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Thread: Sacha Baron Cohen stolen valor.

  1. #111
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueneck View Post
    Can we have a show of hands from anyone here who called John McCain a traitor but thinks SBC doing this is disrespectful to our troops?

    Anyone?
    This is me not raising my hand.
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  2. #112
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    So...are we really comparing apples to apples?
    Military courtesy and valor exists across all nations, except situations like this one, where the purpose is not to misappropriate valor, but use a uniform and false identity for entertainment.

  3. #113
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    I think the whole idea of stolen valor laws is a bad one. Existing law already provided a framework for punishing people who use fraud to unjustly enrich themselves. Why further enhance that for only one particular kind of fraud? For example, if someone begs for money while pretending to be a disabled veteran, why is the fact he pretended to be a veteran any worse than the fact he pretended to be disabled? Why would it be less of a problem to deceive people about being an ex-fire fighter, ex-FBI agent, ex-Congressman, or ex-priest?
    Well, that you'd need to take up with the Congressmen/women who passed and Presidents who signed the laws in 2005 and 2013.


    Well, in that case, we'd be talking about an intent to deceive. Picture, say, a WWII bond drive where the uniformed actor pleads for patriots to buy bonds so that his unit can go and beat Hitler. If the actor wasn't actually a soldier, the presentation of him as one would be deceptive. But it wouldn't be about unjustly enriching him, the way it would be if the same actor put on a uniform and got someone to donate to his cause as a disabled veteran when he wasn't one. I'd say the Cohen situation is more like the first example than the second, since it's playing a character rather than trying to deceive people to trick them out of money for his own benefit.
    And I can see how it's similar to the second.


    Not so broadly that I'd heard of it. (Please note, I was a liberal Democrat in the Reagan years, so hardly a partisan fan girl. That said, I'm not a regular reader of Salon or The Nation and don't know who Juan Cole is.) Thank you for the links. I'll take a look at them as time permits.

  4. #114
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    As those who've raised objection to Cohen's stunt here have been characterized as doing so merely for partisan reasons (i.e., because the target of the stunt was a Republican), I'll pose the same rhetorical query in reverse: How much of the reaction dismissing this and pooh-poohing the objection to it (even by some service members who aren't of the right-leaning persuasion) is because the target of the stunt was a Republican/Palin? Would you feel EXACTLY the same if the target were a Democrat? Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton?
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  5. #115
    Vexatious Correspondent Leo2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    I both appreciate this post and am a bit troubled by it. If you'll permit me to share my 2 cents:

    I did not serve in the military. My father did (Army, non-combat), and my great-uncle did. I have cousins who served. I have, what I would consider, a healthy respect and gratitude for those who serve/haved served. In my observation, the praise and thank you meals, etc., are a modern phenomenon born of several convergent things: voluntary service, 9/11 and the subsequent "War on Terror," and the internet. I don't think it's exaggeration to say that 9/11 left a psychic scar on our country. The military conflicts which have followed have evoked powerful and conflicting emotions on the part of many: Appreciation for those who have voluntarily chosen to serve, particularly in combat roles; concern and conflict over the military actions pursued; residual sorrow at the giant hole 9/11 tore. With the advent of the internet -- and social media, in particular -- has come the increased focus on our military, both in terms of scrutiny/criticism for actions taken and praise/gratitude for the sacrifices individual members and their families have made/are making. Then, too, as with all other things these days, military service itself has become extremely politicized. Some of the "fuss" is virtue signaling and I understand the doubts you've expressed over it. But much of it is genuine concern and gratitude.
    Thank you for your explanation of the phenomenon, but I would like to know what was troubling about my post. It was not intended to be disrespectful of the military (I explained my own rather personal attitude to the military) but rather to question this apparently neo-Fascist lionisation of the military (something we are warned against in the screed on show at the New York Holocaust Museum).

    Without minimising their sacrifice, the members of a voluntary military (as are both yours and ours,) have chosen this as a profession, and are no more worthy of thanks than the postman, or your family doctor. The Fascist element enters when the government plays a part in that lionisation, which works as a form of indoctrination - so we end up with military parades and oversize flags everywhere - it simply isn't sociologically healthy.

