March 14, 2017
REVIEW: On the Frontlines of the Television War by Yasutsune Hirashiki
On The Frontlines of the Television War is the story of Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki’s ten years in Vietnam—beginning when he arrived in 1966 as a young freelancer with a 16mm camera but without a job or the slightest grasp of English and ending in the hectic fall of Saigon in 1975 when he was literally thrown on one of the last flights out.
His memoir has all the exciting tales of peril, hardship, and close calls as the best of battle memoirs but it is primarily a story of very real and yet remarkable people: the soldiers who fought, bled, and died, and the reporters and photographers who went right to the frontlines to record their stories and memorialize their sacrifice. The great books about Vietnam journalism have been about print reporters, still photographers, and television correspondents but if this was truly the first “television war,” then it is time to hear the story of the cameramen who shot the pictures and the reporters who wrote the stories that the average American witnessed daily in their living rooms.
“The basic essence of war is death.” – David Snell
I grew up watching this war and when, in the forward, it’s described as the Television War, I said “yes, that’s it exactly.” Every night my parents had the 6 pm nightly news with Uncle Walter (Cronkite) on. I remember the video footage and the body counts even though I wasn’t even 7 years old. When the last helicopters lifted off the embassy roof, I wasn’t even a teenager but I recall those images vividly, too. I’ve read plenty of memoirs of the war from military sources but until I saw this book, it hadn’t dawned on me that I’d never read any by the journalists who covered it and produced what I saw on the nightly news. Here is the story of a man behind the camera who gives the journalistic experience told from the POV of a SE Asian photographer.
The Battle Is Not Mine
When I am troubled
and misery wants to be my friend.
All I have to do is open
myself up like a can of worms
and release everything
in prayer to The Lord.
Copyright © 2013 Kimalee Jones
You can’t have it both ways…….
by Kenneth Justice
~The other day at coffee I overheard a couple women talking to each other and complaining about the way girls dressed ‘now-a-days’
“Its so disgusting how these girls dress now-a-days, they dress like women and they should be dressing like children!” said the first woman
“Your right! Back in the good ole’ days children dressed like children, none of these short-shorts or skimpy blouses” said the second woman
Then yesterday afternoon one of my clients was telling me about the shooting that took place in Washington DC in which 11 people were killed, “When I was younger that kind of s**t just didn’t happen. The world’s gone crazy lately, its not like it used to be” he told me.
I’ve heard the phrase ‘good ole’ days’ more times throughout my life than I can count. Supposedly these ‘good ole’ days’ were an amazing era in human history. During the ‘good ole’ days’;
–) Crime didn’t exist
–) Premarital sex didn’t exist
–) Injustice didn’t exist
–) Sin didn’t exist
REALLY??? Could someone please enlighten me on when exactly these ‘good ole’ days’ occurred because somehow I missed out on reading about this portion of history in grammar school, high school, and college. Actually, I’ve never read of any era close to something I would want to refer to as the ‘good ole’ days’.
Lets pause for a moment and consider what life was really like back in the ‘good ole’ days’;
–) It wasn’t until the 20th century that women could vote! Throughout most of human history women have always been treated like second class citizens.
–) For hundreds of years blacks were enslaved by whites and it wasn’t until the late 20th century in the United States that the Civil Rights Act was passed and African-Americans were finally acknowledged to be equal citizens with whites
–) Throughout most of humanity’s history children (especially females) have been treated like the ‘property’ of their parents and marriages were arranged which meant children had no say in who they would be forced to spend the rest of their lives with.
So to borrow Steve Martin’s line, Well excuseeeeeee me…..but what was so great about these ‘good ole’ days again?Could we all stop living in the world of delusions and enter the realm of truth; there have always been problems in every era of human history.
There is nothing new under the sun
For Much More Click Below
I wrote a novel and had the editor resist the way I portrayed my character’s reaction to killing. (He hated it–a negative personality trait in a conventional thriller).
However, I have a problem with novels that are really dressed-up comic books. I don’t think that anyone knows how hard to hit someone on the head to be SURE that his victim won’t have a subdural hematoma and either die or be permanently disabled. From what I read, a “bullet graze” carries a strong danger of violent infection and hitting someone in the face with a bare fist is a great way to break your hand. Cops who fire a weapon face months of evaluation, they don’t hit the streets the next day.
I don’t think that normal people kill others without carrying that fact with them forever.
In the process of developing a character, I’ve been reading “On Killing” by Lt. Col Dave Grossman, which in turn is based on the ground-breaking studies of Brigadier General S. L. A. Marshall (“Men Against Killing”) who found that only 15 t0 20% of infantryman in World War Two would actually fire a weapon at an enemy. They were brave, they would perform other duties under fire, they would load for others, they just wouldn’t fire or they would deliberately fire over the heads of the enemy.
