Date: 30 Apr 2014 20:12 Title: Short Memory
Whoah. Dark this. Frightful really. It speaks to the dark underbelly potential that lies within Ronnie Kozar when i read him. It's like he has issues and they stem from somewhere. He's angry and it emanates from somewhere. He lashes out at commands and those in authority over him. Perhaps this then explains all that. Because he was told to forget such awful costs. To get on with it. To man/soldier up. To keep pitching himself into the fight against the odds. Was pitched into fights that were badly called. He was failed and he failed.
When he speaks of short memories - he wishes he had a short memory. He can recall vividly the events. Even though he has tried to stamp them down and out. Does he live with them everyday? We do not know from this tale but clearly it does remain with him still. His mantra of a short memory is part shield, part clutch, part delusion, part a means of survival. He wishes he had a short memory. Maybe feels bad about the short memory. About the fact he never was held accountable for his part in the friendly fire.
That's a rather interesting analysis. But anyway, it's one character arc that acts out the axiom, "Be careful what you wish for".
Date: 03 Oct 2013 00:39 Title: Short Memory
Not sure how I feel about this one, TBH. Yes, forgetting the atrocities and defeats one has seen and experienced in the past can help a soldier to get on with the job at hand, but the real danger for humanity lies in forgetting the mistakes of the past. That's when the beast within all of us can rise up and rear its ugly head.
This is how entire populations were enslaved, or tortured, or exterminated. I think there's a difference between being able to distance yourself emotionally from unpleasant things and striving to forget them altogether. I honestly think emotional distance is the angle you were going for, and I do concur with that.
However, I take umbrage with Kozar's decision to say nothing about the friendly fire incident. $#!& happens in the heat of battle, but Mitchell's family earned the right to know the true circumstances of his death.
That being said, the piece was very well written and a good expansion on the free write piece. A vivid window into the mind of a soldier who puts his life on the line on a daily basis.
Author's Response: Well, I wouldn't go as far as to suggest Kozar is on the slippery slope towards trivializing mass deaths. Some of what the colonel told him did have merit, but then Kozar learns that emotionally distancing oneself is easier said than done. And after that friendly fire incident, he lived by the revised advise Morrison quoted. Just don't get discouraged by the bad, especially when one commits no mistakes and still loses.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 12:33 Title: Short Memory
Enterprise1981 an intriguing idea that in war marines need short memories so that they can focus on fighting the next battle.
This is a good expansion of the friendly-fire short WFW story you did. I think how you’ve use the USS Lambda Paz retreating as a framing device for the story.
Then having Kozar reflect on the poor unit morale in the aftermath of the New Cheyenne Massacre and trying to understand why Colonel Samuels sent them out again to focus on the next battle.
Still I’m shock that Kozar got away with not reporting the friendly fire death, puts Morrison in an awkward position now, as I expect he should report it to his superiors now.
Still the line defeat happens sometimes, just don’t get discouraged has a harsh truth to it.
Date: 28 Sep 2013 07:41 Title: Short Memory
It seems like such a normal idea, something easily seen even today. "Move forward and continue doing your job." It should be easy for a soldier to do, someone so used to seeing death and destruction.
The truth is, it's not that easy. Or at least, it shouldn't be that easy. I feel like, if any soldier could actually be able to do that, and never worry about past mistakes and failures again, they stop being human. "Oh, well, that really sucked, losing that entire colony today, but tomorrow's another day! Let's go kick some butt tomorrow! Woohoo!" It seems like a loss of ones soul.
Which, I love it in this story, because despite the fact that Kozar says to have a short memory, I think he found what works best to keep his humanity. He didn't have a short memory; if he did, he wouldn't remember the massacres, or his role in the death of Mitchell. He doesn't dwell on them, certainly, but they are still very much in his mind, part of who he is as a person today. The phrase gives him comfort, and his past failures seem to give him encouragement as they enter the Dominion War; he's failed before, he's seen death and destruction and failure and been very intimate with them all and he's still there, he's still alive, and still able to lead and do his job. Morrison said perfectly what the Colonel probably should have said instead; you have to get up and keep moving, despite what happens.
This was a great expansion of the WFW it came from. Really great work here.
Author's Response: Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it. I was stuck on this for a while on how to expand it, but then a football game was my inspiration. One sportscaster's suggestion was "throw away the game tape... or don't." In other words, learn from your mistakes, but don't get too down on yourself over losses. The colonel had the right idea to a point that the troops should just put it out of their heads. They just got outplayed. But sometimes, it's better to take time off, get their head screwed on right, so there is value to rotating soldiers on and off the battlefield. And Kozar learned that having a short memory is easier said than done while still learning the value of still pressing on when dealing with a tougher opponent.