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BS: Band of Brothers

Amergin 13 Apr 04 - 08:22 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 04 - 08:25 PM
GUEST,fred miller 13 Apr 04 - 08:37 PM
Little Hawk 13 Apr 04 - 08:44 PM
michaelr 13 Apr 04 - 10:24 PM
Amergin 13 Apr 04 - 10:59 PM
freightdawg 14 Apr 04 - 04:45 PM
Once Famous 14 Apr 04 - 05:20 PM
steve in ottawa 14 Apr 04 - 05:23 PM
C-flat 14 Apr 04 - 06:26 PM
Shanghaiceltic 14 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM
Gareth 14 Apr 04 - 07:00 PM
michaelr 14 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,Fred Miller 14 Apr 04 - 07:35 PM
freightdawg 14 Apr 04 - 09:08 PM
Once Famous 14 Apr 04 - 09:21 PM
Strick 14 Apr 04 - 09:28 PM
s6k 14 Apr 04 - 09:51 PM
michaelr 14 Apr 04 - 11:28 PM
steve in ottawa 15 Apr 04 - 11:13 AM
Amos 15 Apr 04 - 12:13 PM
Once Famous 15 Apr 04 - 04:19 PM
freightdawg 15 Apr 04 - 04:30 PM
michaelr 15 Apr 04 - 04:53 PM
Big Mick 15 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM
michaelr 15 Apr 04 - 05:36 PM
Big Mick 15 Apr 04 - 05:57 PM
Shanghaiceltic 15 Apr 04 - 07:27 PM
dianavan 16 Apr 04 - 03:51 AM
Steve in Idaho 16 Apr 04 - 03:02 PM
freightdawg 16 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM
Steve in Idaho 16 Apr 04 - 04:10 PM
steve in ottawa 16 Apr 04 - 04:14 PM
Shanghaiceltic 16 Apr 04 - 08:56 PM
steve in ottawa 16 Apr 04 - 09:33 PM
dianavan 17 Apr 04 - 02:51 AM
steve in ottawa 17 Apr 04 - 12:53 PM
dianavan 17 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM
steve in ottawa 17 Apr 04 - 02:43 PM
GUEST,robomatic, not logged in at the moment 17 Apr 04 - 04:59 PM
Megan L 17 Apr 04 - 05:27 PM
Amergin 17 Apr 04 - 06:14 PM
steve in ottawa 17 Apr 04 - 06:58 PM
Shanghaiceltic 17 Apr 04 - 07:40 PM
ranger1 17 Apr 04 - 08:31 PM
freightdawg 17 Apr 04 - 09:32 PM
Shanghaiceltic 18 Apr 04 - 02:09 AM
Risky Business 24 Apr 04 - 11:55 AM
ranger1 25 Apr 04 - 09:51 AM
Shanghaiceltic 25 Apr 04 - 06:23 PM

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Subject: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Amergin
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:22 PM

On the History Channel they're showing this wonderful miniseries done by Tom hanks and Steven Spielberg about Easy Company in World War Two...apparently it is based on a book by Stephen Ambrose. It is very well done. Has anyone else been watching it? Or did you watch it when it was on HBO originally?


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:25 PM

Yeah, I rented the videos a while back. It's quite good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: GUEST,fred miller
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:37 PM

saw the videos too. The couple of books I've read were good too, but every second page quotes Faulkner's "endure and prevail" line, which gets tiring.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 08:44 PM

Hmmm. That's what the Germans figured on doing too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: michaelr
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 10:24 PM

Wasn't "Saving Private Ryan" enough gore, guts and glory for those two?

I get no enjoyment from war movies, even if they claim to be anti-war.

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Amergin
Date: 13 Apr 04 - 10:59 PM

Well, this one is about Easy Company...a company of American paratroopers...and it is based on fact....one of the more interesting points about it is that at the beginning of the episodes they have a few fellows who were actually in Easy Company describe they're experiences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: freightdawg
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 04:45 PM

Amergin,

If you can, buy the boxed set. My wife got me the set for my birthday one year. I believe it is 10 dvds in length, the last one for special interviews, "the making of" etc. You are right. Each show begins with an interview of a few of the dozen or so Easy Company soldiers that are highlighted throughout the series. The amazing thing to me is how many survived from D-day through to the capture of Hitler's Berchtesgaden retreat. One really touching scene in the final dvd is where they have a couple of the soldiers walking through the very same forest at the very same spot outside of Bastogne where so many of the company were killed or wounded. (If it wasn't Patton, some other wag called them "the battered and bloody bastards of Bastogne." To a man, they reject the idea that they were "rescued" by Patton.) Two scenes are just spellbinding to me. One was of a speech made by a German commander to his troops following his surrender to (Col., I believe it was) Winters at the end of the war. The other was of the men of Easy Company coming up on a Nazi concentration camp. I feel that these scenes are, along with the rest of this mini-series, history telling, movie making, and sincere message provoking at its finest.

