I almost lost my appetite in the lunch line yesterday when a young marine and I think, a former marine were talking about life in the military. It made me so sad that they were lamenting how much easier Marines have it now- like they were getting to wear protective equipment like knee pads, and they could use a timeout card that gave them 15 minutes respite from harrassment, including verbal abuse. The young guy said his father would roll over in his grave. And I think they were talking about some sort of hazing rite where a marine gets "blooded" and how that has become much easier and how unfortunate that was. (To be fair, it was mostly the young guy saying this and the older guy agreeing with him.)
I think talking about certain things should be banned in public places- I don't want to hear it. Okay, I'm really all for free speech, but what about ettiquette? I'm not talking about the kind of conversation that went on in my office a few weeks ago- that wasn't really too bad. And I admit that I am extra sensitive- I am. Partly because then I start thinking how sad it is that these young people are being trained to kill, and have to be ready to do so as part of their job. And I think that's horrible- that someone can start off their adult life with death on their hands. Maybe only old men- and only old politicians who actually start wars, should be allowed to fight.
On a related note- my sensitivity- one of my students handed in a paper that described a horror movie in graphic detail. I stopped reading half way through and skimmed the rest. Then I made her rewrite it on a different topic. I decided I shouldn't be subjected to that and neither should anyone else!