Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Os paradoxos dos "mercenários de fim de semana"

“Don’t Trust Civilization”: ‘Soldier of Fortune’ Magazine and the Masculine Myth (em We Are the Mutants):

It’s certainly not a coincidence that the first issue of Soldier of Fortune: The Journal of Professional Adventurers was published in spring 1975, mere months after the Fall of Saigon. The man behind the magazine, Robert K. Brown, was a U.S. Army veteran who had served in Vietnam as a Green Beret in Special Operations Group (SOG) from 1968 to 1969. Brown wanted to repair the “image of the warrior,” so tarnished in the public eye after Vietnam, and, to a large extent, he did: SOF was a massive success for over a decade, selling more than 180,000 copies a month by 1988. (...)

The first question it throws up to me, though, is, if it’s all about being a mercenary, why are there so many articles about the bloody army? All these “mavericks” who want to be beoutside the establishment—what’s more establishment than a fucking army? Though it makes sense, I suppose, given that another reason for SOF‘s existence was presumably the ready-made readership of ex-Vietnam personnel who, understandably, often felt that the awful things they’d been put through were being ignored by society, and found themselves with a trauma-embedded toolkit of skills that didn’t have much application in civilian life. (...)

Ultimately, the contemporaneous publication I’d most readily compare early Soldier of Fortune to is—and stay with me here—the early run of High Times. Each publication aims its content at a niche audience whose activities must remain nominally undetected by law enforcement. This audience therefore demands globe-trotting reporting that requires a modicum of quasi-libertarian, “gonzo,” go-anywhere-do-anything journalism. Before the internet, these varied crowds of liminal interest groups needed publications like these—available on any newsstand—to interact and to do business.
A High Times é uma revista dedicada à cannabis, provavelmente com uma audiência muito diferente da Soldiers of Fortune (mas, segundos os autores do artigo, se calhar com mais em comum do que se poderia pensar).

Quase como bónus, o artigo também fala sobre o realizador John Milius e alguns dos seus filmes.

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