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Can HBO get the war right? Given the multitude of recent non-home box office failures on Iraq, the question is valid, and probably the first on the minds of those familiar with the real war and it's Hollywood history. Here at Mudville we'll do our own mini-series on the topic. This is episode two.
"That's fucked," Person says. "Isn't it weird to look at those Iraqis and know that some of them are probably going to die in the next few hours?"
Wait a minute - did he say "That's fucked?" I'm shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn a Marine would utter such profanity.
The first episode - or more specifically the first 20 minutes - of HBO’s new miniseries Generation Kill confirms a conservative’s worst fears about HBO’s latest Iraq project.
Right away the Marines depicted are casually racist, homophobic and ignorant beyond reproach. They complain about the lack of supplies, decry their mission and mock letters of support from children back home. One Marine goes so far as to describe the little girl who wrote one of the letters as “hot.”
The dialogue also pays the mission no favors.
“It’s destiny, dawg. White man’s gotta rule the world,” says one Marine of color, while another jokes that his fellow Marines going in to “loot and pillage a country.”
No one comes anywhere near supporting the invasion.
Yet “Kill,” based on the nonfiction book by embedded reporter Evan Wright, overcomes its initial bombardment of anti-soldier sentiment.
Anti-soldier? Ignoring how Marines would respond to that sentiment, I can only note that there's a reason why the first line of text you'll always read on this site says "The reader will kindly forgive any tendency to rough language or behavior on the part of the site owner... "Good people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."" I had no idea the facts behind that disclaimer were anti-soldier. Who knew?
In fairness, that review from one "pro-troops"" viewpoint is overall favorable. As is this one from another "pro-troop" angle:
On the morning of 9/11 and the days that followed, I’m guessing a lot of Americans shared my angry fantasies of enlisting in the U.S. military to help mete out a little payback. “Kill” will make you pity plenty the lost kids who actually volunteered and wound up assigned to Iraq.I think more than a few fine Americans eagerly welcome (seek out, in fact) anything that supports their reluctance to serve in time of war. Teddy Roosevelt once described such folks as "...those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are."
But whatever sense of failure today's youth feel in that regard is internal, of course - no one ever asked them to contribute. (Ironically, these same folks tend to be the loudest shouters of "chickenhawk" at the war's civilian supporters.) But while it's quite easy to talk like one, not everyone is cut out for life as a Recon Marine - and that's what makes them what they are.
For example, in the book, the author adds this comparison to a description of the Marines' relative calm under fire: "In my civilian world at home in Los Angeles, half the people I know are on anti-depressants or anti-panic attack drugs because they can't handle the stress of a mean boss or a crowd at the 7-Eleven when buying a Slurpee."
I remember seeing some chain e-mails when Jarhead came out, outraged that it portrayed the soldiers reading/watching/talking about porn, b****ing and moaning, and OMG using the "f" word !
Whatever the movie's shortcomings, I don't think portraying soldiers as potty mouths was one of 'em.Posted by skylark at July 14, 2008 07:15 AM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(1) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)