Silhouette targets are one of the key training tools that a modern military uses to break down the instinctive human desire NOT to kill another human and it has been monumentally successful. A modern military will alway defeat one trained in “classic” methods. The British defeat of the Argentine military in the Falklands is a great example.
However, as Grossman points out, soldiers who are put in positions where they either kill or have to confront killing another human have far more cases of PTSD than soldiers in equally dangerous situations but where they do not have to actually SEE the target that they are shooting (i.e. Artillery). As I read articles about PTSD and the 20% of the military returning from our current wars with some combination of concussive brain injury and/or PTSD, the more I realize that the casual use of killing in the novels we write is grotesquely incorrect.
Yes, good people can kill and go on with their lives but only real psychopaths can kill and not have some psychological injury without significant training to break down the instincts and-usually-replace it with the desire to protect and be respected by their “buddies.” Most people who are trained and placed into the sort of close quarters, house-to-house fighting that we’ve had in the past 20 years are going to suffer some degree of long-term, possibly permanent damage.
Once, this is stuck in your head, it starts to appear everywhere–especially in the comments of troops who have returned from Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. They don’t have nightmares of the times they were in danger, they see the people they killed, the civilians they almost killed, the monsters they feel they became. THIS is what they can’t tell their wives, this is what you’d drink to forget, this is what never leaves you.
If anything, the bravery of someone who fires to kill an enemy or to save another from danger is MORE honorable and heroic than currently portrayed. They face a lifetime of life with this event and, by choosing to do it from patriotism, love, or duty; they deserve real praise.
Someone who kills and walks away is a sociopath at best.
Any comments are more than welcome.
- What is PTSD? Military Minds (calilynn42.wordpress.com)
- What is PTSD? (ptsdfcs.wordpress.com)
- Ptsd (drymartini62.wordpress.com)
- Dogs Become New Treatment for a War that Never Ends (Op-Ed) (livescience.com)
- How is PTSD different from normal response to trauma? (ptsdfcs.wordpress.com)
- VIDEO: An American hero battles PTSD (bbc.co.uk)
- An Interesting Thought (amanandadog.wordpress.com)
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
Throwing Lead: A Writer’s Guide to Firearms (and the People Who Use Them)
Posted by Paul F. Lenzi on July 16, 2013
dusk strolls forward
from under the treeline
across the town green
skittering up from the grass
pulsing flickers like quick-stitches
tacking the chaotic drape
of the night to the scene
veiling cannon and names
of dead soldiers on plaques
fixed to monolith stones
bringing sleep to the pride
of un-uniformed strangers
whose flowers and flaglets
pay too-easy gratitude
the essence of honor
forgetting the duty
imposed on the living
to cherish the values
that animate sacrifice
will morning remember?
San Diego, California
The San Diego experience is coming to an end…about to head home. 22MAY13,,,was sitting at the bus stop with one more day to go and it hit me that I was finally heading to my next adventure. 🙂
It’s the way we would have done it too! 🙂 We have certainly have enjoyed all of the pics from your San Diego adventure and look forward to seeing more from the next great thing! 🙂
Check out Tokidoki !
UK-based illustrator Ed Fairburn has created a series of portraits on World War I military maps of the Western Front. In Part I of the series, Fairburn used ink to draw the portraits directly on to the maps (in a style reminiscent of his earlier map portraits). Part II includes additional ink and paper cutting by collaborator Bobbie-Jo. Both series are available at notonthehighstreet.com.
- Incredible New Portraits Carved from Old Military Maps (mymodernmet.com)
- Map Portraits (barbourdesign.wordpress.com)
- I’ll never look at a map the same again… (tarakinghorn.wordpress.com)
- Human Portraits Hidden in the Topography of Maps (neatorama.com)
- Amazing Map Portrait Art (amberleroux.wordpress.com)
Brooklyn Museum | Phillip Jones Griffiths
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I write little bite size tidbits of Canadian history and trivia. Each post takes just a few seconds to read. A great way to learn and hopefully a stepping stone to wanting to learn more!
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What tomorrow might bring….?? “Yesterdays is history. Tomorrow is mystery. Today is a gift.”
Posted on March 5, 2013 by yunichar
Many people will walk in and out of your life,
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it is his fault;
If he betrays you twice, it is your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.
He who loses money, loses much;
He who loses a friend, loses much more;
He who loses faith, loses all
Beautiful young people are accidents of nature,
But beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others.
You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.
Friends, you and me….
You brought another friend….
And then there were 3….
We started our group….
Our circle of friends….
And like that circle….
There is no beginning or end….
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.
Show your friends how much you care…
Please reblog and spread the word!