The Surfin' Bird (Forty-two Years Later)
JULY 24, 2009 UPDATE, 493,106 views: So there's been a lot of debate, 2000+ posts: praising, lambasting, debates, jokes, stupidity... let me clear up some things... Foremost, I'm not taking a side. If you think I am, that's your own bias. None of these clips are from major news agencies; Not a snuff film, there was much more graphic footage. I did want this to make people think; I believe it has, and I appreciate the good ratings. It shows that a technically amateurish independent video can be moving, too.
Notes: The Trashmen's Surfin' Bird (1963) was an ode to Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. Not sped it up because I'm not Kubrick. Sound quality is poor because I wanted there to be a feeling of grit, anguish. Song was not chosen to be 'comical', rather as a greater 'human tragedy', nonsensical.
1. LBJ --parallels to today. I'm not saying it IS Vietnam, that would be simplistic at best. I'm saying that history sometimes rhymes, I see a rhythm. Politicians are far away from the realities of the soldiers, too.
2. Baghdad Iraq before the war; during. Demonstrates how civilians are at stake; 'shock and awe'.
3. Soldiers duck from shrapnel. Danger of battle even from a distance. Make yous think twice when you read 'wounded from shrapnel.'
4. Don't know why they were firing at the bus. Do you? Does it matter in the end?
5. Closer on the bus -- to show it was Americans shooting. Whole video of this bus shooting is fairly long. I didn't want people to think it could've been anyone firing.
6. Local army recruitment poster.
7. Soldier by a tree taking R&R. It's not all fighting.
8. Scope of the landscape.
9. Blurred traffic -- Iraqi civilians feels blurred from outsiders' perspective.
10. US Military firing on insurgents. Power of modern warfare. Faceless enemies.
11. US soldier crouching. taking a shot next to a tank -- how a man and his unit must operate together.
12. Soldier's fooling around -- poignant because the soldiers are young, energetic. Downtime. Boredom that can occur is universal for all wars.
13. An Iraqi translator -- cooperation of Iraqis and Americans.
14. Huge explosion. Imagine with sound? heat?
15. Climbing the tough terrain -- physical obstacles soldiers frequently encounter.
16. American soldier after Battle in Fallujah. Potentially most famous picture of the war.
17. Coffins. This is what the media is generally not allowed to show, unlike Vietnam. Man in front's face is blurred because it represents how to civilians, perhaps, these coffins are faceless.
18. Sandstorm -- different world than America.
19. View from above. American technological power.
20. Helicopter, humvee, soldiers; combined warfare.
21. Convoy starts out dark, traveling somewhere -- where?
22. I believe this is a shot of Iraqi weaponry when Baathists were engaging troops in 2003.
23. Same convoy, a little lighter...
24. American bombs, air superiority.
25. The convoy, lit so you can see, slows.
26. Terrorist video of humvee bombing. IED, the enemy's most powerful weapon. Covert enemy. It's not exploitative because no Americans are shown dead, no date is given, and throughout the film Iraqis are shown dead, too. This is respect for the troops to show what they're up against, even with the best technology in the world.
27. Americans dressing wounded soldier. Teamwork. Professionalism. Protecting the man next to you. Also, not a matter of dead or alive, many wounded; and with modern technology more survive.
28. convoy is followed by another. Anti-climactic, long; there is no ending yet...
29. Ernest Hemingway quote. 'Sacrafices' should be 'sacrifices.' Not about right or wrong; simple inhumanity. An array of emotions.
Why do our reporters hold back? Should this footage be readily available? Why does CNN think kicking in doors is good video reporting? The Army doesn't need to censor reporters, the reporters are already censored; self-censorship or maybe the broadcasters feel viewers can't handle strong images... I find the journalistic environment troubling. Regardless of politics, Americans support the war, voluntarily or involuntarily through tax dollars, and consequently we need to see reality. We don't. I think that's a crime within itself. All the rest is commentary.