April 26, 2004

Heroism anno...

Since we've been in Anzac Day mood this week, what with all the Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine goings on, I was struck by the Pat Tillman thing. You just know that here is a body/icon that is going to reflect the "heroism in the war on terror" when its history will be written and History Channel documentaries will be produced about the subject.
It's an interesting, albeit tragic, story about a guy who made a choice in his life, and a choice, I suspect, not many - if they had been in his shoes - would have made.
The paradox is rather unenviable: give up on a $3.5m football career to join the army at $18k a year because of a 'sense of patriotism', while the "American way of life" exhorts you to pursue happiness (which is usually defined as a fistful of dollars).
I suspect, given the choice, an overwhelming majority of people would have gone for the money rather than the body bag.
And to be totally cynical about it, it's the sort of sacrifice/heroism/recruitment poster the Pentagon (and Hollywood) will be salivating to use. No prizes to guess who will make the money out his lifestyle choice.

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