Monday, February 13, 2006

Missing Pictures & Jarhead

Drat! I was planning to have progress pictures today, plus Judy pictures (who can resist?), but my crummy camera was wiped clean. I did manage to bring my woven shawl with me to work, so I'll just post some pictures of that:

Doesn't that last picture make you a little dizzy? I can see some treadling mistakes, but...meh. Who cares?

I'll try to have other pictures tomorrow. That is, if I'm here. Len was really sick yesterday with some sort of stomach flu. Stomach flus are usually food poisoning, but I've heard of several people having been down with the same thing (nauseous, hot flashes, chills, achy joints, etc.), so I'm thinking flu. And now I'm starting to feel the same way. Might just be sympathy stomach problems, though.

Carrot wanted to know what I thought of Jarhead (which I finished quite some time ago, just so you know I am not the world's slowest reader, just the slowest reviewer).

Mostly, I thought it was very good. The parts I didn't like so much I think were editing choices I didn't really understand. Swofford tells a fairly long story of an affair he had with a Japanese girl; by this point in the book he has established his girlfriend back in the States as a cheatin' 'ho. I couldn't help but feel that the story was to say that maybe he was a bit of a 'ho too, but at least he was romantic about it, and anyway, he was overseas, so it didn't count the same way as a girlfriend cheating while he's overseas. Whatever. I found that whole story pointless.

Otherwise, something I find interesting about war novels/memoirs is how similar the experience is from war to war. Ultimately war is utter boredom, broken up by moments of sheer terror. The first Gulf War wasn't an exception. What was an exception was how bloodless on the American side the war was. Swofford makes it very clear,
gruesomely clear, that wasn't true for the Iraqis. He has some interesting speculations about the effect that difference has on him while he is there, then later when he is writing the book.

He is a smart guy and it is a smart book.

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