Military deprivation syndrome

So USC had a football coach named Steve Sarkisian. Had. Turned out that Sark had a bit of a drinking problem, and finally, it got to the point where the university had to let him go. When Sarkisian was fired, the first thing you heard out of the mouths of various talking heads were hopes that Sark “gets the help that he needs.”

Now I have no problem with that. Getting professional help in dealing with one's addictions and bad habits can be, I'm sure, very helpful. But then I started flashing back to the '70s and '60s, before there was anything called “rehab.” Yes, this is true. There was a time, believe it or not, not that long ago, when there wasn't a billion dollar industry known as “rehab.” Crazy, right? You know what guys and gals with drinking problems did back in, say, 1969?

They looked in the mirror and said, “Well, I guess it's time for me to quit drinkin'.” What a concept.

Another reality from the '60s that's interesting to ponder—back then, there were no answering machines. When the phone rang, you answered it. Every freaking time. That sounds like a dangerous way to live, right? But you gotta remember, this was also a time before telephone marketing. Back then, nobody was calling you to sell you steaks or insurance or spectacular investment opportunities. I know. Weird. But the truth was, back then in 1968, you knew everybody who called. Whoa! Wrap your head around that.

I mentioned to a 20 year-old that I was gonna watch a bit of the World Series on the tube. She said, “Is that soccer?”

It's a telling reminder of our ever-shifting social context, and how the assumptions we used to make without thinking twice maybe aren't so safe to make anymore. It's the same thing as the recent tweet from a 22-year-old, who commented that she had heard this guy Paul who did that duet with Kanye West was supposed to have been a big deal in his time. And of course, she was talking about Paul the Beatle.

So as I'm watching the World Series (which, BTW, is a baseball thing), I see all these new commercials for the Navy, and how they roam the globe to protect American business interests, American citizens, and the cute kittens that belong to those citizens. You know, a Force for Good and all. “Gee,” I thought, “I wonder what it would be like to live in a country that doesn't have a gigantic and all-powerful military industrial complex. I wonder if people in, say, Denmark, feel inferior or deprived, somehow, that their government doesn't have to spend billions of dollars on new jets and tanks and rockets all the damn time.” I concluded that the Danes probably deal with it pretty well and do so without the need for much counseling.