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Full Metal Jacket's Sgt Hartman for Prez!

posted by Paul on 8/24/01

We all grow up with role models: people whom we aspire to be from an early age. When I was younger, I wanted to be just like the A-Team, driving around in a van and beating people up. Now that I'm older, I realize that many people across the world are living that very reality, so it's lost much of its initial appeal. Guys have it tougher than girls, I think. Because of media pressures, presentations of masculinity and machismo, we learn young that strength and confrontation are what define us as males. Girls, on the other hand, are taught to be vain and not very far-reaching in their ambitions: a strategy embedded in the ridiculous number of teen magazines, wherein make-up tips and stories about the so-called cute guy (or whatever cretin is being pushed down the public's conciousness this month) are the order of the day. These conceptions are changing a lot as we hit the stride of the 21st Century. Girls, to a large degree, are becoming more like guys, and it's no longer deemed unfeminine for them to talk and act like a guy - as long as they're still vain and look feminine.

Indeed, a typical role model for boys nowadays is someone like The Rock, a WWF wrestler more noted for being verbose than excessively physical. In my day, it was Hulk Hogan. He, like his counterpart Mr T, was more physical relying on monosylabbic catchphrases than anything witty or ironic. A case in point is the simple comparison between three genre movies: the adventure story. The precursor, and greatest of its kind was "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Steven Spielberg's masterpiece riff on the Boy's Own mantra. That starred Harrison Ford as the witty, strong, deeply masculine Indiana Jones. Here was a hero you could believe in. A real man. Someone who was attractive to the opposite sex and not pussy enough to play on it. Contrast that with two current movies, heavily influenced by the inimitable Indiana Jones' series. First of all, we have "The Mummy", an enjoyable enough update of Boy's Own. In Ford's place, we have Brendan Fraser. Ok, he's big, he's strong and in a Hollywood so fascinated with Calvin Klein-looking poster boys, he certainly can be defined as masculine. But saddling Fraser with the Ford role is like slotting a square peg into a round role. Whereas Ford was charismatic and cool, Fraser merely looks like a befuddled dork. That's really not his fault, though. Because there's so little thought thrown into casting these days. Angelina Jolie plays Lara Croft, a modern day Indiana Jones in "Tomb Raider". Of course, rather than being desireable in a subtle or intelligent way, she's merely some post-modern icon. Big-tittied, big-lipped and with the cheeseball wit reminiscent of a dodgy cartoon, Croft can't hold a candle to Indiana.

She's cheap, tacky and vacuous; he's a hero.

And what's to make of TV these days. When I was but a boy, we had "Knight Rider", "The A-Team", "Streethawk", "Airwolf" and a slew of other action shows which kept us both thrilled whilst providing us with role models. Not only are there no action shows nowadays, there are no proper heroes. No Supermen, no Spidermen, no Batmen to believe in.

But there was a hero. A man without supernatural powers, but a fearsomely strong man nonetheless. He demonstrated with his sharp tongue and brusque manner that masculinity was not a dying art. That, inside the blood suckers in the U.S Army, lived men. I am, quite naturally, talking about Sgt Hartman.

"Who?" you ask.

Sgt Hartman, a man you should all take to your hearts, was the bull-busting hero of Stanley Kubrick's classic "Full Metal Jacket". Like most of Kubrick's previous movies, this was highly anticipated but took several years to come to fruition - Kubrick was a pretentious shit who had to be meticulous about every aspect of filming to heighten his impact as a brooding auteur . It's a movie of two halves; the first, excellent in execution, centers on a group of green Marine Corps, groomed for the Vietnam experience; the second half is more orthodox with visions of war atrocity and Kubrick's gallows humor. The first half of the movie is what makes "Full Metal Jacket" so memorable: showing how human recruits are desentisized to emotions, becoming mindless killers and therefore robotic in their actions. Ok, the real reason the movie is memorable is because Hartman is a hard, witty asshole firing off witty one-liners like he's some sort of junked up Dennis Miller.

Hartman is what a "real man" should be. These days you can't be seen to have any level of political incorrectness if you're in a position of power. Hartman, however, doesn't make do with the pleasantries and there isn't a shred of phoniness in his pumped up body.

What makes Hartman the hero of the '80s and a true contender for President of the USA..

1) Honesty.

It's rare to find honesty these days. Everyone is so wrapped up in political correctness and what they believe to be the right thing that they overlook the importance of honesty. Anything or anyone who dares to speak up about the true state of the world is derided and blanketed by censorship, while Presidents are merely figureheads telling us how life can be great for everyone and how they'll make it happen, while ultimately failing. Hartman, however, is honest to a fault, his hard ass never suffering from a long stretch of sitting on the fence.

He has nothing but contempt for the weak and a notable disdain for the unfit. I'm sure he wouldn't be a big fan of me, someone who hates working and always looks for the easiest way out. But hey, the guy could still be a great leader for America, frightening some motivation into the nation. He makes it perfectly clear that in his beloved corps, everyone is "equally worthless", obviously a statement which doesn't inspire tremendous self-esteem in his recruits. Obviously, he'd be a socialist, breaking down all the hierarchial boundaries in society. It would be a good way to run the country. Everyone would be starting on a level playing field, knowing they are "worthless" before eventually proving their value - without the use of a silver spoon.

