Fresh Propaganda from the Washington Post

The front page of the Post today featured a cloying human interest piece on Marine training at Quantico. Here’s my response, a short passage from the classic novel of meaningless warfare All Quiet on The Western Front:

“We were trained in the army for ten weeks and in this time more profoundly influenced than by ten years at school…At first astonished, then embittered, and finally indifferent, we recognized that what matters is not the mind but the boot, not intelligence but the system, not freedom but drill…With our young, awakened eyes we saw that the classical conception of the Fatherland held by our teachers resolved itself here into a renunciation of personality such as one would not ask for of the meanest servant…We had fancied our task would be different only to find we were being trained for heroism as though we were circus ponies. But we soon accustomed ourselves to it.”

So, in sum, I’ll thank the editors of the Post not to bombard me with nonsense, or at least to kindly relegate such nonsense to the Sports section.


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