War Humor

            Humor in the face of death is common in on the front lines. In Generation Kill it takes the grim, flippant humor of how modern soldiers deal with the kinds of trauma and isolation that they face in the front lines. As one of the real soldiers says in the Generation Kill extra we watched in class, “our humor is the ace in the whole, we can do anything”(Generation Kill extra). I feel this is portrayed well in the mini-series, especially after hearing what the soldiers had to say in the extra.

            While watching Generation Kill, I kept thinking about Band of Brothers, the original war book made into mini-series produced by HBO. In both adaptations I feel like while the details of the book were left out of the program, in a way changing the some of the messages of the book. But the humor element stayed very similar between both mediums. Except for the depth Generation Kill went into showing the humor than was done in Band of Brothers. Perhaps this is due to the nature of the books themselves, Band of Brothers is based on the fifty year old reflections of soldiers who are now in their nineties. The way they approach honesty is going to be different than the revelations coming from a reporter in the field. One should also consider how humor would be viewed differently for men raised in a different time.

            But watching both mini-series and reading both books I feel that the humor used by both groups of men was more similar then we think. The tendency to use, for lack of a better word, bathroom humor is present in both groups. Even though some people would like to glorify men from WWII, they should do a comparison and see how many similarities there are.

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