Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 6 No. 3 | Fall 1984 (Seattle) /// Issue of 24 /// Master# 57 of 73

means available. I will accept neither parole nor special favors from the enemy. If I become a prisoner of war, I will keep faith with my fellow prisoners. I will never forget that I am an American fighting man, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free. Marine Corps Code of Conduct The Marine: I think every American kid should go into the Marines. You become a man. The Marine Corps ages you. See, I was juggling so many women and people at the same time. So one night I’m sitting in this bar and the bartender shut me off. And I'd only had a couple of Wild Turkeys. I was not drunk at the time. I put four quarters on the bar for a tip, but decided I wanted to play Space Invaders. So I took back a couple of quarters. So the guy shuts me off because he says I stole his quarters. I went crazy and hurt him and everything else. I was really violent. I mean, really violent. When I got mad, I ripped doors off hinges and stuff. Some psychiatrist told me that I was living with two personalities. He told me to make them one. And only use the animal for self-defense. Below is a list of items that you will not need and should not take to boot camp. Check yourself before you leave home and see to it that you don't have any of these items packed: firearms or lethal weapons ammunition explosives fireworks or pyrotechnics blackjacks brass knuckles knives straight razors scissors ointments or laxatives any products in glass pressurized containers obscene or subversive literature Recruit Training Manual for Men The Marine: So then I tried to pull my car out of a snow bank. See, the place wouldn't pay my tickets, and I was screwing the owner's wife at the time. It was just like a soap opera. So I was sitting in a park smoking a joint and across the street I see a sign. It says, “We need a few good men." And as I say, I was really a punk at the time. And I walked over there and the door was locked. And it was a one-shot deal. It was then or nothing. And the door was locked. So I walked next door to a bar and was drinking Wild Turkey. And some guy taps me on the shoulder and says, “You wanted to see me ?” So I finished my drink and went over and talked to him and said I'd join. And seven days later I was going through the process. I called my mom and said, “Guess what? I joined the military. The Marine Corps." She says, “Why don't you come home for dinner?" So everyone was there. It was the first time we'd all been together in a long time. I stayed away because I was embarrassed. In the town I lived in, the people wouldn’t let me talk to their sons or daughters. So my father says, “You’re not going to make it. They're going to make you feel like a dog. You don’t have the discipline." And I was just quiet and ate. And I said, “Well, I'm going to give it a shot. ” Yellow Footprints In this culture, everything and everybody is insulated against harshness and danger. A man can live his whole life and never know whether he is a coward or not. And I think he should know, don't you? John Berryman to James Dickey The Marine: So I was put on a plane and flown down to South Carolina. At night. They always fly you in at night because it disorientates you. And we got on a bus and drove around for an hour in circles. Then the guy gets on the bus and says, “Your heart may belong to Mommy, but your ass is mine. You’re in the United States Marine Corps now. So get out and walk in the yellow footprints." Two hundred and eight years of traditional yellow footprints. So you get out and they snarl at you and yell at you. And you get to the barracks and they say, “Through these doors the finest men are made." And I was scared. I mean, I didn’t shit for a week, and I didn’t piss for two days. And you sit down at these desks and they make you empty your pockets. And you see switchblades and bags of dope and people brought tennis rackets and all this shit. And about half the shit they threw away. And the other half they kept. I mean, if you can get a good switchblade, you keep it. So you sit back down. We didn 't sleep for 48 hours. It is part of the brainwashing technique. And they gave us two minutes to shave. I saw guys with these full beards, and they’d come out after committing hari-kari on their faces. So they put us to sleep for 3 or 4 hours. And then we went and got our haircuts. And it’s really funny because when they give you the haircut, you lose all identity. It's like Samson. It really is. I mean, I had long hair, naturally curly. It