Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Know what the difference between a fairy tale and a sea story is? A fairy tale begines 'Once upon a time'. A sea story begins 'Listen up cause this is no sh**'.

Jarhead is a lotta things. It's a great bit of writing. It humps along at a good clip, it's got some things to say and it says them in an entertaining way. It moves along quickly enough that it was not until I sailed clean past the end that I realized it's most glaring fault.

Jarhead is a sea story. I don't know how accurate it is; I was an 0311 who never served in the FMF. I didn't go the Desert; I spent the war learning how to be an 4000 at 3D FSSG. It's chock full of stories that 'everyone' knows; here are the Jarheads playing football in the Desert in full MOPP gear. Here is the famous cuckold video a wife sent to her husband in the Desert. All the stories we heard, the lingo of the Marines in the early 90s. Some of the details are off but it was written a decade after the fact - we may chalk this up to memory or wishful thinking.

The problem with Jarhead is that civilians will read a memoir by a Marine turned academic and take it s Gospel. This would be wrong, wrong wrong. It's a story about a callow young man who went to war, saw some things and came home. That's all that it is.

Cross Posted to The Daily Brief.
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