Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

I was at the Gorge in George, Washington for Sasquatch Festival during Memorial Day. I was struck by the fact that none of the people there seemed to remember it was Memorial Day. In fact the opposite was true. During the Bright Eyes performance the lead singer, Conor Oberst made a personal point of talking about his pacifism and how horrified he was at the murder of Osama Bin Laden. The young crowd whistled and agreed...or did they?

I was standing next to a music reviewer and he asked me not knowing that I had just returned from Afghanistan what I thought about his statement. I told him I don't appreciate performers using an entertainment venue to make their personal opinion of a political nature. I'm there to be entertained. I also added I thought Oberst's statement was a sign of immaturity. The reviewer agreed.

The philosopher John Stuart Mill wrote, "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

What did you do this Memorial Day?