All war films are inherently flawed propaganda pieces that consistently beg the question and miss the point. Even those daubed as anti-war films tend to focus on the plight of the poor invading soldiers whilst conveniently marginalising that of the invaded civilians.
But we’re all suckers for a bit of boil-in-the-bag glory and I’m no exception. They just work dammit. People get off on the glory and fraternity and pathos. The music amplifies it. Young men sign up in droves on the back of these movies. then they come back, if they’re lucky, and tell you it was nothing like in the movies. To a man. In any civilised country these movies would be banned.
As such I find it hard to watch war movies and take them at all seriously now. I try to avoid them just in case I get sucked in again, although at this stage I don’t even think the home guard would take me.
That wasn’t always the case though. Among my past life guilty pleasures was Blackhawk Down which was a superb movie forgetting all that serious stuff I was banging on about a minute ago which suddenly doesn’t seem to matter a damn any more. It puts you right down there in the shit in a situation gone horribly wrong. You bond with the men and respect the courage, discipline and risk that goes into what they do. You want them to wipe out all those pesky murderous Somalis and get home to their wives and children.
And therein lies the problem … it tricks you into taking the side of the aggressor. I know that’s up for debate given a complex situation like Somalia. Yet for every Somalia, there’s many more Tibets, Chiles, Argentinas, Zimbabwes, and Rwandas, all crying out for a righteous liberation yet mysteriously not getting one. Because there’s no business or powerplay in it. So maybe it’s wise to question the official liberation narrative we’re sold on such conquests before rallying behind the cause. Cos the chances are it ain’t about whatever they want you to think it is.
Regardless, some of the combatants involved are the bravest and most capable people you could ever encounter, and I know they all truly believe that they’re on the right side and doing the right thing. And maybe sometimes they are. Maybe my views are twisted and naive. I just cannot help viewing them as lions led by lambs; the best of us lied to and misused by the worst of us, for vulgar agendas that would make us puke if we ever got to peek behind the curtain.
Haaaaaanyway I’m getting into stuff beyond my blog grade here. All I wanted to do was introduce a piece off the Blackhawk Down soundtrack god dammit! And yall tricked me into getting into all that bullshit. Well thanks a lot so called followers! Just leave me alone or I’ll tell the teacher on you!
ABORT ABORT ABORT!
“6-1 goin down!”
“We’ve got a blackhawk down! Repeat – we’ve got a blackhawk down!”
EH EH EH EH EH EH EH EH EH EH EH EH (that’s an assault rifle sound)
BRUUUGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGGHGHGHHHH (that’s a grenade sound)
Sorry, I got carried away there. I told you these movies were powerful, but luckily I’m immune to all of that now.
OK well, if you’ll excuse me, I’m just off to enlist in the army rangers, but before I go, here’s Leave No Man Behind by Hans Zimmer, from the Blackhawk Down soundtrack: