My War: Killing Time In Iraq.
Colby Buzzell is an Iraq war veteran who blogged about his one year tour of duty while he was fighting the war. In spite of posting anonymously, he was eventually “outed” and the reactions of his fellow soldiers and superiors was very interesting. Buzzell did a great job on this book for a first time author, I thought. He spoke the way I did when I was in the Army (well, ok, the way I speak a lot now). In other words, he says the f-word a lot. That might bother some people. But, to me, it was a signpost of authenticity. That’s how people talk in the military.
I plowed through the book in 2 days. It was an easy and engaging read. I feel it definitely captured what is must have been like to be there fighting in the infantry. I really liked a quote in there that I want to make the new subtext of my blog. It was “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly. What doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness.” – Marcus Aurelius That is a fantastic quote that one of Buzzell’s superior officers imparted to him. I don’t want to say too much more about the book because I don’t want to give anything away. If you want to read a first hand portrait of what it was like to serve, this would be a fantastic place to start. It will give you a deeper appreciation of what our men and women go through when called upon to do their jobs. I related a lot to Colby because he grew up skateboarding and listening to punk rock music and made friends with other soldiers who had these interests. This was also my experience when I was in the Army, oddly enough. Skateboarding when not on duty. Who would have imagined?
Colby still has his blog posted. You can check it out at: http://cbftw.blogspot.com/. He also has been doing a periodic column for Esquire magazine. I learned from his column that he was re-called to go back to Iraq but got an exemption for having PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
The top 10 things I learned from reading A Preferred Blur by Henry Rollins were 1. Henry prefers to be alone. It’s not that he doesn’t like people, he is just no good with people. 2. He suffers from severe depression on a regular basis, usually around the full moon. 3. He keeps his schedule full to save himself from himself. 4. He thinks loving or needing or being needed is weak and something to be purged from his life when at all possible. 5. The End Of Silence/Weight era Rollins band will never tour together again and I should have gone to Atlanta to see them with X in 2006 when I had the chance…dammit. Good thing I saw them with Helmet “back in the day.” Whew, that was a close one. 6. Henry loves visiting DC and walking in his old neighborhood with Ian Mackaye. It is, in fact, one of the only times he really feels alive. 7. Mr. Rollins considers the summer of 1980 before he left DC to join Black Flag as a pivotal moment in his life which he constantly hearkens back to. 8. Henry (althought never a member of the armed forces) uses a lot of military terminology in his life – hitting the rack, military time (1304 hours), getting some “chow”, etc. I’m curious as to when he started doing that. 9. Rollins does not have a hard time differentiating (like so many) between the war and the warrior. He spends a good amount of time visiting veterans, doing USO shows while simultaneously decrying the conflict itself. 10. Henry is either losing his mind or uses repetition as a literary tool to drive home certain feelings or points. I could go either way. Overall, as usual, I enjoyed the book. Probably the best parts were when he was traveling to all the middle eastern countries (Syria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Israel, etc.) and interacting with people there. I think it is correct and admirable to go to places and meet people face to face and engage their culture before you make presumptions about people and countries. It’s easy to conceive pre-formed opinions of things that you know nothing about and people you have never met. I always finish Henry’s books wishing I had more time to travel. Now if I could just do something to cheer the poor guy up!
Yes, it’s true.
I’m having some out-patient (not staying overnight at hospital) surgery done today at around noon central standard time. They tell me this is a fairly routine procedure. But, of course, it’s not routine to me. I’m going to be knocked completely out. If you are a praying type of person and you wanted to pray for a good outcome I would be most grateful.
Thank you for your support.
Some folks in this country are in need of a lobotomy.
I mentioned a couple of days ago how people should stop comparing Obama to Hitler. Some pointed out that people called Bush “all kinds of horrible things” and how is this different? I don’t know. All I know is that this (videos below) is where it leads. So much progress here in America. Really? Is this really what we’ve come to? People who show their displeasure about health care reform by wearing “Israeli Defense Forces” t-shirts and then yell “Heil Hitler” at a Jewish man? Really?! If we do not speak out about this kind of behavior, God help us all.
More stories, viewpoints and links…
No, You’re Hitler! (Heeb Magazine)
Some industrious and thoughtful person has already registered – PamelaPilger.com – to help pay off the man’s $8000 hospital bill.
Obviously fake. Totally hilarious.