Guys. If you are a movie watcher, please consider seeing this movie. If you are not a movie watcher, please consider seeing this movie. I think our generation finally got our Deer Hunter,and I would not say that without putting much thought into it. I have so, so much respect for everyone on the team that made this film right now.
If you don't know what it's about, it is about a soldier who gets "Stop Lossed," that is, he leaves the army after serving his final tour, and he is ordered back to Iraq against his will. It was heartbreaking for me to watch this and think about my cousin's last leave from Iraq and the things he told our family about the grim reality of duty under the current conditions in Iraq. The fact that the opening of this movie was so close to the announcement of the death of the 4000th American soldier in Iraq is a sobering coincidence, particularly given the fact that even with the grave depiction of the treatment of the fictional soldier in the movie, nothing could have topped the actual comments made by our Vice President & others last week. Under other circumstances, I might have agreed with our Vice President about the voluntary nature of service in Iraq. I have heard quite my share of stories of soldiers who have gotten indignant when they found out they were going to have to fight, or who've tried to get out of it after going to school on a military scholarship, which is ridiculous, and I have little sympathy for that sort of behavior, but right now, thousands of soldiers are being refused any way out of service even once they've finished the tours they did volunteer for. They volunteered, but they are also being lied to and not provided for to the best of our country's ability. If they were being treated with the respect the men & women of our armed forces deserve, then it would be different. But when the highest branches of our government appear to treat them as cannon fodder, not equip them properly for their missions, and mislead and misdirect soldiers during the recruitment & training process, then, no, they weren't volunteering for what they've been given. Which is a shit job.
That bit of this post went on a bit longer than I expected.
2) Anyway, my intent was to post about the experience I had this morning calling the 311 line for the first time. I went to bed at 4 am after doing a shitload of work-related stuff last night, and I was expecting to sleep till about 11:30.
At 9:20, I was woken up by jackhammering. What, you say, Tea, are you going to rant some more? Why, no! I am not. I opened my window and asked as politely as one can when one is shouting for them to stop. They did not stop. I asked again. They did not stop.
After about a half-hour, I went to look up the noise complaint laws, a bit resigned, because when I lived in Cambridge and tried to dial in noise complaints at 9:30 in the morning, I would get a very snotty attitude from the office that was supposed to handle noise complaints and they would ask me why I wasn't awake at 9 in the morning like normal people. This always pissed me off, because how many types of people necessary to the functioning of society-- nurses, doctors, police officers, electric workers, emergency operators-- have night jobs and need to be asleep in the morning? I understood that it was difficult to do something about the noise, but didn't like the way they treated me like it was something wrong with *me* that I was asleep.
So today, I discovered that in New York City, you can call with a noise complaint no matter what hour of the day-- there are no acceptable hours for disruptive noise. So I called. The lady took my name, number, and gave me a case number. She told me that they would find out who had the jackhammer permit, talk to them, and make sure that they were using the right kind of sound muffling equipment.
What bliss. How nice to have an efficient complaints department that actually sounds like they care about the people complaining. The whole thing took just over five minutes-- no waiting on the line, no being put on hold. It was lovely.