News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

My Photo
Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

13 August 2005

i sing of Olaf glad and big

It only makes sense to be a conscientious objector when there's a draft / universal military conscription. It startles me to realize that most Americans living today have no direct experience with the draft; there was universal military conscription in the USA from the 1930s to about 1973. The draft, of course, filled the military ranks for World War II, but endured through the Cold War and finally ended, to be replaced by this Thing we got now, the euphemistic All Volunteer Military. During the Cold War, Elvis was drafted and served with the US Army in Germany.

While there was a draft, a man could declare himself opposed to war and military violence. It helped a lot if you came from a religious background like the Quakers, but if you had to convince the Draft Board or the Army of your beliefs, it was possible to do so without a specific anti-war religious background. Of course that implied that at the age of 18 or 19 or 20, you had independently concluded that you could under no circumstances take up arms against another human being. Well -- there are such 18, 19 and 20-year-olds. I knew a couple of them.

Some current "volunteers" are now filing with the military for Conscientious Objector status. Note the distinction between Pacifist and Conscientious Objector: A pacifist designates himself. Conscientious Objector is a designation that the military agrees to classify a particular soldier, or the Selective Service System grants a man subject to the draft. It's like saying, "I'm a cowboy!" vs. getting a notice from the government that says, "The Department of Agriculture has approved your application and you are officially designated an Equine-Based Cattle Transportation Specialist (Male)."


i sing of Olaf glad and big

by e.e. cummings
[Edward Estlin Cummings, 1894-1962]

i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelov'd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your fucking flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.


Post a Comment

<< Home