Friday, July 22, 2005

"True" Reality TV!


For the most part, I dread reality TV shows. Not the ones on the Discovery Health channel where you get to watch a real face lift or lipo-suction procedure. Thats real and all. What I dread is the half scripted "reality" shows where people have to live together in any form or fasion.

Well, yesterday my buddy EVP and I were talking about a documentary show he saw about the battle in Fallujah last fall. This event facinated me because, as a fan of military stuff, this was one of the U.S. military's largest combat sitations they'd faced in a long time. That, and I'm facinated about what really happens that crappy CNN and MSNBC wont show. Heavens forbid, they may show what real war looks like or how tough it is for the soldiers fighting in it. So... I decided to do some net searching of my own. I figured someone, somewhere out there took along their video camera into this hell hole. I was right. I came across a site where some guy had posted many video's submitted to him from soldiers. Video showing actual combat and the soldiers daily lives. This video is the most gripping, facinating reality TV ive ever seen. What amazed me the most, was despite explosions going off, bullets buzzing through the air and all the kaos, some of the soldiers not only remain calm and cool but show a slight sense of humor in some situations! In one scene, soldiers are trying to blow open a steel gate with C-4 explosives to get into a compound where insurgents may be hiding. The charge goes off, but the gate isnt damaged enough to open. They kick and push on it, but it doesnt budge. You can hear voices off camera laugh and say "re-do!" and "C-4 is so overrated!". So they slap another charge to the gate and blow off the hinges this time. A loud cheer goes up and they storm into the compound. The guy with the camera zooms in on the blow up steel gate and says "yeah, take that!". You can't help but chuckle.

Some of the video seems to be shot by "embedded" news cameramen. But clearly this isnt the stuff that passed the censors and made it to the evening news. This footage shows the more gruesome stuff. Dead bodies in the streets, insurgents scrambling for cover as US soldiers pepper them with bullets. In one interesting scene, they had an insurgent cornered in a garage. The camera turns and does a quick interview with a soldier, asking him what was happening. He says, with a slight smile on his face, "We were patrolling when they opened fire on us. Then they threw a frag (grenade) at us. I turned to run for cover, tripped over a dead body..one of theirs, then made it back to here. Now we're trying to get them." This clearly showed me how they have adapted to this situation. I would have dropped a brick in my shorts and probably just called in a bomb to blast the entire area, once im gone! But this guy was just calm, cool and... smiling. Wow.

Another interesting video on the site was a camera not following US troops, but following insurgents. Of course it was made with a home video camera, using its limited night vision abilities. They were setting up a nightime ambush on a US convoy. They walked along a trail and all lined up behind a dirt embankment waiting for the convoy to cross their field of fire on the distant road in the dark. The entire time every one of them is chanting "Allah Akbar!!", over and over. It was really strange, like they were a bunch of programmed zombies. So, the convoy rolls by and they open fire with machine guns and RPG's. I swear these guys must have the most un-accurate weapons or be the worst shots... or a combo. It seemed like they hit nothing as the convoy just rolls by.

Very interesting site! I plan on downloading the videos so i can watch them more thoroughly. There's about 2 hours worth!
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