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Does Anyone Remember Memorial Day?

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OK, I’m probably being too sensitive about this. But I just saw a commercial that offends me a little.

It’s for a furniture retail store, and it has a bunch of people dancing to “Celebrate Memorial Day Savings.”

Have we forgotten what this day is about?

I’m all in favor of the holiday. I’m all in favor of people going on picnics and watching parades (does anyone hold a Memorial Day Parade anymore)? But with two wars going on and young Americans being killed every day on foreign shores, I resent the image of a bunch of young people dancing to “celebrate” the “Memorial Day Savings” which the deaths of other brave men and women have secured for them.

The Author in 1973

Yeah, I know. I’m just being an old curmudgeon here. But it just seems fundamentally wrong to “dance” in “celebration” of “furniture deals” on a day created to recall the ultimate sacrifice—not for the furniture manufacturers selling their wares at “low, low, Memorial Day prices.”

Car dealers are no better. Their commercials show the showrooms crowded with happy customers who honor the sacrifice of young Americans by purchasing gas-guzzling SUVs, making a mockery of the fact that our troops are dying—in part—to maintain the free flow of oil at market prices. And the market is good!

Grocery stores are a bit more dignified as they sell their steaks and potato chips with waving American flags in their ads for their big “Memorial Day Cookout Blowout” sales. Will they donate some of the profits to the families of those dead soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines whom we’re supposed to be honoring this coming Monday?

I’m not suggesting we all dress in black and mourn. I am suggesting that we enjoy the time with our families and reflect on the freedoms we enjoy because young Americans and immigrants to this country have put on the uniform, put themselves in harm’s way—and all too many have paid the ultimate price over the years to ensure that we have these fabulous, this weekend only, Memorial Day Mattress Extravaganzas so that we may ALL “Rest in Peace.”

What next? Martin Luther King Jr. Day sales where a guy in “blackface” tells his TV customers, “I have a dream today…of Saving You Money!”

There’s something wrong with our priorities here, kids.

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About ParkyBill

  • zingzing

    on the first part, you can do that. no skin off my back. but you risk making the comment threads all about silly shit rather than an interesting discussion. there’s a politics to internet political discussions, and tis better to play by a few small rules… although i’m just as guilty as anyone of arguing over little stupidities…

    on the second, he’s in his late 60s. he’s gone all over the world to get experimental treatments, but i’m not sure he’s had deep brain stimulation. if it’s been suggested to him as a useful procedure, i’m sure he’s had it done. he’s got ridiculous insurance and he’s rather loaded, so he’s done nearly everything that’s been suggested. he hasn’t gotten much better, but he hasn’t gotten noticeably worse in the last 5 years or so. and i only rarely see him, so i think i’d notice. (i did notice that his politics have changed drastically since his diagnosis. stem cell research is a huge issue with him these days. politics is a selfish game.)

  • Or, I can continue to speak my mind. How ’bout I just go ahead and do that instead, eh?

    BTW: Sorry about your uncle. How old of a gentleman is he? Has he considered or been offered deep brain stimulation? It really helps in some areas, not so much in others. But it’s worth a talk with his neurologist.

  • zingzing

    well, you can do one of two things. get all mad and pissy about it and make yourself look a fool, or just get over it.

  • doug’s comments were baseless and false. Matters not how long he was here. I did not dictate the size of my own photo. The first one I sent was way too big for the format, so I sent another one. It was placed for me. And BC requires you to list ASIN and ISBN numbers. I promote my books on my blog and will continue to do so on my posts.

    There is nothing hypocritical about criticizing commercials where people are “dancing” to “celebrate Memorial Day savings” while people are fighting and dying in two different countries, and posting ads for books — one of which is a personal story of my own sacrifice for Parkinson’s research. You want to talk about thin skin, my 55-year old hide is quite elephantine, thank you. Doug’s tenure on this format means nothing to me, and if he has a point other than one under his ballcap, I’ve seen no sign of it yet. His every comment to me has been flame-provoking without a shred of thoughtful commentary. Look up the definition of what a person who does that sort of things is called on internet fora.

