Friday, April 08, 2005


And another nod to Eschaton for the pointer to this Talk Left story... Short version: the military has been given court approval to continue screwing their enlistees and violating contracts. People who've signed up for eight year stints are suddenly being told they're in until 2031. Yeah, all-volunteer army my ass.

I'm reminded of Catch-22, particularly where the Army Air Corp keeps increasing the number of missions a pilot must fly before they can muster out and stop flying dangerous missions. First it's 25, if I recall correctly, then 50, and every time our hero gets close to the number it goes up. Here's the relevent passage from the novel:
There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
Yes, literature happens twice, first as farce and then as tragedy...

Check out my post on Catch-22.
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