COMMENT POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN RUSSIA INSIDER
Russian Defense Ministry Wonders Why Pentagon Hires So Many Blowhard Windbags
The Ministry is particularly amazed by US Special Operations Command General Raymond Thomas and his recent testimony before the Senate, during which he proclaimed Russia “one of the five main threats for the USA”
Being a blowhard or an arrogant windbag is considered a talent in many parts of American society.
In sales and marketing work of various kinds.
In fundamentalist Christian ministries.
Certainly, in politics.
And the military has always enjoyed and rewarded them.
It's been this way a long time. You could call it part of the national culture.
Making windbag declarations is a way to try distinguishing yourself when you really have not done anything worth talking about.
It is also part of Andy Warhol's famous comment about "having your fifteen minutes of fame."
A very astute observer of American society, Robert Hughes, years ago wrote a book called The Culture of Complaint. It described the way America has an endless set of polarizing internal conflicts and organizations and leaders who make a lot of noise but end by changing or solving little.
The sheer involvement in the conflict seems an end in itself. He attributes it to America's Puritan heritage, and, if the Puritans were anything, they were people who loved to point at others and damn them as wrong.
To my mind, the idea explains a lot about America and its position in the world.
Creatures like General Raymond Thomas regularly pop up and disappear in America's Culture of Complaint.