  • zingzing

    ruvy, if anything was as doomed as your prophecize, the world would have ended 1,000 times by now. i don’t know how long you’ve been throwing out your “america is doomed” stuff, but i’ve seen your reasons evolve with the latest trends, and after each one fails to destroy america, you latch onto something else. yet none of this stuff has as of yet destroyed america. funny, eh? wonder why.

    i’d turn your gaze towards israel if one wants to see a nation on the brink. you have many more threats to deal with, from within and without. besides, as we go, you go too.

  • Parky Bill, and others. I won’t comment on American society’s soullessness, or the fact that American society is falling apart beyond leaving you to read Roger Nowosielsky’s comments on it. I’ve said enough elsewhere, and the fact that I write from Samaria, where the Sabbath just came to an end, rather than Saint Paul, where it is still in effect, is the loudest comment I can make.

    My own sense of all this is that this comment thread has reached its natural conclusion. It appears to have degenerated to a series of flame fights. Having participated in other flaming fights here, I realize that the participants may feel otherwise. In the midst of battle, one feels differently than one feels from viewing the aftermath.

    But the fall of America’s society is illustrated most by the comments of Mark Saleski and zing – neither of whom understand that American society has reached the analogous time in history just prior to the sacking of Rome. They are not alone in their blindness. They have millions upon millions who are as blind as they are, and who agree with them. That is why Rome fell.

    dai! Enough!
    shava tov – have a good week.

  • Good advice, zing, you’re a jolly good fellow.

  • zingzing

    (btw-my uncle has parkinson’s, and has been dealing with it for the past dozen years or so. i know it’s difficult. through therapy and medicine, he’s been able to get it mostly under control, but it is heartbreaking to watch his body betray him. he’s remarkably upbeat about it, and he’s a model of perseverance.)

  • zingzing

    jesus. i just figured out your name… you obviously do have a sense of humor, so use that in responding to whatever criticism comes your way. people can only get to you if you let them.

  • zingzing

    parky, although i disagree with doug fairly often, he’s been around here longer than you have and he’s made his points (even here) without resorting to name-calling. if i were in charge of comment editing, i wouldn’t have deleted your comment, but i’m not in charge of that. doug’s not a troll, and he does have a point, although i wouldn’t have gone as far as he did. there is a bit of hypocrisy in putting up amazon links to your own work on an article that says what this article says. a bit. it’s hard to deny.

    you’ll need to grow a thicker skin if you plan to continue around here. just saying. although i disagree with you here, i’ve found most of your articles tend to land on my side of the political divide (as far as i can tell), so i do hope you continue. just be ready for criticism. it’s a large part of the game. take it with a grain of salt.

  • And see, I responded to Roger’s criticizing of my use of the word “troll” as “demeaning” by saying “and hypocrite is NOT demeaning?”

    And yet, my comment is gone and his is still there.

  • The website is what you make of it, zing. If you want a flame-baiting, troll-ridden website, you shall have it. If not, you won’t. Simple.

  • zingzing

    parkybill is just too good for this website. he’s not long for it.

  • It’s the language, Bill. Troll is kind of demeaning, don’t you think?

  • I see that doug’s comment calling me a hypocrite is still here, while mine suggesting that his argument doesn’t have a leg to stand on is gone. I wonder why that is.

    Let me just remind doug and others that my books have nothing to do with Memorial Day or making money off Memorial Day or using images of Memorial Day to fatten my coffers. One of my books is the story of my 10 year struggle with Parkinson’s disease and how I took part in an experimental brain surgery in the search for new and better treatments for PD. And every nickle I get from the sale of that book is going to the National Parkinson Foundation and the Charles DBS Research Fund at Vanderbilt University.

    If a comment is allowed to remain that calls me a hypocrite, then my comment suggesting that doug doesn’t know what the heck he’s talking about and is, in all likelihood, just a troll, should likewise remain.

  • I’m sensitive about Memorial Day as well for quite different reasons. Yesterday the drama unfolded in our Nation’s Capitol as DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell) was “repealed”. Today House GOP Leader John Boehner tweeted his disciples the following:

    On Memorial Day weekend, House Dem leaders are trying to kill a proposal to give priority to disabled #veterans. Appalling.

