Generation Kill: Hoo-rah

David Simon’s new project Generation Kill premiered on HBO last night, you guys. Are you watching it? You should watch it. It’s good. It’s a seven-part mini-series based on the book of the same name by Evan Wright following the Marines’ First Recon Battalion during the first 40 days of the war in Iraq. It’s kind of like Jarhead, but without Sam Mendes’ “I come from a life in theater” visual metaphor tics. It’s kind of like Three Kings but without David O. Russell’s “I took a class on nihilism in college” brand of satire. It’s just a straight-forward look at today’s military and the current conflict in the Middle East.

Admittedly, there’s always something a little off-putting about confronting the war head-on from the comfort of your living room, in the same way that I think kids who play a lot of Call of Duty should be shot. Not anywhere fatal, just a flesh wound, maybe through the cheek. But somewhere that would really let them know what was what.

But you do learn a lot about the men and women who sacrifice so much to serve our country. For example, did you know that they hate receiving letters from children?

I know that this is supposed to be one of those gritty moments that really let you into the kind of soldiering life that you don’t usually see on television, but if I was in charge of the news, we’d see this kind of thing all the time, because they’re right. Kids write some stupid letters, due in large part to their being seven, but still.

Of course, if I was in charge of the news, a lot of things would be different. We’d all be way more informed on what was happening with pizza these days, and Nancy Grace would be in an underwater prison with a handgun and a mirror.