Isn't it romantic : my "shock troops" post
Why do people *want* to believe Scott Thomas Beauchamp?
I think it's romance. It's that shivery slumming at the edges of barbarism, that leaving behind of civilization and reaching into something primal, that myth of a place where there are no moral rules, no limitations.
People *want* our guys to be cold killers, to walk that edge they could never walk, to give into base instincts. To whore and smoke opium in those SE Asia brothels. Like freaking Dear Hunter or something.
Oh *that's* real. When they read stories like "shock troops" they think, finally, someone is telling a story that is *real*.
War does a lot of things to a person in it but in "Shock Troops" Beauchamp is dehumanizing himself. He's telling a story in a way he knows will sell. He's a story teller, a writer, and he's creating an atmosphere and theme that he knows will resonate.
I've read accounts that were stark and honest about how bad it is and how it affected the person writing. Those accounts didn't dehumanize, they humanized, showing a painful reality, not this Hollywood version of morality free, repugnant, slumming.
Beauchamp describes *himself* as a caricature.
And he's judged his audience well.