    Yesterday, Mr. Boehner said this of DADT:

    ?Rushing ahead with a political decision without understanding how it will impact the men and women of our Armed Forces who are fighting two wars is deeply irresponsible. I hope Members of Congress who care about our national security on both sides of the political aisle will stand together to stop it.?

    Well, here’s a little parable. J.D. loved his country. He was a superstar in high school – known as a “man’s man”. He was the pride and joy of his family. When his country waged war in the Middle East, J.D. saw it as his moral obligation to join the Armed Forces and fight. J.D. did everything by the book. He served. He fought. He died. All the time he served, no one knew that J.D. was homosexual except those that loved him. It was never an issue. No one knew in the military. He understood the nuances of war and politics. But that never stopped him from serving. J.D.’s corpse lay in the ground. He’s finished his life, sacrificing it for his country.

    On Memorial Day weekend his parents, his loved ones, thousands of individuals across this nation mourn those who have been lost. Others worry in silence for their loved ones serving in theaters of war.

    In John Boehner’s America homosexuals aren’t good enough to serve their country. In John Boehner’s America, unless you are a white, God fearing Christian evangelical, you are worthless scum. In John Boehner’s America, we are not allowed to recognize the sacrifices of our young gay men and women who serve to keep this nation free.

    Mr. Boehner’s lack of respect for #LGBT military and their families is what is most appalling this Memorial Day weekend. I use the initials “J.D.” for John Doe – the unknown soldier. You out in America know of whom I speak. It could be someone in your own town.

    This Memorial Day Weekend, contact a member of the GOP or Conservative Democrats who voted against DADT and tell them your story. Let the Right wingers know that you will not be silent in exposing their hypocrisy. There, but for the grace of God, go us all, folks. DADT is barbaric, un-Christian and ultimately unAmerican.

    This Memorial Day remember that there are thousands who are serving every minute to insure the safety of this land. And some of them happen to be gay. Get over it.

  • Somebody’s gotta believe, zing, and I’m glad you’re doing your bit.

  • zingzing

    roger, yes. american creativity is alive, well and moving more quickly than it ever has.

  • doug m

    And if those are your books your hawking, Bill, as I presume, you just undercut your position.

    “I am against commercialism of fallen soldiers. Buy my books as I write about it.”

    What a hypocrite.

  • Except for extolling the virtues of patriotism, a rather bitter pill to swallow these days. And no, I’m not referring to your national allegiance, Dreadful.

  • Should I take your #46 to mean you disagree?

  • I do take a few minutes to remember the fallen – often, and not just on a designated day.

    Bill’s article is really just another iteration of the oft-heard argument that modern society has sacrificed everything to commercialism.

    You’ll hear the same lament at other times of the year, too. Substitute “Christ” for “your brothers and sisters” in the last sentence of comment 47 and you’ll have the Christmas and Easter versions.

  • doug m

    Whose picture? Geez, I don’t know. Maybe a picture of someone the holiday is supposed to honour.

    Of course, you have an American POV, but it limits the way you perceive who is commenting.

    Btw, how do you rrsolve the issue of selling books at the end of a post complaining about commercialism?

  • @ Mark S. Grow up, for fuck’s sake. You honestly think that I expect you to spend the entire day on Monday SALUTING? It ain’t ME who created the holiday, Mark. But the PURPOSE of it, originally, was to decorate the graves of the fallen. Then it transmuted to a day where we take a few minutes to remember the people who died for something bigger than themselves — their country, their community. Now, it’s nothing more than an excuse to get a discount on a refrigerator. If you’re happy with that state of affairs, if that’s all the sacrifice of your brothers and sisters means to you, you have my pity.

  • zingzing

    oh, malarkey, roger, on all counts.

  • I suppose what I’m saying, we’re still there in a formal sense, a sense of style bereft of substance.

    But without substance, style counts for naught. And to my mind, there can be no substance without some kind of belief – in the country, the people, the future.

    Indeed, even a rebel has to believe in the possibility of recovery. I think we’re past that point.

