A final word on the ‘U.S.S. New York’

Not that there was much need for further evidence, but this tribute from musician Charlie Daniels (using the term loosely) to the U.S.S. New York — the warship built using salvaged steel from the World Trade Center — pretty much proves what I suspected those cheering the vessel were really applauding: mindless retaliation against an ill-defined Other.

As Daniels puts it, the ship’s “a bringer of vengeance” and “she’s armed and she’s ready for war.” How a $1.2 billion warship will help guard against men with box cutters hijacking planes is not explored. But similar to a child cheering along a team in a sport they don’t really understand — like a Daily Kos diarist on election night — uber-patriots of Daniels’ ilk embrace a knee-jerk, violent militarism because it just feels right, the way shouting “fight! fight! fight!” does to a group of teenage boys witnessing a scuffle, nationalist pseudo-patriotism and a gut-desire to kick ass taking the place of critical thought and a consideration of the bigger picture. Indeed, the mere process of thought — like hey, how again does a warship help bring to justice non-state actors who planned their crimes in places like Florida, all of whom are already dead? — is itself bordering on unpatriotic and a tad effeminate, no?

As if the awful, offensive music wasn’t enough, reader “Pangloss” points out that the warship has its very own website — with a blog! — where one can buy cheesy commemorative merchandise.

Never forget (for only two easy payments of $19.95)!

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About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
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