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