Friday, May 23, 2014

On Serving

We usually think that military discipline is just a matter of mindlessly following orders. Obeying the rules. You don’t think you do what is your duty. It’s not as simple as that.

If we do this, we just become machines. There has to be something more. This more can have two basic forms. The first more benign form is an ironic distance. Best epitomised by the well known movie and TV series. M.A.S.H.

Hawkeye?

Where the military doctors are involved in sexual escapades, make jokes all the time.

Some people took Robert Altman’s movie M.A.S.H. as a kind of antimilitary, satiric product but it’s not.

We should always bear in mind that these soldiers with all their practical jokes, making fun of the serious and so on operated perfectly as soldiers. They did their duty.

- Doctor this one’s for you babe.
- Slavoj Zizek, "Pervert's Guide to Ideology"

3 comments:

Jen Nifer said...

MASH was one of my favorites growing up, and I could see that it wasn't anti-military.

Dang, Tom Waits is INTENSE.

btw, have you seen a backlash against the phrase "Thank you for your service"? I heard something about it recently...

Thersites said...

A backlash? Nope. This is the first I've heard of it.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Waits is awesome. And a pretty good actor, too.