E-Tools, Lobotomizers and Stupid Jarhead Myths

I don’t like reading war history. But I read it—glowering, growling and gritting my teeth—for several reasons:
1. Those who welcome ignorance into their lives are stupid, lazy and irresponsible (yes, I’m a bit judgmental when it comes to these things).
2. People can’t hope for a future without learning from the past; even from the very ugly and often shame-full past.
3. How will I understand political and religious satire without reading the source of the madness? And I so delight in parody. Ask Jon, he knows.

I never thought I would enjoy historical accounts that weren’t funny. Then I stumbled upon Max Brooks’ World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War and my worldview about warfare, embedded reporting, wild bears and zombies has been changed forever.

I love the tone of World War Z. And the book’s details are magnificent. The cultural and military references are so… well, real, that my subconscious was already making plans to visit the mural of Victory this summer. For instance, the following quote describes something my inner Jarhead can honestly see happening:
“—improvising, adapting, outthinking us bureaucrats. The marines surprised me the most. I’d always bought into the myth of the stupid jarhead, the knuckle-dragging, locked-jaw, testosterone-driven Neanderthal. I knew that because the Corps always has to produce its assets through the navy, and because admirals are never going to get fired up about land warfare, that improvisation has had to be one of their most treasured virtues.

[Sinclair points above my head to the opposite wall. On it hangs a heavy steel rod ending in what looks like a fusion of shovel and double-bladed battle-axe. Its official designation is the Standard Infantry Entrenchment Tool, although, to most, it is known as either the ‘lobotomizer,’ or simply ‘Lobo.’]

The leathernecks come up with that one...” Yep, my Wicked Luvs, Marines are lethal, thrifty and creative.

And getting back to the reasons why I don’t like reading or researching war history. I was looking for a realistic picture to show those of you who have never seen an entrenching tool before. I found many… and they were clean… or the people using them to dig fighting holes were smiling… How interesting.

I dug a few holes in my days, and I remember being either, cold, hungry, sleepy, exhausted, pissed off out of my mind or suffering from cold sweats and stomach cramps while digging a deep, narrow hole really, really, really fast in order to go to the bathroom. So I gave up on the happy diggers and chose to show you the following pic, which presents a fantastic-looking e-tool and clicking on it will take you to a hilarious review.   
Photo by Christian Stoll
And this one because, um… it made me roar. Just imagine “22 inches of mayhem! At close quarters with other weapons gone, you can whip out your foxhole shovel. The blade’s sharp and pointed. The cross bar handle won’t slip. Yes, it’s a foxy shovel that loves a fight.” You have to be a very specific kind of special to make real life killing and dying sound cool and sexy. I bet this publicist is turning in his grave because he didn’t get the chance to enhance his ad by adding, “and a fun way to prune zombies, too!”
Borrowed from combatreform.org
From now on, if the idea of Marines being stupid ever reaches your head, it would be safer to keep the thought to yourself. Marines have always been lean, mean fighting machines, and with the new lobotomizer, we Jarheads can get the enemy even after their undeath. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Blood and guts! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!

World War Z is fictional history that packs many universal truths.
So if you have some time, give it a go. Then tell me what you think.
Oh, and try the audio book version. The readers are freaking fantabulous! 

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  1. sweet zombie goddess3/11/2012

    Never have been able to find this book at the bookstore or at the library :(.  I dated a Marine once.  He wasn't stupid...just really really crazy lol ;).


  2. But they want people to think that those tools will make their lives easier, so why in the world would they show the truth about what it's like when they're getting used?

    However, I do love the review and ad you found. :)

  3. By the way, have I mentioned that you're awesome? :)

  4. Timeless Rituals3/11/2012

    My father was a 10 years okd child during World War II in Milan. He got his home bombed and saw things that children should never see. For me is like he was living on another planet when he tells me his stories, because I cannot even get to understand the world he lived in....
    I have been studing history at university and sociology. Patriarchy has got into its genes the print of war. And Monotheistic religions, notoriously patriarchal, have always been gung-ho.

    Magaly, reading your blog I'm rediscovering my Pagan spirit. Some years ago I was really inside the subject, and I even wrote some articles about the Goddess and Matriarchy. I'll have to find them, translate them in English and post them in my blog....  :)

  5. Slommler3/11/2012

    Interesting my dear one...I will have to put this on my list.

