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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

March 14, 2006

An Army Of One. One Marionette.

I just rented Team America: World Police from Blockbuster. Inside the DVD case was the below mail-in card.

There are many things you could say about this. First of all, as Mike points out, it says something about the movie. Generally speaking, mankind's great works of satire haven't been packaged together with ads for the country of origin's armed forces.

You'd also think the government would steer clear of movies where the military characters are, literally, puppets. But apparently not.

Live the adventure! The adventure of dancing on strings controlled by others far above you!

Posted at March 14, 2006 07:48 AM | TrackBack

So a work of parody about neocon imperialist aspirations is packaged with an army enlistment card? Thats brilliant. Irony as an advertising meme. Think about all the missed opprotunities!

Perhaps an invitation to the Tiomoid M. of Angle songwriting workshop with every purchase of Night by Elie Wiesel.

what other opprotunities are out there?

Posted by: Jake Lowen at March 14, 2006 08:18 AM

I think that'd just come out muddled, Jake. What about packaging Elie Wiesel's Burn-Palestine literature with, I don't know... Elie Wiesel's "Night"?

Posted by: Sully at March 14, 2006 08:53 AM

Why not the obvious movies?

Judge Dred
Rambo (all)
Blade Runner
George of the Jungle

Ok, probably not that last one. Ya know, real macho movies with real heros. Of course Saving Private Ryan could turn off recruits.

Posted by: spiiderweb at March 14, 2006 09:29 AM

No snark here, just pretty much the way she told it to me.

Last Friday, my 16 year old and a small group of her friends were approached at the bus stop across the street from their high school by an army recruiter dressed in fulll camouflage getup, known locally at Ft. Bliss as the pickle uniform.

He introduced himself, saying that he had not seen them at the recruiting table inside the school. The kids agreed.

He then addressed my daughter directly, and she claims he gave her a pretty good going over with his eyeballs (at 16, she is blessed, or cursed, with a body that drives the boys to drooling distraction) and asked what her plans were for college.

Herewith a few snippets from their conversation.

Sir, my college plans do not include the army, navy, marine corps or air force (said my daughter).

Well, y'all attend a school where most of the students come from low income families, and it looks like you're riding the bus. How are you going to pay for college? Can your family afford it?

Sir, (she is nothing if not polite to her elders) I am working hard to get a scholarship, and really, whether my family can afford it or not is, like, none of your business.

A scholarhsip is not going to be nearly enough - the army can help you.

Sir, I am hoping for a full scholarhip which includes room and board.

Well, good luck. But really, the army can help you if join us in protecting your freedoms.

Sir? What freedoms? Mr. Bush is ignoring the documents that give us our freedoms, which include the Declararion of Independence and the Constitution. We do not protect our freedom by invading, like, other countries unnecessarily, Sir, and specifically, Iraq. You do not protect my freedom by trying to get me to join the service instead of encouraging me to continue my education.

You're wrong there. I am encouraging you to continue with your education. I am just telling you that by serving your country you can really be helped with your college costs, costs which come with the benefit of protecting your freedom.

Sir, that sounds kind of like a bribe. Besides which, I think that, like, encouraging me to join
the army after high school is not encouraging me to go on with my education.

No, it's not a bribe, you sign a contract.

Sir, I know I'll be able to sign a contract when I am 18, I also know that I cannot vote till I'm 21, and I recently read that the decision making part of the brain is not mature until one reaches, I think, 23 or so. So I wonder, would such a contract be valid? Besides, like, have you seen the issue of Texas Monthly and all the dead service people from Texas in Iraq? Have you seen the many dead 20,21, 22 year olds who are dead? What about their education?

I didn't know this about the brain. Is it true?

My daddy says it's probably more like 40.

He sounds old-fashioned.

He is. Sir, you made a choice and you volunteered to join. That was your decision. My decision is not to do so, so please, leave us alone.

Are you speaking for your group?

The teen-age chorus: Yeeeeees!

O.K., but remember, freedom has to be earned and protected.

I don't think that's what the Constitution says, Sir, and my daddy was taught me, like, a bunch of it. Good-bye, Sir.

Is that Texas Monthly a magazine, or a newspaper, or what?

A magazine, sir. Good-bye.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at March 14, 2006 11:14 AM

Is the voting age in Texas really 21?

The reason they don't package recruiting cards with more serious action movies like Rambo is that the people who enjoy Rambo (Dick Cheney, for example) have a reputation for refusing to enlist.

Posted by: hedgehog at March 14, 2006 11:57 AM

I have always been surprised at how frequently the army advertises on the Daily Show website.

Posted by: Saheli at March 14, 2006 12:27 PM

Nope, she blew that one - but seeing the results of the primary last week, it maybe should be. Or maybe it should be 40. Hee.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at March 14, 2006 12:30 PM

I have a daughter like this. She, at 17, frightens me.

Let me say, Jesus, that your daughter rocks, and that, by association, you also rock.

Posted by: alexis S at March 14, 2006 01:11 PM

Am thinking of Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now, rubbing his stubble and muttering " ..the irony, the irony..." . Howzabout Fire Brigade blurb in 'Towering Inferno' or Dental blurb in 'The Marathon Man'? This is SO delicious!

Posted by: GreginOz at March 14, 2006 09:06 PM

Don't just watch adventure. Live it!


Don't just watch shit. Eat it!

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at March 14, 2006 11:18 PM

Oh, come on, Bernard - you're being too hard on the movie! I liked it so much I took my mother to see it! I didn't know about the puppet sex ahead of time!

What an error!

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at March 15, 2006 10:51 AM

Aaron: I haven't seen the movie. It's about puppet sex? Hmm, I didn't know Jerry Falwell and John Ashcroft worked as movie consultants.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at March 15, 2006 07:53 PM

the puppet sex didn't do anything for me. the wanton violence, now that's a different issue altogether

Posted by: almostinfamous at March 16, 2006 06:27 AM

Well, there was a great deal of puppet sex, indicating that the National Guard may have more libertine attitudes toward appropriate sexual positions than one might expect. And more endurance.

Posted by: Aaron Datesman at March 16, 2006 07:06 AM

they let ME vote when I was 18, but I was special.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at March 18, 2006 12:51 AM

The movie sucked. And it wasn't all that anti-neocon, either.

Posted by: Maezeppa at March 18, 2006 01:51 PM

Keep a good work man!

Posted by: Arnie at March 21, 2006 01:03 PM