Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cook

Remember the heinous carrot-top who worked in the widower's kitchen? She had the job of cooking for a herd of kids left by her employer's fecund wife. This movie, Nanny McPhee, was a fairy tale with a few barbs.

It lampooned certain personality types and walks of life. Perhaps it is the Wizard's penchant for poking fun at his servants, victims, patsies, dupes, stooges and sycophants. In this movie, he couldn't resist a few jeers. But count on him to glorify witchcraft across the board.

Amid the charming bits, were leaks from the Wizard's mind. His screen writers are plugged into him. They bring his sentiments to art. Their movies expose the workings of their father's mind.

Let me explain. The Cook in Nanny McPhee is a blanket caricature of the enlisted military mind. Her creek doesn't run too deep and she is marinated in membership pride. So much so, it is mentally-crippling. Dam-near blinding. One can lead such people easily by the nose.

The Cook's one claim to fame is her stint in the ranks. Boot-camp brainwashing did a great job on her. She is exactly what they are aiming for. The express horse for the Wizard's harness. Someone who will focus on their job without asking too many questions or trying to analyse things. A trusting soul who does not project into the future (Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now). A follower who fears authority and does exactly what he's told. Someone who can be molded into the system easily. A loyal servant who takes orders and toes the line. A person who will "soldier on" in the harshest of environments, ready to die for his imperium. Easily contented, duped and led. Long-suffering, gullible, wide-eyed. A perfect beast of burden.

The Cook snaps to attention upon being reminded of her past military service. Her character then gives us a stark vista into the mind of her designer. He presents this caricature to flaunt what he thinks about the expendable "troops" under his control. How they are simple brutes, easily manipulated -- buffoons in uniform who march to his drum beat. He instills them with a sense of pride designed by his sociologists.

It's a kind of "school tie," if you will. Like those rings I saw at the base exchange after boot camp. They were made by the same company who makes class rings for high school and college students. The ring looked in all ways like a class ring, save it had the branch of service written on the top and sides. Designed to give one a sense of belonging and cast in affordable metal.

So the Cook gets misty-eyed remembering her military service. Suddenly she puffs with pride like a first-time hen parading her chicks in the barn yard. "Look at me! I used to be in the Army." Well whattaya know...

What came as an insult to me, when the Cook snapped to attention, was the blatant mockery that this screen writer made of my military service. How crisp, ironed shirts and straight gig-lines were, in one fell swoop, relegated to the rubbish heap. That this is what the Nasty Nexus "really thought of us." A herd of expendable, simple-minded brutes. Give them a few shiny buckles, stripes and badges -- and they'll march off any cliff you point to. Boot camp is hypnosis.

Which brings me back to Jeremy Boorda. Didn't he also start out in "This Man's Navy" as an E-1? I do believe so. He enlisted right out of high school like many of us. Got the full-on mind control in boot camp. Got yelled at. Humiliated. Intimidated. Injected with military bearing juice like the rest of us. And ends up as the Chief of Naval Operations right in time for Bosnia. If I had to speak for my Navy I'd say we loved him. He was well-regarded. Then suddenly discarded.

Anybody wanna tackle that one? Anyone? Well, here's what I think. If you buck the system it can cost you. Boorda was top Navy dog during a dicey time in our military history. I'm gonna let it go at that -- for now.

And sum this up with the military mind of Josh Stieber. In Iraq he was ordered to spray bullets in the direction of non-combatant children. He refused and got re-assigned to a non-combatant position.

Stieber puts an end to the Nanny McPhee caricature. Here is a man who clearly did his own thinking. He drew the line. And refused an order based on his moral compass. This elevates him to a rank that outshines today's Brass.

The Pentagon Brass march to the war-drums of the Wizard. Yet they hoodwink young men like Josh Stieber into killing and dying for them. They get their troops to march through mine-fields of "improvised explosive devices" attributed to al-Easter Bunny-the-terrorist whom we have yet to meet.

In the mean time the Brass gives orders for our guys to spray bullets at non-combatants and, according to Stieber, marches them around boot camp singing cadence about killing women and children.

Time for new Brass. I'm sure Jeremy Boorda would agree.