"Buddies" or How the Hell Did We Win World War II?

Bloggified by Jake on Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Welcome to 1943, a time when comments like that were perfectly appropriate in polite conversation, even in children's comic books. It was an era before minorities got the crazy notion they were deserving of the same respect caucasians were afforded simply because they were human beings.

Negroes happily ate their lunches behind the finest restaurants and, as reward for not demanding college educations or high-paying jobs, they were given their very own water fountains, bathrooms, and seating areas on buses. Japs gladly admitted themselves to camps as proof they were not hampering the US war effort. Fags, even the white ones, had no desire to parade about waving rainbow flags, much less get married, and understood the occassional brutal--sometime fatal--beating went with the territory as punishment for their deviant lifestyles. The Spics stayed in Mexico, allowing the Chinese to provide America's much needed underpriced labor. Women bore children and didn't mind a little smack in the mouth every now and then as a reminder not to get too lippy. Only the Jews made waves, insisting they not be gassed by the thousands and shoved into ovens.*

Oh, and don't get me started about the Irish.

It was the time of a little known comic called "Buddies," the story of "Slug" McCoy and "Speed" Williams, two "sweating, cussing Yanks," privates in the Marine Corps, beating back Tojo one island at a time and bringing peace to the South Pacific through unmitigated slaughter. Most inspirational, not once do they let the fact Slug clearly has Down's Syndrome and was probably considered "slow" even by the other kids in his sheltered workshop get in the way of their patriotic duty.Oh, and did I mention Slug and Speed are best friends? I know you might not get that impression considering Slug is fully prepared to brain Speed with a skillet over the slightest sarcastic remark

In this story, the Americans are on Murkea Island, about to make an assault on the Japanese forces on the other side of a volcanic ridge. Following Slug's above outburst, he and Speed have to pull guard duty for the night. Slug goes first and while on patrol is approached by a native girl.Love-fruit? Any writer worth his salt knows that should say "Rove-fluit"! I cannot believe R.S. Callender didn't take the time to transpose the L's and R's!

Do I need to tell you the fruit renders Slug unconscious and the Japanese drag him off to their camp for interrogation? No? Good. I kind of figured that much was obvious.

When it's time for Speed's shift on guard duty, he finds the half eaten fruit and Japanese bootprints, puts two and two together, and comes up with "Slug is a dumbass." The platoon is roused and a rescue mission is mounted.

Back at the Japanese camp, we learn the love-fruit bearing native girl is actually a highly-ranked Japanese interrogation specialist, who gardens.Slug is strapped to the ground atop those bamboo shoots and told of a technique they call "green death." As the day wears on, the shoots will grow one inch per hour and nothing will stop them from getting to sunlight, not even Slug's "ugly American body." Still, Slug is not at all intimidated by the threat of being impaled, though one suspects that might be because he doesn't quite grasp the concept that he's in any danger at all.You know, somehow I expected the Japanese to be a little more thick skinned than that. I mean, this was a military that bestowed honors upon men who flew their planes into enemies on suicide missions. Kamikaze pilots would have a feast before their missions, toasting their own memories. If they can have a ceremony dedicated to their own deaths without freaking out, I would think being called an ape by a big, fat, ugly, retarded, American douchebag would be a snap.

The Americans come to the rescue, mowing down the Japanese with machine gun fire without suffering a single casualty.Yeah, thanks for torturing me! You'd better get out of here though. A warzone is no place for girls!

See what I mean about doubting Slug ever actually understood he was actually being threatened?In the time it takes to say, "Look at that other fellow run! I'll get him for you, Slug!" you can shoot a fleeing Japanese woman in the back twenty-five times. Curiously, Slug stops him, allowing the woman to jump in a Zero and fly away. Why would Slug save her after she drugged him, insulted him, began torturing him, and threatened to kill him slowly?If this is what Tom Brokaw was talking about when he referred to "The Greatest Generation," how the hell are we not all speaking German right now?

* This rant was inspired by a conversation with someone who was complaining that society is going to hell in a handbasket and who wished everything could go back to the way it was in 1950 and be like "Leave it to Beaver."

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