Day 12: The Few, The Proud, The Marine…Animals???


One of my favorite weekly rituals is to read Harper’s Weekly with a nice cup of coffee and then spend ten minutes deciding whether I should laugh at, or cry about the state of the world. Given this nature of the ritual one would think that I have lost the ability to be surprised at the weirdness that there is human activity on this planet. Sometimes, however, reports come along that still stun me.

I remember one of my professors frequently digressing into musings on his father’s stories about the military. His father was a Marine and one of his apparently most frequent assertions was that he thinks that the Marines’ slogan should be changed from “The few, the proud, the Marines” to “The few, the proud, the dead on the beach.” Now, be that as it may, but at least back then it was human military that was lying dead on the beach–humans still fought their own battles. In the future, however, we will see the service of anti-terror dolphins and sea lions patrolling a Washington state military basis. We all were aware of the fact that the military uses marine animals to defend ships against bomb attacks in the Persian Gulf, but I had no idea that they actually train sea lions for one-on-one combat. Apparently the sea lion’s job is to attack enemy divers and put a clamp around one of their legs so that “a human with a weapon is able to reel the hostile subject to the surface.” “A human with a weapon???” So this means that they also have animals with weapons? What, like friggin’ shark’s with friggin’ lasers attached to their heads (pardon my Dr. Evil digression here)? Am I the only one who finds this deeply disturbing? Also, please visit:, the military’s site for the Marine Mammal Program. Feel free to marvel at the machismo of the sea lion cartoon, complete with angry eyebrows and American flag. You have got to be friggin’ kidding me!

In other news a Florida production of “The Vagina Monologues” was forced to change the title of the show after a woman complained that the title was offensive. The title of the show is now “The Hoohaa Monologues.”

Seriously, is this the rapid progression of what T.S. Eliot meant when he famously talked about the world ending not in a bang, but in a whimper?

We are the hollow men and marine animals.

Poo-tee-weet? (is this quote known well enough to be used for satire?)



  1. This is by far too scary. With all of this training, soon the animals will turn against us! Check out this pic of a Pilot Whale marking a training target…

  2. Yikes, imagine training the pilot whale to goose bathers with that thing!

    Are the animals actually military or just contractors? If military are they “caught” by the draft? Do they have a war resisters league?

    A VA veterinary hospital?

    Is Sea World the next School of the Americas?

  3. BTW: There is nothing so good as coffee with Lewis Lapham. Unless you’re joined, I guess, by an aquatic mammal, that is.

  4. Does anybody remember the 1970s film Day of the Dolphins? It starred George C. Scott (sometimes I think I must have hallucinated large portions of my childhood). The plot revolved around the use of dolphins for planting explosive mines on the underside of ships. That was the bad guys doing that. Nobody needed to point that out. We all assumed those were the bad guys, ’cause of what they were doing.

    Anyway, I find your use of that T.S. Eliot quote to be offensive, since it uses the word “bang.” Ooooh, darn it, I said “bang.” Whoops, did it again.

    The Slaughterhouse Five quote is too obscure. But thanks for asking.

  5. Ha! You familiar with that brilliant South Park episode in which Cartman starts a boygroup called “Fingerbang?” But that may be offensive as well. Talking about hoohaas, bang, and weird morally correct people etc.: remember the South Park episode in which Cartman starts a Christian rock band (hits like “I wanna get down on my knees and start pleasing Jesus”)? Bet that was not too popular with that Florida woman either.

    @ Harvey: these are all fascinating questions. I feel another union drive coming! The Teamsters have horses in their logo–seems like this could be right up their alley. Marine animals do not have wheels, but they do transport stuff. Need to train some pilot whales to use lead pipes and we’re ready to negotiate.

  6. Next time the US president resides at the Hyatt Regency in Cologne (which is directly located at the riverbank), beside special forces on the roof, the prohibition of ships passing and cars crossing the bridge nearby, they will use those dolphins to patrol the Rhine, too.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s