Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, December 14, 2007

The New Hip Military Recruiter: “Dude! Yo, ‘Sup?”

Military Recruiter must be the most thankless job in the country right now. If you don’t meet certain recruitment quotas you go back to the front lines. But who in the F#$%&!#! would want to enlist now? Even those ever-reliable minorities are staying away in droves.

They keep raising the age limit and lowering their recruitment standards, but that ship has sailed. By now, every 42-year-old drug-addicted couch potato with a police record who might want to enlist probably already has.

The recruiters’ newest tactic is to try connecting with Generation Y by getting familiar with their music and memorizing their current slang. Oooookay. Good luck with that one.

Anybody remember the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers? The author, Gilbert Shelton, continued writing into the 1990s but their popularity peaked in the early ‘70s. One of the strip’s funniest characters was Notorious Norbert the Narc. He’d put on a wig and a psychedelic T-shirt and try to infiltrate groups of hippies so he could bust them. But no matter how he tried to disguise himself or how much hippie slang he could recite, he still had NARC stamped all over him. “Wow man, I need a hit of acid man, anybody know where I can score some shit man?”

Needless to say, he never made a bust, and I’m guessing these text messaging Green Day-listening recruiters won't be doing much better.

Last spring some recruiters attended a slide show called “The Road to a 2025 Total Force: Talkin’ ‘bout Their Generation.” Quiet now, no laughing.

The person presenting the slide show referred to Generation Y (aka “Millennials”) as “narcissistic praise junkies” and “an alien life force.” In order to help them communicate with this newfangled younger generation, recruiters were given a pop quiz where they had to identify members of Green Day and the Black Eyed Peas and demonstrate knowledge of emoticons and text messaging.

During the slide show a voiceover says: “Teach them. Guide them. Mentor them. Bullshit them, and they will just walk away.”

Like so.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

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Blogger J. Marquis said...

There should be a law that says if you recruit somebody and they die in combat you have to attend their funeral...

December 14, 2007 at 7:37 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

That is some crazy stuff daddy-o. Like those hep cats won't be hip to that jive.

Imagine if we were in a real war where we'd need hundreds of thousands of new troops instead of just enough to justify in their minds the eternal continuation of the war on third-world swarthy types.

And do kids say dude anymore? I say dude all the time, but I'm not 18. I think like the favorite like word of like young people is like like, you know?

December 15, 2007 at 5:34 AM  
Blogger Candace said...

This reminds me of that movie. Dang, what's the name of it? Where the predators evolve to look like their prey - almost? The movie showed me way more about the insides of cockroaches than I really ever wanted to see. Kind of like the guys in this post. Oh - Mimic, that was it. Ugh!

It's funny and disgusting at the same time.

December 15, 2007 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: Hey, there's an idea. But Republicans would filibuster it or Bush would veto it.

Randal: I think Dude has been around so long, it's almost timeless, like "man." Definitely "like." And if they're going after women recruits they'll have to learn to precede every adjective with the word "so" with at least fifteen "o"s after it. "I was soooooooooooo pissed." "We are sooooooooooo over."

If there was a real war? God knows what they'd do.

Candace: I think I saw that movie. The one I saw was either Species or Mimic, I forget. Mira Sorvino was a scientist. These giant cockroaches were disguised as people.

That's a pretty good analogy for recruiters disguised as "buddies." Or that song by John Prine, "and all your friends turn out to be insurance salesmen."

December 15, 2007 at 10:35 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

Dude is probably my favorite word. It has a thousand and one uses.

December 15, 2007 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: Yeah, that word is probably too timeless and versatile to go out of style.

December 15, 2007 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

Those recruiters are also staking out high schools and telling the kids not to mention their talks to their parents, as they are old enough to decide for themselves.

December 15, 2007 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Larry: Yup, I've heard about that. Since they keep raising the age limit, I'm surprised they aren't scouring retirement communities and assisted living facilities for new recruits.

December 15, 2007 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Mile High Pixie said...

Wow! First off, I like j.marquis' suggestion. Face the person's family--you brought them into this mess, now see them off. Second, I still hear the Millenials in my office use "dude" and "like" a great deal, probably almost too much. Frankly, if you use the words "dude" and "like" more than twice in a conversation at work, i don't want you carrying a gun in a foreign country. You're not mentally ready.

My husband Guy, an Army vet, and I have noticed the new armed forces ad about "when your kids want to talk about joining the Army, listen. You made them strong, we'll make them Army strong." Guy snorts at the TV, saying "You mean, you f****d up your kids and didn't out away money for their college, so we'll send them to Iraq with the promise of maybe living long enough to go to college afterwards."

