I hope that after watching episodes 1 & 2 of Generation Kill that there isn’t a single person that could deny the nearly palatable homoeroticism in both the book and show. When reading the text and arriving at Wright’s description of the putrid and cramped quarters of the Marines Recon forces, I began to remember just how perfectly Gen Kill serves as an example of homoerotic tension boiling just below the surface in many male interactions:
“The tent reeks of farts sweat and the sickeningly sweet funk o ffungal feet. Everyone walks around in skivvies, scrathing their balls…The gesture is defiantly male…” (21)
“They strong-arm their buddies into headlocks and punch bruises into each other’s rib’s. They lie in wait for one another in the shadows and leap out swinging Ka-Bar knives…dragging the blades lightly across a victims throat, playfully simulating a clean kill. They do it to keep in shape; they do it for fun; they do it to establish dominance.” (22)
Gen Kill does nothing more than take the homoerotic tendencies of men interacting (because, remember, this is journalism dramatized, not fiction) and place them in an environment where it is inescapably visible. –Dozens of men, thousands of miles away from home and any heterosexual comforts they may wish to engage in. Sweaty, muscled men housed in close, hot quarters with nothing to do to pass the time than wrestle in their underwear. Anxious men, jacked-up on stimulants and hard rock music, raring to go serve a healthy platter of ass whooping. …I can feel the intensity just writing this… Yet the visual production makes the prescense of homoeroticism even more painfully apparent.
*Flash to Rudy standing stark naked in the tent, muscles rippling and dick swinging in the faces of his nearby comrades, then picking up a hundred pounds worth of gear and heading out to go demonstrate some physical dominance.*
Even the men themselves seem hyperaware of the situation, as they spew a never-ending stream of homophobic, machistic remarks to again and again assert their heterosexuality. Most notably, in episode 2,
“Man we Marines are so homoerotic. That’s all we talk about. Do you ever realize how homoerotic this whole thing is?”
This quote, (more than being an all-too-convienent evidentiary support) demonstrates supremely well how it’s not homosexuality or homosexual acts that makes things homoerotic. “…Do you ever realize how homoerotic this whole thing is.“–the Marine doesn’t just mean the constant jokes about anal penetration or the familiarity of the men, he means the whole thing.–War can even be homoerotic.