by Scott Barrier
My father taught me to be a fighter. He was a veteran and martial artist. So, it stands to reason he understood the two tenants of battle: tactics and strategy. Strategy is the end result of applying tactics to achieve your intended result. General George Patton, in WWII, was a brilliant tactician with a hawk eye's vision of the strategy of ending the war; that being to destroy the enemy in whatever means necessary, for the greater good, trying to save as many servicemen as possible, while ridding evil from this planet. At least, that is my estimate of his intentions. And, for the short time he was unleashed by the Washington elite to do so, he was amazingly effective; until they felt he was bad for business, bad for diplomacy, which is orchestrated cowardice....
What made Patton immortal in American and military folklore? He gave a damn; about his men, about his country, about the suffering people of this world, and he was willing to take the hits, and criticisms for it. He was driven by the knowledge that what he did was infinitely right, by God.
So, where do I, a blue collar worker, and part-time singer/songwriter wanna-be fit in to history? Well, the implication and effect of my life upon others remains to be seen. I will let history work that out on its own time. However, back to my father and his effect upon my life. Though he and I didn't always see eye to eye about this world and its fate, I can now see, after living 40 plus years, that he wanted me to understand that life is work, that life is a fight, whether it's lifting our heads off the pillow each morning to go to a job we don't like, or standing in the ring against an opponent who has the same intentions and goals as myself; to work hard at winning, at accomplishing. Why? Because it means something to the individual. They give a damn. If they don't take the risk now, their lives will not be transformationally changed. If their life is not changed, then other's lives will not be changed: their children, their spouses, their communities, those looking up to them for inspiration and hope. It's obligatory to people like myself and others to sacrifice for others, because someone else, known or unknown to us, will have a better life for it.
And so the other side of the coin: observing other's intentions so as to stop them if their intentions are nefarious. My father, a brilliant tactician himself, taught me to work to understand my opponent's strategy, thus to render them, if possible, incapable of carrying out their objective: to beat me in the ring of discourse or combat, to take me out, to end my intentions. So, while toughening my up, he also taught me to step back, have patience, observe, wait for my adversary to make his own mistakes, to show his weaknesses through unintentionally telegraphing his next moves. Then I move, I strike, I hold, I block, sometimes paying the price of personal injury, physically or emotionally.
So, be it. Pain is temporary; and so is life. So you'd better make it count.
Think of those in American's in history that are immortalized because they gave a damn. George Washington, over and over again, put himself in harm's way fighting the British for freedom, on behalf of himself and his fellow colonists. Abraham Lincoln took a bullet to the head, because he gave a damn about his country and it's citizens, and again, for the freedom of those who were denied freedom. Martin Luther King Jr. took a bullet to the head, because he gave a damn about the oppressed and downtrodden. Jimmy Carter did not give a damn, overseeing a languishing country, and he will be forgotten. Ronald Reagan gave a damn, and he changed America forever, for the better. Bill Clinton didn't give a damn, and the world became more reckless and dangerous. George W. Bush gave a damn, in some cases for and against the greater good, leaving us, the American citizens, puzzled by his intentions.
And so, to our current President. Barrack Obama does not give a damn about anything or anyone, except his legacy. His insecurities and self-loathing reverberate through the White House and out to the world, making it more dangerous and reckless than I can remember in my short history living on this planet. How do I know this? I have stepped back, with patience, observing, and he has shown his weaknesses through unintentionally telegraphing his next moves. He is an intentional train wreck. He loves the mayhem, and the damage, because his soul is damaged mayhem. He wants us all to suffer as he suffers. His payback is getting back at those who never did anything to hurt him. But, in his twisted mind, he has to strike, haphazardly, at the imagined attacker in his mind. He is undisciplined, lazy, and disaffected. He is angry, and he wants payback. So, he swings, while the real fighters, who have the scars and bruises of real life, and real living, step back, and let him stumble into his own attack. He will hit the corner of the ring, out of breath, and energy, because he has fought his way into his own corner. He will make himself lose, because, ultimately, he knows, at his core, he is an untrained loser. That is what he will get for not giving a damn, and not caring about anyone else or anything else. His legacy will fall, will fail, and history will intentionally forget he ever existed. When all is said and done, as he is forced to sit on the sidelines in the fallout of bombs set off to intentionally harm others, he will know... He should have given a damn, and done the hard work to make this world better, for others, not himself. That could have been his legacy, but it will never be, by God.
On Mon, May 6, 2013 at 3:16 PM, Scott Barrier <email@example.com> wrote:
Actually I accidentally erased it in my e-mail. Didn't mean to, just did somehow. Is there anyway you could send it back to me?
Sorry. :) It's a new learning process, but a very cool one indeed!
