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Rainbow Army Not long ago our President faced some hot, hot heat from those who opposed his belief that homosexual men should be allowed to serve in the nation's armed forces. People made gurgling noises Some folks fairly danced in aphasic anger Then they appeared on TV Not me, though. Oh no. I thought, Why not? In fact, why not create an army where you have to be gay? It's not so big a stretch. War is now an abstract exercise. The bombs are smarter than we are: computers are raring to killkillkill and what's needed is men with imagination, exactitude, the ability to create a really nice target cluster. True, the services would be slightly different. The PX might be flanked by verbena. Those air force guys could fly their pastel planes--the A-5 Chickenhawk, the F-10 Protruder--and sport the kind of mohair scarves the men in Sopwith Camels wore. Also in the all-queer army officers' clubs would really swing. Boot camp movies would often be subtitled and mornings, guys in sharply pleated uniforms would perform increasingly elaborate maneuvers on spotless parade grounds as the band struck up a number from Sousa or Sondheim. But think of the benefits to the commonweal: no longer would we have a substantial segment of this nation's 8 year-olds growing up on a succession of scruffy air bases, learning to hate their fathers and planning the day when they bring their own semi-automatic rifles to work. We wouldn't have to watch teary farewells being breathed by teenaged dimbulbs to cringing wives just before the unit ships out to Somalia or Fort Bliss or somewhere even weirder than that and also I'm betting armed confrontations would dwindle substantially. Those Middle Eastern guys with their arcane codes of honor wouldn't dare risk losing a war to an army of guys with posters of Antonio Banderas plastered inside their Bradley tanks and maybe heterosexual men, even those serving clandestinely, would get out of the "business" of armed conflict altogether and concentrate instead on taking the fun out of something else: reducing marmelade to lozenge form, for example, or making professional wrestlers really hit each other. Meanwhile, gay armies from Italy and Norway would grow bored with digital warfare, invent some insult and fight, all right, but mostly over issues like control of the world's precious reserves of talc, or preserving a tactical foothold on Fire Island. Wars themselves might become therapeutic. I see shock troops riding on the backs of elephants, carrying purple shields and sporting unusual helmets, whacking each other with stylized tridents so that finally this great country's religious right would grow appalled at the spectacle of decadence and wild colors and people engaging in conduct that is neither profitable nor procreative and insist that all wars be eliminated immediately and since this is America people would listen and Congress would no longer authorize construction of huge new bombers or elaborate laser-sighted man-killing mortars (or even those stylized tridents I think I mentioned) and warfare might become an odd and somewhat mystifying relic, as elaborately forgotten as Aztec fertility rituals or the Pledge of Allegiance which goes to show there's a place in the world for great gay heroes, maybe war's too ugly to be taken straight.
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