    But lol, having said all that - we each pays our money and we each makes our choice. This applies to society as much as to the individual, and who am I to tell you how to run your society?
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  6. #116
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    As those who've raised objection to Cohen's stunt here have been characterized as doing so merely for partisan reasons (i.e., because the target of the stunt was a Republican), I'll pose the same rhetorical query in reverse: How much of the reaction dismissing this and pooh-poohing the objection to it (even by some service members who aren't of the right-leaning persuasion) is because the target of the stunt was a Republican/Palin? Would you feel EXACTLY the same if the target were a Democrat? Barack Obama? Hillary Clinton?
    Yep. Cohen has shown he's an equal-opportunity asshole. One of his first acts in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," is a meeting with a panel of Code Pink types.

    Hilarity at their considerable expense ensues.

  7. #117
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo2 View Post
    Thank you for your explanation of the phenomenon, but I would like to know what was troubling about my post. It was not intended to be disrespectful of the military (I explained my own rather personal attitude to the military) but rather to question this apparently neo-Fascist lionisation of the military (something we are warned against in the screed on show at the New York Holocaust Museum).

    Without minimising their sacrifice, the members of a voluntary military (as are both yours and ours,) have chosen this as a profession, and are no more worthy of thanks than the postman, or your family doctor. The Fascist element enters when the government plays a part in that lionisation, which works as a form of indoctrination - so we end up with military parades and oversize flags everywhere - it simply isn't sociologically healthy.

    But lol, having said all that - we each pays our money and we each makes our choice. This applies to society as much as to the individual, and who am I to tell you how to run your society?

    This section in particular:

    However, I regard the common US attitude to their military as bordering upon Fascist. I have two uncles currently serving in the Royal Navy and the RAF respectively, and they are gob-smacked at the concept of holidays and parades celebrating the currently serving military. They are further amazed at the stories of people applauding perfect strangers in uniform, and buying them drinks. Like the individuals concerned could be cooks or clerks who have never set foot on foreign soil - they regard the phenomenon as socially unhealthy. It smacks of Fascist Germany in the 1930s.
    As you said, though, to each (society) their own.

    I disagree with the contention that members of a voluntary military (as ours has only been since 1973) are no more worthy of thanks than the postman or doctor. Which isn't to say that the latter don't warrant our thanks - certainly, I thank the doctor when she visits with me (and pay her) and thank the postman on the rare occasion he hands me something in person - but neither the postman nor the doctor is voluntarily putting their life on the line when they sign up for their jobs. And when people enlist in the military, they can't know whether they'll see combat or not. If they don't, that's great. But I appreciate their willingness to place themselves in harm's way to keep our country safe. Same goes for first responders. No - doesn't mean they're infallible or god like. But they certainly are worthy of my thanks and respect for what they do.
    Thanks from Leo2 and bajisima

  8. #118
    Flibbertigibbet Wonderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
    Yep. Cohen has shown he's an equal-opportunity asshole. One of his first acts in "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America to Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," is a meeting with a panel of Code Pink types.

    Hilarity at their considerable expense ensues.
    Well, I'll confess - I'm not a big Cohen fan. His humor's never been my cup of tea. That probably factors into my thoughts on this a bit.
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  9. #119
    A Blue Dog Jets Fan Jets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Well, I'll confess - I'm not a big Cohen fan. His humor's never been my cup of tea. That probably factors into my thoughts on this a bit.
    Agreed, his taste in bathing suits....

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  10. #120
    Civis americanus borealis Singularity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wonderer View Post
    Well, I'll confess - I'm not a big Cohen fan. His humor's never been my cup of tea. That probably factors into my thoughts on this a bit.
    Right, you're not required to appreciate the humor. It's OK to find his general schtick bizarre, uncouth, overly provocative and even disrespectful.

    But if so, you should react that way to whatever (or at least most things) he does, rather than get on a soap box about this latest edgy guise.

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