It is a real national tragedy that so many of this WWII generation is dying without someone like Spielberg/Hanks to tell their story. The soldiers are too reticent (for many reasons, some obvious, some hidden), and for every WWII soldier we lose we lose a veritable goldmine of wisdom, courage and duty.

Make no mistake war is hell. But the men who fought them for me so I could sit at this computer and not have to worry about Hitler, or Stalin, or Hussein, or bin Laden, are my heroes.

I LIKE TO HONOR THEM BY LISTENING TO THEIR STORIES AND BY LETTING THEM KNOW THAT I FOR ONE RESPECT THEIR SACRIFICE!

MichaelR, you are not supposed to get enjoyment from watching these films. They are made to educate, to challenge, to provoke, to honor, and to pay tribute. Why does everything in your life have to be about enjoyment? Have you ever once, in your whole life, made just one tiny, insignificant sacrifice for another human being? Something that was not enjoyable, something that actually cost you more than the price of a six-pack of beer? How about a missing limb? How about watching your best friends die one by one? How about watching your blood pour out onto the frozen landscape of a place you could not even pronounce it's name, knowing that all your mother would get was a lousy telegram and a flag folded three cornered? That is the story of the Band of Brothers, from every conflict that this country has ever been engaged, and from their distant brothers in any conflict ever fought.

Proud, and humble, to live in a land of Freedom bought and paid for by the blood of true patriots....

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 05:20 PM

Bravo Freightdawg. so well said!

I watched this originally on it's first showing with my son, who is now a history major at college.

My son is extremely well read on World War II and just may be end up one of those "go to historians" 10-20 years from now when there is no one left who were there to tell the story.

Spielberg and Hanks. These are men of integrity who documented this story.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 05:23 PM

Watching a war movie ought to be like singing a sad song. And there'll always be lots of people who hate sad songs, and can't figure out why anyone would ever create a new sad song.

Something that amazed me though: I knew a guy who simply loved Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. The film was clearly anti-war, but he thought it made the idea of being part of a small squad of dangerous men seem really great. He joined the Canadian Forces/Army. No matter how clearly you say something, a few people will always take it the wrong way.

My mom saw Platoon and where I'd seen an anti-war show, she wondered why the protagonist had to be portrayed as a great fighter -- for example, there's no such glorification in All Quiet on the Western Front.

Band of Brothers is on 4 DVDs for the ten episodes. It's expensive. It's great. Phone around. There's probably a video store in town that rents it. At the very least, tape the show; The History Channel kills everything with its commercials.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: C-flat
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 06:26 PM

It was shown on UK TV some time ago. I thought it was extremely well done, without glamourising war, and showing the heroes of "easy-company" as ordinary men with the fears and failings of ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances.
It did make me wonder how I would have coped myself had I been born into that generation. Not a thought I would wish to dwell on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 06:52 PM

I saw it on HBO here in China and also bought the boxed set and then read the book.

I thought it gave a very sympathetic look at the lives of a group of ordinary men who came to reaslise that there was a fair chance that they would die in Europe yet still carried on and did what they had to do.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Gareth
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 07:00 PM

The Late Proffesor Ambrose is always worth reading.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 07:10 PM

Freightdawg -- it's not nice to shout.

"Proud, and humble, to live in a land of Freedom bought and paid for by the blood of true patriots...."

I was going to say "you gotta be kidding me" but I know you're not. And I'm not going to start an argument that will get me clobbered by the many veterans and friends/relatives of vets around here. Let's just say I have a different view of the value of military service, as well as the so-called freedom America enjoys.

No, not everything in my life has to be about enjoyment. But the time I spend in front of the TV better be! My news, learning and information come from different sources.

"...the men who fought them for me so I could sit at this computer and not have to worry about Hitler, or Stalin, or Hussein, or bin Laden [italics added], are my heroes." Does that include Bush and Rumsfeld? Wait, don't tell me...

Cheers,
Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: GUEST,Fred Miller
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 07:35 PM

It's a very good series and I "enjoyed" it more than Saving Private Ryan--which I liked, but which made me a little queasy with it's Spielbergy movie antics.

