Did you know that the Sahrawi People’s Liberation Army pioneered the use of non-standard tactical vehicles in the late 70s fighting for independence against Mauritania and Morocco? I didn’t know that before but I sure do now because when they aren’t talking about stupid prairie grass or how dinosaurs aren’t really dinosaurs or some other damn thing Martialla and Lucien are obsessively talking about how Sahrawi guerrillas successfully used NSTVs against the less agile conventional armies of their opponents, which as we all know is unusual in that the force equipped with improvised vehicles prevailed over the force equipped with purpose-built fighting vehicles.
Martialla and Lucien are trying to develop a combat doctrine for the ramshackle warbuggies and killwagons of the day. No offense to them (well some) but I don’t know that a retired Coast Guard pilot and a combat engineer/science experiment are the best people to define the way battles are going to be fought. Although in fairness to them I don’t think there are any tactics to be gleaned from how people fight now. I’ve been in a few battles now and I would describe them as combination of a Black Friday trampling, Woodstock ‘99, and an English soccer riot. Except everyone is in a poorly made car made out of nunchuks, flamethrowers, knives and dynamite.
It’s beautiful in a way. A society has evolved from the ashes of the one that I came from and it is a society that knows no stress or concern. In my time everyone thought they had all these problems, because they were after some kind of answers, some deeper meaning to life. The psychos alive now don’t bother to ask questions, they must smash into each other and gouge and stab and murder. Theirs is not to reason why, theirs it but to do and die. For them, the great spiritual war of humanity is won.
The key, I guess you can call it a tactic if you want, is to drive with a reckless disregard for your own safety, and survive long enough to become very good at successfully pulling off daring vehicular maneuvers. Also having an indestructible car doesn’t hurt. Not at all.
Case in point, on our way back to Junktown we were attacked by a quad-squad of the plainspeople. On our side we had J-Lo’s Revenge, which is both faster and more durable than any of the four attacking machines. And since I was driving also the best handled machine. Our other vehicle was one stolen from the very people attacking us, so it was the same. So what’s the tactic you’re supposed to take in that situation?
I mean I guess there’s strategies in boxing, biting and groin punches, stuff like that. I’ve heard boxers talking about their strategy and this and that, but at the end of the day who wins is just a matter of who’s better at punching right? Has a guy that sucks at punching ever won a fight by using a super cool tactic? Hit as hard as you can hit and try not to get hit back. What else is there?
When I saw the attackers I engaged what I call the Ela Maneuver – I drove directly at them and initiated a head on collision. Its beauty is in its simplicity. Like casting Bruce Willis as a quick-witted, snarky action oriented everyman who smokes, you do it because it always works. I don’t think anyone else does uses that move these days. Probably because their cars are made of papier-mâché, beetle dung, and snot. If they weren’t apocalyptic psychopaths trying to kill me and use my flesh as a canteen I would almost feel sorry for them.
I don’t like shooting people. I’ve made me peace with that fact that shooting people is part of my life now. But I don’t like it. I HATE hand to hand combat. I hate it so much. I can’t even describe what it’s like. Thinking about it makes me physically ill.
But. If we’re being honest, and I feel that we are. When I’m behind the wheel of J-Lo and we’re crushing fools in their clay and cardboard cars with spears for weapons it feels good. It’s exhilaration of a kind that I never imagined could exist. I’ve performed in front of huge crowds thirsty for my glory. I’ve jumped out of air planes. I’ve done all kinds of things. Nothing gives you a charge like smashing into another vehicle and watching it fly to pieces. I don’t feel great about how great it feels but that’s how I feel about it feeling great.
Martialla said something along the lines that the impact of a freight train is equal to two tons of dynamite concentrated in a much smaller area and focused in one direction. She said that even in World War 2 a lot of surfaced submarines were sunk by ramming. Violence is wrong of course but if you’re going to do it you may was well do it right. And there’s something about ramming that just feels right. Sex pun here.
I don’t know why but I started singing “I Alone” as the remaining three kill-cars scattered and I fishtailed around to chase one of them. I don’t even like that song. I wonder if the songs I sing during combat have some secret message from my unconscious that would reveal something new about me. I should started recording them for future generations to puzzle over. Of course they wouldn’t know the songs so I’d have to write them all down too. Yawn.
I had a role as a nurse on some stupid war show and between takes Matthew Broderick said to me that he would have liked to have been in combat for real “as long as there was no chance I could get hurt”. Which is the kind of shit you expect a Hollywood dickhead to say. In short he was just saying that he wished he could murder someone and get away with it. At the time I thought he was disgusting for making that comment. Now? I get what he was saying. As my agent said one time “Firing a man gives you a hell of a rush, but it’s no replacement for killing.”
Or to put it another way, it’s easier not to be great and measure these things by your eyes.