On Sun, May 5, 2013 at 7:52 PM, Webmaster <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Ya I haven't posted it yet. So if you could fix the issues and send it back to me, that would be great.
On May 5, 2013, at 5:13 AM, Scott Barrier <email@example.com> wrote:
I must apologize. I scanned my current blog posting and thought I had corrected all of my mistakes. However, upon further review, the blog I sent you still has some type errors. If you need to send it back to me for more editing, I understand. I will fix the errors and resend it as necessary.
On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 3:04 PM, Scott Barrier <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Wow! That's great! Thank you so much. I am cool, too, with your terms, and thank you for your advice. I will be in touch soon.
On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM, Webmaster <email@example.com> wrote:
Sorry for the delay in my response.
Nice sample of work. I would love if you would be one of our guest bloggers as long as you understand the following:
You will be one of many guest bloggers as this concept progress and as such, another persons blog may be chosen over yours that day.
You don't have to post every day. It can be whenever you get a really good blog post or once a week or whatever you feel best.
We have the right to not post your blog. As the webmaster, there is a line I have to make sure our guest bloggers don't cross b/c it will not be good for our user base. Assuming all goes well, I probably won't have to do this, but I just wanted to let you know.
As long as you are cool with this, then we can start posting your stuff very soon.
Pro tip: It's nice if you add visuals with your blog post. Pictures or video that relate to your post so that it makes the flow easier to read for our users. Also, please feel free to add your own picture if you feel like. Not a requirement, but if you want to build up a "brand" with us having your picture or logo would be a good idea.
On Apr 19, 2013, at 3:10 AM, Frank Scott Barrier <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
When It All Changed
When I was a boy growing up, I was fascinated by heroes; the good guys. These crime fighters and do-gooders who were caste from a noble class of everyday, humble individuals who, usually inspired by an older family member with good morals and propensity to put themselves in harms way to help others, inspired that would-be hero to do right. Why? Because it was the right thing to do; that doing right was for the good of all. Sacrifice for the good of others was the highest noble calling of humanity, and a model to be emulated.
What also caused me to want to emulate these heroes, was the fact that, even though they seemed to be from humble backgrounds, they had a keen intelligence for understanding the bad guys, and worked hard to out think and remain many steps ahead of them, while concealing and befuddling these evil doers. Thus, while letting the criminal or criminals think they are going to get away with malicious mischief, in the end, their plot is foiled, and we, the people are saved.
Along the way of my life, however, I noticed a growing fascination and glamorization of the bad guy. The creep through comic books, movies, tv shows, video games (et al), of re-fashioning those of criminal intent into the new cool, hip way to be was pushed upon our younger generations. The Joker from Batman comes to mind. I seem to remember the joker, at one point, being a bit of a buffoon (a disturbed, brilliant buffoon, mind you), who was always scheming about ways to cause mischief against the greater good. Usually his plans were to benefit himself, but not always at the expense of a mass of unknown innocents.
Then came the current crop of Batman movies, and the newly branded, "updated", Joker. This was no petty, conniving thief. Oh no, this was a cunning psychopath, twisted by an upbringing in a sick society (given that the creator of this current character sees society as such) that had written off this miscreant long ago and cast him aside as nothing more than refuse. This hip, young malcontent, with a swagger and bravado of a 50's tv show gunslinger, would not be stopped, at any cost, to anyone. This criminal was now the one in control, concocting schemes that would cause the hero to have to make one or the other choice, while the hero didn't know that both choices would end in destruction. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't ..
Representing a new generation of smarter, cutting edge criminals, this was the new hero, to be emulated, for this cult hero was now always multiple steps ahead of the good guy, left to catch up and not quite figure out what this particular bad guy was up to (and generally failing to stop some of the damage cause by his or her foe).
I can see the allure of wanting to stand out by doing the wrong thing. The thrill of getting away with being bad, setting up the plan, and not being caught, must be intoxicatingly exciting to those whose painful desire is to be noticed, and not forgotten.
This leaves us in a bind in our country. Are we going to continue to encourage our young to emulate and glamorize doing the wrong thing, and then holding this new way of life up as the cool and the only way to be immortalized and adored? Or, is hollywood and the major media ready to accept this model that is completely destructive to society and our next generations, is failing, and failing in a dangerous, fevered, pitch? It's time to again begin glamorizing doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do.
I, like so many other Americans, am overwhelmed by the never ending onslaught of filth coming from our major entertainment and media outlets, and am trying to unwind when and where our country went so wrong. So many of those who have worked so hard to distort the original intent of our founding fathers, and the morals set into motion by them, have managed to muddy the waters of our history, to the point that we may never know when we started to lose the America we were taught to love and respect by an older family member who taught us to do right for the greater good. So, I ask you, can you tell me when it all changed? Because it needs to change back, and quick.....