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I feel like a fugitive from th’ law of averages

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Bill Mauldin, the Pulitzer prize-winning World War II cartoonist who chronicled the war’s reality through his characters Willie and Joe died Wednesday at age 81.

The thing that always struck me about those WW2 cartoons was the attitude. Willie and Joe weren’t the swaggering, love-the-fatherland, spit-and-polish creations of a government desperate to convince the world how great it was. They were Americans–unshaven, dirty, wiseasses who didn’t like their bosses or their jobs but did them anyway. This was never understood by the rest of the world (nor by some of our own–Patton tried to shut him down several times). I think that it’s one of those defining characteristics that needs to be taken into account when dealing with us as a people.

We don’t respect our leaders. We don’t even follow them, if it’s not convenient and we think we can get away without doing so. Usually, our personal sphere of giveashit radiates to the edge of our own foxhole. But we know what’s right, and we do the job we signed up to do. That’s why idiots who attack us are so shocked when we unite and strike back. It’s also why idiots who lead us, thinking we’ll follow wherever they want to go, are so shocked when we tell them to get stuffed.

If you’re unfamiliar with ole Willie and Joe, here are a couple of links to get you started. Don’t say I never gave you nothin’.

http://ww2.pstripes.osd.mil/02/nov02/mauldin/

http://www.5ad.org/BillMauldin.htm

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