And moreover, in an era when Presidents can freely take blowjobs, bribes and deliver phony messages to a gullible public, it's unlikely that Hartman would lower himself to such shady dealings. He'd be too busy thinking up a witty insult for the latest "fatbody" to cross his path.

"If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training ... you will be a weapon, you will be a minister of death, praying for war. But until that day you are pukes! You're the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human fucking beings! You are nothing but unorganized grabasstic pieces of amphibian shit!"

2) Integrity and piety.

Hartman, although you would be hard pressed to call him a jolly man, is certainly a figure of great integrity. You know he loves his country and you know he'll do anything to preserve it - even kill! There's a scene in the movie where Private Joker talks about the camp being a place for the "phony tough and crazy brave", but Hartman is neither. I'd imagine that his breakfast consists of raw eggs and rats he's just killed with his bare feet. Christ, the guy probably does love the smell of Napalm in the morning. He is a walking contradiction, though, nearly murdering Private Joker for doubting the existence of the Virgin Mary whilst simultaneously torturing the spirit of a "disgusting fatbody" who lacks self-esteem AND commonsense. You have to admire someone who is so interested in religion and yet so uncharitable in his daily life. America deserves that balance - someone who'll preach about God, then destroying the weak. God hates the weak, and if you believe Hartman, he has a hard-on for marines. Let's face it, your current president is shambolic, and you can smell through his facade. At least Hartman can call it as he sees it; chances are Bush couldn't see it and is too stupid to call it. I just dread to think what sort of prayers Hartman would dream up:

Thank you Jesus for the brains I have eaten,
Thank you for the fucking violence,
Thank you for the motherfucking corps, without which we'd be nothing
No thank you for the Vietnamese and the Obese,
I love you Jesus in a heterosexual way

3) Gay rights.

You can tell that Hartman would treat gays as equal and not subjugate them in any way. The guy is even quite open about homosexual acts. Unlike many other presidents who skirt the issues and pretend that sexuality is inconsequential, Hartman cuts right to the chase. He even creates an atmosphere where the gay man is allowed to relate his experiences. Indeed, he asks two of his marines whether they "suck dicks". Some observers would see this as lewd and possibly homophobic, but it's really just Hartman's way of demystifying homosexuality. When both men deny they are gay, Hartman fires back "I'll bet you're the kind of guy that would fuck a person in the ass and not even have the goddam common courtesy to give him a reach- around!" and "I'll bet you could suck a golf ball through a garden hose!". Now granted, Hartman is the least gay person in the history of cinema, but at least he shows he can accept minority groups and has no biases whatsoever - provided they are American.

"Private Pyle, I'm gonna give you three seconds--excactly three fucking seconds--to wipe that stupid-looking grin off your face, or I will gouge out your eyeballs and skull-fuck you! One! Two! Three!"

4) Bravery

Bravery has become such a fading trait in these days of hedonism. The classic heroes have all given way to slender-cut pin-ups. Hartman has balls of steel. Not only is he without fear, he can also take a bullet in the chest for his beliefs. His taunts finally withered the weak Private Pyle, who snapped and went postal. Faced with a loaded rifle, Hartman didn't pussy out. He knew he was the stronger man and he'd rather go the grave a figther than live a coward. So, whereas most would plead for their lives when faced with a loaded gun, Hartman simply said this:

"What is your major malfunction, numbnuts?!! Didn't Mommy and Daddy show you enough attention when you were a child?!!!"

Which is about the point I realize that not only am I discussing a fictional movie character's claims to presidency, I'm talking about a character that was blown to pieces.

I AM in a world of shit!

Sgt Hartman speaks on Hollywood.

On Tom Cruise: "Well, it's no fucking surprise to me that this little peter puffer is such a scumbag who doesn't even have the moxy to tell his wife he's divorcing her. Only queers and Geres come from Hollywood, and he doesn't look much like a Gere to me so I guess that kinda narrows it down. I'd say he's 5'2, but by the looks of him, the best part of him ran down the crack of his Mama's leg and wound up a brown stain on the carpet. I'm certain he's had plentiful experience with brown stains! But I think he's been cheated. Let him spend one hour in my beloved corps and I'll show him what being a man is all about"

(NOTE: I apologize to our many, many gay readers and Mr Cruise, who I'm sure is surfing the web right now looking for disgusting and depraved gay porn slanderous comments related to his "alleged" homosexuality. I'm sorry you can't take a joke, you reprehensible gay man!!)

On Dawson Leery: "Jesus H. Christ. This kid's head is huge and he has less street cred than Bob motherfucking Saget. Here's one disgusting piece of waste. This guy deserves to be stomped. No-one, and I mean no fucking one deserves to live if have gay fantasies about Steven Spielberg and E.T, and this little fruit is even encouraged by his basketcase of a father. I feel ill! Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks that being a pussy is good. If this is our nation's future, we might as well follow Private Pyle's example, because I sure as fuck don't want to live in a world populated by nauseating pansies."

On Rosie O'Donnell: "What a disgusting fatbody! I wonder if her parents had any kids that lived, because this broad is uglier than cancer. At least the lord above has the good graces not to let this vile wench procreate. And I thought Private Pyle was a lost cause. He didn't get his own fucking show!"

"David, The Japanese are not too high on your work!"

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