Sunday, March 16, 2003

If each war produces a great book with an unforgettable, personal story, then Vietnam gave us Reflections of a Warrior, and the Gulf War (should I call it the "First Gulf War" now?) was the source for Jarhead. Jarhead is no he-man Rambo story, but it isn't exactly an anti-war book either. It is a thoughtful study of the culture of the Marines, specifically the culture of Marine snipers. If you are at all interested in war stories, you will like this one.


It's easier to dig a fighting hole in wet sand because dry sand tends to ship back into your hole, and when dry and falling into your hole, the sand is reminiscent of a timekeeping device from the board games of your youth, and as the dry sand falls into your hole, you aren't sure what you're pissed off about: the reminder that time is passing quickly and your death might soon arrive like morning, or the nuisance of the sweet memory from childhood of the family hudded around the game table dealing cards and laughing, or that the shipped sand means you must move that sand again, as though through this thankless action you might know each particle personally, as though because you now actually live in it, you must care about this most unstable material or medium that will make futile all effort or endeavor.

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