I think “All Quiet on the Western Front” is a good novel, although that doesn’t excuse the way peaceniks have exploited it. The First World War was pretty much a disaster for all concerned, and heroism was rendered almost meaningless by the idiot generals who repeatedly sent thousands out to be slaughtered for no purpose.
Those who died in that war deserve our thanks and praise. But it was not a happy business.
Hemingway, I agree, was a jerk.
I never did see Billy Jack. When I was a little kid, Mad magazine had a satire on it called “Billy Jerk”. That is the only reason I know if it.
Yes, but we also learn from Tolkien that some who fight must give up what they love the most so that others may retain it - Frodo ended up permanently disfigured in LOTR as did many of Tolkien's blinded and crippled contemporaries in real life. That was the other lesson he learned on the Somme.
There is a difference, of course, between this treatment and Hemingway's, et al. It is that knowing the horror of war and the impermanence of victory, Tolkien's characters went anyway. For them, as for most of us, becoming fashionably jaded and finding a sanctuary bought in blood by others wasn't an option. It's a lesson contemporary "peace" advocates ought to ponder - one need not love war to recognize that the alternative can be worse.
It’s hard to believe Tom Laughlin is still peddling this stuff. It’s been like, forever.
Just as I share my Tolkien collection with the troops I serve with, hoping that somewhere in those ranks is another Aragorn or Eowyn.
I was in college in the late 1960’s when Tom Laughlin came to give a speech. Usual stuff. What was surprising was that he was downright fat. He had to diet to get down to “filming weight”. I always figured that was why he went around beating up on people. Hunger will do that to you.
I served with a lot of decorated men in the Army....since I was their company commander I could read their files...their actions under fire were remarkable....NONE that I ever knew did the burned out anti-war warrior act....they were hard men who drank a lot....the toughest of all were the old master sergants who had seen combat in Korea AND VietNam...it was an honor to serve with them and I miss them to this day.
Whatever Billy Jack did or didn't say, there's a long tradition of war heroes who don't enjoy war.
You can see this in Sargent York and other citizen soldiers.
York had been a pacifist before he became a soldier and won the Medal of Honor.
I don't think Alvin York would have said that he was better than his fellow soldiers or that they were evil, but he'd stand by what he believed.
And no, I'm not trying to say that the rest of the army did relish killing, though there are some people in every army and country who do.
One reason why so many war heroes don't like to talk about the war (apart from not wanting to brag) is that they didn't enjoy what they had to do and don't want to be reminded of it.
You're trying to ideologize something that really doesn't need ideologizing -- introducing us/them, right/left distinctions where they aren't wanted or needed.
We learn from Tolkien that war can indeed (though not always) render men broken, burnt out, and rootless - and that the sacrifice and suffering was nonetheless worthwhile. Frodo ends his journey with pain and exhaustion, ultimately "crossing the Western Sea", yet most certainly knows his service and sacrifice was worthy. Some of the Fellowship did not even survive the journey, yet knew that the good they did, and the ultimate sacrifice given, was needed to further those who did succeed (and those who hindered the campaign deeply regretted not the campaign, but their hindrance thereof). Those who did made it were not unscathed, but grew nonetheless, and were satisfied by saving their people - even if the people did not appreciate what happened.
Frodo indeed returned home "broken, burnt out, rootless". He also saw Samwise reunited with Rose, and the family tree continue. Without the war, there would be no continuation.