Caged/Who Is Joe?

If you saw me every day, you'd never think it was me writing this. But the aggression has to go somewhere. Just thought we should get that out of the way straight off and in a hurry, since them headshrinking geniuses say that writing is thurapyootik and all that. Well shit, let's tap the vein and bleed that nasty shit on out while I'm still here then huh?

What in the fuck are we doing here? The Infantry, the fighting machine and all that rock solid hooah horseshit, reduced to common police. Fucking cute, really. I haven't kicked in a door in ages. I haven't fired a shot in anger in millenia. I'm starting to MISS Baghdad, if that makes any sense, and I'm quite sure it doesn't.

Guess I owe you an explanation then, huh? Weren't we supposed to come here to fight a war, you know, represent America and kick the shit out of some motherfuckers and call it a day? Because when I spend hours and hours sitting in a stryker while higher ups have meetings with local officials and whatnot, I get a little sick of it. As a Joe, you are not a politician, you are not a diplomat. You aren't shit. You're there for security or something.


This goddamn country can't pull itself together and go figure, it's America's responsibility to rebuild and hold their hand, and that's all cute and fine, with one little exception: it's MY friends that have been getting fucked up out here. So look the other way if I come across like I don't give two shits about this country anymore. I really don't.

I'm not even going to BOTHER jumping on the bandwagon, to spout off idiotic shit about how such-and-such company profits off of the "war", because it doesn't change the fact that I do not give one liquid shit either way. You could spend all day sitting me down and explaining to me in great detail why our presence here is important and strategic to the overall benefit of America, and when your voice finally gives out, I'm only going to yawn and walk out, cursing you for wasting my time. I'm not going to listen, I have no reason to.


Yes, lap up the pity-party poor Joe attitude, because here's the next news flash: your average soldier doesn't give a shit about this place. I'm not alone here. If we don't have someone to fight, we don't have a purpose here. So we're jerking our dicks while the whole world watches and wonders if this place will ever unfuck itself.

"Yeah, that's it, throw in the towel, real good, man..."

Shit, that implies that there was ever a towel to THROW. I don't want to give off the impression that I want anyone else to get hurt, because I sure as shit don't. But if we aren't here, then we aren't going to get fucked up. Get it?


We roll by a building scarred by bulletholes and part of me wishes I could be slinging lead downrange. If I'm not doing that, what am I doing here? Send some Greenpeace fucking organization down here to pass out hugs and smiles. Or let these bastards sink or swim.

If you don't get the point by now, don't worry, it's understandable. On to another point.

"Joe" is your enlisted no-one everyman. Most likely a one-time enlistee, cuz Joe gets sick of being shit on. Joe realizes he probably fucked up by enlisting, but most Joes suck it up til the army releases it's grip on their balls and lets them walk.

Joe does what he has to in order to get by. Joe gets bitched at, and Joe does a LOT of bitching. Most importantly, Joe doesn't know shit. And a lot of leaders like it that way. Cuz after all, Joe is a moron. If you don't believe me, just think of what my superiors would think if they pulled this menopausal little page of mine up right now. Sip of coffee and a sigh. "What a fucking dipshit."

That's me. I'm Joe. Short-Timin' Joe.

Joe is the one who gets fucked into doing details. Joe cleans toilets. Joe used to burn shit. Joe should be NOT heard, and only seen when appropriate, and when Joe is seen, Joe better be all prettied up and be ready for the dog and pony show. Don't like it? Tough fuckin' luck, Joe. You signed a contract. You MIGHT get your balls back when we say so. Maybe.

Joe is no angel. If all Joes could completely suck it up all Jesus'-Other-Cheek style, the brass would be pretty damn pleased. But that isn't the case, not with short-sighted prison-raped Joe.

Joe thrives on rumors, and Joe spreads them faster than the clap. Joe blows his money on booze and strippers and cars he can barely handle. Joe thinks he's a fucking rock star.