Some people enjoy The Hours, but I get tired of waiting for self-absorbed people to kill themselves. I liked the play "night mother" once, but then have had the same problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: freightdawg
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 09:08 PM

MichaelR,

No, it is not nice to shout. Sometimes, though, nice gets you nowhere and the older I get the angrier I get when it appears that "freedom of speech" applys only to those who want to trash the government or any of its associated agents.

And so, occasionally, I will shout, just to be heard.

I wonder which of America's freedoms you refer to as "so called."

Walk among the graves at Arlington or Normandy and tell the ghosts they died for "so-called" freedoms. Look over the field where Pickett led his charge and tell the "honored dead" they died for "so-called" freedoms. Look at your reflection in the Vietnam memorial and speak to the memory of the more than 55,000 names inscribed there that they died for "so-called" freedoms.

You see, "Saving Private Ryan" and "Band of Brothers" were produced to tell you exactly what you do not want to hear. It is obvious that you have avoided the message completely.

And yes, for the record, I am proud of Pres. Bush. He acted to take out bin Laden and Hussein. He acted to remove the seeds of terrorism before another 9/11 could happen. He did more in 18 months in office than Pres. Clinton did in 8 years, despite all the attacks against the U.S. that Clinton could have and should have answered.

And don't whine about the course of this new war. I will admit that mistakes have been made, lives lost that should have been protected. If any of us were perfect this whole thing never would have happened to begin with. But I will stand shoulder to shoulder with any president, Democrat or Republican, that puts the safety and security of the U.S. over any political risk he might face in calling for a military action. That includes, by the way, Pres. Kennedy in his sending troops to Vietnam. That war was bungled too, to be sure. But Kennedy was President of the United States, not one party or the other.

From "Schindler's List" to "Saving Private Ryan" to "Band of Brothers", Spielberg and/or Hanks are trying to get us to own up to and to be a part of our past. Only by owning our past can we intelligently alter our future. I thank them for at least making the effort.

By the way, if you watched the final dvd in the boxed set of "Band of Brothers" you might understand a little bit more of what I and others in this thread are talking about.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 09:21 PM

Freightdawg, MichaelR didn't see the movie nor has he got a clue what the ending was about.

Who are your heroes for any freedom you might enjoy, MichaelR?


I think you just might take a little too much for granted. Tell you what. On the upcoming Memorial Day holiday, don't even think about the meaning of the day. You probably won't, anyway. Just sleep late and have a beer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Strick
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 09:28 PM

It is kind of hard to understand your attitude, MichaelR. Not liking graphic war movies or the current war is one thing. Maybe we miss understood you.

American Cemetary


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: s6k
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 09:51 PM

band of brothers is an extremely well made and entertaining series.

We recently bought the DVD set of this, in the metal tin. it is 5 discs in length, with 2 episodes on each disc and extras. might be 6 discs, but to go downstairs and check this is too much to ask of me at the moment im afraid, lol.

Each episode is great, i especially like the 9th episode where they find a concentration camp.

It is absolutely worth watching if you can catch it on TV, if not it really is worth it to buy the DVD set.
It is like an extended Saving Private Ryan. each episode is an hour in length.

Great series, and even better because before each episode you actually see the characters that are still alive today talking about their experiences.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: michaelr
Date: 14 Apr 04 - 11:28 PM

Jeez, one can't even be a TV critic around here without getting jumped by someone...

Didn't I say I wasn't getting into this argument? It's pointless to try. The flagwavers never get it.

Martin, I make a point of having NO heroes. Setting ordinary people up for that is part of the problem, especially when you give them firearms to go along with it.

Have your Memorial Day, by all means. I'm not marching. Not now, not ever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 11:13 AM

Freightdawg: ...the angrier I get when it appears that "freedom of speech" applies only to those who want to trash the government or any of its associated agents.

Wow.

Freedom of speech IS the freedom to say unpopular things.

Put simply, the government has the most power; freedom of speech is usually only needed when criticizing those in power. Doesn't everyone know that?

They couldn't do that without fear in Elizabethan England. They can't do that in Iraq. They can't do that in China.

How can freedom of speech possibly apply to people who support the people in power? You don't need freedom for that.

I don't agree with MichelR, but I know plenty of people who do agree with him. Quakers, Mennonites, "Peaceniks"...one is tempted to shout at them for not facing the realities of the world, but really...what's the point? Pacifism is a survival trait, albeit survival as a slave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 12:13 PM

While the rhetoric in counterpoint is admirable -- if a little bombastic -- I want to point out that MichaelR is exercising a fully informed conscience, and doing it with courage, taking an unpoular position and holding it because he sees it as more truthful than the alternatives.

