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I may be a little biased because I think The Hurt Locker may be the best/my favorite movie of all-time, despite its factual flaws and unrealistic narrative, since it’s a paradigmatic example of male excellence in a really regressive/atavistic way that greatly appeals to me as a Broad Category Myth — I know #thepatriarchy — but as I started reading the origin story of the film, "The Man In The Bomb Suit" on the subway this morning, and with all its Arbitrary Capitalization and apotheosizing of technical male excellence, I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading the greatest essay ever written.


  At the peak of the fighting, two black-robed militiamen armed with AK-47s darted between the graves, taking potshots at Sarver’s team as they were bent over trying to dig out an IED buried in the ground. Sarver crawled to a rise that looked down on the militiamen, and when they stood Sarver shot one of them. When he wasn’t being shot at, Sarver worried about the frag from the mortars exploding around him, scraps of metal traveling at 2,700 feet per second, which would cut through flesh and bone, searing the tissue in its flight path as it broke through and came popping out the other side of what used to be you. Even more than the frag, he feared overpressure, the wave of super compressed gases that expands from the center of a blast. (All chemical explosions are solids turning into gases at a very fast rate.) This compressed air comes at an unlucky bomb tech at a force equal to 700 tons per square inch, traveling at a speed of 13,000 miles an hour, a destructive storm that rips through the suit, crushes the lungs and liquefies the brain; the fire that follows will roar upward through the ventilation cracks in his helmet and cook him inside. It’s possible to survive a blast of overpressure if you’re far enough away from the detonation, and this has given rise to a strange debate in the EOD community: Is it better to have your lungs full or empty if you’re hit by overpressure from a distance? Each has its merits; a full lung is less likely to rattle against the rib cage and be punctured, but it is also more likely to burst on impact. At an even greater distance overpressure merely freezes your skin.

I may be a little biased because I think The Hurt Locker may be the best/my favorite movie of all-time, despite its factual flaws and unrealistic narrative, since it’s a paradigmatic example of male excellence in a really regressive/atavistic way that greatly appeals to me as a Broad Category Myth — I know #thepatriarchy — but as I started reading the origin story of the film, "The Man In The Bomb Suit" on the subway this morning, and with all its Arbitrary Capitalization and apotheosizing of technical male excellence, I couldn’t help but feel like I was reading the greatest essay ever written.

At the peak of the fighting, two black-robed militiamen armed with AK-47s darted between the graves, taking potshots at Sarver’s team as they were bent over trying to dig out an IED buried in the ground. Sarver crawled to a rise that looked down on the militiamen, and when they stood Sarver shot one of them. When he wasn’t being shot at, Sarver worried about the frag from the mortars exploding around him, scraps of metal traveling at 2,700 feet per second, which would cut through flesh and bone, searing the tissue in its flight path as it broke through and came popping out the other side of what used to be you. Even more than the frag, he feared overpressure, the wave of super compressed gases that expands from the center of a blast. (All chemical explosions are solids turning into gases at a very fast rate.) This compressed air comes at an unlucky bomb tech at a force equal to 700 tons per square inch, traveling at a speed of 13,000 miles an hour, a destructive storm that rips through the suit, crushes the lungs and liquefies the brain; the fire that follows will roar upward through the ventilation cracks in his helmet and cook him inside. It’s possible to survive a blast of overpressure if you’re far enough away from the detonation, and this has given rise to a strange debate in the EOD community: Is it better to have your lungs full or empty if you’re hit by overpressure from a distance? Each has its merits; a full lung is less likely to rattle against the rib cage and be punctured, but it is also more likely to burst on impact. At an even greater distance overpressure merely freezes your skin.

Awkwafina
"Janet Reno Mad"

I listen to the Awkafina album Yellow Ranger like a lot. I bought it like an adult with my own money.

This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I’ve listened to it a lot, but only just yesterday did I figure out what the title and hook is supposed to be saying. It’s “Janet Reno mad” as in “Janet Reno is mad”. It’s not “Janet Reno mad” as an adjective, like “tin roof rusted”. For the longest time, I thought Awkafina was saying she’s “Janet Reno mad” as in she’s really pissed off. Like, “that stupid kid talking shit about me has got me Janet Reno mad”.

This realization saddened me a little. I may still try to use “Janet Reno mad” to describe how I’m feeling. Let’s see if it just comes up organic-like.

Though I shouldn’t have been surprised. There’s this great line:

I’m like Amanda Bynes in that I don’t give a fuck.

Simile, not metaphor is the name of the game. I remember reading a great essay about the word ‘like’ a few months ago. Beside its philosophic heft, not quite an ontological ‘is’, but more than a typographical adjacent, ‘like’ rolls off the tongue like an ACME anvil. It starts all soft and lascivious and then stops in a plosive pop. In the line above, this effect recurs with the word ‘fuck’. Something about Awkwafina’s deliveries are great. Highly recommended.

Childbirth
"Marination Station"

I ended up listening to this song on the way into work this morning. It made me smile. The song, one of the great ripped-from-the-headlines tunes, is about the astronaut Lisa Nowak who, according to Wikipedia, “drove from Houston to Orlando, Florida, on February 4–5, 2007. She packed latex gloves, a black wig, a BB pistol and ammunition, pepper spray, a hooded tan trench coat, a 2-pound drilling hammer, black gloves, rubber tubing, plastic garbage bags, approximately $585 (USD) in cash, her computer, an 8-inch (20 cm) Gerber folding knife and several other items before driving the 900 miles (1,400 km) to Florida. Early police reports indicated she wore space diapers during the trip, but she later denied wearing them”.

Listen/purchase: Marination Station by CHILDBIRTH