I bounce back and forth between wanting to know absolutely everything that's happening in the world today... and wanting desperately to know nothing about anything anywhere. But I couldn't live with myself if I turned an ignorant eye to all the crap that's happening, so I do my best to stay informed and wade through the sewage forced upon us by the bullshit media with their bullshit agendas.
Right before my birthday happened, the "big news" of the day was Vice President Kamala Harris not saluting the military detail for Air Force 2 as she walked onto her personal jet to go do... something... or whatever. People were beside themselves with rage over her blatant disrespect.
The President of the United States of America salutes our troops out of (relatively) recent tradition because he is COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES. And even then it's not required OR expected. The Vice President isn’t in command of jack-shit when it comes to the military, so she doesn’t salute them. She's just a civilian in public service.
And yet here comes shitloads of people throwing a fit about it.
Which is like being big mad because a grocery store clerk doesn’t salute our troops, but okay.
Every damn day this country gets more ignorant and more idiotic because people are fucking sheep who don’t even know why they’re mad any more. Somebody on TV or the internet tells them to be outraged, so they get outraged. All people care about is whether the outrage fits the narrative they've been programmed with. Facts, evidence, experience, accuracy, and knowledge simply Do Not Matter.
And I don't know what else to say about it except "Well, have at it then. Keep on being that person who can’t help but announce to the world how big of a dumbass they are." — Because what else can I say? There's no changing anybody's mind, and patiently explaining why Vice President Harris didn't salute the guys outside her fancy plane would make zero difference. They would still be outraged.
And can you imagine if she had saluted?
Then the outrage would be SHE'S NOT MILITARY! SHE'S NOT IN THE CHAIN OF COMMAND! HOW DARE SHE THINK SHE IS WORTHY OF SALUTING OUR BRAVE TROOPS! WHAT A DISRESPECTFUL PIECE OF SHIT!!!
Because that's what the outrage machine does. That's all they're good for, apparently.
Which brings me to this bit of genius from comedian Russell Brand, one of the foremost thinkers on the planet (whether you agree with him or not)...
"I mean in England we have a Queen for fuck’s sake. A Queen! We have to call her things like 'Your Majesty!' Like she’s all majestic... like an eagle or a mountain. She’s just a person. A little old lady in a shiny hat — a shiny hat that WE paid for. Or 'Your Highness.' What the fuck is that?! What, she’s high up above us at the top of a class pyramid on a shelf of money with her own face on it? We should be calling her Mrs Windsor. In fact that’s not even her real name, they changed it in the war to distract us from the inconvenient fact that they were as German as the enemy that teenage boys were being encouraged, conscripted actually, to die fighting. Her actual name is Mrs. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.
All this drama. All this outrage. All this hate. It's all built around mere humans that used to exist to serve us... but now exist to be worshipped by us. If you are a Republican you are required to worship at the altar of President Regan. If you are a Trump-Republican you are required to worship at the altar of President Trump. If you are a Democrat, then President Obama is your god... with President Biden as some kind of god-adjacent deity or something. And once you've been programmed with which god you'll be worshipping, you are expected to be blindly loyal to them... all while hating everybody's else's god... regardless of circumstance.* Which is how we get to "KAMALA HARRIS IS A DEMON IN LEAGUE WITH THE GREAT SATAN JOE BIDEN AND WE NEED TO BE OUTRAGED WHEN SHE DIDN'T SALUTE EVEN THOUGH SHE DOESN'T HAVE TO SALUTE BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT OUR GOD DEMANDS OF US! (as handed down from on high by Fox News, restrictions do not apply)"
And, I gotta tell you, I'm exhausted by it all.**
If only we could get back to a place where political leaders are public servants again.***
Though, if I'm being honest, I think we've gone too far down the rabbit hole to ever go back. It's going to be politicians as gods, mandatory blind worship, generated outrage, and hate on top of hate on top of hate, from here on out. Which is both sad and inexplicable, because I think if you sat people down individually and asked them if this is what they really want, their answer would be "no." But nobody has time for that conversation. They have to get back to being mad about somebody over something that somebody told them to be mad about.
*Which, coincidentally enough, is how world religions seem to work, but I digress.
**Not exhausted enough to pick a god, but still... I digress.
***Or, at the very least, aren't able to be bought by lobbyist payola... no more digressing.
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I can tell you, from my own personal experience, that after decades of precedence the CIC is *expected* to return a salute. When Bill Clinton didn’t do it (more here or there) the negative reaction was hit or miss. Really depended on what he was doing. I don’t recall those Active Duty getting their panties in a wad if he was chatting with others or otherwise occupied. What did rile people up is when he didn’t salute the ship when boarding and I personally was miffed when he decided to mix & match clothing items he shouldn’t have been wearing in the first place, like a Bomber Jacket with an Army Unit patch where the Air Force “slap patch” would go.
That all being said, I wouldn’t have expected the VP to return a salute, nor would I any foreign dignitary or civilian. I also would expect Americans to not bow before other heads of state.
I dunno… I see nothing wrong with respecting the culture of other nations to be cordial and respectful. The Japanese bow as a greeting. And while they will break THEIR custom to shake hands, it should not be a horrendous thing for OUR leaders to do the same and bow as well. Mutual handshake. Mutual bowing. It’s just… diplomatic. Two heads of state each respecting each other’s cultures is in no way “bowing down foreign leaders” or however Fox “News” wants to spin it, but that’s the world we live in. You can’t pass up the opportunity to spread a little hate on a rival god.