People that join the military are basically bitches wanting to be worked by the biggest pimp. That’s fine with big-timer Uncle Sam, the silk daddy with the sugar-dick who can always use a few more drones to help in turning out most 3rd world hos as cheap labor. Only problem is, in today’s mamby pamby era of manlessness it’s hard to find people that want to crawl through mud and be hollered at all day. With a deflating global pimp hand, the pressure is on from Washington to go after a younger demographic and fill the ranks. To accomplish this the military became more devious than a pederast on a Raffi world tour. “You get a free education and all kinds of skills and you’re defending your country,” says David Quan, a 14 year-old high school student from Brooklyn who had seen so many recruitment ads in high schools and movie theatres he sounded like a Scientologist. “No you don’t,” we said. CELLULOID IMAGES ROMANCING David believes in the land of the free partly because he is stupid and partly because the Corps has devoted billions to making him think stupid thoughts. In theatres nationwide, the Marine Corps is running this sword and sorcery commercial that the spot’s production company (J Walter Thompson) explains as “an elaborate CGI monster fighting a Marine in a medieval/industrial fantasy-world setting.” Oooooh. Now that all these commies and gooks are our best friends, fighting evil must be portrayed metaphorically. So we gotta watch this Battle Dome thing with a guy pulling a sword from a stone to combat a lava monster whilst standing atop a laser beam. How gay is that? Then they toss in one of those Matrix shots and it’s Dom DeLuise (hugely gay) to the point where it’s totally fucking out there. As a flaming tendril of queerness transforms Joe Schmoe into a Marine, we struggle to grasp what it all means. Then, outside the movie theatre, we catch the same ad repeating every five minutes on a giant TV screen on 42nd street. After studying it forever, we got the full lowdown. The Marines pull in 40 000 recruits a year and it sucks to be there. Unlike the Navy where you have cruise ship buffets, exotic ports of call and get your freak on till dawn (the typically high 48% pregnancy rate for single women stationed in Iceland, Tailhook’s ass-slapping scandal etc.), the Marine Corps has been traditionally about recruiting wanna-be top men, too pussy for a real gladiator academy like Chino or Osening. Yet, brilliantly, by going with the Joe Camel approach of “get them while they’re young,” the Corps has been the only branch successful in recruiting. The ad spokesman who birthed the lava monsters and laser beams explains, “The inspiration has been the Marine Corps swords. And when you start playing,” he corrects himself, “start using swords in the imagery, it naturally carries you through to places that are medieval and Dungeons and Dragons like in nature. The metaphorical fantasy world works very well with the kids.” His explanation lays in the fact that “the bulk of the kids that join are between the ages of 17 and 20. They remember seeing it and they remember being influenced by it. Being a warrior is kind of, you know, every kid’s got a little bit of fantasy about that.” MUST-SEE TV Following the movie theatre stroke of genius, the military hopped on Channel One, the in-classroom learning channel used by 12 000 high schools nationwide. As with movie theatre advertising, you have a captive audience. This prized teen demographic is legally bound to be there. Military ads went from hallways to bathrooms and eventually took the MTV step of passing product placement infomercials off as legit programming on Channel One. With titles such as “You’re in the Army Now: Joining America’s Armed Forces,” it didn’t take much time for New York to go nuts and pull the plug on Channel One statewide. 7-YEAR BITCH Once they get the kids’ attention they can drop bullshit bombs like free education, great job training and the opportunity to travel the world keeping the peace. The opposite is true in each case. The Pentagon is so busy spending $2 billion dollars a year on advertising and recruitment, they ran out of money for scholarship funding. You don’t get a free education. In fact, to be considered for a scholarship, you are required to pay in $1 200 to the program, just to qualify. Only 35% of the people that apply actually get in and the Marines take home the extra application money. In a deft survey they did on themselves recently they discovered that from 1986 to 1993 the marine corps took in $720 million more in tuition money than it gave out. Not only are you gypped a free education, you’re totally unemployable. What kind of job did you think you were going to get? Professional pawn? Vice President Dick Cheney put it best when he said, “The military is not a social welfare agency.
