May 2010


The greatest invention ever: Prosecco 2Go

Today’s been, for me, a really good day.

For the most part – the only problem was when a train wagon I boarded had eight guys dressed with the same t-shirt, each with a 6-pack of beer. This was my cue to move to a different wagon where life would be more civilized.

Although I’m behind on one of my projects, I decided that I deserved the afternoon off—so I grabbed a can of Prosecco 2Go and headed home.

Today is, by the way, Memorial Day in the United States.

Maybe I should reflect a bit on that. Honoring the soldiers who fought for your country is not something that is done with wild abandon in Germany. I remember on my first trip to Germany one of my hosts admitted that he found it distasteful and embarrassing that his home city, Hamburg, had memorials honoring soldiers who fought in the wars at the beginning of the twentieth century.

As far as I can tell this is a tension for a lot of Germans.

This issue of separating soldiers from wars is something difficult for even Americans to do. That’s not to say that Germans should divorce the soldiers from the Nazis, but there must be room to remember that not everybody was in the military voluntarily. It took Americans a long time to stop blaming Viet Nam War veterans for the fact that they fought in that war—most of the soldiers were drafted and, due to poor education and entrenched racism, unable to get out of going to war.

That’s to say, by the way, that although I find the war in Iraq distasteful and stupid, I do not blame the soldiers fighting there for the war—I still lay the blame for that debacle at the feet of Republicans and President George W Bush. (Although the soldiers who misbehaved at Abu Ghraib, and their superiors, should suffer far more than they have suffered: do not sully the good name of the United States of America any more than you must. Soldiers must behave ethically and honorably at all times.)

I’ve never actually understood why anybody would want to serve in the US military. I’m grateful that people are willing to volunteer and do the dirty work. I am blessed that the only thing I have ever had to do was sign up for the draft.

That and my senior year of high school tell military recruiters to fuck off and take my name off their lists. I still do not know how they got my name and number. I never volunteered it.

The fact remains that I, in general, honor America’s soldiers. The vast majority is ethical, honest, and moral, and I thank them for doing the work.

I wouldn’t be living where I live had they not gotten the job done.

Thank you.

From when President Obama visited Weimar: Yes We Can Cake!

4 comments to The greatest invention ever: Prosecco 2Go

  • I wonder if there ever was a moral, ethical army? When people who are not used to it, are given power over others, they usually abuse it.

  • Prashant

    Its ironic that soldiers are honored if they fight for “the good side” !…I guess that is why the Germans find it distasteful to honor their soldiers (as the hamburg guy)…because they think they were fighting for the “bad side”..

    Whatever side it is, it is a life at stake anyway!…why forget that?

  • Prashant

    Sometimes I wonder what would happen if all countries cease to have armies?!!
    (I know it will be bad etc..but that is certainly food for thought 😛 )

  • I think that one can have an army that is doing ethical and moral things–although not all members of the army will behave to that standard.

    See the Allies (in particular the western Allies) during World War II and their fight against the Nazis.