Sage Advice 44: That Kid Knows A Thing Or Two About Genocide

I remember back in high school there was this commercial that got played often on television advertising military recruitment. It had an interesting premise, the main tagline being: If someone wrote your life story, would anyone read it?

The tagline would have made more sense if it went: Would anyone bother writing your life story?  The basis of the original line seems fundamentally flawed to me; it implies that, whether you join the military or not, someone would be willing to write your life story. Imagine that. Good sir, I must write my latest masterpiece using your life. It will be called, “And he Jerked Off and Played Video Games the Entire Day.” It will be a bestseller!If only I had joined the military, my life story would have had such a better title…

I always thought it would be interesting to broadcast this message to third-world countries. Most of those folks don’t have access to televisions, so we would need to rely on a really big billboard. Maybe we could stick it somewhere the natives of that area consider holy/sacred/just-a-bit-too-important-to-shove-an-advertisement-into.

Think about how great the titles of their life stories would be after they realized they couldn’t actually join the military. “And he was Born with AIDS and Died Shortly Thereafter.” Or maybe,”The Kid Knew a Thing or Two about Genocide.”  Actually, I think that last one would make a great tagline for a Hollywood movie about snarky teenager who becomes a warlord and massacres a bunch of innocent villagers.

But let’s stay on point, why deprive the least fortunate members of humanity the knowledge of knowing their lives are uninteresting compared to anyone who has served for the American military? It doesn’t seem fair to me. Remember, if no one would bother reading your life story, then your life sucks.


-Matthew Fugere

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