ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar! LarryNocella.com

19Mar/10Off

If the Greatest Generation was so Great, Why Did They Have to Kill Half Their Generation to Prove How Great They Are?

I'm not quite sure why I've got this grudge against World War Two movies. I could just as easily write a manifesto against vampire or zombie films, since along with World War Two, those topics comprise about 99% of the ideas coming from Hollywood.

So I admit my annoyance is not rational. That's what makes it fun to analyze. We're heading into the wilds of my mind where nothing makes sense. No jokes, please.

For me, the last straw that led to this public plea for no more World War 2 movies was the hype permeating HBO for their new mini-series The Pacific. Like all last straws, there's nothing I have against The Pacific specifically, it's just I've had it with World War Two films in general. But why?

One thing I'm sure of: I'm tired of all this congratulation for the so-called "Greatest Generation." I just can't get down with the idea that anyone born after 1920 is a worthless, thankless brat.

I gather that the so-called Greatest Generation is "great" because they fought World War 2, but how great can they really be since they needed to kill half their generation to prove how great they were? You didn't see us 80's kids killing anybody. Heck, my generation had to tear down the Berlin Wall that the darn Greatest Generation set up! And we did it while break-dancing.

Seriously, Greatest Gen folk, I don't mean to sound ungrateful for you killing millions of people, I'm not. I'm just skeptical about anything that talks about war as a good thing. It's so ingrained in American culture that we need to be thankful for war, of complete strangers killing each other because some dude in a leadership role told them to, I feel like a jerk just saying this. Then again, I feel like a jerk most of the time, so maybe I'm onto something.

Yeah, the Nazis needed to be killed. Thank you for doing it, GGs. The cliche goes that if you hadn't, I'd be speaking German. Of course, history doesn't always work so well with the victor's narrative of atrocity aversion. For instance, I live in America, and I'm speaking English. If there had NOT been an atrocity, I would probably be speaking Native American. Of course, all that "you'd be speaking (whatever)" phrase is really just yet another ho-hum way to refer to people killing each other.

Oddly enough, one World War 2 movie I did enjoy was the often-trashed Valkyrie. Sure there were lots of Hitchcock-style opportunities for suspense that were missed, but the story actually presented something new. It showed that Germans weren't uniform unfeeling sadists that wanted to glorify Germany, murder everyone and take over the world. Some of them just wanted to take over the world.

Like the book All Quiet on the Western Front, the movie Valkyrie showed "the enemy" as human. Flawed, sure, but human. Dehumanizing is the process that makes war possible. Most WW2 films are just part of that dehumanizing process: portraying the enemy (Germans) as fearless killing machines, as opposed to mostly working class schlubs not entirely sure what they're killing and dying for, or certain about something that is either a lie or at best, a half-truth.  Even Goering admitted that.

But maybe there's no agenda behind me crossing the tipping point and calling for a moratorium on WW2 films. Maybe I just haven't quite had my fill of vampires and zombies yet. Surely that's because I grew up in the decadent 80s.

===
Larry Nocella writes The Semi-True Adventures of Lar blog at LarryNocella.com. He's the author of the novel Where Did This Come From? The world's first CarbonFree(R) novel according to Carbonfund.org. The book is available on Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle eBook. It is also available for other eBook readers.