Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Thin Red Line

The weekend I thought I would try to put the billion movie channels I pay for to my advantage and actually watch some. To my surprise, I have so far been able to watch my two of my favorite movies;
Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line. Both have their moments, but a certain part of The Thin Red Line really struck me. I almost stopped breathing, and my heart was pumping. I would say that I didn't cry a little, but I think I did.

The soldiers are in Guadalcanal and have just topped the hill and captured the small post there. As one of the soldiers is walking through and looking at the dead bodies, injured soldiers and prisoners (half crazy) the narrator says in his quiet slow voice

This great evil.

Where's it come from?

How'd it steal into the world?

What seed, what root did it grow from?

Who's doing this?

Who's killing us?

Robbing us of life and light.

Mocking us with the sight
of what we might have known.

Does our ruin benefit the Earth?

Does it help the grass to grow
or the sun to shine?

ls this darkness in you, too?

Have you passed through this night?

I turned the movie off, I couldn't watch it anymore. I sat and thought about this for a long time. I had a pop. I loaded garbage into the back of the Subaru and drove to the transfer station, still thinking about it. I came home and helped clean up the house, still thinking about it. I decided to talk with all of you about it.

Where does this evil come from. Whether our inclusion in any war can be justified, there was an evil at the root of the war. WWI, WW2, Civil, Revolutionary all of them. At their root is an evil. It is not always our evil, but it is an evil. Where does it come from?

Does our ruin benefit the Earth?

Does it help the grass to grow
or the sun to shine?

In our place, as part and parcel of nature, where does war fit? It is not a part of nature and life and serves no benefit.

I hope....that mankind will at length, as they call themselves responsible creatures, have the reason and sense enough to settle their differences without cutting throats...

~Benjamin Franklin

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official...

~Theodore Roosevelt


Markt said...

War is about resources, plain and simple - too many humans, too few resources. We talk about alot of other things, like freedom and security, but if we had everything we needed to survive, we'd never
invade anyone.

We'll be fighting wars up until the very end. Of this much I am certain.

Shane C. Mason said...


I think that you are partially right, but I think that I would add that many wars are all about power and less about resources. Certainly the Civil and Revolutionary war were more about resources. I am not 100% sure about WWII.

Colby N. said...

I think the high leverl way of putting this would be to say that war is about desire. Hell, all of human "evi" can be boiled down to desire. Joe desired to sleep with Ed's wife = adultery, Albert desired a nicer car = theft, etc. In the case of war, it is often just about the desire for more. Whether that is more power, resources, land, etc doesn't really matter much. It all feeds the same beast.

Montana Fem said...

Nice to know that these blogs provide such an introspective outlet. It was a pleasure reading your comments. It was more of a pleasure to relate.

Mark T said...

Generally, I cannot point to a war and say this war is about that particular resource - except in Iraq, plainly about oil. Vietnam had few actual resources, but was a domino (and stood in proximity to China) - state planners thought that if one third world country could throw off the yoke of imperialism, others would follow. In general, you can follow all wars back to control of resources, though sometimes the road is long, and sometimes the resources are not terribly significant. I mean, what did we gain in invading Granada except knocking dead marines in Lebanon off the front pages.

cunninG said...

humans are a predatory species. being the top of the food chain, we can only prey on each other to secure the proper evolution, the survival of the fittest. it is the natural order of things.