never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Sent to me by my uncle with the message: "How Tough is an M-1 Tank?"

Two thoughts.

a) Did anyone else think that they were listening to the Hamburgler as the bomber/observer muttered away? I now wonder if perhaps all those Saturday morning McDonald's commercials weren't incredibly meaningful and dramatic. Mayor McCheese was the neo-conservative figurehead leader of an imperial state and the Hamburglar was a soldier in the resistance.

b) My uncle keeps sending me videos like this one (did I ever post the link of the would-be car bomber some bomb disposal techs dispatched with a robot?) and on the sites I'm able to browse around, there are hundreds of them and the commentary can get pretty spooky. Michael Moore touched on this phenomenon a little, when he showed the guy blasting MP3s over his tank's comm channel and then blended that into the soundtrack. The aesthetic is lifted straight out of these sorts of websites and popular military culture (my buddy, who lost his leg in Africa, showed me a movie his helicopter squadron put together and it featured a metal soundtrack as it featured a lot of short jumpcuts of their units and of the helicopters flying). A lot of it ends up like technological pornography and oddly confessional, real world/myspace style, especially when I think of it in comparison to how my grandfather (and other vets) talked about WWII and the style of the letters they sent home.

If I was more ambitious, and we know I'm obviously not, and not needing to do a lot on my diss, I would write this up and fire it off to some journal. We have smart people on this list, especially when it comes to thinking about cultural production. Someone ought to surf around a bit and then analyze this milieu. Or co-analyze it with me if feeling similarly lazy. Maybe we ought to bring back the Detractor and have a theme issue on military culture. I feel the time is ripe and no one is doing anything on this in a sustained fashion. Some topics: the form of front line, personal reporting; these movies; stateside base culture (the stories I heard about 19 year old soldiers spending their small monthly allowances on rims and other accessories for their cars so they could cruise the strip in Pensacola were kind of fucked up); and so on. I may have posted some call to this effect before, so apologies if I did. But the point still stands. This ought to be written up critically -- its politics, historical parallels, and aesthetic values.

This has nothing to do with baseball, obviously. I like baseball. There, now the post belongs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Non-baseball related posts are encouraged under this regime.