I have never understood war. I don't mean that in a "can't we all just get along" kind of way. I mean I have never understood the complexities of battles and troop movements. Basically, I could never play RISK because I just don't get it.
So this weekend I watched "Gettysburg" on the History Channel, and I emerge from the experience no wiser.
Battle is really, really complicated and gross. You'd think the History Channel would tone down the gore, but I couldn't really concentrate on General Sickles screwing everything up because I was too freaked out by watching a computer generated version of a cannon ball ripping off his leg.
But other than the History Channel's mastery of actors coughing up blood, these battles baffle me. I felt the same way watching the (embarrassingly fabulous) move, "The Patriot." Battles just seem like groups of men marching towards each other shooting into the opposite crowd.
It's like deadly dodgeball. But it's all smokey and scary, and you're supposed to follow your side's flag. But the guy holding the flag is "a magnet" for bullets, so the flag keeps getting dropped. And somewhere, some General is looking at a map trying to figure out where to go next.
I understand the basic concept of taking over each city until the other side gives up. But especially in the Revolutionary War, where you shoot your guns and then it's the other side's turn while you just stand there and take it? What's that about? If you survive that first round of fire, you take another step forward and shoot. And you keep doing this until one side is like, "Alright! Enough!"
How can this possibly work? How can you figure out where you're even going? How do you communicate with anyone? And how do you not run for the bushes the second the first GERM-COVERED BULLET is shot?
I would be a horrible solider...