The Blanket

The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Simulating the Simulators

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." - Noam Chomsky

Eoghan O’Suillabhain • 3 November 2004

Watching draft dodging crypto-fascist cartoons like Ann Coulter on television all the time reminds me of what it really means to be a Patriot. Back in the day I used to wear dirty green tree suits to help keep the country safe from Nicaraguans like Danny Ortega who were doing better imitation Provisional Sinn Fein than Provisional Sinn Fein. Or at least that’s what we were told. Hence our mission.

Soon after picking up the usual convicts from the County pen work release program to keep our company numbers up, we weekend warriors, pedophiles and all, headed to the local hills to train on Humvees with rotating TOW missiles. Since the missiles cost $10,000.00 a throw, the Army instead gave us three or four of these little 15 cent plastic confetti-less New Year’s eve champagne poppers to wire into the back end of the missile launching tubes. That way when we squeezed the trigger we’d hear a pop that was supposed to simulate the sound of a missile being fired off. Oh the memories!

Usually after three Euchre shouts in the woods waiting for some Tank Company to start their field maneuvers we’d form mobile echelon right or left passes with our Humvees while aiming our missile poppers at the tanks. Problem was though we almost always fired off our simulators out of sheer boredom while waiting in the woods for the drive-an-hour-fix-an-hour tanks. Soon we’d hear our not-to-be-taken too seriously Company Commander shouting over the radio demanding to know why he hadn’t heard any popping going off. When told we were out he’d always shout back: "Well, simulate the simulators damn it…there commies everywhere."

And there we’d be, me driving half a million dollars worth of inert equipment and machinery while some child molesting shit heel from Sheboygan rode shot gun shouting "Bang…your dead" like a nine year old playing cowboys and Indians. Before long we’d make a few cavalier passes at the typically stationary tanks on our way back to the woods to shout Euchre some more and await further orders…which funny enough usually came around dinnertime… to go to chow. The planning was always brilliant.

No doubt the Sandinistas must have been quaking in their boots at the thought of us minding their southern border with Honduras. Just the thought of our work release program alone would’ve scared them shitless. And you thought the Dirty Dozen was just a movie. No wonder people like Ann Coulter credit Ronald Reagan for bringing down Communism. Putting our convicts in military uniform even scared me. I just thanked God for rear view mirrors and prayed for ammunition.

What more important things Dick Cheney had to do though is beyond me but I can almost understand why George Jr. Bush disserted the National Guard. A fellow could have gone deaf fighting all those imaginary Nicaraguans and besides not all jeeps were equipped with rear view mirrors. But why this Jody in drag Ann Coulter (who never put her skinny ass on the Patriot’s chopping block) gets away with calling people treasonous just because they disagree with her war whooping is truly a mark of how far or how little we have come depending upon your perspective.

That’s the beauty of free speech or it ought to be anyway. I say libel (and make no money) and she says slander (and makes lots of money…in service to power of course). However, I can at least say I played cards for my country, and she can’t. So there, but surely she has the right like your man Hurley to protest or dissent (in their mind anyway) as he or she sees fit. And if not here on The Blanket which functions as an Irish Republican free speech forum then where? Didn’t Wolfe Tone say: “Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter”? And doesn’t the home page of The Blanket say: “Journal of Protest and Dissent”? The word “and” being the conjunctive. It’s not always easy but there it is stimulation, not simulation.

Curiously, neither Ann Coulter or I would ever get published in An Phoblact because despite our divergent views we don’t conform to that narrowly permitted spectrum of mutually supporting ideological opinion that is given space there.

One man’s meat is surely another man’s poison. Where I see dumb ass Army absurdity, Ann Coulter sees lean mean green fighting machines. Where I see surrender, Gerry Adams sees tactical maneuvering. Where I see lies and euphemism, PSF sees complications and nuance…or at least that’s what they’d tell you. And as much as we may not like Gerry Adams or Ann Coulter, they’re entitled to their opinions no matter how devious or dishonest we think or know they are. And that means permitting them and others space even if they would never permit you same.

To do otherwise is to simulate discussion like An Phoblacht which is about as useful as simulating the simulators.




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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



All censorships exist to prevent any one from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently the first condition of progress is the removal of censorships.
- George Bernard Shaw

Index: Current Articles

4 November 2004

Other Articles From This Issue:

The Torture of John Devine
Anthony McIntyre

Defending the Faith
Dr John Coulter

Simulating the Simulators
Eoghan O’Suillabhain

Learning from Hurley
Gréagoir O’Gaothin

Politics and Reason
Mark Burke

If Looks Could Kill
Sean Smyth

Fraternal Parting
Davy Carlin

Bluebeard's Castle
Toni Solo

31 October 2004

Blanket Interview: Hugh Orde
Carrie Twomey & Anthony McIntyre

The Convict and the Cop
Suzanne Breen

Thanks and Goodbye
Diarmuid Fogarty

In Response to: John Kerry, the Wrong Choice
Saerbhreathach Mac Toirdealbhaigh

The True Face of a One-Eyed Jack
Richard Wallace

Hurley's Twisted View
Lonnie Painter

Three More Votes for Kerry-Edwards
Kristi Kline

Your Silence Will Not Protect You
Joanne Dunlop

The Orange Order: Personification of anti-Catholic Bigotry
Father Sean Mc Manus

Double Standards and Curious Silences
Paul de Rooij



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