23 June 2009

You Say You Want a Revolution

Warning: I ramble in this post. A lot. You have been warned.

From my perspective, Iran is imploding. Good or bad? I don't know. I'm not Iranian, I've never been to Iran, and can't judge. I just know that if I was protesting an election in America, the military wouldn't kill me and the President wouldn't tell me to shut up. All those needless deaths sadden me.

From my perspective, North Korea is itching for a Korean War Part Deux. True? False? From their perspective, I can't judge. From here, it's a certainty.

And both of these countries and their issues effect me. Personally. They make my heart race and my stress levels freak. Because I have familial connections to both countries. Both histories.

My father was drafted during the Korean War and served in the Marine Corps, in Korea, as a telephone lineman. His older brother, my Uncle R, worked for Westinghouse and was living in Iran (with his family) and working for said company during the 1979 revolution. They barely got out in one piece.

I worry about things I can't control. I'm an idiot that way. God-forbid I actually worry about the little things, like Dang, do we have enough toilet paper to last the week? or Shoot, are my kids going to lose their shit at Monkey Joe's? No, I worry about the things that are out of my control, things like death, entropy, North Korea and Iran.

My father wasn't a big talker about the Korean War. I don't think it's because he had a horrific time, I think it's because he really had nothing to say about it except Dang! I wish those Korean women hadn't put their squid out to dry under the telephone poles! It really stunk on hot days! Seriously, that was the extent of his description of the Korean War. There was also, Going over on that Navy boat sure made me sick and not to forget the whole I went turkey hunting with a visiting general and he spoke in glowing terms of the friends he made, but for him, the war was just there. It wasn't fun but it wasn't bad, either. The pictures I found were pictures of the people, the landscape, and of himself and his buddies:

The description, in Dad's handwriting, reads Becker, Shipp, myself, & (unreadable) in front of guard shacks with Thompson sub-machine gun. Yup, that's my dad holding the firearm. Bless him.

But I know if he were alive today, North Korea's actions would have him twitching. Dad was a hater of all people and things Communist. True, red-blooded American he was and anytime any one or any entity threatened our existence as a democratic-republic? Oh, he was on it like white on rice. This was the first Father's Day since losing him 11 years ago that I was happy he was gone. Happy because he would have spent Sunday glued to the TV muttering about crazy reds and the like. And I know he would have felt disappointment that the job he was drafted to help complete never came to fruition. The job of keeping communism from the Korean peninsula.

And Uncle R and Iran? My brain barely remembers those days back in 1979 when my parents and Uncle C were whispering about Uncle R and his family. The memories are hazy, but I remember the three most important adults in my life being worried about something to do with Uncle R and his getting out of somewhere. Uncle R and I don't talk much since our September scuffle, and we keep the conversation light, but I know he's shaking his head, thankful that he, his wife, and daughters aren't having to relive that nightmare. And shaking his head that Iranians whom he called friends are having to relive 1979 all over again.

I know I can't fix the problems of the world and I know I can't affect them. I just know they worry me. Constantly. Was it coincidence that this weekend was Father's Day? That we found Dad's Korea pictures? That the US Navy began stalking a North Korean ship? That Iran went nuts? That Uncle R called me to ascertain if I was attending our family reunion? I don't know. I just know that all those irrational fears are closing in, as are events on the other side of the world.

And I can't do a damned thing about any of it.

Thanks for reading my vent.


Miss Britt said...

The things we can't control are overwhelming, sometimes.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Miss Britt - And they always seem to be overwhelming to me. Must be my genes.

The Dark Lord said...

WOW.. that is indeed an overwhelming piece!

Fantastagirl said...

I am learning the only thing I truly have any control over is my reaction to things... but this is just, well, bad.

I have hope for better days for the people of those nations, will it mean the US goes over and does something? I'm not sure, but I am sure there are many vets from the Korean war shaking their heads.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Dark Lord - Thanks for reading and it was overwhelming for me to write. Looking through Dad's pictures brought tears to my eyes. Seeing the Korean people struggling.

Fantastagirl - Oh, my reactions are always bad. I get that from my dad. :)

Gypsy said...

I don't know whether to be worried or not. My friend who lives in S. Korea says not to be, but it's hard.

Also, as an aside, I just love M*A*S*H.

A Free Man said...

I don't know, man. I don't get bothered about these things. I'm kind of an isolationist. If we don't mess with these crazies chances are they won't mess with us. I mean, two half-ass poor as trailer park countries thousands and thousands of miles away just aren't capable of causing much trouble unless you're all up in their faces. The North Korean rockets always fail and Iran doesn't have a rocket that can get much past their borders. I think we spend too much time stressing out about these nut jobs and not enough time stressing out domestic problems. But that's just me.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Gypsy - You know? If your South Korean friend isn't nervous, then I guess I shouldn't be.

A Free Man - OK. "two half-ass poor as trailer park countries thousands and thousands of miles away just aren't capable of causing much trouble unless you're all up in their faces." That absolutely made me laugh my ass off. Seriously. It fell onto the floor. I love you, hon!