Used by the State, Even in Death
Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers
by Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers: Rock
and Roll and a Reason Why American Musicians No Longer Capture the
My father died
last year. One of the last wishes of this retired career marine
father was to have a burial at sea in the tradition of the military.
He told me
upon his death bed, "The only important things in my life were
the US marines, your mother and you kids."
I wasnít pleased
at all with this decision for a military burial as I do not believe
that the US military really "takes
care of its own" at all. One need just look at all the
military veterans who
are homeless or had their bodies and ashes dumped
in landfills for evidence of this. But it was my fatherís life
and death and, since I no longer live in the USA, it was difficult
for me to try to convince my father and remaining family that we
should have a quiet family-only ceremony like we did for my mother.
I was hoping
for a small and respectful burial at the same place my family sent
my momís ashes back to the sea at the peaceful and oh so serene
Japanese temple that was surrounded by blue skies, mountains and
nature on the coast of Kyushu, Japan. That was a ceremony whose
hallowed silence was punctuated only by the sound of the waves crashing
on the rocks and the birds overhead; the only other sounds were
the sobs and cries (along with hugs) amongst the four of us remaining
relatives in attendance.
to me, represented reverence and respect for the dead; a tranquil
and close family affair just for us. Not one surrounded by strangers,
with a military band blasting out marching tunes with no immediate
my father believed that he wanted to be thanked for his service
to his country. In spite of my voiced hesitation, he had the full
support of my militarist cheerleading state-worshipping brother.
I was out-voted and a military-style burial at sea was decided.
enough though, and as is par for the course for Leviathan, it took
six months for the funeral proceedings to take place. Even though
my father died in September of 2011, his burial was in March of
2012. In an curious twist of fate and timing, I received a DVD video
of my fatherís burial at sea over the Memorial Day holiday.
the video was painful to watch. The fact of the matter is that,
in my opinion, the video wasnít so much a ceremony and tribute to
my father who "fought for his country;" it was, in fact,
a video of a ceremony that celebrated the American military machine;
it was an orgy for the glorification of the State and US militarism.
I shed a tear for my father, Iím sorry to say that the video of
the ceremony nearly disgusted me.
In the background
of the video, dubbed in music played the national anthem, the Marine
Hymn and, even more in line with bargain-basement "celebration"
quality of the proceedings, a country song was overdubbed that included
the singing refrain, "Iím glad to be an American. Where I can
"Is this really reverence for a dead soldier and his family?"
folks who are family of the military dead are too quick to judge
my criticism, listen to this: I also received the US flag that was
supposedly used in the video for my dadís ceremony. Unfortunately,
and pardon my politically incorrect language, but even a blind man
can see that the flag I received isnít the one used in the video
of the burial ceremony. The one I have in my possession is twice
the size of the one that was used in the video. Am I supposed to
have some sort of emotional tie to this flag? What does this flag
have to do with the one used in my fatherís ceremony besides both
probably being manufactured in China?
folks. These are different flags.
Or is the purpose
of this flag that I was sent a continuation of the state-sponsored
propaganda and use of the dead to influence the thinking of the
living? Is this another token that is supposed to make the owner
of the flag "proud to be an American" too?
make me proud at all.
Dad, I love you and I am proud of you, but you didnít go to war
in Korea to protect our freedoms; you went to war over there to
further US economic interests and the US empire. That you never
figured that out in your lifetime is sad. But, I hope that you are
in a better place and have had the chance
to speak directly with a former US marine general by now.
That my still
very much alive university educated brother is too dim to see it
today in all American militarism is a testament to the power
of the American propaganda machine and brainwashing by the mass
media. That I write this is merely a warning to American people
to wake up.
In Japan, the
old order before World War Two told people that they went to war
in China and Asia to bring peace and to fight for the emperor. In
the USA, the old Ė and current Ė order tell people that they go
to war to be free and to protect American freedoms.
are all lies.
In this regards,
the Japanese are decades ahead of the average American; they figured
out long ago that the propaganda was a lie. The average American
still buys this trash hook, line and sinker.
My father was
duped this way in life and now in death. My living relatives also
believe this. It is sad that, in life and in death, my father is
still used as a tool of the state...
from this short missive, I will expect to get the usual hail of
criticism and hate mail claiming that I disrespect the military
or their service. That I, a person with no experience in battle,
are using the sacrifices that these men and women made "protecting
my freedoms" so that I may make these claims.
To that I say,
to the anticipated storm of hate mail, Iíd like to borrow the words
of another famous American statesman and true patriot whose experience
in battle rivals my own: "Bring it on!"
(in Tokyo) Rogers [send
him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to
Japan in 1984. He is the president of an Internet & Cross Media
advertising/marketing agency and a media production company named
He writes about marketing, the Internet and Social Media at the
Marketing Japan blog. His book, Schizophrenic
in Japan, went on sale in 2005.
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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