Monday 9 November 2009

Nice, quiet, gentle killers

How much crap can one read in a day without wanting to punch a hole in your computer monitor?

''The whole family is in a state of denial,'' Mr Hamad, 65, said. ''We don't believe he is capable of doing something like that. I was amazed and shocked, because it's not him. He's very quiet, gentle.

Ah, fellahs, although he was a shrink, he was in the Army. The main purpose of the Army is killing people and breaking things. When you join any branch of the military, you do so in the knowledge that one day you may need to ventilate people and blow things up. Yes, even those that have comfy, rear echelon desk jobs are occasionally called upon to lug a rifle around and blat at the enemy. It's part and parcel of the work environment.

One of the interesting things I used to observe as a Reservist was the process of putting on and taking off your "green head". The "green head" was the mindset and outlook that I adopted when I pulled on my uniform. It was quite different to my "civilian head". It usually took me an hour or two to put the green head on, but it could takes days to completely take it off after an exercise.

Here's the thing - when you don that uniform and enter the company of other soldiers, your personality changes. It's a Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde kind of thing. I doubt my family would have recognised me if they'd seen me running around the shrubbery for a week with an M-60.

I'm normally laid back and relaxed to the point of catatonia. I'm a live and let live kind of bloke.

However, put the green head on, and I'm ready to lay waste to entire civilisations. The problem with people who say that someone was "quiet and gentle" is that they've never seen them with their green head on. Or in his case, his Jihad head.

To give you an example, one of our favourite drinking chants used to be "atrocity, atrocity, atrocity". Picture 10, 20 or more blokes standing around with beers, then chanting that at the top of their lungs, sculling their drinks and then running around yelling and tackling each other and generally causing testosterone fueled mayhem. The outcome was generally bits of broken furniture and the odd split lip.

The problem with these wet, soggy fish that write for the SMH is that they've never experienced this kind of thing. The politically correct, metrosexual Arts graduates that make up the journalistic population have never done the Green Head thing. If they had, they'd realise that quiet, gentle people are quite capable of mentally switching gears and doing some incredible or terrible things.

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