Sunday, August 13, 2017

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Well, here’s a movie everyone ought to watch – especially our fearsome leaders, from President Lock-n-Load straight on down the line through all the warmongers and fake patriots and cozy, rich old men who think themselves courageous for sending young men to die.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, from the novel by Ben Fountain, is about war, bullshit, and how the two most often go together hand-in-hand. It’s the greatest show on earth, Monday Night Football for the chest beaters, the big talkers, the ravenous press, live TV stars, brass bands, cheerleaders, businessmen and weapons contractors, hotdog and ice cream sellers, fireworks, the ultimate halftime show for everyone who doesn’t actually have to slog through the real thing and see friends die and gaze upon the face of a foe as his life drains away, leaving, finally, only the pale, parting glimmer of a surprised and fearful soul – just another man, after all.

This film did not do well at the box office, largely because, as stated by a reviewer in The Guardian, it did not “resonate well” with American viewers. Ironic, that. It didn’t resonate well with the soldiers, either. The real war, that is, the real soldiers, not the Coke and Karmelkorn version presented by entertainment machine back home.

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