January 4, 2007

The crying soldier.

The Slate front page right now is displaying this picture of a soldier crying:



This irks me. I see Jacob Weisberg -- of "Bushisms" notoriety -- has an article titled "Was Victory in Iraq Ever Possible?" It's linked at the top of the page right next to the picture.

But, to be fair, they also have a feature on Iraq war comics. It's linked third next to the picture.

What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you, and does it mean something different the way Slate has used it? I am reminded that I was lambasted recently for crying, so my perceptions about the cultural meaning of crying are distorted right now. I'm biased toward righteously justifying the expression of humanity in liquid form. But I don't like Weisberg -- that longtime Bush foe -- appropriating the soldier's tears.

IN THE COMMENTS: The answer to my question -- "What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you?" -- there are lots of answers, but we may have settled on one: "It means that the artist watched too much TV during the 70s and can't think of an original way to express himself." And YouTube comes through again:

48 comments:

R2K said...

Crying that 3000 of his friends died and he might be next? Crying because Iraq is getting worse despite all the efforts? Crying because if he does get home, he will stuck somewhere in the lower class and may need foodstamps to eat? I have no idea.

Simon said...

"What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you, and does it mean something different the way Slate has used it?"

"I hope that if I die in my cause, my mom doesn't appropriate my memory to her cause," perhaps.

Henry said...

A sad-eyed kitten would have worked better, I think.

Get a little frisson going.

Anonymous said...

But I don't like Weisberg -- that longtime Bush foe -- appropriating the soldier's tears.

Appropriating the soldier's tears!?

It's an artistic representation... You may have a point if they were using a photo of a real soldier crying.

I'm biased toward righteously justifying the expression of humanity in liquid form.


I think you're just biased against Weisberg.

Cheers.

Jonathan said...

They're in the desert, Ann. It's nothing more than some sand in his eye. He isn't wearing goggles, after all.

Wish that that were the reason, but I doubt it. The truly sad thing is to most of the soldiers I speak to (I was active duty for 9 years and still have many friends deployed) this doesn't represent them in the slightest. To a soldier, they are encouraged and their spirits and moral is high. This cartoon is more representative of the non-military person who doesn't support the effort.

Gerry said...

"I'm biased toward righteously justifying the expression of humanity in liquid form."

I don't buy that this is what your tears did. Perhaps this is what you felt they were doing, but to appropriate some of the language you recently used-- your tears had daggers. They weren't an expression of humanity, they were an accusation that someone else lacked humanity.

I really like you, Ann. I just do not think that the whole affair with the Liberty Fund conference was handled well by a few folks, from the way I have seen it depicted by several of the posts on here and on Reason.

Bissage said...

An oldy but a goody.

paul a'barge said...

Warriors don't cry for cartoons or for leftists.

Talk about hijacking our armed forces to peddle an agenda, this magazine takes the Oscar.

Weisberg is a congenital pig.

The Jerk said...

They're probably tears of joy. Putting one's life on the line to strengthen Muqtada al-Sadr's hand in Iraq would bring a tear to anyone's eye.

ed said...

Hmmm.

This is nothing more than paraphrased replay of the old 1970's environmental advertisement of the weeping indian.

And that's really all that.

Nothing to see here. Just another case of explicit emotional manipulation.

WhatsAPundit said...

r2k, was your first comment meant to be a joke?

chrisburp said...

R2K said "Crying because if he does get home, he will stuck somewhere in the lower class and may need foodstamps to eat?"
Typical of what libs/lefties think of the military men and women-that they are simpletons at the lowest rung of society.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt said...

Paul a'barge–A: it isn't the left that has hijacked the armed forces to peddle an agenda. B: yeah, go around calling Jews pigs. That's always a way to elevate the debate.

Ann: First of all, poguemahone is right, it is an artistic representation of a generic soldier, that's not appropriate a soldier's tears. Second, why should it matter if Weisberg is a "longtime Bush foe." Granted, In recent history, it has been Bush who uses troops to prop up his political image, but being Republican doesn't grant him exclusive license to the troops.

Meade said...

"What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you, and does it mean something different the way Slate has used it?"

Bissage has it. The image says: "[Bush] started [this war]; [Bush] can stop it"

PatCA said...

I think you're right, paul. It's a take on the weeping Indian to manipulate the faithful into even more despair. All that's missing is a Tim Blairian Compassionate Head Tilt.

I hope the troops soon put together a weeping soldier parody the way they did with the "Halp Jon Cary" photo!

Anonymous said...

Jacob Weisberg's problem is that Jacob Weisberg chose to so severely damage his own professional reputation when he insisted on publicly printing, year after year, intentional misquotations and apparent fabrications in order to satisfy Jacob Weisberg's personal private need for revenge that anything Jacob Weisberg writes on any subject today is highly suspect, and inherently unbelievable no matter how mundane.

