Reality television stars are seldom culturally important. The Kardashians may be culturally relevant, but they are far from important as the entirety of their fame rests upon a furtherance of a vapid existence bereft of any greater societal meaning.
Mike Rowe, however, the host of “Dirty Jobs,” is much more culturally important as he stresses the importance of hard work and ties the importance of hard work to success in America.
He has a reputation online for being boldly pro-American and candidly offers lessons seen in classic, old-fashioned American style.
Recently, a woman attacked Rowe for being pro-America but having not served in the U.S. military.
Of course, with no draft having occurred in recent decades, why Mr. Rowe should have to explain why he did not join the military makes little sense.
In any case, however, Rowe answered the criticism with a bit of wit and a whole lot of candor that is simply refreshing.
“Donna Dotts writes…
Mr. Rowe, I was impressed by some of the things you’ve done in your life, but that came to an end when I discovered that you apparently never volunteered to serve in your country’s military. Why is that?
Hi there, Donna.
If you’re asking me to explain why it is your overall impression of me depends upon my military service, or lack thereof, I’m afraid I have no idea. The truth is, I don’t know why you chose to form an opinion of me in the first place. Nor do I know why you have chosen to share that opinion publicly, revise that opinion publicly, and then demand an explanation, publicly. Only you can answer such questions.
If on the other hand, you’re asking me why I didn’t join the military back when I was young enough to do so, I guess the honest answer is because I was selfish.
Back in the early eighties, I put myself before my country, and pretty much everything else. I respected the military, but to be honest, I didn’t fully appreciate their impact on the many freedoms I took for granted. In short, I was busy being twenty.
That’s why I’m blown away by the character of the young men and women who choose to wear a uniform today. I do what I can to support these people, and I acknowledge their extraordinary service whenever and wherever possible.
Obviously, supporting our military is not the same as enlisting in it, and wearing their uniform on a TV show is a far cry from actual service. But I’m afraid it’s all I can offer at this point in my misspent career.
I don’t know about you, Donna, but when I look back, I see a long list of things I might do differently if I had another whack at the piñata. Unfortunately, you can’t put the poop back in the goose. (Believe me, I’ve tried.)
If this has diminished me in your eyes, I certainly understand, but I’m afraid there’s not much I can do. Along with my flat feet, I appear to be older than many Generals, and categorically unqualified to serve.
Serving one’s country is a great thing and I applaud those who have or currently do. However, one’s commitment to his country cannot be defined purely by whether he has served or not.
There are many who serve their country with a rifle. There are others who use a pen in the desperate hope of helping to further pro-American notions and counter un-American ones.
In any case, Rowe handled the criticism with dignity, class and a whole lot of humility by frankly explaining his reasons.
Now, if Donna Dotts is as brave, perhaps she would like to outline her entire career path and lifetime of decisions so that perfect strangers can have the opportunity to criticize her…