Wednesday, October 24, 2007

War Is Heck

Generally, I don't do violence. I don't care for it in my television shows, my movies, even my video games (Ratchet turning enemies into sheep and then whacking them into cotton fluff doesn't count [Ooooh, I just read that in the new Ratchet game, out soon, there is a weapon that turns enemies into penguins, which you can then force to dance under a disco ball--I can't wait!]). And absolutely, positively, I boycott all shows about war (and those starring Cher, but that's another blog entry).

Of course, there is the occasional exception for a show so well reviewed it might be worth while. The latest of these exceptions was "The War," the critically acclaimed Ken Burns documentary about WWII. G & I just finished watching all 14 grueling hours. The mini-series focuses on 4 small war-towns (cities that had been industrialized to produce goods for the war effort), along with the men from those towns who went off to fight the battles. I saw in an interview with Ken Burns that after the initial screening, a WWII veteran came up to him and thanked him for representing the war the way he remembered it--the veteran had been waiting all his life for someone to talk about what individual soldiers had to go through.

It was exhausting to watch. I was physically tired after every episode--and we only watched an hour at a time (each episode is 2 hours)! And after all of that, what I walked away with was that war sucks. I mean, I know it sucks, but I don't think I really appreciated just how much. I think the sheer length of the documentary helps convey just how horrible is really was. There was a statistic given that 1 in 4 men developed shell shock and I just can't believe it wasn't a greater percentage. I can't believe anyone made it out without ending up in a padded cell, rocking back and forth.

I think watching that has changed my position when evaluating presidential candidates. I used to attribute the touting of a candidate's military service as right-wing/middle America claptrap. But I'm starting to see the wisdom of having a Commander-in-Chief who understands just exactly what he's asking of the people (s)he's sending off to fight, understands the way only someone who's been there can.

If you have the time (and the space on your Tivo), I recommend checking it out. Because it's PBS, it's repeating 15 times a day, so it shouldn't be hard to find.

Oh, and to explain the title of this entry: Some PBS stations are so wary of being fined by the FCC, they've edited out the soldier's swearing. Because showing people literally being shot to death (actual footage--no Hollywood reenactments here) and body parts littering beaches all over the Pacific is fine, but explaining the meaning of FUBAR will cost you $5 Million. I hate the FCC.


At 10:23 AM , Blogger knitty-nay said...

thanks for the heads up- i will record asap- after I make room on the dvr (i hate comcast)


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