For the next 42 days we're going to be counting down to the release of SEAL Team 666. Why 42? Because it's the answer to the universal question.
Today we have Gene O'Neill. We've been friends since I started writing. Gene is a born storyteller, as eager to write it as he is to tell it. He's at once a modern day Mark Twain and a socially conscious, popular genre fiction writer like Sam Delaney and George R.R. Martin. I'm very pleased to call him a friend. If you haven't read any of Gene's work, I highly recommend Taste of Tenderloin, which won the Bram Stoker Award for Best Fiction Collection in 2010.
1. What’s your favorite military movie, book or television show?
2. Why is it your favorite? Here’s where you can ramble a bit.
I like the book MATTERHORN by Karl Malantes because it too has the right *feel.* The book about Marine ground pounders in Vietnam also shows two things not often mentioned about men in stressful situations. First, the superstitious behavior adopted, the odd rituals that squads go through--much like the odd behavior of baseball players going up to bat. Secondly, Malantes, who went to an Ivy league college and writes really well, points out something not often discussed. At some point a veteran squad can become desensitized to fear, stress, and death of comrades, and at some point actually look forward to conducting missions, engaging the enemy. An unexpected reaction, that civilians might consider kind of a group psychopathic response. maybe so.
Anyhow, this book and this movie presents, in my opinion, a more realistic *feel* than others, like the acclaimed Full Metal Jacket--which gives a very skewed impression of not only combat but Marine Boot
3. What themes are overused? And is it overused, or just truthful observation?
Of course the presentation of heroes and heroic action with patriotic background music in movies is really Hollywood fiction. Overdone. Bogus. Men overcome their fear and fight because they don't want to let down others in their squad, their buddies. I suspect all good outfits capitalize on this bonding. Ideology is rarely heard even from officers, never discussed by troops.
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