toppings 9 : downfall

the following is not a representation, but it sure as hell might be in the near future.

a blue, affective piece came out in today's nyt, injured in iraq, a soldier is shattered at home." it tells the story of sam ross, a 24-year-old who served in iraq, lost a leg and his sight, came back to a parade and a brand-new log cabin, couldn't deal, went through over 20 surgeries, attempted suicide several times, burned his former trailer down (the same one his father killed his stepmother in) and now faces charges for arson and attempted homicide.

this is dream material for a tear-jerker, for the new wave of repentant films (in the eighties we had vietnam and charlie sheen or tom cruise, in the late nineties the gulf and africa and marky mark wahlberg...) bound to be harvested from heroic u.s. "incursions" and "rebuilding efforts" in the middle east. but before it gets to the scripts and the stars and the screenings, it could stir a lesson and a glimpse of things to come.

this is a near-perfect condensation of america's bushean rise and downfall, the refractory compression of american dream and american nightmare. like iraq, there is guantánamo, and the wtc site, and global warming, and illegal immigration, and corporate scandals, and media manipulation, and issues of privacy and basic guaranties, and... and... there hasn't been time or willingness to come to terms with these issues that have shaken the social core of the country, people are just starting to grip the consequences of the past eight years.

"the story of sam ross has the makings of a ballad..." says the article.

it also has the makings of a cutthroat history lesson : "i came home a hero, and now i'm a bum."

let's wait for the rest of them.

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