A scrapbook of stuff I'm reading / looking at / listening to / thinking about...
Posts tagged "war"
Dec 06, 2012
Michael Herr, Dispatches
[Day Tripper] was on his helmet… and on the back, where most guys just listed the months of their tours, he had carefully drawn a full calendar where each day served was marked off with a neat X.
Like every American in Vietnam, he had his obsession with Time. (No one ever talked about When-this-lousy-war-is-over. Only “How much time you got?” The degree of Day Tripper’s obsession, compared with most of the others, could be seen in the calendar on his helmet. No metaphysician ever studied Time the way he did, its components and implications, its per-second per seconds, its shadings and movement. The Space-Time continuum, Time-as-Matter, Augustinian Time: all of that would have been a piece of cake to Day Tripper, whose brain cells were arranged like jewels in the finest chronometer.
Filed under: my reading year 2012
Nov 11, 2011
Mar 08, 2011
Images from the Storm: civil war drawings by Robert Sneden
If Vietnam was the first television war, the Civil War was the first to use mass-produced battlefield sketches and drawings as adjuncts to news reports, filling the pages of publications such as Harper’s and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly. One illustrator, a Union private named Robert Sneden, had plenty of opportunities to practice his art at close range, turning out nearly a thousand sketches, maps, and plans of the great battles in which he participated.
Thx to Stephen Calder for sending this to me. More on Wikipedia.
Feb 21, 2011
Literature on the Frontlines: The History of Armed Services Edition Books
To combat the morale-sapping effects of boredom during World War II, a unique collaboration between government and private industry launched an effort to distribute almost 1.3 million books to American GI’s.
…What was needed were books that were small, compact, and could be carried in a soldier’s cargo pocket. Cheap, lightweight books that could be printed and distributed in mass quantities, read up, and left behind.
…The Council on Books in Wartime took up the project of turning this idea into reality. The council, whose motto was “books are weapons in the war of ideas,” was a non-profit organization made up of librarians, authors, booksellers, and publishers which had formed to utilize books as part of the war effort.
Nov 23, 2010
Gallery of writing on soldiers’ helmets
Warriors are paid to fight — but that doesn’t mean that they always have to be happy about it, or that the fight is the only thing on their minds. One way for otherwise voiceless troops to express their feelings about the often-bloody task at hand is to literally write it out — on their helmets.
Above: Lyrics from a Misfits song, “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?” decorate the helmet of Marine Cpl. Jonathan Eckert of Oak Lawn, IL, on patrol, October 2010, in Kajaki, Afghanistan.
I’m trying to imagine what I’d write on mine if I had to be there…
Listen: Misfits, “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?”
Jul 16, 2010
The Marine Corps’s Combat Art Program - NYTimes.com
So many great quotes in this article, many of them simply about being an artist out in the world (not just the military).
What good is an artist?
“The Marine Corps is more like a tribe than some corporate organization…and the combat art program, we’re like the shamans. We’re the ones who take this experience and try to articulate it.”
What to draw?
“When you go over to the Air Force,” she said, “the art is all airplanes. In the Navy it’s all ships. Army art tends to be more about the battle, and the Army loves trucks. They’re fixated on vehicles. But the Marine Corps is fixated on Marines.”
Why not just take a picture?
“If you and I are in the same firefight, what you see and what I see are two different things, based on our own background and experience….When a photograph is taken of a battle or any type of scene in combat, you see the image. But what the artist does is he takes that image and interprets it.”
What is art for?
It’s the pact we make with the warrior: You will live forever and we will remember you…and to me the best way to do that is through art. We can’t give him his life, but we can give him that immortality.
Thanks to Laurence for the link.
Jun 28, 2010
Everything goes back to being a prisoner. When I think how fortunate I was to survive that, to lose all one’s friends at 19 years old - every day is a treasure. I decided when the war ended that I was going to do something interesting.
Nov 18, 2009
Nov 12, 2009
Harold Graves transcribes a homeless veteran he meets on the subway:
“You people want to see a fuckin’ parade? You want to celebrate something? Have a fuckin’ parade for Death! That’s what you should have a parade for! You know why? Death don’t discriminate! Death don’t care what color you is, or whether you is insured or not! Fuck Veteran’s Day, man! Let’s have a Death Parade! You think you’re hot shit? You think you’re bad? Then let’s see you end the war in Iraq! That’s right! Let’s see you put an end to homelessness! That’s right folks! Death don’t respect nobody, not even Michael Jackson! Not even Michael Fucking Jackson, the King of Pop! Death don’t respect nobody, no sir! Everybody gets treated the same by Death! Let’s have a National Holiday and a ticker-tape Parade for Death! No shit, man! Your death is someone else’s holiday, baby!”