was probably my best attribute. And I was walking by, smiling. I thought I still had my hair. And I’m smiling into this mirror. And the drill sergeant yells, “Get out of there.'" And I'm back in the yellow footprints. Experience is One o f the Forms ofParalpsis Eric Satie I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals They are so placid and self-contained They do not sweat and whine about their condition They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins. Walt Whitman The Neanderthal Ideal is a reversion to the primitive. The complexities of life, with their torturous alternatives, are simply solved by rejection of the rational and evocation of the physical. Male Survival Harvey E. Kaye, M.D. Y )oo \ camp completely tempts me, because it’s basic, stripped down, a place to begin. In a world where our attributes are enhanced and our assets admired (DIG THAT BUSTLINE), it is appealing to enter a world judged only on skill and will — to live bald among bald. I think we baby boom babies goofed up really. That we have been tagging along with our minds, nakedly failing at finding our footing. Technologically, theoretically... we are speeding. But very few of us seem to adapt. We’ve got the theories. But we’ve been imitating the slick workings of our machines, striving for their objectivity, while ignoring our hearts. If you press THIS button, THAT should happen. It is logical. It is mechanical. It is mathematical. But we are human. We are not machines. Man J Man. Woman /W o ­ man. Byte/Bite. We have been conditioned. But we have not been programmed. And our theories don’t work. (Conversation between a firmly married man and a firmly unmarried woman in 1983) She: I'll never live like you. He: Why not? She: Because I grew up like that and I didn’t like it. He: But it’s been historically proven. She: I don't care. I ll never live like that. He: But HOW are you living?? She: Ummmmm . . . See, there are just too many breakups. And too many ex’s. And there are too many walls being built to enclose shattered hearts. I am not pliable enough to be so damn cool. And follow the whims of my mind. My mind’s been precocious, ingoring the ancient wisdom of my heart. Eggs. Grits and Grant The shoulder muscles are tense and often hunched up; the buttocks are held in tightly. The leg muscles are tense and the chest is puffed out. Feelings and emotions are restricted and held tightly within; very little, if any, tenderness is acceptable or physically possible in such a body. What used to be praised as excellent military bearing I have since discovered to be a habitual and defensive immobilization of the body and often the personality as well. Tenderness is Strength Harold C. Lyon, Jr. The Marine: I’ll give you an example of a typical day in the first phase of boot camp. O.K. At 5 a.m. a garbage can is thrown down the center of the barracks and the lights are turned on. “Get off the rack! Get your motherfucking (Excuse me. I'm gonna have to get raw.) asses up! Two sheets and a pillowcase!" And you gotta pull your rack apart, three or four times. “You’ve got 30 seconds to lace your boots!" They're going on and on. I’ll never forget my senior staff sergeant. Jesus Christ. I thought he came from hell. I was really scared of that one man, although actually I got to meet him later and we went out and had a drink and had a really good time. They they’d make us run down the staircase, get in formation, and they’d march us to chow. We had 5 minutes to eat: grits fried eggs, toast, french toast. Get it and go. And a glass of bug jucie (Koolaid, no sugar. That hurts.) And when the first guy is done, you all got to i Your heart may belong to Mommy, but your ass is mine. x be done. And you had to put your dishes behind the plexiglass cafeteria thing and hit your head against the glass. And grunt. To see how tough you are, I guess. We try and foster some sort of mystique about military life. You've seen examples in John Wayne movies. Sands of Iwo Jima stands out in my mind. Jack Webb. We foster the pride, prestige, physical training. It appeals to the macho instincts. Marine Recruiter, Portland, Oregon The Marine: You can't believe how tough it is. I'll give you a for instance. We were doing this torture-type thing. I don’t like to say torture because these kneejerk type liberals will start going, “Oh, my son, my son." But we were out shaking blankets for about an hour and we needed another guy from another platoon because we didn’t have enough for all the laundry. (A platoon is 80 guys, and about 10% wash out. Some of the toughest guys I thought