Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Generation Kill

Last night I watched Episode 1 of Generation Kill (2008) a seven part mini-series being televised on ABC2. It chronicles the experiences of a journalist who went on a tour of duty with the First Reconnaissance Battalion Marine assault on Baghdad in 2003.
As much as I can't abide the thought of war or of sending young men and women to fight and die, this account, which is a precise re-telling of the early weeks of the military campaign from the point of view of the guys on the ground: the non-commissioned officers and platoon-level commanders was a real eye opener and incredibly entertaining.
There's dialogue that you'd expect from men, who, let's face it don't have to be politically correct given they are putting their lives on the line and may not return home. But there's also a good deal of down to earth philosophy and insight, such as the words of Sgt. Antonio 'Poke' Espera who said, People been fighting over this bitch since ancient times, Dog. How many graves we standing on? Think about all the wisdom and science and money and civilization it took to build these machines, and the courage of all the men who came here, and the love of their wives and children that was in their hearts. And all that hate, Dog. All the hate it took to blow these motherfuckers away.
After receiving a letter of support from a young child. Cpl. Ray Pearson (showing off to his fellow marines about how he might respond) ironically states: Dear Frederick, thank you for your nice letter, but I am actually a US Marine who was born to kill, whereas clearly you seam to have mistaken me for some sort of wine sipping, communist dick suck. And although peace probably appeals to tree hugging bi-sexuals like you and your parents, I happen to be a death-dealing, blood-crazed warrior who wakes up every day just hoping for the chance to dismember my enemies and defile their civilizations. Peace sucks a hairy asshole, Freddy. War is the mother-fucking answer.
If you saw Deadwood (2004) screened on ABC television last year and loved it then you love Generation Kill. Both depict dramatic down to earth reality complete with expletives and behaviour you would expect from people living on the edge, inculcated in masculine stereotypes and involved in warrior culture.

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