GenKill Dialogue

The dialogue in GenKill sizzles with pop culture and homophobic references, racial slurs, sexual innuendo and even a little history. GenKill is reflexive in that it critiques its own narrative about the military, including its leadership. Most of the narrative is politically incorrect and irreverent. It appears, however, that the irreverence and political incorrectness act as primary coping mechanisms. These mostly young and some older men who make up this spear head group of Recon Marines prepared to go up against the “haji” seem trapped in a distorted realm of masculinity. Wright points out that these Marines are different from portrayals of WWII vets who appear on film and TV as patriotic, adult men who have found and taken their places in society. Wright’s Marines are the misfits, what he calls the “throw away” generation of young men. While the visuals of this desert engagement convey the horrors of war, they somehow don’t seem so devastating and horrendous amid the sexual, racial and off the wall banter of men trying to stay sane in an insane environment. One Marine (I’m having trouble identifying who’s who) makes a reference, “country music, homosexual, special Olympics gay.” Another said that the Marine mission is “semper gumby, always flexible.” Episode 2 makes reference to the Vietnam War with an accompanying remark “gotta respect the pajamas.” Still another admits that the Marines are “so homoerotic.” Another communicates that a cheap, vibrating thrill can be had if you lay with your “cock on the ground” when the tanks go by. Then there’s the social commentary – “Fifty percent of Americans are obese” and the dialogue goes on to identify them as white trash, poor Mexicans and Blacks. With a reference to incest, one Marine talks about “sister fucking” and “cross-eyed hicks.” Thai pussy is a subject for discussion as well as one Marine’s quest to finally shoot his gun and kill someone. These examples of dialogue cover up the fact that supplies are hard to come by, maps are unreliable and blame is carried on the lowest rungs of the military ladder. Religion creeps into the narrative in the form of Buddhism and Islam. One Marine chants “nam myoho renge kyo’ as he prepares to shoot an Iraqi. Another shouts, “as salaam alaikum” to young Muslim girls along the road into the city. One message comes across loud and clear and that is that the “white man got to rule the world … white man won’t be denied.” The topsy turvy world of the Recon Marines chooses the Corps over community college and for one Marine “messed up is the way I roll.” That the Marines are indeed in the cradle of civilization between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is not a factor as they survive in the tight area of the humvee with too much equipment and protective clothing for the hot desert sun. One Marine’s solution to stop the killing is to put a McDonald’s on every corner. The most telling remark in Episode 2 with regard to war and the quest for control of resources – “the white man’s oppression and the white man’s burden.”

Comments are closed.