09 February 2009

The "brass-balled" Moron of the Year Award

I've mentioned in several posts before that Val Kilmer continues to hint that he might run for Governor of New Mexico and has been seen 'buddy buddy' with Governor Richardson and Ben Ray Lujan during the recent elections.

However; Kilmer continues to put his foot in his mouth and is not endearing himself to the locals.

Mathew Reichbach of the New Mexico Independent has reported that remarks in an Esquire interview with Kilmer have upset some veterans, particularly those towards Vietnam veterans.

The exerpt contained a quote where Kilmer said, '...as an actor, he understands the people he plays even better than they understand themselves'.

"You understand how it feels to shoot someone as much as a person who was actually committed a murder?"

"I understand it more. It’s an actor’s job. A guy who’s lived through the horror of Vietnam has not spent his life preparing his mind for it. He’s some punk. Most guys were borderline criminal or poor, and that’s why they got sent to Vietnam. It was all the poor, wretched kids who got beat up by their dads, guys who didn’t get on the football team, couldn’t finagle a scholarship. They didn’t have the emotional equipment to handle that experience. But this is what an actor trains to do. I can more effectively represent that kid in Vietnam than a guy who was there."

WHAT THE FU**!!?? John Kerry and John McCain don't fit that description!!!! ....NOR my dad for that matter, BITCH!! Who's he kidding!!

"If I run, I’m going to be the next governor,” he was quoted by The Associated Press.

Kilmer said he’s not a politician and isn’t “going to try to become one,” adding that he has “no interest in being governor of New Mexico for… fame and power.”

Kilmer was quoted by the Bostom Globe last month as saying a lot of actors become politicians, “and they always win, so I guess we’ll see.”

Not a snowflakes chance in hell.

Hmmm... can you say Jesse Ventura or Al Franken.... yikes.


K-Mo said...

In "mild" defense of Kilmer... Kerry and McCain were both officers, not draftees. The drafees in Vietnam were indeed (on average) less educated, poorer, more likely to have been in trouble - because Vietnam was the first war where we exempted large numbers of people from the draft for being things like students. And unlike WWII, we didn't need to mobilize two huge invasion forces for simultaneous battles on opposite sides of the globe, so we could afford to draft fewer and thus exempt more.

Officers, on the other hand, were typically ROTC graduates, military college graduates (McCain) or enlistees eligible for OCS (Kerry). And while many officers were involved in day-to-day combat, they weren't necessarily firing the guns themselves as much as the enlisted troops were.

It's still an impolitic thing to say, and far too sweeping and broad. But there is an element of truth in it. Kilmer is demonstrating, however, that while being a trained actor may give you tools needed to develop the understanding needed for a role, and in fact you may understand the psyche of people like those you're playing better than they do (because you have the benefit of distance to examine the character), being an actor doesn't teach him how to choose the right words, when to open his mouth, and when to keep it shut. Those are skills equally important for an political leader.

Janet said...

Kilmer Claims He Was Misquoted

Esquire Confirms Accuracy of Kilmer Quotes

K-Mo, here are some accurate facts about Vietnam vets.

I'm afraid yours are not. Vietnam Veterans were the best educated forces our nation had ever sent into combat. 79% had a high school education or better.

Two-thirds of those who served in Vietnam volunteered.

You'll find some surprising facts there, because we've all heard the stereotype repeated for so long. The truth will amaze you.

K-Mo said...


Thanks for the reference to the post. However, "a high school education or better" is not exactly what most people considered "well-educated" in the late 1960's or early 1970's, and the point is that very few college students were sent to Vietnam, because of draft deferments, so those who only had a high-school education were far more likely to be drafted.

Despite the high percentage of soldiers who were high school graduates, bear in mind as well that a high school diploma in 1965 or 1970 was already considerably "watered down" from what a high school diploma required in 1935 or 1940.

That may be why, despite the fact that nationally only half the students who were of high school graduation age in 1940 actually finished high school, the Army's own tests found that of 18 million soldiers in the draft and volunteer pools for WWII, 17.3 million, or 96%, were considered functionally literate.

In Vietnam, despite so-called high graduation rates, the actual literacy rate was only 73%.

Which means if only 19% of Vietnam-era soldiers lacked a high school diploma, but 27% were functionally illiterate, at least 8% of the soldiers were both illiterate and managed to graduate high school. That, if anything, should tell you what a high school diploma was capable of measuring by the late 1960's and early 1970's. This trend continued into the 1980's, when some students actually began suing their high schools for passing them through without actually teaching them how to read.

So only by one, narrow, flawed measure can you say that Vietnam soldiers were "better educated" than any other group of soldiers before. As for the number of those who "volunteered", it was also well-documented that "volunteers" were far more likely to get plum assignments and possibly avoid being shipped directly to the front lines. Even former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld noted "it was very clear what had happened with the draft. There was an accommodation between the government and the academic community. Students, teachers and people who figured out how to work the system were exempted. It is inconceivable that a system designed and operating the way the draft did could have produced a true cross-section of America in the military."

This isn't meant to bash Vietnam vets, most of whom were patriotically doing their duty answering the call of their government. It's just simply a fact that if you were well-to-do and had decent grades, you could afford to attend college full-time and get a student deferment, well into grad school; if you were poor and had to work part-time and go to school part-time, no deferment was available. And while it's true that a small percentage of KIA's in Vietnam were "the elite" (usually from the military academies: pilots, especially), the bulk of those killed were regular enlisted men.