FREE EDUCATION: EVERYONE PAYS IN $1,200, THEY ONLY ACCEPT 35% OF THE APPLICANTS AND THE PROFITS ($720,000,000 FROM 86-93) GO TO THE MARINES.
The military is not a jobs program.” Or, more specifically, as a mid-80s study by Ohio State University put it: only 12% of male veterans and 6% of female veterans learned any skills applicable to their non-military occupations. With a deal this raw, the military needs to lay down some serious bullshit to get you to sign to a 24-hour a day job you can’t quit. FLESH FOR FANTASY In The Gulf War Did Not Happen, Jean Baudrillard points out that media war has taken over bloody combat in the ever-evolving flux of reality. Point being that if no one from our side gets killed, is it really a war? According to the TV it was real and “reality” shows ran with this neither true, nor untrue mindfuck to score huge audiences. The military couldn’t wait to push it even farther. Consider for example the Cuba Gooding Jr. spots that ran on TV as a dual promotion for both the Navy and the film Men of Honor. With Hollywood fantasy co-opted by the military and their ads preceding revisionist action hero crap in theatres, the distinction between escapist entertainment and reality is intentionally blurred. And as the military needs fictional façade to recruit, it also needs it to exist. It is not a peacekeeping force at all. It is about throwing autonomous pockets into chaos and providing a decoy while American interests are watched over. People are convinced the Yugoslavian oil pipelines we siphon and the bodies we bulldozed into the ground in Panama were someone else’s doing. They believe our air strikes were launched there to keep the peace. ROTC IN THE USA Curiously, school administrations often encourage this deception. With high schools passing out so many rough little shits, the inevitable hemorrhoid of the JROTC poked up, offering to instill discipline and teamwork. Under this motivational outreach label, “at-risk” kids are taught “leadership skills” by an institution that runs on unquestioning obedience and following orders. As Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll says of his hypnotic indoctrination program, “Its real motive is to inculcate a positive attitude toward military service at a very early age, thus creating a storehouse of potential recruits.” They do this by saying to the approximately 310 000, students aged 14 and up, that participate in about 2 200 high schools nationwide, “Hey kids, wanna see a real gun?” According to the public interest group CCCO, “ninety percent of all JROTC programs train students to fire rifles or pistols.” It is the responsibility of broke local school districts to fund the JROTC programs with an estimated annual cost of $76 000 per fucking school. Looking to prey on the darkies first, 65% of all JROTC programs are located in low-income southern neighborhoods, with people of color making up the majority of the program. With mandatory enrollment in JROTC going on at Decatur High School in Georgia, the front line will be able to stay predominantly non-white forever. Nationwide, the cost estimate is calculated to be $222 million dollars annually and the kew-el-est thing they have is their “Army Adventure Vans,” a fleet of recruitment vehicles that travel around meeting with 380 000 students a year. On board are pictures of large artillery and cool shit such as the “Weaponeer,” a M-16 rifle simulator where students can get practice nailing a generic enemy. The value of the “Weaponeer” can be traced back to the military’s chagrin over the majority of corpses on Normandy Beach having unexpended full clips of ammunition. To understand why the slain soldiers had failed to discharge a single round, they examined that most target practice was done with bulls-eyes. Analysis pointed to the uneasy transition from firing at a round target to shooting another human being and correcting this ineffective training led to substituting target dummies of human form for marksmanship training. The pay-off came during Vietnam, where the majority of casualties went down firing off most of their rounds. Now, with apathetic acclimation to carnage via video games, we have a whole new generation of soldier. Hand-to-hand combat will now entail blasting off all the enemy’s limbs with a bazooka, stuffing them up his ass and then high fiving your buddy before going on to the next round. The secret to pulling this off is getting them out there when dropping bombs on hospitals is still like, “whoa dude."