I’m so freaking into The Pacific, internet-friends. Initially I was kind of bothered by the fact that I couldn’t pick anyone out of a line-up except Gutterson-from-Justified and Kim-Bauer’s one-handed boyfriend, but I’ve decided to just roll with that and let it dial up the chaos. It almost adds to a story like this — to the mess and confusion and utter, overwhelming horror — that I’m never quite sure who’s getting blown up or cut down until after the dust clears.
We’re up to Part Seven — Scott and I are watching it together on the big screen, which isn’t helping — and last night I was watching Sledge and company get cut to pieces and the whole TRUE — well, you know, HBO-true — STORY angle almost kicked me in the chest. I watched that battle rage across the airfield and thought about my dad’s dad, who I never met, and how he was fighting his way across Italy at the same time. He lost a leg to a mine — I’ve known that my whole life, but knowing it and seeing those guys on the ground wondering where their limbs went are in two different ball parks. He was a runner, before that. A good one, I think.
My mum’s dad was actually IN the Pacific, somewhere in the Solomons I think, fixing planes for the Americans I’m watching fight across the screen. I don’t think he saw any combat, but it’s bizarre and intense and overwhelming to realise he was THERE, just out of frame, helping keep those air-strikes coming.
I never saw Band of Brothers; this is a new level of intense for me. A new look at the REALITY of what men are capable of, and what they can do when they have to. It’s awful and affecting, but also FASCINATING and terribly beautiful, to watch these kids and that landscape and the world ripping itself into something so ugly, and realise it’s still all about humanity. It all comes down to people; to a scared, thirsty teenager clutching a gun in the dark.
I love the storytelling in this, how visual it is, the way they’re getting maximum emotion out of minimum words, and although there’s been a few heavy-handed THIS CONVERSATION ABOUT A SAUSAGE REPRESENTS MY EXISTENCE moments, mostly they’re deftly and gorgeously painted, like this one, when Sledge asks his buddy Sid what war is like, and Sid says:
I slept with a woman in Melbourne. I’m not bragging. That’s at one end, right? And then way down there, as far as you can go, that’s what it’s like. And that… that you can never imagine.
It makes me want to write.
Also, Hoosier better not be dead, because Jacob Pitts is one of those guys I’ll watch do anything at all and enjoy it. Something about his face is just so RIDICULOUSLY LIKEABLE that every time he turns up in anything I’m like HEY, IT’S YOU! WE SHOULD HANG OUT MORE.