Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peggy Noonan, Tom Sizemore, Michael Stipe and Mom

One of my favorite R.E.M. songs reminds me of one of my favorite movie scenes ever which is the topic of one of my favorite essays.

From Peggy Noonan's Everybody's Shot (a must read):

There's a small but telling scene in Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down" that contains some dialogue that reverberates, at least for me. In the spirit of Samuel Johnson, who said man needs more often to be reminded than instructed, I offer it to all, including myself, who might benefit from its message.

The movie, as you know, is about the Battle of the Bakara Market in Mogadishu, Somalia, in October 1993. In the scene, the actor Tom Sizemore, playing your basic tough-guy U.S. Army Ranger colonel, is in charge of a small convoy of humvees trying to make its way back to base under heavy gun and rocket fire. The colonel stops the convoy, takes in some wounded, tears a dead driver out of a driver's seat, and barks at a bleeding sergeant who's standing in shock nearby:

Colonel: Get into that truck and drive.
But I'm shot, Colonel.
Everybody's shot, get in and drive.

"Everybody's shot." Those are great metaphoric words.

Today is the anniversary of my mom's death. Somehow it's comforting to know that everyone's mom dies. We're all in this together.

R.E.M. just announced that they are breaking up. Sad news.

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