For that alone, he should be honored.

He has made it clear he is not going to get into the argument, so stop inviting him in -- or is it inciting? He is under no obligation to share his thoughts.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Once Famous
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 04:19 PM

In a sense I agree, Amos.

Doesn't really mean I have to respect his opinion, or make a comment that his fully informed conscience means jack.

There are criminals also who have "fully informed consciences" also.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: freightdawg
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 04:30 PM

Steve,

I agree with you 100% (well, maybe 99%) when you say that freedom of speech is freedom to say unpopular things. I was not refering to the government censorship of ideas (which is reprehensible), but to the "tyranny of the majority" that can stifle any legitimate disagreement, regardless of which side of the political spectrum it arises from.

I respect MichaelR's freedom to dissent from any opinion that I hold, including his appreciation, or lack thereof, of any Hollywood production.

I even respect his opinion (not stated, but insinuated) regarding military service. I might even respect it more if I knew on what principles it was based. I certainly do not respect cowardice, but I do respect principled pacifism (many of those who hold such beliefs do serve in the military - in medical or other branches).

What I cannot respect is his stated belief that some, or maybe even many, of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans are illusory or "so-called." I want him to list them. I want to know exactly what he is refering to. Once he joins that discussion, then maybe I can see where it is he is coming from and have a better understanding of his conclusions.

And, yes, he caught me on a bad day.

Amos, no Michael does not need to be honored. Respect might be a form of honor, and if so then I respect his freedom to dissent and to voice his opinion.

I feel though, especially in his last post, that he has no respect for veterans, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. He even dismisses those who disagree with him with the epithet "flagwavers don't get it." What is the "it" that I missed? And, unless I just misread his first post, he was being overtly critical of a series that another mudcatter really appreciated. Up to his post, all who responded were in basic agreement. Who started the "argument" if it was not Michael? It irks me when people start disagreements, and then get huffy because "everybody is so disagreeable." If an issue is strong enough to deserve your dissent, then at least have the courage to defend your convictions.

I think it was one of those fire-arm toting patriots that Michael is so contemptable of who said, "I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."

I just think Michael needs to respect those who HAVE died for his right to hold a dissenting opinion.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 04:53 PM

Thanks for the assistance, Amos. It was getting a little lonely out here!

Freightdawg -- I'm not going to list anything here. Just read any of the dozens of threads dealing with Bush's regime, and the general shredding of our democratic principles and freedoms they have overtly and covertly undertaken, and you should get the point. If you really want to.

And if you re-read my original post, you'll see I wasn't starting an argument, merely making a comment.

I'll leave the last word to President Dwight D. Eisenhower:

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 05:04 PM

michaelr, I thought maybe you would step up to the plate. Freightdog did jump you a little too quick, and I thought he over reacted. You do have a right to your opinion. But an obligation to stating it is to defend it. Otherwise it is a gratuitous assertion, and has no value to the discussion.

BUT..... freightdawg came back and laid out specific questions which are germaine to the discussion that you decided to jump into. Your response was to just dismiss that with "I'm not going to list anything here." At that point, you lose me. If your contentions were worth making in this thread, then the questions/challenges posed should be worth answering.

Anything less, and you come off as a lightweight who should have never stepped in.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: michaelr
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 05:36 PM

Yada, yada, yada... I was wondering how long it would take you to weigh in, Mick.

The discussion was about a TV program, and several who posted after me, such as C-flat, steve-in-ottawa, Fred Miller, s6k and shanghaiceltic, managed to keep it about that. Freightdawg, Martin Gibson, and now you, would like to make it about their contempt for people who don't believe in armed conflict, and you are using terms like "cowardice" and "lightweight".

I'm under no "obligation" to take your bait. Seems to me it's you who are looking for a fight (makes sense in the context, huh?), not me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Big Mick
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 05:57 PM

michaelr ... take a breath. I am not trying to bait you. I am following an interesting discussion. I thought you were doing well, and I agreed with those who defended you, in fact I was jumping in to do just that until I read fd's last post and your response.

By the way, could you point out where I used the term cowardice?

And as long as we are referencing past threads, mebbe you should look at past threads. You will find that I don't condone or promote blind patriotism. Neither do I condone those that dismiss veteran's as pawns. Both conditions indicate a lack of intellectuall depth, as well as being paternalistic. Each is as bad as the other.

Now ... back to the matter at hand. You made assertions, FD (when he got off his horse and settled down) asked specific questions. I am interested in your take on the issues he raised. You are correct that I don't agree with your stated positions, but I am interested in why it is you feel that way.

