Generation Kill Get Some S01E01 (HBO)

Generation Kill is an American war mini-series on the US cable channel HBO that explores the lives of the men in a U.S. Marine Corps battalion as they serve their country during the early days of the second War in Iraq.

The mini-series comes from the creative team behind HBO’s critically acclaimed The Wire. It is based on Evan Wright’s book of the same name, which finds its origins in a series of essays published in Rolling Stone Magazine. The essays were written during his stint as an embedded member of the Marines’ First Reconnaissance Battalion. It was adapted by David Simon and Ed Burns.

Wright’s portrayal of the soldiers in Generation Kill is the first glimpse of a fighting force raised on a palpable culture of violence (slickly produced war movies, gangster rap and rock in particular), who are street-savvy beyond any generation of soldiers prior, and how they deal with the disjunction between Hollywood war and actual war, their biographical influences and bureaucracy.
Vaughn From Filthy Skies

Just like some of the other wars in the last century were socially and psychologically dissected, Generation Kill does the same for the Gulf Wars. It is much needed since these types of incisive examinations in popular culture are rare for the moment, as there is no palpable end in sight for the war on terror and that soldiers are living through these moments as we speak. This makes the Second Gulf War a controversial subject to say the least.

The focus is the newest generation of American soldiers, bred on ultra-violent video games, slick Hollywood movies and a culture of violence that was absent in media for most of this century.

* * * * *

A deft treatise like this was needed. What The Wire did so successfully to the portrayal of the results of poor urban life and its obstacles, Generation Kill may just be able to do with popular misconceptions of modern warfare and its impact. At the end of the day, has soldiering changed much in the last 20 years?

This series is controversial, informative and paints a inclusive narrative of the first 40 days of the Second Gulf War. Since it is produced by HBO, adult situations and language are present. The series isn’t for the faint of heart.

I recommend this series. It leaves you shell shocked about what exactly was going on in Iraq. In fact, isn’t this still going on right now?

* * * * *

A squad of HUMVEEs is getting into a skirmish. An Apache helicopter is their air support. The driver of one of the cars keels over. The others think that he is hit. He’s fine. They are just in a combat simulation. The officer in charge says that they should have left the vehicle and moved on out of the kill zone. A soldier comes up with another solution and he accepts it.

They are in Kuwait. One of them says that they haven’t even cleaned things up from the last war. One of the soldiers is taking a piss.

The LT tells Bravo 2 squad that there was a negligent discharge in another squad. He wants everyone to brass check their weapons. One of the soldiers heard that JLo was killed. He wants an update from the LT. He says that he didn’t receive a sitrep from the commander on that.

One of the soldiers puts on some bags filled with rocks. He straps on his gas mask and takes his gun. He goes out for a job. It’s not really a job, it’s more like a sprint.

The commander tells his squadron that they have to take a bridge over the Euphrates. The unit is an elite advanced recon US Marine unit.

Some of the mechanics aren’t happy. They don’t have the parts they need. A soldier comes up with the right parts. The Sergeant Major is on a LT’s ass for having his shirt out. The LT tells him to tuck it in. The SM is on another soldier’s ass for having a moustache that isn’t regulation.

The squad gets some mail from home.

The squad is expecting a storm. One of the tents collapses. The marines have to secure it. A chemical toilet goes flying.

A writer from Rolling Stone is going to be embedded with the squad. The squad is on his ass until he says that he used to write for Hustler.

A white supremacist soldier starts spouting his BS.

The next day, the marine who shaved a few millimeters off his moustache, gets some more grief from the Sergeant Major.

The LT is told that his RTO just got burned in the face because he used a portable stove. The issue is handled well by LT Fick.

They have the reporter get them the stuff they need from the PX. They need the batteries for their night-vision. If the Army goes to war, they bring everything. When the Marines go, they just make do. Nothing will get here in time.

The Marines need to get their own shit. The marines spent 500$ of their own money to fix up the HUMVEE. The next day, the marines get some Pizza Hut pizzas. They are selling the pizza for 10$ an extra slice. The LT checks with the Captain. He tells them that they have to be ready to move in 48 hours. They are moving into war.

The marines get their new pants. They are woodland camouflage. They will all stick out like a sore thumb in the desert.

The next day, the Sergeant Major gives a speech before they are deployed. The Marines have been waiting for over 4 hours. They are waiting for their translator. They have one translator. They leave Camp Mathilda.

The soldiers are briefed about what to expect. They will be shooting at civilians. There is a simulated gas attack and the reporter has some trouble. His gas suit is too small and he swallowed his chewing tobacco.

Rudy has sowed a cut up Keffiyeh all over his woodland camouflage gear.

Rudy wants to move to San Fransisco with his girl Sharee. There is another gas attack. They hear mortar fire.

The commander briefs his squad. He wants the moustaches to be shaven.

The LT is told that they aren’t going to get any tanks or Cobras as support.

It’s lack of pussy that starts wars.
Ray

The squad is going ahead into the war zone. As they go into Iraq the next morning, some Iraqis wave at them.

The squad has to head north. They come across two pick-up trucks with armed civies. The chain of command wants them waved off.

The reporter asks the Kernel why his voice sounds like the Godfather. He says he had throat cancer. He’s not a smoker.

During the night, they spot Iraqis fleeing the combat zone. They say that they are just civies fleeing Basra. They says that 30 km further away, there are Iraqi death squad killing fleeing soldiers. They have white SUVs with red diamonds on them.

The Kernel wants them to move on. They can’t deal with the surrenders. Alpha team just got hit by artillery fire.

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

2 thoughts on “Generation Kill Get Some S01E01 (HBO)”

  1. Whomever wrote this column understands nothing of the military and how it operates. He just writes exactly what happened like a list of facts without analyzing what is happening. He doesn’t understand the significance of the some of the leadership calls made, or lack thereof we see in this episode I’d go into detail and cite references but I don’t want to waste my time.

  2. Yep, that’s true. It’s a recap, not a full on analysis. Feel free to analyze this series to your heart’s content. I’m not a soldier and have never been in the military or combat, so I don’t feel qualified really to delve into a deeper analysis.

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