Here’s how it goes down:
Commander: Hello! What was a nice boy like you doing in jail?
Me: Well, I’m a pacifist.
C: Oh. Oh, I see. Oh. [type type type]
M: Yeah… So, I’d like to be given a Conscience Committee.
C: We’ll check a few things and get back to you. Wait outside.
M: [wait wait wait].
C: Come on back in!
C: We checked a few things.
C: It seems that you’re request was denied for certain reasons.
M: Like what?
C: You didn’t meet the criteria.
M: What criteria?
C: That we can’t tell you.
M: Oh. Ok. So can I see a committee?
C: What we’ll have you do is this– you’ll do basic training, won’t even have to pick up a gun, and then we’ll reconsider.
M: No. I refuse to do basic training. I refuse to take part in this system. Is there anyone else I can talk to?
C: You know, we have no choice but do use our army like we do.
M: Right, right, “the army is against violence.” Will I be able to see a committee?
C: Wait outside.
M: [wait wait wait].
Soldier: Moriel Rothman?
Soldier: Come with me.
M: Where are we going, to a Committee?
S: You’re going to go through the “chain of soldierization” (sharsheret hiul, shots, pictures, uniforms, numbers, practice wrestling match against a wild boar).
M: [sigh]. Nope, I’m not.
S: Just come with me, you can tell them whatever you want.
Soldier takes me to, you guessed it, the Weirdos Room. There I am told I will see one more commander, and he will decide what to do with me. Ok. Meanwhile, I start chatting with the other folks in the weirdo room, encouraging them, telling them to remember not to be afraid, that they are stronger than the system.
And then, again, I am taken to the Grumpy White Man.
GWM: You again?
M: Yep. [i give him my letter again requesting a committee].
GWM: I see that the army already denied your request, so you have your answer.
M: I must say, I think it’s ridiculous that the army is so set on forcing those opposed to violence to join its ranks.
GWM: I think that you’re… That you’re ridiculous! You need to put on a uniform, and then they’ll deal with your little issues!
M: But that’s my issue: I don’t want to put on a uniform.
GWM: A shame, a shame. I’m putting you under arrest. Good luck.
M: Hey, you too. [wink (subtly), walk out].
I will find out how long I’m in for this time tonight. Cue: Norah Jones– “here we go again.”