20 March 2009
Ryan From The Real World Learns He Just Got Activated (h/t Floppin' Aces)
Since I'm a twentysomething curmudgeon, I pretty much stopped watching MTV some 15+ years ago when they stopped airing Headbanger's Ball, Beavis & Butthead, and The State, but I certainly wished I saw last night's episode of the Real World. One of the cast members is an Iraq vet and the show depicts him getting the dreaded "package in the mail" from the Army indicating he's been called back to Active Duty. While it sucks for Ryan, this is beneficial to widespread dissemination of veteran culture, which is probably why IAVA was pushing it so hard. Seeing how modern day veterans are a such a small sliver of the current populous (unlike past wars), it is important to spread the word through available communication mediums about some of the shit the military has to put up with.
I've known a bunch of guys who've gotten the dreaded IRR call-up, but Uncle Sam can do it (read your contract). It's interesting to see how the rest of the cast responded to the news:
The cast's response that Ryan "doesn't want to do this" and "he's just doing it for the government" shows a standard civilian misperception of the military. Most military members don't much enjoy going 15 days on a Combat Outpost with no showers and sweat-stained IBAs, but they do it out of a sense of patriotism and sacrifice. This may seem counter-intuitive to the your typical self-important Real World participant, but it may help explain Ryan's response that "I'm actually kind of excited in a weird way". Thanks to Ryan for his service and for MTV in airing this sequence.
As for Iraq, did you know that it's the 6-year anniversary of the invasion? At least, Stephen Colbert still does, because he headed to the sandbox to entertain the troops. I always liked his show a lot better than Jon Stewart's, because he sticks with the comedy and spares the audience from self-righteous indignation...unlike Stewart.