So, jump in or stay out. But in the future, if you don't want to get drawn in the discussion, then don't post. Or do, and get what you get.   

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 15 Apr 04 - 07:27 PM

One of the things that came across from the Band of Brothers, both the film and the the interviews at the beginning of each episode was the fact that these people were very ordinary men who joined up on 'short' term basis. They were not professional soldiers. None of them knew what was to come.

A walk through the War Graves in places like Caen or those above the actual beaches of Normandy is a very moving experience. The sight of rows or crosses beggars the belief that the landings were a success, but it was. So many landed and many died.

The only way they could attempt to survive in these conditions was not a belief in their government but a belief and trust in their comrades. The government was not around physically during their fighting. They had to rely on each other.

It is a strange thing that when you are involved in a conflict (I was in submarines during the Falklands War) you do not question what you are doing. You do your job and work as a team, you obey orders, that is how you have a better chance of surviving. It is only after it is all over do you begin to question whether it was just or not.

During the tense moments you just get on with the job.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 03:51 AM

Freightdawg - "But the men who fought them for me so I could sit at this computer and not have to worry about Hitler, or Stalin, or Hussein, or bin Laden, are my heroes. "

I doubt if these men died so you could sit at your computer and not have to worry. In fact, the freedom you value so dearly is not so obvious to the international community. You may believe it, but others think you are brainwashed into believing it.

If you do value it, you must be constantly vigilant in your homeland. Those guys dying overseas are dying for multinational corporations, not for you. Don't kid yourself, you cannot afford to be so appathetic. If you see oppression happening anywhere around you, speak out! Fight it! Don't expect others to do it for you.

This kind of nostalgia disgusts me. Yeh right! Never again? I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 03:02 PM

Well dianavan - unless you ask them you'll never know either.

We're all brainwashed in some form or another. It has always astounded me that those that seek peace are among the first to lash out at those who believe they have fought for it.

All in all it don't mean nothin. And if you have no heros - too bad - nothing to look up to means looking down a lot to me.

Just my .01 worth -

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: freightdawg
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 03:46 PM

Michael, It is interesting that you picked up on my disdain for cowardice, but not my respect for principled pacifism. Hmmmm.

Big Mick, thanks for the third party "officiating." While passionate, I did not think my response to Michael involved a foul, but I will stick my nose in the corner for the requisite time period. Sorry you had to get caught in Michael's crosshairs (I used the word cowardice, not you).

And Diana, you have so completely misjudged me I do not know where to start. I really do not care that "some" overseas think I am brainwashed. Some people who KNOW me think I am brainwashed, and it does not affect how I view life or how I make my decisions. The men and women who are dying overseas are not dying for big corporations. They are all volunteers who joined the military for a thousand different reasons, but if you speak to their families at the root of all of them there is a basic love of country, a desire to serve, and a feeling of duty to defend what they or their families have been given.

And to everyone: My uncle served in a B-17 in WWII. Back in 1994 or '95, he and his group were invited back to England for a reunion. One night a special dinner was held, and the fliers were all bussed to the location. It was raining, but as the pilots, navigators, gunners and bombadiers and their wives got of the busses they noticed two lines of older English gentlemen and ladies standing patiently along the path to the entry hall. Slowly, as the Americans walked toward the hall the Enlish men and women extended their hands and said "Thank you, yank." "Thank you, yank." "Thank you, yank." The English, who had suffered so much and had lost so much to the hands of the German air force, were there getting soaking wet just to shake some hands and to pass along a sense of gratitude to the Americans who fought as young men 50 years earlier.

That, my friends, is the meaning of the "Band of Brothers" to me.

So you can take your polital tripe and accusations of brainwashing and your other insinuations about my mental health and just.....sorry, Big Mick. I won't err again.

Freightdawg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 04:10 PM

Fd - my dad was in the 96th Bomb Group. Tail gunner. Flew his 25 missions and only had five aircraft shot apart on him. Credited with shared kills on a ME-190 and two ME-109s. He had a lot of respect for the Germans he fought against. He was a first generation German American.

Glad to hear you talk - you a Veteran?

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 04:14 PM

MichaelR: I'll leave the last word to President Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Many might say: "Every hour that I spend at work, signifies in the final sense, a theft from my family, from my friends, from my life." But employment sure is necessary for most people, just as protection is necessary for most nations. I can't imagine Eisenhower coming out in favour of disbanding the armed forces, so I must assume that the quote, by itself, misrepresents Eisenhower's views.

