Monday, November 10, 2008

Innocents Abroad in One of Them Stans

Dear E.B.

Very interesting message I got from you yesterday. Sounds like you had an unexpectedly good time in Afghanistan, and got a low-altitude, close-up view of some of the Empire's most critical real estate on your way back to Kuwait.

So were you able to wave to any of those picturesque tribal Islamic hillbillies on your pass over the Afghan-Pakistan border? I wonder if they know about

The pictures were great, especially the one of the C-130 that got crashed by a hot dog. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always assumed those things are irreplaceable (C-130's, not hot dogs), that they're not making them any more, and that if they lose one it's gone forever. I've never understood why a military establishment would allow itself to become as dependent as ours is on a piece of equipment which is a dinosaur, without coming up with something to replace it and perform the same function. But I could be all wet about this.

My ex-wife, who used to be in the Air Force reserve, spent most of her time with that worthy organization inspecting the electrical components on the fuel-flow gauges of C-130's, so what I know about them I learned from her.

It also sounds like you're experiencing a certain amount of camaraderie over there, which is at least some consolation for having to behave yourself all the time. In that part of the world, there's just no way you can't behave yourself.

Things are OK here I guess. Taking care of mom is difficult sometimes, but it's what I'm supposed to be doing right now. I don't get as much internet time as I used to, because I have to leave the house and find a wireless connection to get on line. That's good in a way, because it means spending more time doing other things, but it's also occasionally kind of inconvenient, like today when nothing's open because it's Sunday. So right now I'm composing this in a word program for copying and sending tomorrow.

All the reactionaries, fascists, racists, wingnuts, hayseeds, plow jockeys, snake handlers, glue sniffers, simpletons, mouth breathers, bumpkins, and other devolved types are going ape shit over here since the election. They all say they're "keeping their guns loaded" because Obama is going to try to "redistribute our income." Well, if Dubya can do it, I suppose Barack can do it too, but what the wingers are scared of -- I only wish it was true.

Barack, it almost goes without saying, is going to be a more effective administrator than we've seen since Clinton stepped down. But he's also mild and harmless, and certainly no threat at all to the ruling class or the status quo. Unfortunately.

As a friend of mine said a couple days ago, "(W)e still have the simple undeniable fact that he is trapped by the logic of his own existence."

However, it's an interesting time to be alive, provided you have a little money coming in from somewhere, food and gas remain available, and the U.S. dollar doesn't have its ass fall off. By the time you get out of the service, times may have changed, and there may be some people actually getting jobs, as opposed to just losing them.

Please write again soon, and send more pix if you can. That was a great picture format you used this last time. And I always enjoy hearing from you.


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