American

That is one hot spy!

 

The "Secret-ista" Anna Chapman

    So after all the  fallout over “embedded” russian spies and the leaking of national secrets, the reporting public seems to only have the strength to spin the news towards  a more entertaining riff. Maybe this bieber-esque story  won’t cause any one to suddenly have a case of some ROD (reality onset depression) and go on a handgun assisted rampage. Seriously though, somehow the fact that 10 agents from a foreign government have been living in our country (probably among other nations’ spies too) collecting, sending, receiving sensitive information about various aspects of our infrastructure does not garner much serious attention?  All we can focus on is how these sub par spies  are doing now that they are successfully back in their home country. The biggest kick in the pants of all is the spotlight on the “femme fatale”, Anna Chapman, and how she  is so beautiful with her new-found (and potentially

"Salt" movie poster

commercial?) celebrity. Even still, I am at a loss at how it is  newsworthy or patriotic (a nonsensical “buzzword”) to report with glee that she has been offered a contract to star in a pornography or that the Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie had sent the former spy an invitation to preview her new movie “Salt” (which is also about espionage).  For real? Are  publicity and a promoting of a  B-C grade film worth such attention given the circumstances? Is it because Mrs. Jolie adopts any and all of the worlds children that she is the titled “Mother for America” spokesperson  and her blessing is gospel? I guess we are all supposed to be good Americans and go see the movie now because apparently girls can also be sexy spies too and its related with current events.  This is nonsense! This country is so ridiculous in that we (as citizenry) cannot seem to hold our collective attention about any world oriented or national security crisis over whats happening on “The Real Housewives” or the next comic book movie adaptation.

     What does her position (Chapman) as a spy mean. Was it an accident? Was she conscripted? As a spy, I believe she made a conscious choice to serve her country’s interests. She is an enemy of our state of affairs. So what the hell is all the heightened interest in her whereabouts for? How would this have been  met during the 1980’s or 90′? I have  served in the regular military, meaning, I served in the overt portion of that armed services (Marines). I can say that from my experience that we were taught to fight and win by any and all means for our country.  Being a soldier in a nation’s army is most times, a conscious decision by an individual to be a part of that effort. I would imagine that being a covert agent requires a more than casual interest in supporting your country. She is not some young starlet looking to land herself a film debut on a casting couch or a hollywood movie hopeful, she is a government agent!!! My point is that we have caught actual (read: REAL)  spies among us. These spies have been caught during a time of war (on two, but soon may three or four fronts), a crippled finance sector,  and a time of natural disaster. The last time we were covertly infiltrated by a undercover unit, we trained those assets to fly the planes which they then used to select and destroy many critical targets en masse all over the Eastern U.S.!  And even  less notable to mention is the cost of innocent lives that where lost in these actions. Wake the hell up.

     So what is the reason for all of this E! styled reporting? Is all of this fanfare because the spies just happen look more like us? We have such a convoluted outlook on everything else in America such as beauty, skin color, baubles, cars and houses that maybe since the spies where “white” (i.e. “normal” looking) they would not mean us too much harm. Hell, I guess they were just experimenting. You know, trying to find their own way in life. I am willing to bet if they where of Arabic or “ethnic” disposition then we would have invaded their home country to look for their weapons of mass destruction. Then we could reform/condemn them to the overpowering righteousness that is our take on a capitalist democracy. You know the brand, just look how well it works in Iraq or Afghanistan (see also 1950-70’s Southeast Asia and 1945-50’s European lower countries). They just don’t ask us for it because their primitive minds couldn’t think of it.  – Anyway, that is another topic for another time-.

     I find it disheartening that these events take a back seat to way less important news fodder. It is sad also that because of our collective preoccupation with bullshit we cannot even muster the strength to hold the government accountable for the ease of which the spies where just given back to their country. Why? What deals were cut for this indignation? I suppose we’ll never know. There used to be a time that I would recall some military advice on these heady political misgivings and say, “just stay in your pay grade and trust that things happen for the good of the commonwealth”. But watching the last presidential administration eroded all of my confidence in what “commonwealth” has come to mean. I don’ t think I have enough strength to maintain that methodology any longer and maybe have lost some hope as to what we can really expect to have  for a future. I truly belive it is not going to look like what any politicians verbally paint it out to be. So,  go on! Watch reality wives and the next fantasy movie on your mypad while cutting pounds to look sexier on your $9000.00 swaretsky crystal encrusted treadmill. Meanwhile, the real word is happening right outside of our borders. But be careful, those borders are getting smaller and that could definitely ruin your smart-phone signal. Wouldn’t that be just unbearable?

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A personal comparison/contrast essay of the main character in Tom Whitecloud’s Iconic reading: Blue Winds Dancing

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” This statement is an iconic quote made by the American poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. People often look different, talk different and have different viewpoints but almost always have the same end result in mind. Both Tom Whitecloud’s character in the story “Blue Winds Dancing” and I have many differences in almost every conceivable area of measure. We are not the same race, age, or possess the same beliefs or values. It would be easy to draw the conclusion that we are the proverbial “apples and oranges”. But it is only upon closer inspection that there are such striking similarities between the two us that they seem almost nearly identical.

            The Author’s character in his story ventures away from the reservation from which he was raised and attends a college far from his home. He is not learning the history and philosophies of his ancestry but the supplant information to override those truths with Eurocentric ideals. This setting has a unique effect on him because the teachings he learns there directly contradict and seemingly belittle the traditions of his people. The protagonist comes to a conclusion that he does not fully relate to his fellow tribesman or the white students. And from this point the character makes a choice to abandon one of these ideals in favor of fully embracing the other so he leaves school and finds his way back to his reservation to be with his family.

            Similarly, I have also made choices that have led me far away from my home. I have adopted a whole other cultural mindset in addition to the one I was raised with. I accomplished this means by enlisting into the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduating from high school. This decision had greatly affected my life but did not improve it in the way in which I thought it would. I, like the protagonist,  found myself balancing two lifestyles that were not intermixable and causing growing communication problems between my personal relationships as well as my job. I elected to only focus on the choice that had more impact in my life and concluded my service to the Marines after two enlistments.

            In contrast to how the actual mechanics of each tale unravel, the end result is quite polarizing. Whitecloud’s character in the end of his story concluded that he wanted to be free and live as his people did without the added adoption of the white American culture. He returned home and was accepted back as a member of his tribal unit once again. He realized that his familial bond was too great and needed to be more prevalent in his life whereas I have not espoused the same fervor for being close to my family. Upon leaving the Marines I did not return to where my family lives but settled down farther away to establish my own identity and endeavor to make my own way. This is an interesting answer to how people approach evolving their ancestry in modern times.

            There are many interesting and varied people in the world who have so many different and unique cultural processes. A person can easily forget that the choices we all make as humans nearly always reflect the same sentiment towards some basic values that are inherent to us all: family, love, duty, responsibility are just a few. This knowledge leaves us all with the thought that maybe for all of our striking differences we are more alike than we realize…