    No more James Deans.

  • Except we’re falling apart as a country, zing. The energy – prompted by our naivette and innocence, if I be allowed to say – is no longer there.

    Sure, you can still point to rock groups and people on the avant garde, but for the most part, “the faith” – don’t object to this word, I mean it in a neutral, not religious way – is no longer there. And as they say, without faith people perish.

  • zingzing

    roger, i was more referring to parkybill. i should have put quotes around his “shallow, soulless” in order to make that more clear. also a few comments snuck in before i could get mine done, so it’s less obvious than it would have been.

    as far as the us being the vanguard of pop culture, i still see us as part of that, because non-western influences are creeping in (of course, we crept into them, and when they send us our version of them back at us, we like it better). as the rest of the world catches up, we’ll come back even stronger.

  • out loud – no sic(k)ing, please.

  • zing, I’ll be the last to reduce all of American culture to consumerism. For crying out laud, we should be proud of our past successes, be they in music, film, pop culture. America has been in the vanguard when it comes to any kind of innovation, in any area whatever. Don’t you think I know it?

    The difference is – I don’t see this in our future anymore. We’re past our zenith, and there is only decline.

  • I’m with you in spirit, Bill. In fact, I was stationed in France when de Gaulle orchestrated the Veterans Day throughout the land. It was a momentous occasion, so fitting the spirit of the times.

    But we’re not there anymore. The world has changed.

  • zingzing

    it takes a pretty shallow, soulless point of view to dismiss an entire culture based upon an industry built on trying to sell you shit you don’t need.

    certainly, there are people and parts of our national psyche that are shallow and soulless. but, there is much to celebrate as well. what we lack in depth, we make up for in breadth. maybe it depends upon the community you live in, but i’m surrounded by culture and art. not all of it comes from a strictly “american” background, but that’s what’s so great about america: everything all of the time. deep, homogenous cultural histories are great, but the wildly varying, heterogeneous culture of america offers much to consider. if you try and paint it with one large brush, you’ll inevitably fail.

  • I invite you — again — to show me where I present myself as the person who will decide how you or others must celebrate a holiday.

    from your previous comment:

    We have one commentor saying, “What am I supposed to do? Salute?”


    Take a minute — a fucking MINUTE — to think about the men and women who are fighting in far away lands to keep you safe and keep you free so you can dance in fucking commercials to celebrate their deaths because it means huge savings on refrigerators.


    i get your point about commercialism, but you are otherwise contradicting yourself.

    ironically, my refrigerator has been acting up recently.

  • @ Roger — yeah, I see your point. I regret that we have become such a shallow, soulless nation, but I see your point.

  • Whose picture would you have me provide for something I wrote, doug? Yours?

    One… more… time… and this time REALLY concentrate.

    Memorial Day isn’t about me. I did not die in a war. I am still quite alive… hobbled a bit by Parkinson’s disease, but alive nonetheless.

    I invite you — again — to show me where I present myself as the person who will decide how you or others must celebrate a holiday. You, Doug, are free to serve or not serve, remember or not remember, celebrate or not celebrate, wipe or not wipe, and make any other choice that appeals to you.

    If my POV strikes you as American, that’s because I am an American and I can only speak from my experience. If I tried to pull off a Slobbovian point-of-view it would be false.

    All I am saying — again — is that commercials showing folks dancing for big Memorial Day discounts and ads telling us that the BEST way to celebrate a day meant to honor our war dead is to BUY their SHIT… I find that a little offensive.

    Anything else is a figment of your imagination.

  • Even putatively religious holidays like Christmas and Easter have a ‘secular’ side focused on spending money. Consumer spending is 70% of our economy. It is like a Force of Nature.

    At any rate, there are always numerous high profile wreath-laying ceremonies and speeches. Some of us find the piousness of the “thank you for serving” mantra that has become de rigeur in daily life as well as on TV to be rather pompous, hollow, and false. But it is omnipresent, and not just around Memorial Day.

    On the other hand, Memorial Day weekend is always part of Fleet Week here in NYC, and some of us appreciate the chance to ogle handsome guys in their white uniforms. Thank you for serving indeed!

