It's really about Vietnam
Not wanting to get sucked into a Scott Thomas Beauchamp-like controversy, I was hesitant to weigh in on the NYT's 'War Torn' series that's whipped some right-wingers up into yet another lather. But after I read the first article
in the series and then today's article
(not in its entirety - I got bored) I've concluded ... boy, it's bad. It's riddled with clichés. It's pompous. It doesn't make its statisical case that combat GIs returning from war zones are killing in droves. It has so many qualifier paragraphs and lines that you wonder what following point will be stretched next to its journalistic limit. Some on the right-wing think the series proves the NYT hates America and veterans, blah, blah, blah. But it's really more simple than that: It's really about Vietnam. It's just how some still view the world and the wars that fall within that world. I googled 'cliche images of Vietnam' and quickly found this: 'A Movie Cliche for Every Type of Movie and Every Occasion.'
Scrolling down, I found this:
Flashbacks cliché: Ahh, gone are the days when movies could use a multitude of Vietnam flashbacks to show the hero's torment. 30 + years on and that skirmish is too far back for most of today's stars to use. However, fret thee not my tiny children, now we can make use of the Iraqi conflict(s) with new improved and much easier to film dusty flashbacks (Either filmed in the Arizona deserts or your nearest sand-pit).
Fret thee not my tiny readers, the NYT has your take-his-word-for-it Returning Vet flashback:
In Quantico, (Lance Cpl. Walter Rollo Smith) reported to the firing range with a friend from Fox Company, the combined Salt Lake City-Las Vegas battalion nicknamed the Saints and Sinners. Raising his rifle, he stared through the scope and started shaking. What he saw were not the inanimate targets before him but vivid, hallucinatory images of Iraq: “the cars coming at us, the chaos, the dust, the women and children, the bodies we left behind,” he said.
They got the dust in! ... Listen, I think the NYT and the MSM in general have, by and large, covered the Iraq war thoroughly and competently -- and far more accurately than the happy-talk BS we got from fanatical pro-war pundits and bloggers who stuck their heads in the sand when all hell was breaking loose in Iraq. But the NYT has inadvertently thrown a big chunk of red meat to the happy-talk crowd with its 'War Torn' series -- and they're now rightly tearing it apart. ...P.S.
-- Other Vietnam war clichés we hopefully won't see in slightly different forms in coming months: GIs listening to the Doors while doing bong hits at firebases; GIs with their feet hanging out of airborne helicopters on their way to the next mission; GIs wearing bandannas; GIs fragging their officers; GIs arguing over whether to massacre village women and children, with one torn GI muttering over and over again, 'This is wrong!' etc., etc., etc. ... OK, so some of those have already been done. But there's still more clichés to mine. ... Here's a right-wing Returning Vet cliché (coming soon to a theater near you): 'Rambo, IV'.
... Why Burma? Why not the backlot dust of Iraq or Afghanistan? (Because Rambo already took out the Red Army in Afghanistan.
-ed. I forgot
.) ... P.S. P.S. -- Rambo IV is a 'Christian film.'