Mostly I don't talk about the details of War because with regard to same come the flashbacks. I had an avalanche of them during and after this extraordinary film. Though not my exact genera, Jarhead captures what other war films haven't: The Hell which is in the details.
The details never bothered me before because it was the Details that I relished and savored. The things that made others want to go home made me want to stay. As a staff sergeant says in the movie, "I thank God every Day he gives me in the Corps."
I spend some of my time cursing God for ever making me stupid enough to not realize I had to stay...and stay close, indeed: I miss it. It is like the best fuck you ever have in your life and afterward you just know that nothing else is ever going to come close and sure enough you wish you were wrong.
In this film its easy to spot the lucky ones. They are the ones who seem stupid and give a quick impression of not having much between their ears..but in the final rub they are the ones who realize early on that they have found a home...the others spend a lifetime looking for theirs.
The impact of the scenery is riveting...no one in the packed theatre gets up to go to the Head (Latrine/Lavatory).
An archaic artillery barrage leaves our Hero frozen for a moment..."Shell Shocked". And It teleported me back to my first barrage.
You see, Artillery has always frightened me more so than other horrors of war because unlike the personalized venues of combat, artillery can be dealt by someone far away who sips coffee in perfect safety between volleys. You cant even say, "Hay Motherfucker...I'm gone get you for that", because you don't even know where he is or that he is reading a magazine with a fold-out of Miss Silicone while you are digging the graves of you fellows. So, that is why I dread artillery...but moreover because of My Great Uncle Pete.
Uncle Pete was among only a dozen survivors of a hellatious Artillery barrage during WW-1. Because the Army said that no one should have survived, he and the others were studied extensivly by the War Dept. until his Death many years later. He told me all about it in graphic detail. How the shells come in...what they sound like short, long Or dead on you...the screaming of men....the way the bodies get tossed up in the air like rag-dolls and the way your shit gets blown out of your pockets.
He told me that I needed to tether everything of importance to me with a cord if I didn't want them blown out and lost forever. I did. I didn't loose anything either but found that the cords tethered me to nearby vines and such which needed the aid of my men to help me get free of. Curious....I seem to recall a sense of calm as the shell went "Poof"...my peaceful flying through the air....and absorption into the vines.....I felt nothing.....tingling....then bewilderment....followed by a strange calm.
It is only now...that I feel anxiety during an artillery barrage. ....because now I know what could have happened to me...and how easy it was to toss me through the air like a rag doll.
I have said it many times....I know my friends are tired of hearing me say it, but I still believe the lucky ones are the ones who die with their boots on.
Nothing brings this to mind so clearly as when you have a good relationship with a girl and then you wait for her to put her head on your shoulder and ask the enevitable question, "So....like, during the war....did you ...you know...ever Kill anyone?."
It's a trick question. If you say No, then she knows you are lying and so she uses that as an excuse (The "Trust Card").....If you say yes, then its only a matter of weeks (Sometimes days) before its over. So I tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may. I have gotten used to them giving me the sidelong glance that betrays the thought, "I wonder if he would ever...Gulp!"
So, more often than not I lay awake at night alone looking at the ceiling and wishing I could get back into the Shit. I play SOF-2, Battlefield-2, Paint-ball and other combat games to keep my hand in and to try to keep sane. But always remember that I'm Not about to loose my sanity because of the so-called Horrors of war, but because of the lack thereof.....and that (I'm sorry to say) makes it impossible for me to ever come home....because when I left the last battlefield...That was when I left Home.....My home was and is and always will be the closest battlefield...It is there and only there that I feel safe and standing on solid ground.
From "Sportbiker Prayer", http://www.livejournal.com/users/oxojam
"The Crippled Child,
who finds a HOME,
On the Nearest Battlefield,
A MINE for a PILLOW!......
The Sweet, Sweet smell of Jas-mine,
THE-Scent of Gas-mask.......
DOWN in the Hall......
A CROSS upon the WALL.......
Cause, who isn't Tempted?.....
to wake the living!
a Girl Up-Side-Down in MY WIND-SCREEN......
Go See Jarhead....and Remember, you aint lived...till you nearly died.
Sportbike Gods, Copyright 2004, OXOjamm. All rights reserved.
Other, Copyright 2005, OXOjamm all rights reserved.
Feelin like:: Got to ride.
The Speakers Pound:: OXOjamm, Sting Your Blood.
Link to Music: http://www2.mp3.com.au/artist.asp?id=28
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