An Essay: Invisible Enemies: The American War On Vietnam

24 05 2008

This is interesting…


QUOTE: Again, we can see the pervasive effects of the Platoon syndrome in American society. In the space of little more than a decade, Vietnam had gone from something we did to the Vietnamese to something Vietnam did to us, to, finally, something we did to ourselves. By the end of the 1980s, the Vietnamese astonishingly had ceased even to be a required component of the matrix of representations for the American War in Vietnam.

Critics and audiences alike praised this third wave, defined by Oliver Stone’s Platoon (1986), for its realism. While undoubtedly more realistic than Rambo, The Deer Hunter, or Apocalypse Now, Platoon in particular was surrounded by a discourse of reality that moved beyond the conventions of American films about the war. The cultural transition in the United States from Rambo to Platoon, which took place largely during the years 1985-1988, sparked a larger debate in American culture about the history of the American war in Vietnam. Against Rambo’s 259 revisionism, Platoon’s reality, redrew the discursive boundaries about the cultural memory of the war by focusing attention entirely on what Vietnam did to the United States.

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