Lessons (Never) Learned?
When I graduated from high school in 1975, I was among the first group of volunteers to enlist in the VOLAR (Volunteer Army.) Jerry Brown became governor of California that year. During my time in the military, the US Army was in transition. Many returning (drafted) Viet Nam veterans were being processed out as new blood (volunteers) were be ushered in. New tactics, training, uniforms, equipment, and technology were being infused into the military as the Old Guard was transitioning out.
And the very last thing to make the transition were the field rations. C-rats (as the rations were called) were issued in plain brown cardboard boxes about the size and thickness of two bricks placed side-by-side. Inside the box were three sealed cans consisting of a main course, crackers, and a dessert. Included in the box was a packet of folded toilet paper.With the aid of a tiny, collapsable can opener (called a P38), C-rats were generally consumed on the go. It became clear within a day or so of consuming said C-rats that the product altered ones’s intestinal operation and outlook on life. Hence, the toilet paper in the box should have been a dead give-away.
The thing about C-rats that could always be counted upon was the lack thereof: Lack of flavor, lack of substance, lack of variety. Hot or cold, the smell of C-rats guaranteed that the taste of said rations would never be an acquired one. A “C-rats meal” was merely what one tolerated until the particular military exercise was completed, so one could enjoy a cooked meal in the mess hall later. The other thing about C-rats worth noting was the preservative nature of the food contained therein. Not only was the food unappealing to the palate, it lasted an incredibly long time in its undisturbed state for as long as the can remained in its airtight seal. Some soldiers in my unit believed our government-issued rations were decades old.
And the memory of C-rats regurgitated to the surface on November 2, 2010, with the return of Jerry Brown to the governor’s mansion. The thing about Jerry Brown one can always count upon is his lack of vision, lack of substance, and lack of coherence. His election to office again seems surreal like a re-make of an Oliver Stone film. Who would want to re-make an Oliver Stone film you ask? No one. Oliver Stone films are generally bizarre, jaded, and conspiratorial in nature. Quite frankly, Oliver Stone films give me a headache.
I will venture to predict Jerry Brown’s time in office (once again) will be bizarre, jaded, and conspiratorial from the outset. I had a headache listening to his blathering acceptance speech. And so it is, just as with C-rats, Jerry Brown remains a smelly and unappealing, decades-preserved, political canned hack (thanks to the California electorate.) Sure you might be hungry for what Jerry promises now, but once the smell hits your nostrils his flavorless manner of governance will be even less appealing.
With Jerry at the helm, California taxpayers shall be squatting with regret over the nearest slit-trench in urgent cry for relief.
(copyright 2010, Gregory Allen Doyle)