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Sociology and soldiers...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Sheep Man, Dec 15, 2002.

  1. Ok guys, I'm studying for my sociology final now...or...I was, but now I'm posting here.

    Anyway, there's this one sentence in the chapter about war that just disturbs me to no end, and it also seems to go against everything I've read from all you servicemen and ex-servicemen.
    I just thought I would share this with you guys, and...while I would be more than willing to regurgitate this information on my final, should there be a question on it, but I would also like to know what you guys think/feel about it all.
  2. Ahh but if they are refferring to male soldiers then that line is stating the obvious. I mean males would be aroused by anything heehee


  3. pigpen02


    Mar 24, 2002
    so many acts of violence can be "read" as metaphors for male penetration. think: knives/swords/bullets=penile penetration; i.e. "i'm gonna stick this in you...."

    war is a metaphor for a gangbang. i can see it.
  4. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    No man prays for peace more than the soldier.
    For he alone bears deepest the scars and wounds of war.

    Something like that.

    In the face of battle, if you are not willing to lay out all you have, it may not be an issue of questioning your manhood, but risking your survival.
    You don't go into conflict looking to be a hero...that's a quick way to die. But in any combat (on a battlefield or in a dark alley) if you are not prepared and don't have the instinctive urge to eliminate the threat you are likely to be killed. If you are prepared (physically, mentally, philosophically) you have to somewhat look forward to doing the deed.

    I said somewhat. If you don't embrace that moment at all, and are prone to want to avoid it, you will lose any advantage.
  5. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    This shouldn't be disturbing. Especially in a pampered, civilized society, people (generally men) seek ways to test their mettle. Doesn't a part of you wonder, "Would I stand up to the test?" (I wonder too, but am in no particular rush to find out). As for the excitement, people ride rollercoasters or bungee jump to get the same kind of rush. There's a reason why recruiting ads don't show the guy who hands out basketballs at the gym. :)

    You're reading too much into it. It doesn't mean, "Killing people gives soldiers a woody." But they ain't in it for the pay.
  6. A soldier with a woody would have a second option for fixing his bajonet ... :D
  7. I guess I can see your point, but there's something about the thought of killing another person, even from afar, that I really don't know if I could do. I'm sure if I was faced with a decision I would much rather pick a guy off from a distance, but if it got to the point of hand-to-hand combat...I don't know.

    Provided, I don't have any past military training, so I guess I can't really say for sure how I would act and/or react in a wartime situation as a soldier.
  8. If you go back to WWII and earlier, it was a question of survival of one's homeland. Okay, everyone understands that most people don't want to kill anyone at anytime, but, it was made pretty clear to all soldiers on all sides that if they loose the war they were fighting in, perhaps thier own family would be enslaved or killed. Also, I think that any kind of pacifistic ideals you may have would go right out the window after you see a close friend of your's killed. I don't think you can kill someone you don't hate, so in war, you learn to hate. Another thing to consider is that if you were a "nobody," you could become a hero for life charging an enemy position and saving your friends, if you lived. I've also heard it said that only a young man can fight a war. As you get older you understand first hand about children, life and what destruction really means. You have too much life experience in your frame of reference.

    Sadly, I don't think war is going to go away anytime soon. :(

    Mike J.
  9. In a war killing is a matter of survival, you kill the enemy before he kills you, it's that simple ...
    If you hesitate, you'll probably end up dead.
    There is absolutely no time to stop and think in a combat situation, you instinctively do what you were trained to do (and squeezing a trigger isn't really that hard) ... or you hesitate and you, or one of your friends get shot, possibly killed.

    Anyway, to get back to the subject, I saw a documentary on TV about this, there were interviews with Vietnam veterans who admitted they eventually got a kick out of killing. (they all puked their guts out after the first time)
    One of the vets actually said it was a rush that was as good as sex.

