Hollywood gets it wrong when movies talk about itchy trigger fingers. Of course, how would they know? An industry populated by writers whose research methods consist almost entirely of peripheral methods. Peripheral as in: ask someone... the first person who even remotely answers like they know what they're talking about, well, that's what gets run with.
Anyone who does know knows that it's not the trigger finger that gets itchy; it's the thumb on the safety. The trigger finger's too stupid to know when it's itchy or not. It just knows it's married to the trigger and pulls whenever it feels like it, itch be damned. But the thumb, that's the extension of the hand that needs to think. In order words, the trigger finger's just the cock, reacting to pornographic input the thumb has to sift through. If and when to blow a wad is the key to survival out here.
What a strange thing to be thinking of when riding in the driver's side rear seat of a stripped-down Army Humvee. A deadly joyride through the middle of a seemingly alien desert valley in the wrong part of the world. In front, a driver's white-knuckles signal a nervousness from traversing this rather dangerous place one too many times. To the driver's right, a vehicle commander's floating head betrays a concerted attempt to try not to let fear put him to sleep.
Funny, that. How soldiers can turn fear into a stimulus to hit the sack. Then again, soldiers can turn anything into a stimulus to hit the sack. Next to sex, sleep has always been a soldier's best friend. But not today; not now.
A quick tap to the driver's left shoulder; the driver notices the vehicle commander and purposefully swerves the steering wheel. The violence of the Humvee attempting to change direction shakes the vehicle commander awake. The VC looks at the driver, nods a cursory thank you, then returns a weary gaze to the landscape.
The thought occurs that there's no place on Earth that isn't beautiful. Even here, where the constant reminder of dust and sand pelting the face serve an ironic counterpoint to the serenity of snow-capped mountains seen in the distance. A false serenity, naturally, as the snows of those mountains are too often stained with blood. For whatever reason, there's no sight as shocking as bright red arterial spray littering a carpet of white snow.
Hollywood, however, loves the image. After all, it provides such a beautiful contrast of colors for people to gaze in awe at. A small, lovely pattern hidden in the ugly tapestry of war, or so the self-professed artists of the industry would have their audiences believe.
That's another thing Hollywood gets wrong. Through the flash of a rocket-propelled grenade fired from behind a rock formation, the perceived slowing of time, the itch of a thumb as it decides to let a finger seduce a trigger, and the screams of panic and defiance of friends as they prepare to discover if they'll ever see snow up close again... Hollywood gets it wrong.
War is beautiful.