would make it, washed out. And some of the weakest pussies that I thought didn't belong, made it.) But anyway, we were shaking out blankets, and we get this one guy from another platoon and then they say, “OK. Thank this guy." And so about 80 guys are surrounding this guy and pounding on him and grunting. You jump. You jump. Well, I don't really want to go into atrocities, because later on, I’m telling you, the training pays off. All that training makes a Marine. When you talk about making a Marine, you 're talking about a lot of abuse, but you're also talking about a lot of pride and dedication and loyalty and integrity and justice. When you make a Marine, you make a man. And there’s a difference. Phallic Thrusting When Congress declared war on Germany in 1917, American men wanted some satisfaction for themselves. The theme of manliness protruded again and again, nowhere more graphically than in the hundreds of enlistment posters, such as the one depicting a gleeful sailor riding a torpedo into the ocean like a cowboy. Ahi Men Burt Avedon A sexual revolution might destroy what men do so well together away from women: the making of His-story, the making of war, the triumph of phallic W'H- About Men Phyllis Chesler 1 hallic will. Thrusting outward. Is this manliness?? Thirteen years ago, I used to bellow at Boyd Who got punched out in bars That women didn’t need To thrust outward. I said I never felt that kind of aggression. And he said, “Hogwash.” That I was stuffing the urge. And that my mind was thrusting outward with the violence of any phallic thruster. Three years ago I had an argument with the poet Marjorie. She said we'd better be ready to pick up our guns because it was rapidly coming down to a shootout. I said I’d never be able to do that. That it was outside the realm of possibilities. She said, “Hogwash.” But I Don 't Want to Be An Asshole (The Break) ^his is the part about manhood that I will never understand. The thrusting part. And the needing to conquer and rule part. I don’t care if you have more than I do. It isn't a matter of survival. It’s not even close. I won't fight you. I won’t pin your arms back, grab at your neck, and grip at your collar. I WON'T SCRAMBLE FOR GOODS. There’s no need yet. r The Marine: Atrocities. You want to hear atrocities. Well, I call them good times. Like when we first got there. We had to put all our stuff in this little footlocker. And they’d kick them open. And we had to scoop everything back in real quick. And they'd do it again. And again. I lost a lot of equipment. But then I got smart. And started grabbing everyuone else's stuff. And then I had more than I started with. That’s just survival of the fittest, I guess. Part of the training. I say Hogwash. You are scrambling for the contents of a footlocker. For the scramble. Now where’s that at?? It seems over the edge into fascist stupidity. Little boys playing Lead With Your Flexion. Becoming the best is a great goal. But wanting the most is just greed. And greed soils the purity. Det '/Is or Angels: Women on the Rack It was about here that the interview • began deteriorating fast. The rawness began to get sloppy. And women ... as a topic . .. was right around the corner. The Marine: It was my job to be an asshole. I could be a real asshole. I was told that if people ain't bitching, you ain't doing your job. You HA VE to be an asshole. Marines are animals. We abuse women, children and other men. The Marines are also, though, the nicest people alive. They are the most polite. They'll call everybody Mam. And they are really shy. Let’s put it this way: I can go up to a girl in a bar and come off like a real smoothie. But if I know that girl, I can be shy as hell. I mean, a Marine is a weird animal. What to take to Parris Island 1. One full slip (white or pink, average length) 2. One medium/long girdle (white) 3. Five Bras (white) 4. Two pair hose (skin tone) 5. Seven panties 6. Hairbrush 7. Comb 8. Bobby pins 9. Hair rollers 10. Blowbryer 11. Eyebrow tweezer 12. Sanitary items 13. Emery board 14. Fingernail clippers 15. Safety razor 16. Bath robe (plain type) 17. Sleeping garments (preferably pajamas) Marine Corps Women’s Training Manual The Marine: See, the strongest influence on today's military is America's mothers. They can really put the screws on people. It really gets weird. And the women Marines?? Well, I knew a woman Marine from my hometown. We used to call her Sweet Tooth. She was the town whore. In fact, most women Marines are whores. I mean, they play off guys. I knew one girl. And I plugged her. And 6 . Clinton St. Quarterly