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July 26, 2007

Beauchamp's Screen Test

One of his first, and finest, dispatches from Baghdad. Experience the horror of war as a sergeant orders a troop to kill a child, in a scene lifted straight out of Full Metal Jacket:

"Shit, I don't know...put a 556 in his head"

On the street below the mans brown face dissolves into a thick red mist. The lights in the cities houses shut off in unison. Elecricity rationing. Water rationing too. You ever tried to survive for more than a few hours in hundred and twenty degree weather without water? In the streets the kids bodies start convulsing in semi-orgasmic rhythms. Their pants fill up with shit and piss and the smart ones sneak out to the fields to hidden caches of water jugs and trinkets of candy from the american soldiers.

"See that sarge, kids digging or something?"

"Well, better safe then sorry. Cap his ass Leclaire."

"You sure sarge?"

"Well, im either right or wrong. And if I'm wrong im still right because i could have been right even though i was wrong."

They watch the sliver of red sun fall slower and slower, silhouetting the little barbarians falling bodies. The Chaplain turns and walks back towards the FOB in contemplation. Gotta rack out early tonight. Handing out bibles in the marketplace tomorrow, early. Unintelligible rap blares out of the open doors of the HUMVEE.

Wait, did I say that harrowing account was from Iraq? My bad. It was actually written before he took a step into Iraq.

Now, I'm pretty sure he wasn't passing that off as a true journal entry; I'm pretty sure it was intended as a creative writing exercise.

But, as Goldfarb notes, he certainly seems to have his narrative -- and the sorts of details he'd be seeing and reporting -- formed well in advance of actually arriving in Iraq, doesn't he?

Did he need to make up the running-down-dog stories because his janitorial and maintenance duties just weren't affording him the dramatic, searing experiences of being forced to kill a child by demonic Sgt. Tom Berenger as he had hoped?

Let me ask again:

Is a dude who, in trying to make his blog interesting (apparently via the crowd-pleasing technique of purple prose), resorts to dunderheadedly derivative
fiction really the kind of guy you want to make your Baghdad Diarist with no fact-checking whatsoever?

It's time for a fucking contest, baby.

Herewith begins the Beauchamp-Litton Awards for the purplest, most absurdly melodramatic and/or plainly plagiarized "war narratives" you can imagine.

Ladies and gentlemen, get your creative juices rigorously edited and fact-checked reportorial juices flowing.

I hereby declare all of you -- every man Jack among you, and every lady Jane as well -- the official Ace of Spades HQ Baghdad Diarists.

Just make shit up -- don't worry, there will be no fact-checking whatsoever!

Just like at TNR.


Bonus Points! for combining your super-tough Cong-killer thousand-yard-stare personas with thoughtfully liberal sentiments like this:

Every morning I get up and say I'm Scott Beauchamp, in the army, living in Germany, and this is my life, and I'm going to be treated like shit today and do landscaping and janitorial work and practice killing people and there could be no other way to appreciate what I had or what I'm going to have once I get out other than enduring this now when all I really want to do is teach history and lay around and read and hustle around and repair the world (tikkun olam) and sift through knowledge and improve culture and learn how to sail and work in soup kitchens and start a family and really, I mean REALLY study the best the western civilization has to offer and facilitiate the mystery and power through everything I do, but I cant do it without getting through this army experience first, which will add a legitimacy to EVERYTHING i do afterwards, and totally bolster my opinions on defense, etc, and of course its making me a lot less lazy, just because im not use to being lazy any more, etc.

Repair the World (Tikkun Olam). Go and do likewise, gentlemen.

He wanted to be a history teacher? Christ, even his real life aspirations are cribbed from Saving Private Ryan.

"Hey sarge you gotta give me a minute here on this thing we're doin'..."

For inspiration. Get to it, most rikki-tik.


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posted by Ace at 07:57 PM

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