  6. Diandra Linnemann3/11/2012

    Of course I first read "standard infantry enchantment tool". It is safe to say I have never been into any military-related stuff. ^^

  7. I don't know how I never got the knuckle dragging image in my head but that's probably only because I dated so many. And by date I mean slept with. And by slept with I mean everything but actual sex. HUAH!

  8. I love you.. that is all

  9. You're crazy, fun, beautiful and have a great smile ;o)

  10. Yep, "really really crazy" is a requirement for survival ;-)

  11. Guess I never thought about how the truth can be so tough to endure, huh?

    I did like the review, too. That guy has a flare ;-)

  12. I don't think you have, and if you did, repeating would be quite welcomed in this case ;-)

  13. Wars tend to separate generations, don't  they? Some things are difficult to share. I guess many want to shield their loved ones from certain horrors. I've always wondered about the effectiveness of such behavior...

    I'm so glad your "Pagan spirit" wants to come out and play. I can't wait to read your posts! 

  14. Interesting is a good word to describe it.

  15. Ha! You are the best, Diandra.

    Just so you know, I had to read your comment 3 or 4 times before my brain noticed that it said "enchantment" and not "entrenchment." The brain is such a wondrous thing... 

  16. Of course, having sex would make them gay, and that won't do. A bit of touching and stroking another is just curiosity, not gay at all. Nope. 

    P.S. If they said "Huah!" they were probably soldiers. Marines are into "Oorah!" "Blood and Guts!" "Kill! Kill!" and so on *grins and goes 'grrrrrrrrrrrrr'* 

  17. And right now, I have a big head decorated with blushing kids ;-)

  18. Damn it.
    I knew real Marines didn't wear green fatigues and "hang out" in front of the PBX.

  19. Yep, definitely Soldiers. Marines don't wear cammies outside base--our customs makes it illegal, unless one has very specific reasons. Like buying diapers, getting gas, or meeting a very hot guy (okay, I made up the last one, but you never know lol)

  20. Hey, even on "Time Team" they're rarely smiling while digging holes, and the only danger they're in is the danger of dampness if it rains, and disappointment if they don't find anything archeology related during their dig.  So, given that being happy while digging a hole - especially in the company of others with lethal objects - is impossible, then perhaps the people who are smiling aren't really doing the work? Perhaps they're standing there posing looking like they're working, while out of the shot a bunch of other people are working like mad; completely smile-free!

    Oh, and where would I get my hands on the audiobook copy?

  21. lilacwolf3/12/2012

    I don't like the battles we are fighting right now...but I have never thought any servicemen to be stupid.  They are trying to do what they think is right, learn a skill and take care of their families.  The people I have issue with are our dear leaders *heavy sarcasm* who decide to put our brave people into danger for something that is wrong.

  22. I love Jarheads. The guy that closest to me calling him Dad was a Jarhead. Now mom is married to an Army guy. He's dad too but just cause he gave me a little brother and it's too hard to explain to a 10 year old that mommy is my mom but daddy isn't my dad. 

  23. I was probably glaring in the background while the cameras were rolling lol

    Amazon has the audiobook.

  24. You've just described the reason why I don't want the Little Princess to call me Stepmom. Her mom is living and well, thank goodness, so there isn't any stepping here. I think it's creepy and confusing.

  25. ljrich3/14/2012

    Would it shock you at all to know that I own this book? ;) Love it! Most of my family are all Army grunts or Seabees. No Jarheads, in fact, you're the only Marine I know.

    To comment on one of your comments, I also didn't like the term stepmom. I never allowed my exes kids to call me that, I was "LJ (except my real name)" and that's it. With Mr. LJ, my kids call him by his first name and introduce him that way, too. They don't use stepdad.

  26. My little StepPrincess Karlee just calls me Amanda, when she was younger and wanted something or was tired she called me mommy. I refer to my stepdad by his name. But I don't have a dad. I have a Bruce my stepdad, and a Charlie my ex-druggie, forgetful (of my birthday!) bio father.

  27. Nope, it wouldn't shock me at all!

    And the Little Princess calls me Magaly and introduces me as "My Magaly" lol

  28. The Little Princess gets confused at times, too, especially if she's sleepy. 

    And don't get me started, my mom hasn't remembered my birthday in years lol 

  29.  Yeah but I yelled at Charlie years ago and he's been pretty good at remembering since then. As long as he makes it over for Ariel's birthday I'll forgive him.

  30. Aw, the loveliness of second chances ;-)