Let’s shake out the dust, folks

A week few days out from the show premiere, time to start moving, I guess.

Starting up this blog last winter about the final season of a show that was a known entity and a shared obsession was a very different prospect than now. Partly because it’s summer, partly because I can’t fix this fucking italics issue on this fucking template that changes from one day to the next, and it makes my head hurt.  Partly because I hate this war, that we are still mired in it years later, and I don’t know how to scale that huge thing down and just focus on this one narrative about just one part.

And partly because of Ashley.

And partly because, well, this isn’t The Wire. Wait, did I say that already?

It’s not that I’m not excited about GK, but just don’t know what to say ahead of time, other than if it just follows the book, it will be damn good. Of course, this is Simon and crew so I think we can expect more than just damn good.

What say you? Might be a good use of our time to kick around some expectations, posters and commenters alike.

And alli has to write her first post.  No pressure though…

Annnnd oh yeah, found a leaked scene on YouTube, a first look at the considerable vagaries of RoEs encountered as the troops move farther incountry.

SO SPOILERS HO. Minor, but don’t go forward if you want to remain clean, dry, and unwrinkled.

This so encapsulates that early part of the book, the realization that this is gonna be, well… different. And fucking difficult.

Wave ’em off.

A tank full of guys with weapons facing a truck full of guys with weapons, and who makes the call? Disembodied voice on the radio. Luckily, the com equipment happens to be working that moment.

I guess “luckily” is probably not the right word.



  1. FYI, HBO has a “Support the Troops” section on the GK site. You can click on a product and it’s sent in your name.

    This is all a Flash thing, so there’s no direct link. Just look for the Support the Troops link off the main screen.

    Yes, it’s a marketing tie in with HBO corporate sponsors but c’mon would it kill ya to send a Marine some Neosporin? Or a prepaid phone card? Or a Maxim magazine?

  2. So I’m in the middle of a war movie orgy trying to psych up for this (yeah, David, compare and contrast). Have watched “Flags of our Fathers”, “Letters From Iwo Jima”, am halfway through “Band of Brothers” with the boy and will probably get to “Stalingrad” (the German one) this week. I’m trying to stick to the films that are of the “bonds between the line grunts” variety, since that is the focus of GK.

    In one of the early promo pieces, I think Simon said something to the effect that “nobody has ever portrayed what war is really like for the soldiers on the line” (paraphrasing, I’m at work so I can’t go back and hear the quote again), and my eyebrows went up a little at that one. I think both BoB and Stalingrad, for instance, were fairly brilliant in conveying both the helplessness of the line grunt in the face of seemingly ludicrous orders and inept mid-level commanders, and the stress and anxiety that total boredom and “hurry up and wait” can bring.

    These are both recurring themes in the book GK, and I think are described more starkly and clearly than in BoB or Stalingrad, so I’m really curious to see if Simon can bring something new to the screen that is true to the book that will also surpass previous films.

    One thing I don’t like so far about the previews: they seem to focus almost exclusively on the joking and smack-talking between the troops, and although I know that was a big part of GK the book, it wasn’t the only thing. They call this a “road movie”, which is true, but it’s gotta be a war movie too. There was a lot of sadness, a lot of guilt, a lot of moral confusion in the book, it wasn’t all Person spewing Ripped Fuel one-liners for three weeks.

    The other thing is that damn song. It’s what Sgt. Colbert would call “straight homosexual country music” and would be banned in his humvee. Too much damn twang.

    On the other hand…Rudy Reyes playing himself. I might even switch teams for that.

  3. I’m gonna be the one who goes into this cold — I didn’t read the book, and I’m paying zero attention to the pre-show publicity. (OK, OK, I read the Ed Burns thing in the NYT last weekend. But that’s IT.) I’m going to try to empty my busy little brain of distractions and just judge it for what it is, if that’s possible.

  4. Ray, ever seen any of Sam Fuller’s war movies? Big Red One might be a good addition to your list.

  5. Ok, I’m writing one tonight. Ideas finally arrived in my brain!

    And I’ll be reading the book before I watch the series, but I’m almost completely unfamiliar with war moves, except for Platoon and M*A*S*H. So expect cinematic allusions to go right over my head.

  6. Well, the italics issue comes from the “I owe him a trip to Chicago and a morning spent in a funny hat and gown”…

    I changed it to “Unpublished” while I work through the HTML and find the offending tag or violation. I will have it back ASAP.

  7. Okay… italix fixed. Post back up.

  8. Racy the Slanty Banisher, a dyke with a can-do attitude.

    I still can’t understand how a COMMENT can change the CSS on the while frickin’ template.

  9. Alright, consider me nagged. Post is up (obviously).

  10. Saw The Big Red One a bunch of times in high school (we had cable) but not since. I think the presence of Lee Marvin and Luke Skywalker was just too distracting.

    I also don’t think Full Metal Jacket is a good film of this type (BoB, GK), except for the brilliant scene when they’re lost on patrol in Hue and have to figure out how to get back to where they’re supposed to be. That was stellar fog of war on film. Later, Kubrick fucks up a perfectly good sniper scene with gratuitous slo-mo, but up until that point, the confusion of battle was portrayed most excellently (says the anti-war civilian armchair war movie critic).

  11. I still can’t understand how a COMMENT can change the CSS on the while frickin’ template.

    Well, sweets, they may be individual posts to you but all the posts,and comments are translated into good ol’ HTML, enough to make the whole page you see when you hit the Nupak link… an error at one level affects every thing below.

    While you can “close tags” for many errors, there was one too many ” ” tags buried in that long post about David Simon and Ashley. That’s the tag that divides stories above/below the fold. You couldnt tell by looking, you had to dig the HTML to find the offending “more” tag. The extra “more” tag surrounded by italics tags somehow swallowed the entire blog. A word to the wise – “do not go ‘below the fold’ more than once.”

    At least I think that is what it was.

    Now I have a bunch of slanties telling me they will do whatever I want.

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