Personally, I think Michael is just fine stating his opinion but not arguing for it. It's not cowardly. The issues have more points on both sides than we are likely to possibly examine here; he doesn't have time, and I doubt he's heard anyone here whose positions might be softened.

As for cowardice, I respect that too, even though I realize the need to punish cowardice in the face of the enemy. Despite that necessity, it really IS harder for some people to face physical danger, just as it really IS harder for some people to risk social embarrassment. I've often wondered what was the primary motivator for many men going over the tops of the trenches in WWI: was it bravery, or sometimes merely fear of embarrassment? One most often hears that it's the absolute need to support one's buddies.

On topic: The second episode, the D-Day episode, was the best. One happy little technical note was when some people are sent out to capture some German 88s, they're shown as 105s? (not sure, but not 88s). Idiots! I thought. But when they get back, they report that the recon was wrong and that the guns were 105s, not 88s. Yay! -- the technical aspects were well handled.

And the combat looks terrifyingly quick. It's hard to see, the bullets are flying, you get no second chances, and even if you do everything exactly right, you can still die or fail or both. I can understand facing it once. But again and again and again, and the more you face it, the better you get, and the more you are called upon to do the most difficult tasks...

Fixed it for you, Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 08:56 PM

My father was a bomb and mine disposal officer in the RN. His last posting before he retired was down to the Falklands during the war there. He and his team disposed of over nine unexploded bombs which had hit our ships.

I once asked him if he had been scared. He replied that he and his team just concentrated on the job in hand and took support from each other. But after a particular bomb had been made safe then he would get the shakes.

During the cold war period our submarines were used for close in observation of the Northern Russian Navy Ports. We were always worried about the consequences of getting caught, but again it was the support of your fellow crew members that steadied you.

During the Falklands War our boat was depth charged we were all very very scared, none of our training had ever prepared us for that. But the black humour of many of our crew held us together.

That is why I think the Band of Brothers is a superb story, it shows what can happen when people work together and watch out for each other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 16 Apr 04 - 09:33 PM

Another superb film: Das Boot, The Director's Cut. The first-released US version ran 149 min. It's powerful. The German (director's cut) version runs 216 minutes and it's awesomely powerful. Like Band of Brothers, you get a sense of who these people were. I think Band of Brothers would have been more powerful for me if I'd seen it all at once, instead of dribbled out over ten weeks.

One of my favorite scenes in Band of Brothers (spoiler, this paragraph only...) is when the war in Europe is over and the commander volunteers to be transferred to a unit in Japan. He hates fighting. But he knows he's good and can save lives by going over there. His request for transfer is denied. Planning...I'll leave it a year and then see that series again. Great.

Shanghaiceltic, I'd never heard that any of the subs were depth-charged. I think the military should have let the press know that after the Belgrano was sunk. (And it seems amazing that a modern ship could get a depth charge close without also releasing any anti-sub torpedos into the water.) When was this news finally made public? and as a former submariner: was Das Boot any good?

As for your dad: wow. I seem to remember that one of those bombs went off. Very scary stuff. One Canadian's worst time after the Guld war was when disposing of a land mine beside some/a couple of kids. Bad enough to be risking your own life...

Another great series: Danger UXB.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 02:51 AM

There is something very wierd about discussing World War II heroes when the military is presently in Iraq.

My grandfathers, fathers, brothers, boyfriends and ex-husbands all served in the armed forces. They are my heroes. But I am not asleep at the wheel, watching nostalgia while the very freedom that these guys fought for is being eroded.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 12:53 PM

I drift into wierdness sometimes.

I don't think the films are nostalgic at all, but happily talking about appreciating them in the past is nostalgic. And I can see how that'd be offensive.

Sorry to all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 01:37 PM

Steve - You're free to discuss whatever you wish. By the same token, I am free to read what I wish. Please don't let me stop you. No apologies necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 02:43 PM

Just because I'm free to discuss it, doesn't mean I should be falling into such an enthusiastic tone, when I should remember there may be real people reading this thread with loved ones presently in harm's way.

Although I was a child at the time, I remember the serious tone stories of the Vietnam War always had on Canadian television. In contrast, once the statues of Saddam were torn down, stories of the ongoing war in Iraq have faded into an unreachable, hazy distance -- something most of us don't seem to want to contemplate, of no more consequence than the ongoing violence in Israel and its annexed territories.

I felt terribly guilty that Canada wasn't sending even a token force into Iraq, sharing some of the risk of terrorist reprisals, to stop Saddam from developing WMDs. Now that WMDs have not been found...I just don't know; I often avoid thinking about that war.

