Don’t Joke, Don’t Laugh — Comedians in the Military?

The Poet’s Eye has had very little to say on the topic of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Even as a card-carrying member of the Absurdist Party, the subject has baffled my grasp and reason. I’m not surprised when I don’t agree with things done by the military. I’m afraid I’m not a very military person. It’s far too organized for my way of thinking. I quit the Boy Scouts because I thought it was too regimented, even though the Boy Scout Manual is one of the most useful books ever written. I’m not against the military, it’s just a foreign world to me. I’m not gay either, so the topic of gays in the military seemed to be one to which I could add little insight.


In recent years, as the DADT argument has popped up periodically, I say to myself each time, “do you mean that they haven’t settled this nonsense yet?” The whole policy has amazed me from the start. Hypocrisy is disgusting enough, but institutionalized hypocrisy is beyond my comprehension. To have a policy that says, ‘it’s OK as long as I don’t find out about it,’ would seem to encourage a host of unwanted behaviors. Lying, deceit and blackmail come immediately to mind. Would this be a good rule to have in your household? Would you want to teach your children that it’s OK as long as you don’t get caught? But I don’t pretend to understand how soldiers think. I had written the policy off as a band-aid they had invented to avoid dealing with an issue they wanted to ignore. It’s not easy for a manly man to even talk about homosexuality but it always seemed to me a rather un-military way to deal with it. You would think that a clear, honest, un-ambiguous policy, whether it be, ‘No Gays in the Military,’ or ‘We Take Anybody Who Is Able Bodied.’ would be more in keeping with the military ideal.

This is something that Obama could have cured by Executive Order the day after he took office. Instead he finds himself at the tail-end of a rump session of Congress with a major tax bill and a debt ceiling bill and a nuclear arms treaty on the table and we are wasting time quibbling about whether or not to allow a silly and hypocritical policy to persist in our military.

A friend of mine who is an ex-Marine of Vietnam War vintage, was expounding on the subject at the bar one night. “Let the queers git their own fuckin’ army.” It was well after ten o’clock so such a remark was not unusual in a drinking establishment with at least 20 Harley-Davidsons parked on the curb out front. Later, as I pondered my drunken friend’s suggestion, I thought, “Maybe this is the perfect military way to handle the matter. Create an entirely new branch of the service.”

The Queer Force

Well, that sounds better than the Gayrines or the Gayvy. The whole ‘gay’ thing won’t work in the warrior world, it’s too nicy-nice; it doesn’t strike terror. Gay is a word that was invented to save you from calling your cousin Marvin a faggot at the Thanksgiving table. But Queer Force has a more threatening and dynamic ring to it. The uniforms alone would be worth the budget. I can imagine an elite strike-force of transvestites in kevlar fishnets and blast-proof bustiers striking black leather panic in the hearts of the Taliban. The Frankenfurter Unit would be feared from Kandahar to the Khyber Pass.

Of course this solution leaves aside the question of whether the nellie-boys will be able to get along with the diesel-dykes. Would the leather guys want to fight alongside trans-sexuals and boy-lovers? What if you are straight and just like women’s clothes? Pretty soon we would need to have a Lesbian army and an army for Foot Fetish Soldiers and another army for those who can’t make up their minds.

The Poet’s Eye looks forward to the day when we’ve put this all behind us. Homosexuality in 2011 is so out of the closet that televangelists can’t even get fired for it anymore. It seems almost ridiculous to be wasting time on the airwaves or the floor of Congress still watching old men like John McCain doing the Twentieth Century Tango with the topic. Rachel Maddow is a smart woman and I would love to see her have more time to focus her keen analysis on topics of more relevance. With respect to DADT, it’s all over but the crying. Some enjoy the crying I suppose.

“When the music’s over
turn out the lights
turn out the lights.”–Morrison

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One Response to Don’t Joke, Don’t Laugh — Comedians in the Military?

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    In Basic training I had a drill sargeant named Ray, who was a little ahead of his day. He would skip to the beat of our marching feet, call us all dear as he pranced to rhe rear, but none of us thought he was gay, just “Queer”!

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