21 Jul 2008

Band Of Bastards

HBO is one of the world's great television producers with a roll call that includes The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Entourage, Sex and the City, Flight Of the Conchords and Deadwood.

Its latest big production is Generation Kill. Following a platoon of marines as the invasion of Iraq begins in 2003 the story is based on the book of the same name by Rolling Stone writer, Evan Wright, who was embedded with the platoon at the time the attack on Iraq began.

The first episode set things up pretty well. Not a lot happened but like most good dramas that is sign of quality. The viewer is bombarded with full frontal depiction of the marine corps. Foul mouthed, sociopathic grunts who represent the bizarre cocktail of blue collar, frat boy, trailor trash killers created by a machine who sends them into war prepared to kill, even if they are not prepared with the right equipment. They are the bastard offspring of Band of Brothers.

I find the military mindset both at the top and bottom of the spectrum really abhorrent. The military is an extension of the worst male orientated fantasies created by our agnry white male civilisation. The Sopranos are equally horrific men but the lines between fiction and reality is clearer than with Generation Kill. An unsettling first episode, it still was well acted, looked great and offered much more.

Check it out and tell me what you think. To mark its start I've picked a couple of Saul Williams tracks from his Not In My Name e.p. of 2003. They remind me of the spirit of that time. A time when millions of us challenged the lies of Bush and Blair and gave a generation the empowering knowledge that we could say no to war.

Saul Williams - The Pledge Of Resistance

Saul Williams - Bloodletting

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