Strikes a Sour Note
Jim Chase extols World War II songs that praise “fighting with honor” for “a cause bigger than you,” but pooh-poohs the idea of good music about our subsequent wars (My Thoughts Exactly, “Music, memories and heartmurmurs,” Feb. 27).
He says he’d “rather sit and hear about someone’s gallstones and urinary tract infections.” No doubt the dead of any wars would have rather sat and heard anything.
Why does he say “heaven forbid” to the prospect of music about these wars? Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan will never become “good wars” in our imaginations as World War II has, but that is all the more reason to continue to remember them in every medium available.
Our troops in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan fought and fight with honor. It is not their fault the causes were not honorable or the strategies unsound.
Elegies, requiems, laments, dirges and, yes, protest songs suit these unpopular, unnecessary or over-long wars, but to name just one example, Country Joe’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag,” delivers its serious message about Vietnam as merrily as any ’40s ditty.
Chase calls Afghanistan “recent” which means “in a past period near the present.” I wish it were in the past. We invite him and everyone else to stop by any Friday evening at the Montrose Peace Vigil, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Honolulu and Oceanview. We document each week’s troop deaths. It is a rare week still when there are none.