Apparently Chris Hayes got his pee-pee whacked for daring to suggest that we bandy about the word “hero” too much and that sometimes its use is manipulative (technically Chris’ panelist brought the manipulation angle up). I saw the segment in question. It was quiet, dignified conversation, in addition to being incredibly deferential to our servicemen and women.
I was saddened to learn that Chris Hayes has since apologized for daring to admit to discomfort at using the word. That’s a damn shame. It is a word that’s overused. And by that I mean its overused in both purely pedantic terms, because its often used just flat-out incorrectly (the victims of 9/11 were not heroes), but also because it’s also used manipulatively, as mentioned previously.
Sometimes servicemen and women are not heroes. In fact, often they’re not. Sometimes they’re just good people who serve their country with honor. Sometimes they’re poor shlubs who die horribly. This doesn’t necessarily make them heroes. And I bet if you tried to call most servicemen and women heroes, they would politely demure, because they see themselves as professionals doing a job, not heroes.
This is not to say you can’t think our folks in uniform are wonderful. You can, and as the spouse of one, I appreciate it if you do. You can think they’re wonderful, brave, patriotic, and 31 flavors of marvipoo. But the fact is that most of them will serve without having done something technically heroic. And that’s ok. You can still honor and revere them anyway, if you choose to.
But to those of you who are acting like children who got their blankie taken away from them because Chris Hayes said something mean about your daddy-figures, I have a message for you: You want to support the troops? Take your rhetorical flourishes and shove them up your ass. Take that goddamn yellow ribbon off the back of your car. And support politicians who won’t get young and often poorly-paid people into quagmires, where they have to serve tour after tour and possibly lose their lives or limbs. Donate to charities that serve veterans. Make sure our veterans’ medical facilities are not national embarrassments. Your words are hollow. Do something that MATTERS.
In other news, I have decided that fetish people are just messing with vanilla people. I think they get together and titter about making sex-boring people like me think they’re really into stuff like this.