  • But Parkybill? The very crass commercialism you abhor is part of the very freedom our young men and women die for.

    Can’t you see the paradox?

  • doug m

    Yes, Memorial Day isn’t about you, and yet the only picture included is. Why’s that?

    I know what you’re saying, and it’s been said about other holidays for quite awhile. I agree with the sentiment, but I strongly disagree that you should be the one to decide how people use their freedom. It undercuts the meaning of the word.

    Oh, and Parky, save the lame speeches. I served my country so I know the sacrifice involved. It’s not uniquely American no matter what Hollywood tells you

  • I like it when people see words that aren’t there! Once more. I am not saying what the correct way is to celebrate the holiday. I am saying that crass commercialism having actors “Dance for Memorial Day Savings” is no better than having an actor playing MLK doing a commercial for MLK Day Savings at a grocery store saying, “I have been to the mountaintop — and I have seen… HUGE SAVINGS ON EVERYTHING IN THE STORE!”

    Celebrate or don’t. Remember or don’t. Give a shit or don’t. Love your country or don’t. Honor the sacrifice of others or don’t. Be a materialistic, selfish, avaricious, self-absorbed cog in the merchandising machine and drive as big and bulky of an SUV as you can with its gas tank filled with the blood of your brothers and sisters. Or don’t.

    Your choice. I’m just making a point.

  • sorry, you are assuming. no, maybe conjecturing. either way, i will not conform to yours or anybody else’s way or “proper” celebration.

  • I assume no such thing. I know for a fact that you are free today because brave men and women have either been drafted or volunteered to wear the uniform that so many of you seem content to wipe your asses with. I have not called for a “correct” way to celebrate freedom. I said that commercials with dancing actors celebrating the “Big Memorial Day Blowout Sale” with catch lines like “Celebrate Memorial Day with BIG SAVINGS” are another sign of a shallow, commercialized nation that has no values other than “ME, MY, MINE!”

    And since this conversation is already off track, you think that left to their own devices in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Al Qaeda is gonna do what? Send us Fathers Day cards?

  • Take a minute — a fucking MINUTE — to think about the men and women who are fighting in far away lands to keep you safe and keep you free so you can dance in fucking commercials to celebrate their deaths because it means huge savings on refrigerators.

    you assume that current military action is related to my current freedom. i happen to think that’s incorrect.

    and if there is a “correct” way to “celebrate” freedom, that freedom is meaningless.

    salute away, i have better things to do.

  • Parkybill,

    You do realize, I hope, that many don’t do it anymore for patriotic reasons. It’s a career choice for them, one of the few that’s left open to them.

    I live in a housing complex, mostly military personnel, from Ft. Campbell, only twenty minutes away. They’re all young and uneducated kids. The join because they see no other prospects for the future. If they make it, at least they’ll have a college education, all paid for, ahead of them. If not, tough luck. They’re taking a risk and they know it.

    Do they love their country? I’m not qualified to say? But do they do it because they feel we need to be in Iraq or in Afghanistan? I very much doubt it.

  • a cure, so as to avoid another sic.

  • You’re “sicing” me again, zing – but you’re right. Screw the advertising industry, the point is we are responding. And no, I wasn’t speaking of your values or mine. I’m quite aware that there are a great many who don’t go for that bullshit. Still, have you seen the crowds descending on Walmart or Cosco, every day of the week? Consumption is the nerve of America, I say. It’s what distinguishes us from the rest. It’s the culture, zing, another plasma TV, another useless gadget, shop, shop, shop. It’s cure, besides, for depression.

    BTW, the last paragraph, I’m certain you’re aware, is not directed at me.

  • Mark

    Memorial day?

    Remember to just say, “No.”

  • Oh, and doug? Every day a soldier, sailor, airman, Marine or coastie puts on his or her uniform, that’s a day when he or she is making a statement that he or she is part of something bigger than his or herself. He or she has sworn an oath and is willing to die, doug. For you!

  • That’s odd. I think doug m comes off like someone who pretended to read an article and didn’t understand a bit of it.

