Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mandatory Fun Movie Night

One (of the many) annoying things about the Army is the notion that if people work together all day long, at the end of the day they should spend more time together socializing. Particularly in garrison, we are required to attend gatherings and "enjoy each other's company", as if we didn't just see each other the previous 12 hours of the day. On that note, the Battalion Executive Officer (XO) has made Friday evenings a mandatory movie night event for all the primary Staff Officers. Each week, one of us picks a movie for us all to watch, and this past Friday the XO chose our feature presentation: The Road.
First off, in probably any other setting I might have enjoyed this movie. I like Viggo Mortensen as an actor and thought there were a couple of good scenes; however, when forced to watch any movie, it's bound to slant your overall opinion. If you haven't seen it, the plot (or lack thereof) focuses on a father and son who try to survive the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. Throughout the movie, both main characters escape numerous brushes with death, including dual suicide. In one scene, Viggo's character and his son were hiding from potential killers in a bathroom. Rather than risk their fate with the cannibals, Viggo prepares to shoot his son in the head. Forgive me for thinking this way, but I wanted him to do it because I thought it would mean the end of the movie! What is more, you're showing this to a group of guys who each have a pistol attached to his hip, as if to provoke us to do the same in hopes of ending the misery that accompanied a mandatory movie as depressing as this one.
In sum, mandatory fun is an oxymoron. Forcing people to do something fun becomes the exact opposite, especially when you show a movie that is, at the very least, unfun. Thanks again big Army for making me do something I don't want to do and preventing me from skyping with my family back home...probably the only fun thing I could have done on a Friday night in Afghanistan!

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