Thanks for the wake up call.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: GUEST,robomatic, not logged in at the moment
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 04:59 PM

I have the boxed set which I sent to my brother. Watching the series on history channel. It is actually not directed by Spielberg, but it has the same production values of Saving Private Ryan while in my opinion it is somewhat better because more based in reality and Spielberg, who I do like and respect, sometimes gets a bit obviously manipulative in his story telling.

I also am quite moved by the movie 'Full Metal Jacket' which is based on a short story called 'The Short Timers'. The author whose name escapes me at the moment, was a grunt in Vietnam, quite a good writer, but became a casualty of his own behavior some time after the war and about the time the movie was coming out. You can find his works published on the web.

I am a supporter of the current American actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, although I think that our current administration has been less than skillful in planning, executing, and above all EXPLAINING, why what we are doing is necessary. So I am not at peace, because HOW you do a thing is just as important as WHY you do it. I think that this is a rare time when we need great leadership and I am worried that our leaders don't have the right stuff. Nevertheless they're what we've got and I'm quite proud of the American troops in the field, and very respectful of the British efforts as well.

Another movie which has not been mentioned here, and in my opinion is an absolutely great flick about the realities of war in our time, is 'Blackhawk Down'. It is a faithful adaptation to the book by Mark Bowden, a journalist who laboriously assembled the facts of the matter, which had NOT been recorded or examined by the military, and turned it into a fascinating analysis of means and methods, and how a state-of-the-art military can be countered by a tribal alliance.

Whether one supports or condemns what our countries are doing right now, it is well to be up on the realities of what our men of arms are really up against.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Megan L
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 05:27 PM

"As for cowardice, I respect that too, even though I realize the need to punish cowardice in the face of the enemy."

Shell shock can do strange things to a man, what is cowardice. Mention was made elsewher about quakers etc whoes belifs precluded them from taking up the gun, would they be branded cowards? As a former member of both St Andrews Ambulance Asscociation and Scottish Red Cross I can say that many who would not take up the gun gave their lives right at the front tending the injured.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Amergin
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 06:14 PM

One of the things that I like about this show is that the story does not center around just one person...but it ceneters around the whole group....last night it centered around a medic at the frontlines of Bastogne in the cold of winter...short on ammo, bangdages, food, morphine, and warm clothing...it just amazes me that so many survived...

Some one mentioned the wonderful Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket....one of the interesting points is that the fellow who was the drill sergeant was an actual marine corps drill sergeant during the Vietnam War...and kubrick told him not to be gentle with them...but to treat them like he would his men. The sergeant now has his own show on THC called Mail Call. I like watching it every once in a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: steve in ottawa
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 06:58 PM

"As for cowardice, I respect that too, even though I realize the need to punish cowardice in the face of the enemy."

Sigh.

I should have said, a coward can still be a very good person; not every good person can be a good soldier. Moreover, one should not confuse those who refuse to fight for moral reasons, with those who suddenly freeze or flee when confronted by terrifying prospects.

As for punishment of cowardice in the face of the enemy, I think the basic idea is to persuade people who might consciously choose to freeze or flee not to do so. Those who truly panic do not deserve to be punished, but sometimes circumstances may require their punishment the for the good of the unit.

***

A Midnight Clear includes a very sympathetic treatment of shell shock.

I believe episode 6? of Band of Brothers shows the Battle of the Bulge through the eyes of one medic. Harrowing. The medic is very brave. One man develops shell shock as well. In episode 3? another man temporarily develops hysterical blindness.

Mrs. Dalloway includes a believable, sad, WWI shell shock victim, and his wife, a secondary victim.

I did not like Black Hawk Down, because it failed to emphasize that the fighting could have been vastly minimized had the American command had the forethought to ask coalition tanks to be ready to assist them, and because the boastful final words "19 Americans killed, estimated 1000 Somalis killed" made it sound like a brilliant victory, akin to the 1879 British victory at Rorke's Drift, instead of a ghastly cock-up by the American command. I left the theatre feeling angry.

And I am out of this thread forever and ever more. PM me if you want any clarifications.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 07:40 PM

Sorry bit of thread drift here. For Steve in Ottawa

Following the sinking of the General Belgrano on 2nd May, one of her two escorts Piedra Buena started a depth charging which lasted only a short time. Less than an hour but our Captain was already taking us deep and out of the way. We were not damaged but shaken physically and mentally. The Belgrano's second escort Hipolito Bouchard was damaged by one of the three topedos fired by Conqueror. The Mk8 torpedo had failed to explode. The two that exploded both hit the Belgrano.

