Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sob Sisters

Ok, Sob Sister is a bit provocative.  And over simplifies things.

But what was it about WWI?  It changed the narrative about war and we still use that mold today. It's where the change all started.  The way war stories changed permanently then.  With a kick from Crane a decade or so before.

The war started a much more serious Pacifist movement that we'd ever seen before.  War was no more of less horrible for the participants, but folks sure acted like it was.  And except for tamping down this new instinct a bit in Dub-Dub-Two, is still ongoing today. 

Ugh the DRECK some of my English professors who happened to have been born around 1950... hint.  Oh they all LOVED Platoon, too.  My XO, the Lt. Colonel, had a different view of that movie.

I said, before, "But the flavor is similar.  Reading war memoirs from various wars...  You get a flavor.  A generic section and you can tell which war is on."  The flavor of futility started entering the literature and diaries available after WWI.  The Great War, and the pacifism at home, I think, penetrated the mindset.  And it is still there today.  Oh, you get futility in all war writings.  US Civil War, for example.  The diaries and letters.  But the futility takes on more ennui with WWI.  WWII you get more gritted teeth and job to do.  The Vietnam war brings back ennui with disillusion, again, like in WWI writings.

And the biggest popularizer of this was, I think, All Quiet on the Western Front.   A big reason for this is that is a pretty good book, on its face,

I doubt we'll ever get back to a 19th Century romantic view of battle again.  But you never know.  Fashion changes.


Sean D Sorrentino said...

I think that the real reason that WWI is such a turning point in Western Civilization is the October Revolution. The Soviets put a great deal of effort into spreading their propaganda that nation states were bad and patriotism was bad and International Socialism™ was good.

The worked very hard to convince people that the Lions were led by Donkeys in war who would be Donkeys in peace, so the Lions should join with the Bears and live in a happy, post imperial world.

Old NFO said...

+1 on Sean... And when you've seen bodyparts scattered and smelled the results of battle, you will NEVER romanticize it...

.45ACP+P said...

I will put some of the blame upon the newspapers. Until this point in time, photographs were rare and prints were used in news. The real horror of war could now be seen in the comfort of your living room.