Private Joker: How can you shoot women or children?
Door Gunner: Easy! Ya just don't lead 'em so much! Ain't war hell?
“How can you shoot women and children?”
“It's easy, you just don't lead 'em as much.”
Stanley wanted to meet me because he’d liked Dispatches, my book about Vietnam. It was the first thing he said to me when we met. The second thing he said to me was that he didn’t want to make a movie of it. He meant this as a compliment, sort of, but he also wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting any ideas. He’d read the book several times looking for the story in it, and quoted bits of it, some of them quite long, from memory during dinner....
He was thinking about making a war movie next, but he wasn’t sure which war, and in fact, now that he mentioned it, not even so sure he wanted to make a war movie at all.
He called me a couple of nights later to ask me if I’d read any Jung. I had. Was I familiar with the concept of the Shadow, our hidden dark side? I assured him that I was. We did half an hour on the Shadow, and how he really wanted to get it into his war picture. And oh, did I know of any good Vietnam books, “you know, Michael, something with a story?”
Hodgman's particular brand of contempt for certain things (see here "bros," Tom) spoils his other charms for me. I can't tell if it's affected—if what I'm seeing is John Hodgman or a caricature of John Hodgman (the two seem indistinguishable)—but the overall effect is a kind of bizarro George Will character, which is enough to make me want to walk in the other direction.
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