There was no opportunity for a second attack in the circumstances as the Argentines were well aware of our presence. Chris Wreford-Brown was a very calm, cool and superb skipper who held the crew together on not only that patrol but on others north of Russia.

A bomb that exploded was lodged in HMS Antelope. This was being worked on by two Army Bomb Disposal Experts when it exploded as they tried to remove the fuse by a small explosive charge. One of the two men was killed outright the other lost his arm.

My father was busy at that point working on a bomblodged in HMS Argonaut's Seacat ready use magazine.

Das Boot is probably one of the finest films ever made on the subject of submarine warfare. The German casualty rate in WWII on submarines was 90%. Not good odds, so one has to admire the men who went on those patrols.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: ranger1
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 08:31 PM

My SO has been getting the series from the library tape by tape. I think it is an incredibly well done series. My grandfather was a private in the Italian campain, received a purple heart and a bronze star with a cluster. None of us to this day know how or why he received these decorations, because he refused to talk about the war at all. I like the series because it gives me a sense of what my grampa might have been through.

As to the ongoing argument, here's my two cents worth: I would be willing to give my life for my country and my freedom, if the cause were just, and that goes for enemies both foreign and domestic. And for the record, I am a fan of neither G.W. Bush nor the so-called Patriot Act.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: freightdawg
Date: 17 Apr 04 - 09:32 PM

Meagan,

Shell shock, at least in my estimation, can in no way be considered cowardice. And those to whom you refer as refusing to take up a gun, but serving their fellow humans by serving in the medic corp are true heroes, as far as I am concerned.

There are many, many ways one can serve his or her country and still be conscientiously opposed to bearing arms. These are not, nor should they ever be considered, cowards.

Yesterday, I watched the funeral procession of one of the Marines killed in Iraq earlier this month. Miles and miles of police cars, fire trucks and cars with American flags waving wound their way though the city of Albuquerque, NM. He was a proud husband, father, and American Marine. I honor his memory, and all of his fallen companions.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 18 Apr 04 - 02:09 AM

Shell shock was not properly recognised during WWI. As a result men suffering from this condition were treated as cowards and then shot by firing squad under the military laws.

In WWII it was treated much more sympathetically. There is a scene in BoB where one of the men is taken off the line after seeing several comrades blown up. It was the straw that broke the camels back.

Conscientious objectors were at times lambasted and given white feathers, however many did serve but no carry a gun.

Here are two pieces of verse that describe both.

In the Ambulance; Wilfred Gibson

Two rows od cabbages,
Two rows of curly-greens,
Two rows of early peas,
Two rows of kidney-beans.

Thats what he keeps muttering,
Making such a song,
Keeping the other chaps awake
The whole night long.

Both his legs are shot away,
And his head is light,
He keeps on muttering
All the blessed night:

Two rows od cabbages,
Two rows of curly-greens,
Two rows of early peas,
Two rows of kidney-beans.

The Conchie: R F Palmer

He came to the depot a figure of shame,
A 'conchie' refusing to fight,
Who said 'twas no glory to kill and to maim,
To see who was wrong and who right!

We thought it a slight on the Medical Corps
When they drafted a 'conchie' to us,
And thougth it an insult in that time of war,
A soldier should make so much fuss.

We called him a coward and laughed him to scorn,
Each evening when he knelt to pray,
We said he was yellow and should have been born
As a woman, but nought would he say.

In the African desert one hot August day,
When the fighting was heavy and grim,
A messenger came from headquarters to say
That our chances of survival were slim.

When darkness descended our stretchers we took
To bring in the wounded and slain.
Tho' Jerry was shelling, by hook or by crook
We went out again and again.

At last we finished our task for the night
We reported and answered our roll,
The 'conchie' was absent. We guessed that in fright,
He'd bolted and missed the recall.

Another day passed in the tropical heat
And when the sun sank in the west,
Another six miles we'd been forced to retreat
And the enemy gave us no rest.

As we lay under cover the following night,
And stared out across 'No Man's Land',
We saw in the glare of a stray Verey Light


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Risky Business
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 11:55 AM

Just So You KNow, history channel is repeating the series starting this Monday according to their self-adverts.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: ranger1
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 09:51 AM

Shanghaiceltic, I think there's a line missing from the end of "The Conchie." It was kind of like reading a really good book, only to discover the last page is missing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Band of Brothers
From: Shanghaiceltic
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 06:23 PM

Sorry about that. I am away at the moment in NZ and do not have access to the book of poetry it came from. But there is more. When I am back I will post the rest. I did do it but it seems to have been cut off.


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