MR. WOW PONDERS A TEXAS TRIAL AND THE MEN WE PUT IN HARM’S WAY.
“TWO THINGS are infinite. The universe and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein.
TRIAL BY hit movie? That’s what it’s come down to in Texas, where former Marine Eddie Ray Routh is on trial for killing the fabled sniper Chris Kyle, and another man, Chad Littlefield. (They had taken Routh—reportedly suffering from PTSD– out to a shooting range. In retrospect, maybe not the best therapy.)
How is it playing out? Well, everybody in Texas seems to want Routh jailed for life, at the very least. (Lynching and torture has been mentioned.) And why is it playing out this way? Because of the phenomenal success of Clint Eastwood’s movie “American Sniper” based on Chris Kyle’s delightful memoirs.
You’d think Routh was some lowlife scum, wandering around, just out to murder soldiers. If Chris Kyle was a “hero,” well–so was Routh! He volunteered for his country, he did his duty and apparently suffered for it. (OR—he was already fucked the hell up and that’s why he joined .Something to think about before we validate and arm soldiers and policemen. )
Had Kyle—who was, despite his sniper accomplishments, something of a fabricator and exaggerator—not been elevated to near-sainthood, would this trial even be happening? I say no. Wouldn’t Routh have been institutionalized and treated? I say yes.
I don’t think this guy should get a free pass—two men are dead, leaving families in torment. But so far, everything I’ve heard indicated Routh was a steaming hot mess, and not in a fun way.
If Kyle was the man his devotees insist he was, I can’t believe he’d approve of a fellow soldier, one who apparently had plenty of demons, put on trial in this manner. One of the last things Kyle said, was in a cell phone call: “This guy is straight up nuts!” he remarked of Routh.
I’d say the insanity verdict, sought by the defense, is right there, in the words of one of the victims. (Routh, in confessing to the killings, said he was upset because the other men wouldn’t speak to him. There was also stuff about pigs eating his soul. And we’re all sane here.)
But pigs with wings fly In the Lone Star state. I have a feeling Texas is going to do it Texas style– big and unforgiving.
Oh, and in case you wonder. I appreciated “American Sniper,” the movie. Fully deserving of its Oscar nominations. Love Bradley Cooper. Brilliant performance, though I prefer him sweaty and stupid in “The Hangover,” truth be told.
However, take from “Sniper” what you want, it’s only a movie. ”It is the semi-truth, tarted up for the hypnotized masses, increasingly hot to go to war again. Well, not go. Just allow a lot of young men and women to do the dirty work. Other people’s children. The ones that commit suicide—or become “irrationally” violent—upon their return to civilian life.
And you just know that the now-fabled Las Vegas “road rage mom” saw “American Sniper.” Perhaps with her fully loaded 22-year-son. (Can’t wait for the “Law & Order: SUV” episode on this one—ripped from the white trash headlines.)
I know, I know—Rudy Giuliani would say I don’t love America. Poor Dictator Rudy. 9/11 happened only to him. The rest of us were out of the room when those planes brought down the Twin Towers and Rudy saved New York.