Sunday, August 30, 2009

A void of indifference

Possible spoiler below, if you haven't seen Heroes.

We watch a lot of TV, Mah Girl and I. Preferably in the DVD box form, and we have a bunch of them on our shelves. Today we finished Generation Kill, which we started yesterday. A miniseries of seven episodes about a unit of recon Marines during the second US invasion of Iraq, in 2003.

I like the miniseries format. I like knowing that the writer and producer and director have a set ending in mind while they're working, and that they know the path to that end from day one. I tire quickly of TV shows that go nowhere and seem to have no goal in sight (can you spell Lost?), though shows that just fade before a proper end comes along pisses me off even more. Carnivale is one example of that (though I haven't watched it yet, its on our shelf), Millennium another.

If I'd had my way, Heroes would have been a miniseries too, at least at this point when we've seen season one and two. If the show had ended at Kirby Plaza, with the explosion, I would have been a very happy camper. Few shows, especially American shows, have the guts to end in that way.

Back to Generation Kill. Excellent script, brilliant characters and good actors, including Alexander Skarsgård in top form. The show doesn't make a political statement about the US presence in Iraq, but instead highlights the futility of the actions of American soldiers as well as show the horrors of war. The indifference of most of the recon Marines in the face of death and suffering is horrendous to watch.

I myself actually see the point of war. I'm not saying I condone the invasion of Iraq, but there are times when armed conflict is unavoidable and indeed necessary. History are full of such examples. We might have all been speaking German today if someone hadn't decided to meet violence with violence.

Yes, there are crimes committed and innocents killed in war. That is horrible, and something none of us should accept. However, this should not make us blind to the fact that war is necessary. There are greater wrongs in this world that can only be corrected through the use of force. That is sad, but an undeniable fact.

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