The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9359   Message #61256
Posted By: Neil Lowe (inactive)
04-Mar-99 - 10:06 AM
Thread Name: Songs about Vietnam War
Subject: RE: Songs about Vietnam War
One of the most interesting aspects of threads is how they evolve over time and metamorphose into something the originator may have not originally intended....

I've been following this one with particular interest, for, although I was too young to have participated in the Vietnam travesty, I was old enough to have been affected by it, having spent 16 of my first 18 years (if you take the "official" beginning and end of U.S. involvement in the "police action" as 1959 to 1975, respectively - isn't that what's listed on the Wall?)under its auspices. So I remember having it piped into our living room via the modern miracle of television, with fresh footage each night of operations under way and field reporters with cameras rolling, crouched down with a soldier asking "How do you feel about the war?" just as he pops out from behind his cover to squeeze off a few rounds at an invisible enemy.

Observationally speaking, the journalistic visual media may have had as much to do with turning popular sentiment away from the war as the various forms of protest, maybe more so. As long as Middle America could be fed the idealistic pabalum "at the end of a long newspaper spoon," as William Burroughs put it, minus the imagery, we could insulate ourselves from the obscenity of war and instead mentally run little video clips of John Wayne-type acts of heroism to pacify our worried minds. But start broadcasting images into the home of shirtless and bandaged young men being medivac'ed out of some hot spot and Mom and Pop start to realize, "Hey that could be our little Johnny." Then all the romantic notions of "just causes" and righteousness begin to fade, as does the support for putting U.S. troops in harm's way. It's notable that there was a media blackout for the invasion of Grenada, Panama, and the Gulf War. I guess the warmongers learned their lesson well.