Willie Gillis, an ordinary guy, on The Satuday Evening Post.

Because I found these two articles so pertinent, and relevant, I would like to thank this cowboy, who is not posting since 2012, so I assume he might be somewhere else. If he is still alive, he can contact me, and ask me to delete his posts, or leave them, with his courtesy.

During the WWII years Norman Rockwell created a character named Willie
Gillis — an ordinary guy from a small town who joined the army.
Rockwell chronicled his experiences in the war in a series of Saturday Evening Post
covers.  After the war, he showed us Gillis returned to civilian
life — above you see him in college, on the G. I. Bill, having
survived and put on a little weight.

It’s a poignant image, for all it doesn’t say.  Gillis is
preparing himself for a “normal” life in post-war America, with his
pipe and his golf clubs — but the war souvenirs hanging over his head
suggest that he will always be haunted by memories out of place in a
“normal” world.

One of the virtues of Ken Burns’ newest documentary The War
is that it addresses the sort of post-traumatic stress disorder that
returning vets, and the whole civilized world on some level, suffered
in the wake of WWII.  For the vets it was peculiarly disorienting,
with feelings of triumph, guilt and shame all mixed up together.
It was not something that could be talked about in the world Willie Gillis was
trying to become a part of.

All of this I think reinforces my notion that it was in art, in film noir
particularly, that such disorientation could be engaged in a safe way,
a socially acceptable way.  You can read more thoughts on
the subject here.

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A Norman Rockwell for today

POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND FILM NOIR

World War Two was a “good war”.  America and its allies pulled together
and destroyed the Axis powers.  On balance, and in retrospect, it
has to be considered one of the great achievements of
humane civilization.  But human beings don’t live on balance or in
retrospect, particularly where war is concerned.  They live inside
the horror of it and it takes a toll on individuals and on societies
which can never be fully measured.

The upbeat spirit of American propaganda during the war, and the
genuine satisfactions of victory, veiled the true experience of the war
for millions — not just for those who fought it on the battlefields of the
world, but for those at home who lived in terror that their loved ones at
the front might never return . . . and of course, most especially, for those at home whose loved ones didn’t return.  On a broader level, anyone who simply witnessed
the spectacle of total war on a global scale, from whatever distance, had
to have experienced a soul-shaking anxiety about the fragility of all
social structures and cultural norms.

After WWII, the whole planet experienced post-traumatic stress disorder
— localized in this case by the fact of the atomic bomb, which ended
the war but left the world with a paradox that wouldn’t go away.
It took an act of colossal horror to finally “win” this good
war.  And the prospect of this horror being again visited on the
world was far from unimaginable.

We now know a lot more than we used to about post-traumatic stress
disorder and the ways it can be treated.  In the immediate post-war era, the
phenomenon was more elusive, and often unrecognized.  We made
meaningful social restitution to the veterans of the war, with measures like
the G. I. Bill — we reconstructed the devastated nations we
conquered.  But that just scratched the surface.

It was in art that the true psychic cost of the war was exposed and explored — nowhere more pointedly than in film noir.  The sort of trauma that engenders PTSD is identifiable by several characteristics — a sense of being out of control and confused, a sense of terror, a sense of being outside the normal realm of human
experience.  Is there a better description of the usual
predicament of the protagonist in a classic film noir?

PTSD on a broad cultural and societal level is what best explains the phenomenon of film noir, which on its surface is so mysterious.  Why should a triumphant
nation, after a great collective victory in a good war, have been
gripped by that mood of existential dread which informs so many Hollywood films of the post-war era?  Why should the most spectacular achievement of American arms have led to a crisis of manhood, a sense of impotence, a fear of powerful women
incarnated in the morbid fantasy of the femme fatale?

femme_fatale_by_kaceym

Film noir was a dream landscape where the buried costs of WWII could be recognized, reckoned and mourned, as a prelude to psychic recovery, or at least psychic survival.
Veterans of combat often report the difficulty of dealing with people
who have not shared their experience of it — people who can never
really know what it’s like.  Film noir, far more than the WWII combat film, was one of the few arenas of American life where the true legacies of war, its lingering moral and
psychological dislocations, could be engaged without apology or shame.

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Soldier Boys, keep the beat inside.

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Who can mend my broken drum
Will it be as good as new
I must play when morning comes
If I don’t, what shall I do?
He keeps the beat of marching feet
He keeps the beat inside
Spencer Morgan And Dieter Hedrick Are On Opposite Sides Of The War And Fighting For The Same Thing.
At the age of fifteen, Dieter’s blind devotion gets him promoted from Hitler Youth into the German army. Dieter’s determined to prove his allegiance and bravery all costs.
Spence, just sixteen, drops out of his Utah high school to begin training as a paratrooper. He’s seen how boys who weren’t much in high school can come home heroes, and Spence wants to prove to his friends and family that he really can be something. 
Their worst fear was that the war would end too soon — that they wouldn’t get the chance to prove themselves. But when they finally see the action they were hoping for, it’s like nothing they could have ever imagined.

