do – go Goth. Don’t waste your time asking yourself if I’ve lost my mind. That ship has sailed.
Now I’m saying this a little tongue in cheek. But think about it. I can wear black all the time now because I have a perfectly good excuse. I can read Edgar Allen Poe in the middle of the night and then listen to Joy Division, Sisters of Mercy, the Cult, Rasputina and Siouxsie and the Banshees on my IPOD all day.
I can contemplate death without working up an effort because it’s always there, right at the front and center of my brain. Not my death necessarily. I of course know that I will die someday, but harbor no plans to bring about my own premature demise. Life is much too precious and brief to throw away.
I’m already rocking silver hair and the dark circles around my eyes. All I have to do is slap on some black eyeliner and dark lipstick and I’m half way there. I have tons of black clothes already, because well…I’ve always loved black clothes. I even own a black corset.
The loss is Christopher, my grandson, keeps sneaking up at me at the most inopportune moment. Last night Mr. Husband and I were watching the Patriots vs Ravens football game. I suddenly burst into tears because the thought that Christopher is a Patriots fan flitted across my mind. I thought only men cried when watching football? My poor husband tried to comfort me and said “I’m sure where ever he is he’s watching the game.” The Patriots won. YAY
So if I’m going to be in mourning for the foreseeable future, I may as well have some fun with it. Sounds a bit kooky, I know. But I never claimed to be a “normal” person.