If Jacob Weisberg were to allege something as patently obvious as the fact that the sun rose in the east this morning, it would still be wise to demand independent verification from an independent source.

Given that, it seems to me that the intelligent thing to do is to not bother with anything Jacob Weisberg writes in the first place. It is just not worth the time to fact check someone so intellectually dishonest.

Pity Jacob Weisberg. The joke he's flogged for years turns out to be on him after all.

Anonymous said...

Jacob Weisberg's problem is that Jacob Weisberg chose to so severely damage his own professional reputation when he insisted on publicly printing, year after year, intentional misquotations and apparent fabrications in order to satisfy Jacob Weisberg's personal private need for revenge that anything Jacob Weisberg writes on any subject today is highly suspect, and inherently unbelievable no matter how mundane.

If Jacob Weisberg were to allege something as patently obvious as the fact that the sun rose in the east this morning, it would still be wise to demand independent verification from an independent source.

Given that, it seems to me that the intelligent thing to do is to not bother with anything Jacob Weisberg writes in the first place. It is just not worth the time to fact check someone so intellectually dishonest.

Pity Jacob Weisberg. The joke he's flogged for years turns out to be on him after all.

Anonymous said...

Jacob Weisberg's problem is that Jacob Weisberg chose to so severely damage his own professional reputation when he insisted on publicly printing, year after year, intentional misquotations and apparent fabrications in order to satisfy Jacob Weisberg's personal private need for revenge that anything Jacob Weisberg writes on any subject today is highly suspect, and inherently unbelievable no matter how mundane.

If Jacob Weisberg were to allege something as patently obvious as the fact that the sun rose in the east this morning, it would still be wise to demand independent verification from an independent source.

Given that, it seems to me that the intelligent thing to do is to not bother with anything Jacob Weisberg writes in the first place. It is just not worth the time to fact check someone so intellectually dishonest.

Pity Jacob Weisberg. The joke he's flogged for years turns out to be on him after all.

Anonymous said...

He's probably crying over the notion that Nancy Pelosi and her ilk now hold the pursestrings.

Pogo said...

1. Baby Jesus hates cartoons that cry.

2. Crying cartoons need anime Prozac. Pow! to The Evil Depression Overlord.

3. Popeye and Sgt. Rock and Hulk never cried. That cartoon soldier is a wuss.

4. Crying adults, such as at overlong conferences, are not permissible, and may be dismissed as unstable or emotional. But making someone cry, well, all's fair.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if everyone has seen these videos of the US military in Iraq or not, but they are pretty amazing: Hopefully our 'surge' will not include too many of these types...
http://minor-ripper.blogspot.com/2006/12/winning-hearts-and-minds-part-three.html

Joe said...

He is crying because the Democrats are intent on pulling the rug out from under him and his brothers, so that his lost comrades have died in vain.

Henry said...

He is crying because he has lost his lucky hat.

Anonymous said...

He is crying because the left is determined to make his and his comrades sacrifice futile by not supporting the idea that we can actually win.

He is crying because the left and the media are actively supporting the enemy and doing everything in their power to make his sacrifice usless and make his country weaker.

He is crying because he knows the next front on the battleground when we abandon the people of Iraq is likely to be in his home town of Des Moines.

He is crying because his patriotism is being denigrated at every turn.

He is crying because he is being portrayed in the media and by the left as a stupid dupe who can't get a "real job" and is stuk in Irak.

Anonymous said...

By following the link and reading the comic page from which the pic was taken I thought that it meant sacrifice, loyalty, and soldiers are human.
By reading the comments here I find that I'm too stupid to follow the reasoning here so I'm going back to reading comics.
bye

MadisonMan said...

He is crying because he's physically and emotionally drained, and another of his friends has just been injured.

WhatsAPundit said...

He's crying because § 934, Article 134 probably prohibits him from smacking some self-righteous anti-military bigot upside the head, no matter how desperately the SRAMB needs it.

AllenS said...

He's crying because he just went through the chow line, has his tray of food, looks around for a place to sit, notices that the only table that has empty chairs is where John Kerry is sitting, alone.

Dr. Manhattan said...

"Beyond A"

I think what Paul said was dumb, but it clearly had nothing to do with Weisberg being Jewish.

Gerry said...

"B: yeah, go around calling Jews pigs."

Without getting into the merits of his comment at all, this is flat out disingenuous and despicable. He called a particular person a name. He did not call an entire ethnic group a name. And trying to smear him with the smell of antisemitism in this manner is reprehensible.

Timothy K. Morris said...

He came back from patrol and found John Kerry in his mess hall?

SteveR said...

Given the very high odds that he enlisted or re-upped since 2001, its idiotic to claim this would be about some sorrow having to do with Bush, et al.