Hello, bonjour Vietnam.

Hello, bonjour all Human Kindness 🙂

I have almost finished my book reading of “Tribe”. A few pages left. Thank you Sebastian Junger, and thank your Dad’s, for those inspiring conversations.

Me, too, I made a “new world” talking at the table with my daddy, when he left me express my thoughts, once in a while. He passed me all time heros like artists eg. Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, to endavours eg. Magellano, De Gama, Cristoforo Colombo. He made me love sport Champions eg. Jim Thorpe, and co-regional Marco Pantani, or wanting to visit Indian American Reservations and Tierra del Fuego with Southern Emisphere sky. We’ve been watching all time western and war movies, sharing Clint Eastwood’s icy look, and wanting to visit Normandy at all costs which I did.

Savonarola, Giordano Bruno and Erasmo da Rotterdam have been our best companion during our meals. Can’t miss Galileo, and Universe laws ( first famous story about the apple or second, actually lol ).

This song reminds me of that vietnam colleague, Nia ( wrong spelling ), who once told me how she ran for one month through Vietnam woods, in the night. Her mom left her at average 9-11, with a rice bowl, before saying goodbye. Oh, they met again, I guess years later. She lives and works today in Parisian region at housekeeping. She is quite a discrete woman, her accent is strong and I hardly understood what she was telling me. But I capted the most.

What shakes me most in my talking with asiats, is that there is no hate, no revenge against americans. This impressed me much. The asiats I know are pretty peaceful people and smiling persons. I wish you, all VA americans, to find that inner peace and forgiveness you deserve. We can change our story.

Like Galileo, we need to look at the Past from another perspective. Could you imagine that Earth was a ball? A blue dot? Could you say that there are more Gods? Which one is the Good one? Who holds the Truth? Governements lies are bullshits, so what? Can you make a choice for your Self? Today, I mean. Who fuc***, ok, who fucking bothers still of what happened 50 years ago? Isn’t time to move forward?

Are you still stuck in a viet wood? You know what? Nia did it. She was an innocent and she is alive, and sewing skirts for californian rangers. So, why couldn’t You? aren’t the guilty, the dirty, the ones who deserve more Self Love and Compassion?

Isn’t this the right time to release Anger out from your lungs? Spit on your grave, if you like, if you think it helps you. Or wouldn’t be nicer if you put a red rose on your cross?

I would. I like red color. Like blood, true love and roots chakra.

YOU were born to be American and Patriot, not me. My life, until now, got less meaning than yours, my sense of call and service is still strong, but look at YOU.

Be proud. Be fair to your Self. I wish you can recover and BECOME the best version of Your Self.

Knoe that, if you can’t forgive Your Self, nobody will, in your place.

Luv xx

 

Tell me all about this name, that is difficult to say.
It was given me the day I was born.

Want to know about the stories of the empire of old.
My eyes say more of me than what you dare to say.

All I know of you is all the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter’s roar.

One day I’ll touch your soil.
One day I’ll finally know your soul.
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello… Vietnam.

Tell me all about my colour, my hair and my little feet
That have carried me every mile of the way.

Want to see your house, your streets. Show me all I do not know.
Wooden sampans, floatings markets, light of gold.

All I know of you is the sights of war.
A film by Coppola, the helicopter’s roar.

One day I’ll touch your soil.
One day I’ll finally know your soul.
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello… Vietnam.

And Buddha’s made of stone watch over me.
My dreams they lead me through the fields of rice.
In prayer, in the light…I see my kin.
I touch my tree, my roots, my begin…

One day I’ll touch your soil.
One day I’ll finally know your soul.
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello… Vietnam.

One day I’ll walk your soil
One day I’ll finally know my soul
One day I’ll come to you.
To say hello…Vietnam
To say hello…Vietnam
To say xin chao…Vietnam.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Good Morning you all,

in my last days off work, I ‘ve decided to wake up, cosy and lazy, totally no hurry, and take a breakfast in bed.  Weather is still cold and snowy out there. Not only in France, but also in Italy, Wales and Canada. Wherever I have peers and friends, it’s white …

Don’t you find snow zen like?  It compells people to go slower, be careful on the way you march in, the shoes you choose, the way you drive. Being aware of what usually you are not taking the time to. Like breathing. Can you just take a moment to deeply breath the fresh air and just stare all around? And feel grateful to own a cosy apart where to cocoon in weekend days? or in the evening before sleeping?

When you feel alone, think of whom are outside, struggling with tough conditions and go and take a warm shower. It is divine.

I’ll suggest a good dessert or smooth, spicy hot wine, if it stays reasonable, and you are ok with your body, and watch one of these long lasting cult movies, that you will certainly hire with a license in a rental shop, …  or listen to this fab cello duo from Croatia, which I find absolutely CRAZY and AMAZING. You won’t think to classical music the same than before.

Enjoy your day.