Monday, August 20, 2007

Good Night, Vietnam

Goodnight Moon. Before the Iraqi distraction, I dreamt of Vietnam. I am an American flyer following a Vietnamese rail line, victory in Vietnam remains possible; -- or so I’d dream. In life I protested the war and cursed Johnson and Nixon. But the peace was not then as sweet as I anticipated. American soldiers returned to unhappy or blighted lives. Vietnam and especially Cambodia fell into misery. Maybe I sought to right matters in dreams. In Rescue Dawn, Werner Herzog portrays an American pilot shot down and imprisoned in North Vietnam. At one point we see a U.S. warplane flying high over the camp. It’s thrilling.

*

When I taught creative writing to the US military in Europe one of my students maintained jets monitoring the no-fly zone in Northern Iraq. This was in another century. My only Jewish student had been a professional soccer player in Europe when he joined the army. He was in special ops. He had to drop my course when he was given a classified mission in Bosnia. Later the best teachers got to wear uniforms and actually go to Bosnia. Back in New York I got bored. The Internet means, all marking papers, no lecturing gorgeous girls. I kept trying to quit. Uncle Sam, he no let you go. Then somebody tried to blow up the USS Cole. There was a security review. Nobody knows you’re a dog on the Internet? The FBI agent in charge of my review was a German, but how was I to know? I referred to her as a cretin. I lost my security clearance. Two year later I wanted to wear a uniform and go to Baghdad and teach English, but once Sam says you’re a security threat, you’re done.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kirby Olson said...

Gorgeous girls in the army or in Iraq? You mean, under the burkhas?

You're dreaming, Michael, still!

How did you get on to this assignment? Were you paid well?

4:16 PM  
Blogger Michael Andre said...

I had a gorgeous intern working for Unmuzzled OX who was ex-military.

When Experiments in Banal Living appeared, I happened to give the dean a copy at the very moment my predecessor quit. She too is a sometime actress and a knockout beauty.

The pay was the usual. I was technically working for the University of Maryland.

1:22 AM  
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8:10 PM  
Blogger MATTHEW ROSE said...

When I speak with my Dad on SKYPE I am often wondering if we're being monitored. But I never had a security clearance. I'm not a threat to anyone or anything save for the dust in my studio.

12:08 PM  
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