    Doug. My, dear, dear Doug. I didn’t die in a war. Memorial Day is not about me. Now, after that has seeped through, re-read what I wrote and see if you can make some sense of what I’m saying about crass commercialism.

  • doug m

    Roger is correct. Pick up a history book and put down the recruiting office pamphlet. You weren’t fighting for America’s freedom in 1973.

    The author comes off like an egomaniac. Posting a giant photo of himself and demanding people salute him. Sounds more like a Communist leader than an American soldier.

  • zingzing

    roger “[the] ethos which characterizes the bulk of American society: consumption, consumption, consumption.”

    well that’s a rather bleak view. and yes, i do think that if you view american culture through the lens of the advertising industry, you’re going to come away with a completely distorted, utterly false understanding of that culture. the only person who is doing a dance for savings on appliances is the guy in the commercial, no one else. and he’s doing it for the money. from a script written by a guy doing it for the money. commissioned by a business owner who’s doing it for the money. it’s certainly not an accurate representation of any value of mine, and it’s not an accurate representation of the values of those that are actually doing it either. it’s advertising. you ever work in advertising? it’s the biggest load of bullshit. nothing more.

    memorial day is a day to celebrate freedom. do what you want. if you want to go visit a graveyard, do so. if you want to have a bbq, do so. if you want to sleep in, do so. if you want to call your dad, do so. if you’re forced into doing something you don’t particularly want to do, you’re missing the point. thank you veterans, but i’ll do what i please with my day off, whatever that may be.

  • I don’t disagree with you on a human level. So yes, we should all mourn our dead. But I don’t like it to see it turn into an endorsement of American foreign policy.

    Do you realize our death toll in Afghanistan reached 1000? What are we doing there?

  • The soldier follows the lawful orders of his or her commanders. He or she does not set the policy. His or her sacrifice is no less because of the unjustness of the policy.

    Memorial Day has become just another commercialized sham holiday because we are a commercialized shallow nation of commercialized shallow people who think “Entertainment Tonight” is “the News.”

  • Yes we have, but there are reasons. Not all our wars have been just. Many have given their lives needlessly, not in support of freedom, as you claim, but national interests.

    Are these the same in your book?

  • The point being established is not that commentors agree with me, Roger… it’s that they’re proving my point. They are proving what a shallow, soulless nation we have become.

  • Parkybill,

    You shouldn’t take comfort in the fact that some commentors agree with your POV.

    Your argument should stand on its own two feet. We’re not in the business of counting noses.

  • Once again, and my point is established by many of the commentors so far, these men and women are dying for nothing. Their sacrifice is meaningless to so many of their fellow Americans. It’s sad news, so we change the channel to get the latest on Bret Michaels’ health or who won American Idol. We have one commentor saying, “What am I supposed to do? Salute?”


    Take a minute — a fucking MINUTE — to think about the men and women who are fighting in far away lands to keep you safe and keep you free so you can dance in fucking commercials to celebrate their deaths because it means huge savings on refrigerators.

  • Are they, zing? Can you say it with a straight face?

    We’re not talking about a fringe here but ethos which characterizes the bulk of American society: consumption, consumption, consumption.

  • zingzing

    ruvy: “Your commercials are the funny mirror that sells your culture overseas.”

    maybe, but they’re utterly false mirrors.

  • Mark,

    Do I, a foreigner who left America because he didn’t love it, have to explain to all of you why you have a Memorial Day and the proper behavior on it?

    You visit the graves of kids who died when they were 18 or 19 or 20. Kids whose potential was ended by a shell or a bullet or a rocket that exploded so near that it ended any chance for them to live. And when you visit, think of all the kids they could have fathered, all the things they could have done with the lives they no longer have. I see too much of that here. Our entire country is dotted with memorials to just those kinds of kids who died that I could walk as a free man in my country after 2,000 years of persecution and Exile.

    You don’t appreciate the freedoms you are fast losing. And the fact that you don’t appreciate them is a big part of the reason you are losing them.

    Your commercials are the funny mirror that sells your culture overseas. And if in your commercials, there is no respect for those who died defending you, it says a whole lot about what matters and doesn’t matter to you.

