posted on May 12, 2007 03:00
Take a good look at the advertisment to the left. It's a recruitment poster for the US Marines and I doubt you would have seen it in any American music magazine that you care to read. However, if you read American surf magazines, adverts like this are becoming more and more prevelant with video commercials for the army also being tagged on to the start of the surf movie trailers that are accessible on 'SURFING' magazine's website.
Advertisments of this kind, to say the least, leave me cold. They play on the machismo that young men like to display in what should be their salad days. "If you have what it takes to make it", the poster dares the reader without telling them that having what it takes might involve being wounded or not coming back at all.
I had thought long and hard about what to write concerning why I am so opposed to this advert; it appeared on page 81 of the June 2007 edition of "TRANSWORLD SURF", but I thought that, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I would instead show you a photograph of former Marine Casey Owens, in his dress blues, after he returned from active service. The woman in tears standing to the left is his mother Janna Owens. Casey is one young man who will never surf again and this image of him could have been taken straight from the Bob Dylan song, "John Brown", which ends with the stanza:
"As he turned away to walk, his Ma was still in shock
At seein' the metal brace that helped him stand.
But as he turned to go, he called his mother close
And he dropped his medals down into her hand."