December 16, 2007 at 11:58 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Mile High Pixie: Yup, that's an excellent idea. It would sure cut down on the number of recruiters. I think I'd rather be on the front lines than have to go and break the bad news to the deceased's family.

Those "army strong" ads are really a crackup. The linked article didn't mention racial profiling, but I'll bet they'll start doing that too. Recruiters talking like La Raza when they're going after Hispanic kids; talking like a rapper when they're courting Blacks, etc.

December 16, 2007 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

The Freak Brothers... what a great comic. I used to love that stuff in the late 70s, and I still have a bunch of the comic books. I'll have to dig 'em out.

Why on earth would any kid want to join the military nowadays? With the way our country used to get into a war every 20 years or so but now seems to have to be in one about every ten years to keep our economy propped up, doesn't it just seem that if you enlist now you are just about guaranteed to see combat or be in harm's way?

Military recruiters trying to learn youth culture in order to trick kids into signing up is like evangelical churches using rock and roll music to recruit young people. Things these organizations used to frown on are now used to dupe young, impressionable people into signing on for a tour of duty or for signing away their free will.

December 16, 2007 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger anna said...

LOL! I wonder if they'd let me enlist?

December 16, 2007 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I have no idea why anyone would want to enlist now. Iraqmire, plus our increasing potential for war with Iran/Syria/Venezuela and God knows who else -- anybody crazy enough to enlist probably wouldn't pass the sanity test.

That's a good analogy, that recruiters' tactics are like those religious zealots who use rock music (e.g. Jesus Camp) to seduce kids into their cult groups. They think rock is "the Devil's music" but they don't mind using it for their own purposes.

Anna: Probably, but why on earth would you want to?

December 16, 2007 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger LET'S TALK said...

Tom Harper, we are faced with the realistic fact that all America understands what is going on with this war and wants no part of it. As with the conservative, that supports this war, but will not allow their kids to serve in it. All America wants no part in it as well.

While the College kids who sat back and proclaimed the greatness of patriotism, as long an others actually physically show it. Can now produce their honest support and patriotism by answering the call for bodies to replace the all ready over served and over worked service members already dying in Iraq for our freedom and the Presidents ideal; "to fight them over their, so we do not have to fight them over here."

Step right up boys and girls, you've had the four or five years or college education and relaxation. Your country needs you.

Now really show us that support and patriotism you speak of having by serving your country and the ideal, so we all do not have to fight them over here.

December 16, 2007 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger proudprogressive said...

omg what a post, first time here , hello, found you through dear Robert Rouse. Norbert the Narc. HA ! and how about those Zap comics.

But damn these war recruiters. Some generation Y ers may be "praise spoiled but the ones i come into contact with on line at least or on some documentaries are pretty dynamic and smart. They know the score. Me , a dreamer am hoping for a generation as explosive as the sixties. Of course its even harder now but these youngins are creative, they are going sustainable and they are gonna do some good stuff like vote Obama or Edwards in for starts. We are so due for change.

oh and if you don't know what ditty wa ditty means, don't mess with ! - R Crumb, via Mr Natural.

December 16, 2007 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Lizzy said...

This also reminds me of the old Dragnet episodes when they'd bring in the crazed drugged-out hippy. They never got it right.

However, this shit is real and scary.

December 16, 2007 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger PoliShifter said...

Yeah, that's going to be convincing to see some polished clean cut marine rapping or dancing to hip hop.

I would imagine the recruiters are saying things like lol, rotf, afk, inmd, and omg


December 16, 2007 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Let's Talk: I think most of the public is pretty fed up with this endless war and the fact that the people who profit from it don't have any family members fighting in it. At this point it's gonna take a lot more than a smooth-talking recruiter who sings along with Green Day. It's way past time for those College Republicans to put up or shut up.

Proudprogressive: Thanks. Yup, Robert Crumb, Zap, Mr. Natural -- brings back memories.

I was at a seminar last Spring on how businesses can connect with Generation Y. It seemed pretty in-depth; none of this phony bullshit about learning Green Day lyrics and memorizing their current lingo. I sure hope they'll vote smart during these next few elections. We need them.

Lizzy: Yeah, those hippie stereotypes on TV were really a riot. It's too bad people aren't any more perceptive forty years later. And like you said, this is for real.

PoliShifter: These recruiters will probably just get laughed at (or worse) if they try recruiting kids by rapping and reciting jargon. It's gonna take a lot more than that.

December 17, 2007 at 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a recruiter and I can tell you first hand that it is the most thankless job in the United States. We work an average of 15 hours a day six days a week, and sometimes seven. The only thing the military cares about is numbers! If you meet your quota then you get to go home early, otherwise you are SOL when it comes to spending any time at all with your family. There should be a law against working recruiters that many hours.

December 8, 2008 at 6:45 PM  

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