-- Aldous Huxley
Khalil Thabit Greene looked uncomfortable in his quasi-military uniform. Greene is a member of the Bahai faith which preaches universal brotherhood. On this day, Greene was dressed like a Navy Seal from the waste up. From the waste down he wears tight pajama like pants with metal spikes on the bottom of his shoes. Greene's long blonde hair would never cut it in the military. Greene is a professional baseball player.
With their state of the art, brand new ballpark overlooking the downtown marina, Greene and his teammates are the cheerleaders for war without end. Actually, Greene has nothing to do with the occasional promotional attire. This decision comes from above.
Meet Jack Ensch, the Padres director of Military Marketing. Formerly a captain in the United States Navy, Ensch is a public relations man of sorts. His job: convince people that baseball and war go hand in hand. So while young American soldiers battle Iraqi citizens (reason: to be announced), the leisurely pastime of baseball fuels the hate.
After the recent massacre in Fallujah, I was shocked at the timing of the Padres move. I wrote a short email to the Padres and asked why they would "honor" killers. I didn't even expect a reply. I must have struck a nerve as Ensch responded within twenty-four hours:
The Padres didn't honor "killers." We honored the men and women of the United States Armed Services who are fighting on our behalf in a war on terrorism against this nation. A war initiated against us that claimed the lives of over 3,000 innocent men, women and children in a dastardly, unprovoked attack on September 11th, 2001.
Interesting. I must have heard different variations of this message at least one thousand times over the past six months. There is no doubt Ensch knows the talking points. However, I have to wonder about the phrase "Armed Services." What kind of Service is it to slaughter residents in a community? There must be other people concerned about the Padres associating themselves with murder, right? So I decided to post my email in a Padres Usenet group to see what the local citizens felt about the Padres novelty green and black jerseys.
I expected a bit of ugliness, however, I must say this group was especially charming:
Remember, I asked a simple question: Why do the Padres "honor" these killers? "Because they volunteer to lay down their lives defending your freedom to be an idiot," says badlands420. The problem with this reasoning is that I am an idiot regardless of how many Arabs are gunned down. And if the decision came down to ending the occupation versus me acting normative, I would gladly get a job as an investment banker, buy an SUV, and slap a flag sticker on my forehead.
Lloyd Wayne Reece explains that "they have hidden behind women and children as a culture since before Christ." Is Reece referring to people in Afghanistan? Iraq? Saudi Arabia? Iran? I'm not sure. He didn't elaborate on who he refers to as "they." While Hoover refers to the San Diego Moon, of which I am the co-editor, as "anti-Semitic." He didn't immediately return my email asking for further explanation. However, I'd assume that asking Israel to stop killing Palestinians makes me racist.
And then there is h0mi who simply says "FOAD." I had to consult the magic eight ball (aka-Google) to find the meaning: Fuck Off And Die. Wow, doesn't he want a free and unified Iraq? Maybe. Only, as long as I am out of the picture.
"It's unfortunate that you choose not to be a Padres fan any more," says Ensch. "However, that freedom of choice -- which our armed forces have sworn to protect -- is one of the great things about this country in which we live." Now I am really confused. Freedom of choice for me means other people have to die? If this is the case, please stop helping me. These methods do not seem to be working. The Vietcong never did nothing to Muhammad Ali and Al-Qa`idah ain't never did nothing to me.
In a touching email, Bill Godwin-Austen sums up the love inside the United States with a heart felt poem:
Fuck Al Jazeera
Who says chivalry is dead?
"Our military may not be spotless in this effort," says Reece. "But I dare say we are a lot better than any of the third world countries in this regard." It is true, no one exports "democracy" like the United States. At least Petco Park is looking out for the health of poets like Godwin-Austen, as the Padres have banned chewing tobacco from the premises. Good thing; those tobacco plants keep attacking our freedom.
All is not lost, however, as I learned a new word. SDPadreBob eloquently referred to me as a "fucktard." And Americans wonder why the entire world is an insurgent...
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