    The army and the soldiers also have an "interesting" vocabulary that depersonifies everything.
    They never "kill", they grease 'em, waste 'em, take them out, ...
    The enemy are krauts instead of Germans, gooks instead of Vietnamese people, ...
    They don't even use bullets, they fire rounds.
    They never order you to "go and kill those people", they order you to "engage the enemy".
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Please don't take the following as an attack, I will try to be as nice as possible.

    Please, if you don't know what it's like to see this stuff, or train for this stuff, or make decisions that can cause men to die, don't talk about my vocabulary, or what I feel when it's time to make that decision.

    You don't know, and you can't possibly know, what it's like. You can't fathom what it's like to order a friend to find out if the air is really free of chemicals. There is no earthly way for you to understand the gravity of telling an 18 year old boy who looks to you for guidance to "move out and draw fire". You don't know, and you should thank whatever higher power you believe in that don't.

    And if you do know, my hat's off to you. To us, and those like us - damn few left.
  11. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    word, jon...

    we do what we have to do in our own unique situations. check out maslow's hierarchy of needs an look at the very bottom. that's where we are when faced with combat. i hope to god that i never hear "man battle stations missile for strategic launch, spin up all missiles" but you better believe with everything you're worth that i'm going to go like hell when it comes time to put the hammer down. ask any serviceman that, and i'll guarantee that you will get a similar answer.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    You got it, `toon, but I think part of my point was lost.

    Don't tell me it's about hate, because it's not. It's about duty, it's about those we love. It's about what's right, commitment.... a lot of things.

    But it ain't about hate.
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    How do you guys in the armed forces feel about Sean Penn going to Iraq to 'investigate the situation for himself'?
  14. Time to set a few things straight :

    It was never my intension to describe how combat feels, I wanted to make some comments from a sociological / psychological perspective.

    It was never my intention to condemn the vocabulary the army and soldiers use either, I realise that is normal and even necessary for the men to be able to function as soldiers and keep their sanity.

    War is the closest thing to hell you'll find on this earth IMO and I have the upmost respect for ANYONE who has gone through it.

    I sincerely apologize to any combat soldier whom I may have offended with my comments.
    I'm sorry and I'll shut up now.
  15. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL

    i couldn't have put it more eloquently...i feel a whole lot better about what i do and the possibilty of what i might be faced with knowing that my wife and two kids can sleep under the blanket of safety and security provided by myself and my shipmates, fellow airmen, soldiers and marines.
  16. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL

    hey, george...we understand, man. it's just a really soft spot for us, that's all. no need to apologize...now, if i ever see you at target, wal-mart or the mall parking lot with a big sign over your head, you're gonna catch the third degree, k?
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to feel the same - when I was young I often wondered whether I could kill anybody if it came to "him or me" and used to have a recurring dream about whether I could actually stick a knife in another person if it was the only way to avoid being killed myself.

    Nowadays - the only way I want to be tested, is on stage with good musicians and being able to "cut it", as in being up to the job!! ;)
  18. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Give him a break guys. This doesn't sound like criticism to me; just repeating what he's heard, and for the most part, it's true. And even if he were critical, I think we should be able to withstand the scrutiny (try to block my car trying to get on base though, and I'll run your tie-dyed, pacifist @$$ over). ;)

    Although most military professionals don't get their rocks off killing people, there is no question the services attract a certain percentage of guys who just want to blow stuff up. Let's not bend over backwards with the "duty, honor and country" stuff. There are plenty of morons with questionable motivation in uniform too.

    And any comments made so far are about professional soldiers, and don't really address conscripts or those pressed into service. It may not be about hate FOR US, but for the guys just to the north of me (and lately, those surrounding me), hatred is a very big part of the equation.
  19. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    "Death...what do you all know about Death?"
    SFC Barnes, PLATOON

    "I'd prefer you just say 'Thank you' and be on you way." COL Jessup, A FEW GOOD MEN
  20. neptoon

    neptoon Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2000
    Melbourne, FL
    ya know, Zulu...when i saw this post, Col. Jessup's trial in "A Few Good Men" came to mind