An Obscure Little Thing…

14 09 2008

…found in an article about tattoos from The Indian Runner.

cudz.jpg image by alveniHis left hand says “kill” across the knuckles and the right reads “f*ck.” That pretty much summarizes Frank’s attitude in life and how he often deals with things.

tattoos on one’s knuckles might be just a popular way of stating one’s attitude, or just another “shadow” of Platoon smuggled by Viggo Mortensen. Only that in Frankie’s world of extremes “love” turned into “f*ck” and “hate” became “kill”. How fitting…

Read my previous posts about Viggo Mortensen as Elias:   Post 1 Post 2


ARCHIVE FILE | The Bracelets

5 09 2008

It was a dialog from Charlie MoPic where the Montagnard bracelets were introduced (from the German translation):

“Why do you wear those bracelets?” “Because we are brothers.” “Is it all?” “Is it not enough?”

You can see them in Vietnam War movies, in Platoon everyone (except Lt. Wolfe) wears them. But there is surprisingly few information about them online.  It seem that in the early phase of the war they were given to the Special Forces advisors who worked with the Vietnamese Montagnards and were often integrated into tribes.

QUOTE: Many, if not most [Special Forces trainers], wore the brass or bronze “Yard” [=Montagnard] bracelet, even in uniform. This was a gift from a Montagnard tribe or individual signifying a special bond of brotherhood and friendship, and was very highly regarded by all recipients. (source)

QUOTE: Advisors to indigenous partisans were often assimilated into the particular subculture in their area of operations. The symbol of this adoption was the unique circlet (kong), bearing the identifying tribe’s stylized markings, handcrafted for intrasocial rites. These mountain peoples would rework available metals, so the bracelets not only varied between tribes, but within a tribe from year to year … sometimes brass or copper, sometimes tin or aluminum. This loop-bracelet was presented in a solemn animistic ceremony of public affirmation. Several advisors thought enough of their filial bonding to adopt their own stateside wives into the tribe by uttering mutual vows and exchanging bracelets for wedding bands. As time passed, and events changed circumstances, the Montagnard refugees needed a livelihood, so beautiful bronze and sterling silver reproductions were offered commercially, with a pamphlet explaining the significance of the object, the meaning of the symbolic signs, and the plight of these dislocated peoples. These handsome facsimiles weren’t made in the old way, and their quality is much improved by the marketing, but they lack the power (yang) that gave them meaning, so these artifacts have become just another trinket. (source)

  Some samples:
Sampan Import Company

John Wayne’s Montagnard Bracelet 

Montagnards today


There is another kind of bracelets worn by black soldiers. Only Big Harold seems to have none. Here are some examples:

And that’s what I found out about them:

Soul Soldiers: Exhibit Reveals Story of Blacks in Vietnam

QUOTE: Some soldiers began demanding Black-only hootches, or barracks, which some called “hekula,” the Swahili word for temple. In another show of solidarity, they created these elaborate boot-lace bracelets, which some called slave shackles. They sang songs by the Temptations as they charged through the jungle. (read the whole article)

Fighting on Two Fronts: African Americans and the Vietnam War

QUOTE: Those who wore slave bracelets, a small bracelet woven out of bootlaces and worn by African Americans to show solidarity were considered militant (…)  (read the whole article)  

HERE is a gallery with some paracord bracelets and a tutorial how to make them, HERE a tutorial how to attach a button. But I think, according to the shape of King’s bracelet… (Photo from the Pioneer Laserdisc booklet)

    …the braid itself is rather like THIS.


After Elias’ death Chris — together with a CIB — apparently gets his own Montagnard bracelet (or did he “inherited” this one from Elias’?) and another one, similar to the bootlace bracelet. Does it mean he was adopted by the black soldiers? It’s hard to say, anyway the braid looks a little bit different.

Funnies: Toys, a Closer Look

25 08 2008

In THIS REVIEW one can see some details, also Barnes’ parachuter badge, so someone did his homework, but at the same time they have Barnes’ watch wrong, and his belt too, it doesn’t have the Vietcong buckle with the red star. Chris’ bandana has also a different pattern. I think they need someone like me over at Sideshow 😆

 BTW, what I don’t like about the figures are the expressions of their faces. They look as if they tried to kill someone with their stare. 🙄

Spotted (long ago): Left-Handed squad?

21 08 2008

It was something that I was wondering about for a very long time, and apparently I was not alone:

QUOTE: Just after the scene when the soldiers burn a village and they are walking in a field along with some civilians, they are all noticeably left-handed (they carry their rifles with the trigger on their left side, pointing them to the right).(…)

And here is the explanation:

QUOTE: The soldiers carrying their rifles with the muzzles pointed to the right is technically a correct detail. You’ll notice the soldiers are walking in a double column formation. All rifles are pointed outboard in this type of formation for safety’s sake. Therefore, the soldiers in the right hand column would always carry their weapons left handed to prevent shooting the soldiers in the left hand column if they were suddenly ambushed. It is standard practise in U.S. ground forces to do so.


Spotted: The Second Name Patch And The Second “M”

17 08 2008

It’s major Stone’s. Did they start to attach those patches right now or what? 
BTW, that patch on Wolfe’s flak vest is on the wrong side… isn’t it? huh.gif image by alveni


Actually, in the night ambush scene you can see Doc writing that “M” on Gardner’s forehead. I’ve always thought he was checking Gardner’s pupils. (reference). And suddenly the “M”s multiplied too…

Spotted: Cat Eyes

15 08 2008

On the IMDB goofs page someone mentioned that

“Barnes’s helmet band has two sewn-on reflective patches. These “cat’s eyes” were only adopted much later in the 1980s.”

Cannot find anything confirming the statement, but Barnes has the ONLY one band with patches. Maybe it’s a symbolic hint that Barnes “has eyes on the back of his head”?  🙂 Being me, I forgot the year, then I started asking myself if it could have something to do with the word TELLEZ on it. A souvenir of a Vietnam Vet? There is one Marine with this name listed on The Wall, but — of course — if they haven’t got those “eyes” before 1980s it couldn’t be from Vietnam…

Spotted: The One And Only Name Tag

12 08 2008

It seems that against the army regulations none of the soldiers in Platoon wear a name tag. It would solved the Elias-as-first-or-last-name mystery, but it’s not so easy. Today I spotted the first one though. Wolfe has one on his flack jacket. Do I get a prize for finding it? 😛

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