Friday, September 14, 2007

A Test of Courage

Friday Fiver: But in your dreams whatever they be

1. Do you like looking at stars? Absolutely. I can stargaze for hours, as long as I don’t get cold and my neck doesn’t hurt too much.

2. Who do you say “I love you” to? My family and M. And my pets. They seem to appreciate it, too.

3. Did you say “good night!” to anyone last night? Yep. (Oh, you want to know who? M and my parents.)

4. When is the last time you felt blue? I dunno. I try not to dwell on it, and so forget it fairly quickly. I was angry yesterday, but that’s more red than blue.

5. Tell us one of your dreams: I really don’t remember them much. The one that I remember the best is a nightmare from when I was probably around 10, in which I started flying on my bicycle, and when I landed I was caught by an animated skeleton. Not a good dream.

The first part of this post was the Friday Fiver, and pure fun. I don’t have a Friday Snippet today, sorry. Still working things out with what - if anything - I want to post right now.

The rest of this post will be a bit more … well, it’s raw for me, and more political than I usually get.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSo, last night I saw an advance viewing of In the Valley of Elah. I was given a pass by a co-worker who gets them from a PR firm, and I’m glad I went since this is a film I probably wouldn’t have seen, otherwise.

I know, the inevitable question is, “did you like it?” Or, “was it a good movie?” I don’t know how to answer either of those questions. It was a very well acted movie. It was a movie that made me think. It was an unconventional movie that deals with hard truths which most people would rather forget about. I am glad I saw it. I would recommend it to those who are prepared for it to be a hard movie to watch, and who don’t mind some nudity or scenes of violent death. I do not know if I will watch it again. It is still too raw in my mind to make that decision.

One of the things that the movie brought up to me (for those that don’t know, it deals with a missing soldier and his unit who have just returned home from the war in Iraq) is how under-prepared our soldiers are for what they face. They may be trained enough physically, but emotionally and mentally there is so much more going on than they are ready for. I do not know how to better prepare them. I don’t even have a clue how to begin. But I think that we need to do something about it.

We should be putting more money into the military, but not for more troops - we should be putting the funds into making sure the troops we already have are cared for, and are prepared for the horrors that is modern warfare. (I was not around to think this at the time, but I’m sure that this was needed in Vietnam, too. And I have believed for some time that it was needed for the Gulf War. And it is still something that seems largely ignored or swept under the rug.)

(Back to the movie…)

One interesting note was the underlying religious themes in the movie. The title seems out of place, until Tommy Lee Jones’ character starts telling the story of David and Goliath to Charlize Therone’s character’s son. He tells about how the battle took place in the valley of Elah, and how in order to beat Goliath, David first had to conquer his own fear.

And that seems to be the main focus of the movie, for me.

Not the mystery behind who killed Mike Deerfield (Jones’ character’s son), or why he was killed, or even what is pictured in the broken-up video clips Mike shot while in Iraq. Overcoming your fears and besting the monsters inside you… that is the real theme of the movie.