Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Posts Tagged ‘generation kill

The Cradle Of Civilisation

with 3 comments

What’s the difference anyway, man? I mean, war’s almost over. We’re just about done with this bitch.

In 2003, I watched the invasion of Iraq on television. Later that year Evan Wright published a series of articles in Rolling Stone on his time embedded with the First Recon Battalion of the US Marine Corps, the first coalition unit into the country. In 2004, Wright turned these articles into a book, Generation Kill, which I read in 2006. This was, in turn, filmed as a miniseries for HBO and released in 2008. In 2010, I watched the series on DVD and the war continued towards its eighth year.

All this context is by way of posing the question: what is left to be said? When the book was first published it was still a rare glimpse and an important critique. Now, as the Chilcott Inquiry daintily picks through the paperwork, it is much too late. Generation Kill has passed from journalism to entertainment. To their credit, David Simon and Ed Burns have filed off the rough edges of Wright’s functional approach to create an extremely skillful adaptation. However, if it is too late for truth, it is too early for drama.

Instead, here are two bits of meta-commentary that have lodged in my head. Firstly, Sgt Rudy Reyes – the bodybuilding object of the marines’ homoerotic gaze who find that the war interferes with his diet of sushi and vegetables – is played by… Rudy Reyes. The war has dragged on so long that he has been able to reinvent himself as an actor in his own biopic. Secondly, the guidance on the back of the DVD states that the programme “contains strong language, violence, sex references and real corpses.” What can you say?

Written by Martin

3 February 2010 at 10:02

Posted in television

Tagged with