I think the one thing we can agree on about the Petraeus scandal is that it’s hilarious: anonymous Gmail address, FBI agent who sent shirtless photos of himself to Jill Kelley, whom Paula Broadwell apparently sent threatening e-mails to (which started the FBI investigation), and Gen. John Allen apparently sending tens of thousands of dodgy emails to Kelley.
Of course, there is all the double entendre now swept up in Broadwell and her book, but methinks a TV station should probably do a double check when grabbing the cover of All In off the interwebs. (Video here.)
Generally, I tend to sympathize with Dave Zirin and like his writing (particularly on militarism displays at stadia and arenas), but this is so stupid it drools. I know he’s making a larger point about militarism, improper war analogies in sport, and how that can foster a violent environment, but at some point, we just need to make people assume responsibility for their own behavior. Hockey had fights before the Jets existed.
As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have dragged on, other purposes have come into play. The greater the sacrifice that has fallen on one small group of people, the members of the military and their families, the more we have gone from supporting our troops to putting them on a pedestal. In the Second World War, everybody fought. Soldiers were not remote figures to most of us; they were us. Now, instead of sharing the burden, we sentimentalize it. It’s a lot easier to idealize the people who are fighting than it is to send your kid to join them. This is also a form of service, I suppose: lip service.
William Deresiewicz in the New York Times, on the regard we have for the military and what it says about our society now.