And besides, it doesn't require any original or intelligent thought to come up with that. Try to do better, I suppose you'd actually have to know a soldier to know what he thinks.

Meade said...

redneck hillbilly said...
By following the link...

"Compared with the complex, well-researched soldiers' stories in Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury, though, Combat Zone feels flat. The book's soldiers are stock characters—the country boy, the intellectual, the hard-bitten commander—and casualties are kept to a minimum. The comic ends with patriotic martyrdom, as a soldier throws himself onto a live grenade to save his comrades (and a few wide-eyed Iraqi children, of course). "Kulzinski went out with his boots on," says his teary CO after the battle ends, and offers the movie-ready eulogy shown here. It's easy to imagine real soldiers hooting at such squareness."

Now I think I'm going to cry.

ASX said...

We can be confident that Jacob Weisberg had absolutely no role in selecting the artwork that appears on the Slate homepage. It is quite clear that Slate has a graphics department for that kind of thing.

Revenant said...

What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you

It means that the artist watched too much TV during the 70s and can't think of an original way to express himself.

I see a number of other commenters also spotted the "crying indian" ripoff.

jackson zed said...

He's cryiing because he knows that since he won't be allowed to finish the enemy, his son will be required to fight the next do-over war in Iraq.

yours/
peter.

Anonymous said...

Ann, for a purported liberal, you sure do attract seemingly every one of the 10% that support Bush's version of Final Fantasy 3.0

Good God.

AST said...

It means that he just learned about the election results.

Secondly, the Indian commercial is bogus. They hardly left the land untouched. They started prairie fires all the time, because it gave the Buffalo fresh grass. They thinned the forests to grow the kinds of trees they wanted, especially nut trees and oaks. They often killed more than they needed and left the carcasses to rot.

But mostly they just didn't have the technology to produce things they could just throw away. If they had had newspapers, soda cans, and packaging, they'd probably had litter problems too.

Anonymous said...

Ah Heck! I get it now.

"A cornpone eulogy from Karl Zinsmeister's Combat Zone, © 2005 Marvel Characters, Inc."

A hillbilly knows cornpone real good.
That is the hillbilly soldier.

Goesh said...

Best darn wags in town! By the way, Indians used to stampede herds of buffalo over cliffs just to get the meat of a few. They would start prairie fires to stampeded buffalo without a care for all the little birdies and gophers burned up in their little dens and nests...la la

Pogo said...

Re: "What does the image of the soldier crying mean to you"

Soldier: "Geez; how'd I get stuck next to Ron Bailey at the Liberty Fund conference? His small talk is so painful I want to cry."

Anonymous said...

Maybe it was a subtle reference to the second piece ("Why Bush still won't change his strategy") by Fred "Iron Eyes" Kaplan.

Anonymous said...

It means that the artist watched too much TV during the 70s and can't think of an original way to express himself.

Agreed. Not sure who did the illustrations - but the crying soldier is from a book by Karl Zinsmeister from AEI. Yep the neocon thinktank.

I'll just have to agree with everyone here that this crying soldier was created by an idiot.

Anonymous said...

"He came back from patrol and found John Kerry in his mess hall?"

Haha, good line.

Seriously, the soldier has obviously been laughing so hard that he is now crying over a particularly amusing bit of torture his fellow Nazis inflicted on a few poor Sunnis before burning them alive.

Actually, seriously: I think the guy who wrote the article is maybe, just maybe trying to influence his readers' opinions.

monkeyboy said...

Meade:

That quote jumped out at me as well, I doubt the author has met very many soldiers.

veteran said...

Listen, i've serve twice in the BIG SAND BOX as a scout and yes i've shed tears both times. It doesn't mean that i am weak but when you see the destruction of war first hand its not a easy feeling. I've lost very close friends to IED(Improvise Explosive Device) and also my wife to be and if any man or woman who could take loses like that and not shed tears then yes you should put in the same category of our fearless leader in the oval office. The picture means he lost someone he'll never see again for you right wingers

xMCRx said...

go to youtube.com, search 'bring him home santa' and click the first result. at the end, there will be a clip of a child about 5-6 years-old, in school, getting out of his chair, crying, and running toward his father who is standing in the doorway holding his arms open. its just so touching.

Bella said...

veteran, thanks for your comments and your perspective. It is so important to consider that we ought not to judge what we have not experienced. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Of course soldiers cry. What a backwards society that crying is automatically associated with failure, weakness, or manipulation. I've seen so many "crying soldier" images circulating around the internet- the reason you don't like this one is because it's from a liberal publication instead of a conservative one. If there had been a "support our fallen brothers and sisters, give thanks to our troops who are sacrificing themselves daily for our freedom", etc etc- you'd all love the silly thing. I think there are WAY more important things to be discussing this day.