Monday, November 05, 2007

James GandolFuckYou

A friend loaned me a DVD of an HBO special called "Alive Day" featuring the stories of Iraq war vets who'd suffered severe trauma. Nothing is more embarrassing and stupid as when someone uses shocking imagery to illustrate a political point that they're afraid to come right out and say. It wasn't even clever ambiguity, it was just splattered guts and half-assed attempts at self-righteousness. You know the movie "Total Recall"? It wanted, at some point, to be an action movie with some clever dialogue in the "Die Hard" tradition. Then one day, they were hammering out the script and (I imagine) someone said, "You know, fuck this. No one is going to care about dialogue if we make blood squish out of a guy's bullet holes like a human blood sponge." Probably some other guys nodded tiredly and that was that. I'm not sure what ideas that they gave up on for "Alive Day" but I'd imagine it had something to do with dignity. I went to a friend's grandma's funeral once and one of the priests was picking his nose (in full view of everyone) during the service. This reminded me of that except it wasn't as classy.

Here are some prime examples of the Alive Day suckage:

The first time we see a soldier cry during an interview, we see a long shot of James Gandolfini handing the soldier a tissue. Ok, they put the box of tissues next to Jimmy boy so that they could get a shot of the tissue hand-off. James, you're a big weiner for that.

A creepy, creepy mom who has been coaching her extremely brain damaged son in what to say when people ask questions. Ok, get this, she coaches him through a rendition of The Marines Hymn, his eyes, lacking focus, shift about the room as he makes lewd gestures that she's interpreting as expressions of happiness and love. This is the most disturbing of the interviews, at least to me. It was a prime example of every shitty way of thinking that got us into the war (e.g., willful ignorance, blind faith, nationalism) all condensed into a freakshow chowder of Oedipal proportions.

A young woman who fears her children may not love her as much if she can't hug them with both arms...the camera lingering on her face while her tear filled eyes nudge the fog of the present aside to get a glipse of the (perhaps tragically lonely?) future. Oh and the topper of that segment is the half-hearted rendition of "Proud to be an American" that she is singing with the rest of her family. Sheesh. That made me shudder almost as much as Marine Mom.

Americans know what's going on in Iraq, they just don't give a fuck. This makes any attempt at scaring us with blood and arms and dead things a completely futile waste of time. What a misguided attempt at scaring up some copy for Gandolfini. Please, dude, next time, bang Lindsay Lohan or something. This other thing was just plain eww.