Jarhead: A marine (refers to the standard haircut)
The Suck: Jarheadese for the Corps
Fuck the Suck.
Kissing ass. Field-fucking/Grab-ass. Suicide watch. Unfaithful wives
and girlfriends. Whores, more whores, and maybe VD. Crazy motherfuckers.
Burning shitters. Liquor. Drunkenness. Vomit. Boredom. Violence.
Regret. Terror. Blood. Anguish. Tears. Thousands of hours of training.
Months of drills in the sand. Digging holes. Enduring bombardments.
And after all that shit, 100 hours of war. The Suck treats a man
like a warrior for years, then throws him into a war too short for
him to score a kill. All the jarheads wanted was the pink mist from
the perfect shot. The fucking flyboys blew tens of thousands of
Iraqis to hell, and they didn’t get one fucking shot. What
kind of fucking war is that?
Fuck the Suck.
For the marines, there is much thought given to life after death,
but they really need to be worried about life after the Corps. Does
a marine have a life after being discharged? Can he survive in the
civilian world? Trained and conditioned to be killers, honest-to-God
violent motherfuckers with a penchant for combat and drunkenness,
marines tend to have trouble readjusting to a peaceful life. Are
their minds broken, or their souls shattered? And just what the
hell was with that war?
Anthony Swofford is the Jarhead. This film jumped
off of the pages off his book of the same name. Anthony insists
that it’s not the truth, but rather his truth, his story,
the Gulf War according to Swofford. It’s a good, fucked-up
story. When you look at the first Gulf War from Swofford’s
perspective, it looks pretty nuts. He walks through a highway of
death. He gets fired on by his own air force, with what is literally
the SCARIEST FUCKING CANNON in the world. He accepts that he’s
fighting for oil interest while believing that he came to save Kuwait.
It’s insanity, pure and simple. But the movie doesn’t
say anything more.
The tale changes a bit from book to film; the story is more photogenic
to entertainment standards, sticking mostly to the war to let people
see explosions. The book has much more material to craft a much
more complete story. The book answers all the questions I raised
in the paragraph above, and the movie just raises them. That’s
why I recommend you see the movie if you like to avoid books, but
for God’s sake read the book if you are literate. And if you
aren’t literate, learn to read so you can read this book.
Just keep in mind that the minefield of profanity I laid earlier
cannot compare to what a marine says and does. If you can’t
stomach the fucking lingo, then don’t fucking go there. However,
if you don’t mind that shit, go for it. The book goes so much
deeper into all these issues, and adds a LOT more humanity to Swofford,
and every jarhead.
And if you think that you saw Three Kings and you know
the first Gulf War was fucked up, you didn’t get all of it.
You got the fun part. The Suck isn’t about fun. You may have
studied the war and know what you think is the truth, but Jarhead
is a different truth. This truth is more personal, an eyewitness
account instead of a report. I haven’t seen a truth like this
in a while.