  • zingzing

    parkybill, if you really pay attention to commercials, you deserve all the bullshit you can suck in. it’s just a fucking commercial. they’re designed to make you feel helplessly stupid. don’t fall for it by taking it seriously.

  • repeating your “argument” does nothing.

  • Sgt. Thompson: Stay down, Marine! Charging that machine gun position would be suicide.

    Pvt. Jackson: But I gotta do it, Sergeant! I gotta do it for the rest of the fellas in this platoon! And so slackers who have never sacrificed a thing in their lives for anyone other than themselves can stand on their well-manicured lawns and barbecue steaks and dance in TV commercials to celebrate our deaths with huge savings on home appliances, mattresses and major furniture purchases. If not for our laying down our lives in these desert sands, those folks back home wouldn’t HAVE the gas to pump into those wasteful SUVs they love so much. So don’cha see, Sergeant? I gotta do it. For the huge Memorial Day Savings!

    Sgt. Thompson: God speed, Marine. When I get home… IF I get home… I’ll tell everyone how your needless death made their incredible savings on refrigerators, plasma screen TVs and mattresses possible.

  • ok, i’ll play. so what DID they die for? so that i must stand on my well-manicured lawn on memorial day, face d.c., sing the pledge, and salute? eh, no thanks.

    p.s. i’m not so hot on crass commercialism either, but honestly, FREEdom is what it is.

  • Yes, el Bicho. The thousands of Americans who were killed in our wars did so in order that American advertisers can profane their memories by having actors dance to celebrate the 10 percent savings on dining room furniture. Pardon me, but it sounds like YOU don’t understand the concept of what they died for.

  • zingzing

    judge a culture based on their commercials and you’ll come away with a really ignorant idea of that culture. does anyone really think that what they see in commercials reflects reality in any way? no.

    advertising is the most pessimistic industry out there. don’t doubt it.

  • Just so I am clear, you are upset because people are using their freedom how they see fit and not how you want them to? Thanks for your service, but it doesn’t sound like you completely grasped the concept of what you were fighting for.

  • When I was in Louisiana, we could choose between Memorial Day and Mardis Gras for paid holiday. Guess which one got chosen more often!

  • Well, a country which insists on having not one but three public holidays to commemorate the military clearly has its priorities somewhat out of whack anyway.

    If folks are going to be given a day off work, they don’t particularly want to spend it being serious and contemplative. They’d rather go and do things they don’t normally have time to do during the work week – like shop.

    You can’t really blame retailers for taking advantage.

    Back where I come from, our holidays are either religious in origin or arbitrary. While we do officially denote days to commemorate important historical events and the sacrifice of the services, they’re not public holidays.

    On November 11th (your Veterans’ Day) everyone stops what they’re doing at 11 a.m. and stands for two minutes’ respectful silence. That way, we all get an appreciation of the work and sacrifices of the services without being inadvertently encouraged to have fun and forget about it.

  • Good that you noticed there is a lot wrong with American cultural priorities. I couldn’t agree with you more. When I saw that sick culture start to envelope one of my sons, I got very nervous. As you may have guessed from my comments elsewhere, I didn’t love it – and we left.

    It’s not that there aren’t hustlers trying to make a buck off of holidays here. Of course there are! But the priorities have not been lost. The stores (except for restaurants) close on our Remembrance Day and Independence Day, and in addition to the numerous public memorials of this battle or that, there are plenty of visits to cemeteries to remember husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers lost in war here.

    That used to happen in the States – about a half century or more ago. But you (not you personally obviously, but your culture) have forgotten those whose blood nourishes the tree of liberty – and now you are losing your liberty as a result.

    This is an article about banking in Israel. Other than it’s first sentence, it has nothing to do with what you have written in your fine article. But I’m posting that first sentence in bold to make my point.

    With spending out of control, the U.S. government has become desperate for revenue.

    A country desperate for revenue rapidly loses its independence – and its liberty.

  • Benjamin

    I couldn’t agree with you more, saw a similar commercial for one of the big home improvement stores … celebrate the savings ….