PBS just offered up some excellent programing. Programs being –
DICK CAVETT’S VIETNAM
KENT STATE – THE DAY THE 60’s DIED
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM
I didn’t think that PBS still had it in them to offer up intelligent and thought provoking programing. Educational too. I did not know that Woody Wilson came up with the term “Selective Service.” Selective Service is the draft. Thanks Woody.
The four programs were a whirlwind tour of the halcyon days. I was drafted in July 1969. I don’t remember the exact day. The passage of years will do that.
I was ordered to report to AFEES and came prepared with a change of shorts and a carton of Marlboro’s. I figured it was off to basic training and then the Nam.
Well, given how the events of that day turned out, I’m of the opinion that “God” just may in fact be real.
Just an opinion and we all know about ‘opinions’.
After a rather touchy and icky send off physical exam and standing in interminable lines of military ambiance this colossally large Marine Corp Gunnery Sargent called out my name walked up to me and said and I quote, “go home skinny we don’t need you.” So I did. I received a Selective Service “official” draft reclassification several months after my day at AFEES. 4F and I hadn’t had to crap myself or wear a dress or claim to be gay.
So home I went and did not EVER look back. To this day I can’t explain what had just happened. But you can believe me, I danced out of AFEES and proceeded to get high for years. Which as things turned out, the getting high exercise would prove commentary on ensuing years and many years later a loss of personal liberty that was deserved.
It should be noted that I’m feeling much better now and I’ve 22 years 3 months and 22 days clean. The day I walked out of the slam is when I started counting days of sobriety.
PBS’s programing was insightful and left open the notion as a subtle reminder, the draft is still on the books and all the necessary mechanisms are still in place and waiting for congressional authorization.
Dick Cavett’s Vietnam was commentary on the fact that intelligent talk shows are long dead and gone. I watched Cavett a way back in the day and Cavett seems more prescient today than back then. Also I did not know that Dick Cavett was good friends with Barry Goldwater.
Kent State was the death of America’s antiwar movement and the program delineated that demise with surgical precision.
Last Days In Vietnam reminded me of how much I detest Pat Buchanan. To this day I can’t stand the asshole and I will thank the gods of poetic justice on the day that miserable prick cacks.
What America did to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos were and are crimes against humanity, war crimes and son-of-a-bitch, the war criminals are not now nor ever held to account. So we fast forward to today and America’s war criminals are still waging wars of naked aggression, saturated in genocide, and enjoying their reign of slaughter with impunity.
Any antiwar movement remains buried in the butchery that was Kent State. With the important lesson being, one can exercise that First Amendment right to protest and America grants citizens the liberty to do just that. Up to a point. Cross the establishment line and government will execute you on sight and then grant the National Guard a free pass for murder. That free pass for murder extends to today’s paramilitary policing Gestapo.
Rest in peace Freddie Gray, your days of having to run from the Gestapo are over.