Should Warriors Be Warriors?

— A question of honor or name-breeding militarism

Winnacunnet High School — Hampton, New Hampshire

Born in 1949 and having lived within nine generations, I went to Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, New Hampshire. Whether it was our sports teams, debating club or our marching band in local parades we were The Warriors! Our mascot so symbolized this nomenclature.

But let me set the record straight: I was only a Warrior before I became a Pacifist!

Prior to being a Warrior I was a Boy Scout and a Cub Scout. I also played Pee-Wee football, in the Little Leagues and Pony League baseball. Like many of us, I was athletic, competitive and primed for militarism. Toward this end, names that were put upon us held tremendous meaning and influence. Think of how wrestling and UFC fighting has become so severely branded into our consciousness, to a point where a child has little to no escape from the violence of its marketing.

Frankly, I’m more concerned with ending the kind of militarism that gave rise to some of the names we’ve adopted in the course of our culture. If you coherently study the wars and proxy wars, where the bombing has been and the numerous Coup d’états they’ve almost always been waged in the cause of money and power; not in the cause of freedom, equality and democracy.

The late journalist William Blum described it very well:

The Changing World

Yes, the world is changing. What with worrisome technological advances, controls over intellectuality and threats from climate change, it needs to change more rapidly than ever before. My high school classmates and I were the first generation ever born that was forced to entertain the concept of outright human annihilation. Were we Warriors while hiding under our desks in school rooms during nuclear air raid alerts?

I give faith to young people today. After all, it is their future! If they feel a need for positive change I am compelled to support them. History, as known, will always hold its place and the names used before will always be intellectually recorded. How’s it go? Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me!”

But, in reality, some names could be hurting in nature. Consider that a child is taught to share. One might actually ponder the possibility that the names we’ve used along the way might have helped to end that important principle of taught sharing. If only going to a church could make things better. Best bet is to check your history, folks!

Something certainly happened along the way in the course of the evolution of American society. Today, our middle class has collapsed and too many are forced to live, doubled or tripled up in housing, within an underground economy where either a drug deal or a scratch ticket has become the best hope. It has become a greedy and violent world. For too many it has become a world of desperation.

So if young people today feel it is important to change some names in history, I ask: Why go out there in order to make tomorrow become so? The answer is to make and meet a better day!

Perhaps in the future they will name their teams: The Utopians, Historians, Professors, Scientists, Academians, Inspirationalists, Scholars or Philosophers, etc. Me? I’d prefer to play on a team called The Democratic Socialists!

Below is a Marvel Comic song I wrote about a threat to the Utopian planet Zenn-La, a kind of society we should ever strive and hope to attain.

A Playlist of My Band Climate Change:

“Some people think they come from Indians … Some people think they came from Knights. What about The Vagabonds who moved around and mixed it nice!”

Founder of Climate Change Band; former NH State Rep; Supporter of Bernie Sanders & Standing Rock!