The Hurt Locker

OK, so it took me way too long to see this great film, and of course my first reaction is smart-assed. I was watching the scene where Lieutenant Sanborn and the crazy new commander are shit-faced drunk and punching each other in the stomach for fun, and I thought, “Wow, I take it back — men actually do play games with each other that are even more profoundly stupid than golf.”

But then I’m watching all the scenes with ‘the suit,’ and I’m thinking, hm. They only have one seriously armored suit per unit, and it weighs a shitload — the guy inside it dies because he can’t even run far enough to get to where the suit is actually good enough to protect him. The rest of the guys are running around with arms and legs apparently just covered in cloth; clearly they’ve got some body armor on, but their eyes are protected by sunglasses. Awesome.

I know, I don’t know dick about military technology — no more than I know about medical technology. But I’ve always had this little conspiracy theory about happy pills: if we weren’t such friggin’ puritans about not wanting anyone to feel pleasure, do you think we might be concentrating on actually having HAPPY pills instead of just pills that alleviate symptoms of abnormal mental states? Because, come on, even if you aren’t seeing Jesus or suffering double depression, most of life is not exactly elation. We have all these pills to alleviate psychotic delusions, depression, anxiety, whatever. So what’s stopping us having a pill that will make us feel seriously happy and free? Like being drunk or stoned, but without the cirrhosis and lung cancer. I have no proof, of course, but I still have the sneaking suspicion we could do it.

So now I’m starting to wonder about military armor. I mean, yeah, you want guys to be mobile, and the government, obviously, has a limited amount of money. But Jesus, I spent 300 dollars and got a computer with a webcam and everything else you could want, and it weighs two fucking pounds. We make spacesuits, for christ’s sake. A vacuum isn’t an explosion, sure, but it’s still a pretty extreme condition for an Earth creature. We have smart bombs too, right? Although we don’t hear about them that often anymore. Maybe they don’t actually work so well. Maybe the U.S. military is just throwing darts at a board, they way they usually have to do with psychiatric meds. I dunno, I just think… all this stuff we build. Why not better armor? Why not a healthy drunk pill? Is that too much money to spend on grunts? Is that too much happiness for good Christians to want without expecting harsh payback? I hope it’s simply that we can’t figure this stuff out, because those are some stupid fucking objections, if that’s indeed what’s holding us back.

Comments

  1. kaiheitai

    High explosives detonate at around 8,000 meters per second. It's hard to armor against that, even when the armor is a foot thick and rolling on tank treads.

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