Monday, April 5, 2010


I am a full member of society now. Having completed the necessary milestones accorded to people my age by Western society, I am now expected to act like everyone else. Unfortunately, I have been sidelined by a recession. Not, just any recession, which is signaled by at least two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, but, the Great Recession. So, I will flail, tremble with fear, quake, and sigh with anxiety at the daunting economic outlook for a while. After wards, I will have to lift my head, and march forth on an uncertain journey.

But, if there is anything that I have learned, is that nothing in life is easy. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My parents are not wealthy or well-connected. Nobody has charted my life towards success and happiness. Challenges face us all the time, and it can either make or break a person. I will not be broken.

Let's look at what is recession-proof, and what I don't have qualms with, shall we?
-Alcohol, sales of spirits go up during times of economic distress, but I couldn't help someone get access to liquor knowing that it plays a role in domestic abuse, for the most part. Also, I am not down with substance abuse of any kind.
-Health care, the demand for mental and physical health care goes up during hard times. I know nothing about anatomy or medicine, so that puts me at a severe disadvantage. I am cool with helping others, so let's put that in the "maybe" pile.
-Military. The big one. I could go on and on, so I think I will. Nothing gets recruiting quotas full like a recession. The selling point of any branch of the military is that you'll be set for life, if you hand over yours for a few years. Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the work that the military does in any way, but my mom has certain opinions that color my sentiments. Back in the day, it was an option shown to delinquents or an obligatory rite as an American. Skip a generation, and the draft is gone. I, like all Americans have seen the evaporation of the presence of the US military stateside, only to saturate the Middle East and Central Asia, and I am dismayed to hear comparisons by older members of my family to Vietnam. I am tired of this comparison because no experience, however similar it may appear to be in the eyes of the observer, is exactly the same. Vietnam is not Afghanistan.
As you can see, I have mixed feelings about the military because it has a dangerous allure. For a person who values her ability not to withhold any thought on my mind, and my ability to travel at my leisure, I could see this as being the most difficult thing to relinquish if I sign on the dotted line.
So, let me lay it out for you like my dad did, awhile ago: The only to be pure is to be dead. That means, in way or another, most Americans, despite their political leanings, work with the military apparatus. My dad, who was a CO during Vietnam, works on thermal imaging that is used in drones, and other machines that drop death from above. My older brother, who gives subscriptions to The Nation to our family members, works in a lab funded by Homeland Security. So, is it crazy to think about 2nd Lt. Helen Fenimore USMC, or Ensign Fenimore?


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