tzanti (tzanti) wrote,

  • Location:
  • Mood:
  • Music:

Generation Kill

There's something about war reporting that is unusually interesting.  The 'embedding' idea was something that the US military messed up in Kuwait and the Balkans in the 90's, so the world's media didn't trust it for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  This lead to Chris Ayres, the Times' Hollywood fluff correspondent, being embedded with a US Marine Artillery unit.  His book, War Reporting for Cowards, was my top book of a few years ago.

Evan Wright, a Rolling Stone journalist who had previously worked on the Hustler porn magazine.  He was embedded for 3 weeks with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion of the US Marines.  As such, he often rode in a Humvee at the head of the American advance.  His reports, and subsequent book have been described as insightful and shocking.  The title, Generation Kill, refers to the youth of 1st Recon's soldiers.

In 2008, HBO dramatised the book as a seven-part TV series, in a similar style to Band of Brothers in 2000.  The series has just aired in the UK on the FX digital channel, and has been an eye-opener.  The idea of portraying real people, some of whom are still serving soldiers is quite novel.  It has  different level of responsibility from even dealing with retired soldiers in a film such as Tumbledown.  In particular, the portrayal of Tromley, Hasser and other soldiers involved in civillian shootings was sensitive, within the context of the darkly comic atmosphere of the piece.

That darkly comic aspect is something unavoidable in any war story.  From the trench newspapers of the Great War, to Alan Whicker's accounts of Italy in World War 2, to PJ O'Rourke's Give War a Chance, humour and conflict go hand in hand, with humour helping to balance out the daily horror of violence.

More later.
Tags: lit, tv

  • Battlestar Galactica

    When, some years back, a friend told me there was a reworked BSG coming out, I was sceptical and excited at the same time. I'm not a fan of all…

  • Star Trek 2009

    I have now seen the new Star Trek movie. There are a lot of positive things to be said for it. The plot is good, and bit above the usual Hollywood…

  • Ariel and the Space Cats

    No, not a 50s pop group, except in the minds of the Worle Operatic and Dramatic Society. Last night, they performed Bob Carlton's Return to the…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.