Friday, February 6, 2015

Often Forgot

When I was just a wee lad I made a scrapbook. It was one of those big photo albums with sticky pages that you unfold the clear sheeting on. I kept pictures in there for a while but I was a little kid. Everything worth remembering had pretty much just happened. Plus I didn't really have all that much I needed to remember anyhow. Also my folks were pretty good about documenting what needed to be documented. When the first Gulf War started I decided to use that photo album and  make a war scrapbook. I was born in the 80s. It wasn't the first time there was a war in my lifetime. America had been giving someone the business for just abougt about my whole of my life up until then, but this was the first time the media really gave the war their A game.

I was pretty sure that this war was a pretty big deal. It was the first real news story I can vividly remember. I remember wanting to do something, but because I was just a little kid I didn't know what to do. My sister drew a peace sign on her trapper keeper. That seemed to work for her, but I wanted to do more. So I decided to document the war for future generations via a scrapbook. I'd thought that this war might be the war that ended all wars. At least hoped it would have been the war that ended all wars in Iraq. Very minimum I should have hoped that Gulf War 1 would be the war to end all wars between a Bush and Hussein. But hey, war mongers gonna war mong, and since it's now called Gulf War 1 it obviously was the war that didn't end much of anything.

So that's what I did. For the rest of the war I went through the paper every day. I went through the front page, back page, editorials, and even some heavy handed shitty political cartoons that I never got. If it was about the war I collected it. By the end I had a pretty solid scrapbook. I was pretty proud of it. I honestly thought that my scrapbook would help people remember what people thought about the war as it was happening.

Battle of Gulf 359
The next year I watched my first episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It was awesome and I got into that pretty hard.  I taped every episode while I watched them and then rewatched them until the next one came on. I read the shitty novels. I collected the action figures. I was pretty happy with how into Star Trek I was, but I thought I should take my fandom to the next level by documenting it with a scrapbook. The problem was I only had one scrapbook. Instead of asking my parents for a new one I just started slowly replacing the war clippings. Mid way through season six I'd completely replaced every piece of war news with Trek clippings.

No blood for dilithium!
I'd forgotten I'd done this until recently. I remembered and felt kind of shitty. I felt shitty because that's a shitty thing to do. A year or so after vowing to make sure nobody forgot something, I'd pretty much completely forgot about it because of some pop culture distraction. But really that's the most American thing I could have done. I'm forgetful, ignorant, and easily distracted. I will shout from the rooftops about what you're supposed to remember and then I'll immediately forget it myself, and then eventually I'll probably repeat it.

I am America. God bless me.

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