Trying To Set Off Peaceful Fireworks

July 5, 2010

Like many of you I’m sure, last night I watched the Fourth of July program with The Boston Pops. Our military was featured prominently, which is as it should be. Also featured prominently was a certain Toby Keith, who, according to the program, has given about 900 or so performances overseas for our troops. That is commendable.

However, it is one thing to be put in harm’s way on a daily basis, but it is quite another to travel overseas for a performance with a minimal likelihood that you’re going to get your ass shot off in combat (and let’s not forget that, while he did not serve himself, Keith glorified Dubya’s Not So Excellent Adventure in Iraq and criticized The Dixie Chicks for speaking against it, an act for which, to my knowledge, Keith has never apologized).

In my opinion, the program ended up overstepping the line between paying tribute to our military and jingoistic glorification of the fact that they are presently involved in two shooting wars (right up to the “U-S-A, U-S-A” chant right out of the Repug playbook when Keith was interviewed with our soldiers). An appropriately absurd moment that capped off the proceedings occurred when host Craig Ferguson, who looked like he’d been bounced from a bar, said to the camera “Did you see that?” after the fireworks show ended (no genius, I was busy counting the hairs standing up on the back of my neck when Keith saluted after performing “An American Soldier,” wondering why that should be OK when a real-life member of our military, John Kerry, was vilified for doing the same thing at the Democratic National Convention six years earlier).

Anyway, as I pondered all of this, I came across this video from echidne at Eschaton, and I think it’s appropriate to put it up here for the holiday (the DFH, opposing point of view if you will that was sorely lacking last night – maybe I wouldn’t be so critical if they hadn’t paid so much attention to the rah-rah stuff at the expense of, say, stories like this one).

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