A documentary about “€œthe extremely unexpected adult fans of My Little Pony“€ posits that “€œbronies are pushing the boundaries of what society deems appropriate in their quest for a kinder, gentler future.”€

Which doesn”€™t sound very Air Force-y at all.

Granted, fighter squadron badge emblems can be crudely cartoonish, such as the 61st’s grimacing bulldog or the 334th’s pugilistic eagle. Even Felix the Cat, Donald Duck, and other famous characters have been shanghaied.

So do I have any right to be deeply depressed by the news that pilots in training at Vance Air Force Base have been wearing pink badges that read “€œMy Little Pilot: Flying is Magic”€ since April?

First Lieutenant Tom Barger told a local reporter:

During a slideshow presentation while previewing the different patch options, the student presenter threw the “€˜My Little Pilot”€™ patch design into the mix as an ironic joke.

The words “€œironic”€ and “€œirony”€ crop up three times in this extremely short news story. Indeed, irony has been the culture’s default setting for about twenty years now, and our refusal to “€œput away childish things”€ dates back a bit further. On rare occasions”€”say, if you own a Superman #1 or a Honus Wagner baseball card”€”these pop culture passions can be lucrative. That’s the excuse the other 99% give their exasperated spouses when they refuse to part with their Barbie dolls or Battlestar Galactica memorabilia.

But is that really what the US Armed Forces are crying out for this very second? More irony?

How about “€œdiversity”€? The Army’s chief of staff thinks so.

“€œWhat happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy,”€ said General George Casey, “€œbut I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here.”€

Ah, yes, Fort Hood. Survivors of the massacre insist that the clearly unhinged Major Hasan was allowed to “€œrise through the ranks unchecked because of “€˜political correctness.”€™”€

They also say they”€™re being denied Purple Hearts and the financial benefits that accompany that medal because the Pentagon has deemed them victims of mere “€œworkplace violence.”€

Purple Hearts, no; pink badges, yes. Hey, look! That’s ironic!

Somehow the old saying just doesn”€™t have quite the same ring to it:

We sleep safely in our beds because not-so-rough men stand ready to fight for irony, diversity, and a kinder, gentler future.



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