December 11, 2004

War Is a Racket. After decades in the Marine Corps, Major General Smedley Butler wrote a brief book explaining his views of the whole enterprise. (The entire text is online.) He went on to claim that he was a gangster for capitalism.
  • I've seen that nose somewhere— I'm sure of it.
  • I came across this guy during some recent research. He rules.
  • Interesting stuff, scartol. This line gave me deja vu: "Hell's bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?" There's a part in the Iliad in which either Hektor or one of the Achaians is trying to rally his troops, and he calls their attention to the other side, exhorting them, and he says "do you think they're dancers, not soldiers?" He uses just that word. Maybe they still teach such things in military life.
  • Hektor's dead. Brad Pitt killed him.
  • Butler said in the thirties he was approached by some people who more or less wanted him to lead a coup against Roosevelt.
  • Not to derail, but having seen Troy and read the Iliad (both recently), Brad Pitt's Achilleus was not drawn too carefully from the text. In the poem he comes across as a Hamlet-esque figure who hardly fights at all until near the end, though he is quite deadly then. Pitt's Achilleus was an interesting character, but so vicious and confident, more like how Hektor actually is in the story. [/irrelevance]