Living in Troubled Times.
"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
Oh to be young and insane! You know, I was much happier jumping into burning buildings for a living. I figured out at a young age that the military and I might not get along. Authority issues. How did I survive the Fire Service? It's not the military. I had officers who led from the front. Also had an honest to god union -and it was still touch and go. Very low BS tolerance.
The Marines were the only time in my life where everybody worked together and got along pretty well. There wasn't any problem with race, with class, and really, nobody cared a damn about the outside world. I can remember what it was like to be motivated, and feel like you were doing something that mattered, with good people.Then I got out. I had different jobs for a bit, and it was all the same. Every man for himself. Backstabbing. Cliques. Brown nosers. Even when I finally got squared away and went to work for the Oil and Gas business in accounting, it was always really just drudge work, to make rich people who were pretty much jerks richer. Nobody cared about the work, nobody cared about the company, or what it did. It was just about money. Point, period, exclamation mark. That's a rotten environment to live in.I would expect the fire services are similar in some ways to the military, in that you know you make a positive contribution and you make a difference. Since there's an element of risk, you depend on your cronies. I can't speak for every service but the units I worked with, American and Foreign, were well officered. You don't make rank by hiding in the rear with the gear.We didn't have a Union, but we didn't need one. The Marine Corps was self correcting.Coming from the family I did, I never had a problem with authority. My father saw to that, however unintentionally.
I was lucky to be have an exciting job where I was saving lives. The officers right up to the rank of Chief were very good. The Chief was and still is a political animal. The rest of the guys eventually saved each other's lives a few times. That makes a strong bond. I never had a problem with orders that made sense. One of my mentors in the service just ignored senseless orders and that had a big influence on me. When ignoring those stupid orders saved lives there wasn't much they could do.
The really stupid orders we had to obey came from the State Department. That's something I never forget.
Hi Harry, not sure if you'd seen CZ's blog yet, but I think you will appreciate his post.http://www.commanderzero.com/?p=3698-Blind Ambition
I know Commander Zero, he's a good guy. For some reason, the blog program he uses won't let me comment on it, but I do go by there.
"Charlie don't surf"....
Neither do I. I am afraid of the nasty fishies! ;-)
In April, 1970, I had just got back from Vietnam (with 1/1 USMC) and was stationed at Parris Island. The movie had a roped off area down near the front, that filled with Majors, LtCols types and their wives. The rest were young permanent personnel and a few senior recruit platoons close to graduation. The movie was "The Wild Bunch". Went the 'bunch' left the whores to gather and get their friend from the bad guys, the theatre reacted much the same. The wives and admin looking officers all seemed to need to leave as the bunch killed as many people as possible with a water-cooled .30, whose barrel apparently could not burn up. It was a magical moment and I still highly recommend The Wild Bunch.
I saw "The Wild Bunch" at the University of New Mexico student union building in 1971, probably at least 10 times. Nobody in the student theater except people from my reserve unit. The veterans (NESEP and MESEP) Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Personnel, were all guys back from Viet Nam. Then there were those of us who were brand new to it all. The show was popular with all hands.I saw "The Wind and the Lion" in Okinawa at Camp Zukeran in 1979. The scene with the Marines taking over the palace had the same effect.
Hey Harry,(captaincrunch)I don't want to be young again, however I would like to be rich.That would solve a great many problems. Now of course it would create a few new problems but I think those would be problems that can be remedied with a good team of lawyers.I want a restored PBR boat. Like one of the ones I messed around with in the Persian Gulf. I to yank out those two six cylinder Detroit's and drop in two modern, oversized Yanmar turbo diesels and a few other tweeks including 'High end thermal imaging systems for night fishing' I want to keep my PBR 'green and mean' so I can freak out the other boat owners in the area and run up and down the Laguna Madre and out in the Gulf of Mexico at 'freakisly high speeds:)
When you get rich don't forget your old buddy, Harry. I would like to be rich too.When I got out of the Marine Corps a guy I had served with, who was out as well, offered me a job flying dope into cow pastures in South Florida. The deal was they stole airplanes in the states, took them to the Caribbean where they loaded up with coke from Columbia. Then the pilot came in low at night, set the plane down in a cow pasture, they unloaded the dope and left the plane.I turned him down for two reasons. One was I didn't want to go to jail. The second was I wasn't sure they'd pay me instead of killing me. Standing in a cow pasture at night with a bunch of drug runners seemed like a high risk venture.Damn it! I could be living the life of Riley now. Oh! I guess actually I already am! ;-)
Check out armyjeeps.net. I think they have one or two for sale...
Jobs where the requirements are based on actions, not feelings, tend to be great to have. Ones where your security relies on other peoples' feelings, not so much.I belong to a medieval re-enactment organization. There are basically three groups - warriors, artisans and bureaucrats. To excel as a warrior and be acknowledged as a top dog, you have to be able to hit before being hit, to lead, to take orders, to fight well and not be butt-hurt if you lose afterwards.To excel as an artisan or a bureaucrat and be acknowledged as a top dog in those fields, you have to be reasonably competent and then survive the political bull-scat process for the recognition. The equivalent of processes would be (I am not saying the actual awards and such in the medieval group are anywhere close to being equal to the following honors), oh, say the difference between the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Warriors receive acknowledgement from being warriors. Paper-pushers and artists from playing the game well while sometimes even doing a fantastic job.Though it does seem that the Marine Corps has its collective stuff together better than any other organization I've ever seen. (Maybe being smaller and at the tail-end of getting all the good stuff makes them more stubborn about things and encourages the clan-ness of the Corps.)
The Marines are assault troops. It's a whole different world. I saw a poster once with two big groups of reenactors forming shield walls. At the end of one wall was a guy in a wheel chair, fully geared up. Looks like a lot of fun.Working in Civ Div was never great for me. I went through some jobs after I got out of the Marine Corps because I was very easy to set off and had a tendency to express frustration with jerks at work violently.Finally went back to school to get an advanced degree and then went to work in an office, shirt and tie environment. I made a decent living but hated the work and the people.However, I didn't thump any of them and made it to retirement.
One of the 'battles' I used to fight in was in a ravine, and the battle was a 'resurrection' style (you die, go back to home, get resurrected, trudge back to the line, fight, die, repeat.)So there I was, with a pike, and some dude in a wheelchair comes rolling up on me, on a slope. I poke him, he goes ass-over-elbows, everyone around me just stops. I, being an asshole, start laughing. Not nearly as loud as he was laughing. Happened about 10 more times that battle.Weirdest dude I ever fought was a one legged guy on one crutch. He would use his crutch as a shield, a weapon and as a friggin 6 foot leg to leap on you while swinging a mean sword. So, me being an asshole, went and swept his crutch out from him. I laughed, he laughed, people around us were mortified. Did it to him 6 times in a row. I think we both ended up laughing so hard we each peed.Worked in an office, tried to keep my secret identity quiet, but... So one of the guys started harassing me (cops, macho dudes all) and I played along with them. Challenged him to a leg strike contest with nightsticks, no armor, hard as you can, suck it up buttercup time. I let him have first strike, wimpy shot. He never got a second strike. Bruise was on his leg for a week. And that was a standard power shot. They left me alone after that.
So you really, really like 'Apocalypse Now'. How do you like 'Full Metal Jacket'? Any favorite scenes from that movie?
I liked Full Metal Jacket. R. Lee Ermey was good in that one, and it was not as bogus as so many films about the military were then.