Most importantly, Joe is ALWAYS going to bitch. Sure, he'll do what he's told, but he'll be damned if he won't have some words to mutter about it. Joe's a green-collar worker. Lower than civilian. He doesn't belong with the sophisticated officer types, not really even with the relaxed Almost Joe officer types. Once in a while, Joe becomes a non-commissioned officer, but then he really ceases to be a Joe. Lot of times, the Joe is beaten out of him and he gets with the program. I don't have a name for these guys.

I'm JOE, remember?

Joe gets a big kick out of bashing in doors and breaking shit. Doesn't matter how nice and friendly Joe is, when it's time for mayhem, Joe is all aboard. After all, Joe just wants a piece of the action, that shoot-em-up Come Git Sum, Hollywood type shit that's been stuffed down his throat since he was a foot tall.

I sat in silence in the TOC last week for about 45 minutes. Then I casually turned to the NCO next to me.

"Know what I need to do? I need to get a BIG box of G.I. Joes, the old three inch ones, and a big spool of 550 cord. Tie all their hands behind their backs and lynch every last one of them, hang the string from the poles going across, so that when the commander walks in, first thing he sees is a dangling sea of strung-up GI Joes, hundreds of 'em. Like that kid's garden in the movie 'The Cure'."

Oh yeah, Joe's got a weird sense of humor, too.


  1. Jenni said...
    When Cory and I were visiting Mom over the holidays, we got bored and decided to make a snowman.

    Not just any snowman, but one of the various snowmen from Calvin & Hobbes...the one with his mouth open and arms in the air like a car's about to hit him? Yeah, that one...

    And then Cory proceeded to make little mini-snowmen up the driveway, so Mom or SJ would have to hit them when they left.

    While we were perfecting our snowman's expression of terror, Cory and I both agreed our snowman wasn't nearly as good as yours would be.

    Your GI Joe scene just made me think of that. Glad to see your twisted sense of humor is still intact. =)

    You're almost there Doughboy...
    amanda said...
    There's not much I can say as a matter of fact I'm not sure I have much of a right to say anything. But I have been reading your blog and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the insight.
    Anonymous said...
    'Sallright. Reading your shit, I remember mine. It was different, it was the same. A Joe, a Squid, a Jarhead, a Zoomie, all same. expendable cannon fodder.

    We joined to 'do the right thing', fight those who would hurt us, our homes, our families. We got lied to, shit on, and, screwed. Now, we gotta face it.

    You're doing well enough. Hang.
    WmEarl said...
    Always thinking, since you have to do that you could think a bit better and brighter - wouldn't get the audience, wouldn't burn up the anger, rage and ugly - but maybe someone will give you some doors to kick in, or I will win the Lotto... nah. You are there, I want you to know that the USA is worried about fuel prices, media smears and candidates for President, and maybe the 1st Daughter's wedding. Keep writing, we will keep reading hoping you get some doors to kick in.
    themorethingschange... said...
    Well, I guess it could be worse Joe -- have ya seen the photo of Marines picking up trash by the side of the road?

    Welcome to the real world of grown-ups, politicians, and HUGE disappointments...

    Turn up the tunes, keep your dignity in tact, and count yourself lucky...for now...

    X11B said...
    membrain said...
    Exceptional piece if writing. And the vison in my head of all those strung up GI Joe's is priceless. You're not writing for Mastercard are you?
    Anonymous said...
    I suddenly feel the need to get up and send you a box of G.I. Joes if for no other purpose than to give you something to do, you bored little Joe.
    ROGUE GUNNER said...
    Thank You for your service.
    Army Sergeant said...
    Maybe I don't get the point, and maybe there's a lot of sarcasm, but I find myself agreeing with a lot about what you said-except the not caring bit.

    Sometimes it takes too much energy to join everybody saying 'Ah, get the hell out of here'. But it's got to happen sometime, right? The Army can't be there forever until politics unfucks itself. Politics will never unfuck itself, especially not there.

    Stay sane until you get out, though, man. I know I don't fall under your 'joe' category, being an NCO and now pissed off about my own joes. But take care of yourself anyway.

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