Category Archives: soldiering

you got to be able to pick out the easy meat with your eyes closed

Brother Eric has some worthy ruminations about American Sniper‘s “sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs” speech, apparently cribbed from some dude named David Grossman (who has written a book called On Combat and runs a website called “Killology,” so one supposes he … Continue reading

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the future of documentary

Michael Moore can suck it.

I was kind of a fan back in the days when he was pulling silly stunts in front of GM’s corporate headquarters, and I think Bowling For Columbine is a fantastic exploration of the problem of gun violence, mostly because Moore goes outside of established liberal dogma and argues that the problem isn’t gun ownership, but paranoia. (Canada, he points out, has almost as many guns as we do, per capita.)

But when he (rightly) became exercised over the invasion of Iraq, I think he lost his goddamned mind, and he also became a pretty lousy filmmaker.

Maybe you’re not in the armed forces. Maybe you don’t know anyone in the armed forces. But even the most insulated Berkley peacenik ought to have had some sense of embarrassment at the way Moore, in Fahrenheit 9/11, first posited that the people who join the military are those too dumb to know better, and then shamelessly exploited the families of fallen soldiers to score cheap political points.

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Dorothy and the Tin Man support this plan

If we want to get the Afghanis — who produce over 90% of the world’s opium — to stop supplying heroin manufacturers, they are going to have to feel they can come to coalition forces for protection from the Taliban, and they are going to have to be allowed to make a living. If we legitimize their crop — without legitimizing the illegal drugs manufactured from it — we actually come a lot closer to winning the “War on Drugs” and the “War on Terror” than we do by trying to destroy crops in an already barren and impoverished land.

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no, thank YOU

This being a road movie, the primary entertainment is in watching our heroes encounter the better and worse sort of locals, and this film doesn’t disappoint. From a bar fight provoked by vacuous, bitchy college girls to a great cameo by John Heard as a cocktail party blowhard, from the traditional running-away-while-zipping-up-one’s-pants fiasco to a totally gratuitous tornado, this movie doesn’t disappoint. It’s not as flat-out wacky as National Lampoon’s Vacation, of course, but — here’s the interesting thing — it manages to explore exactly the same issues around the Iraq War and the cost that soldiers are shouldering as Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss, with about a tenth as much melodrama.

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