•  
  •  
 

Keywords

War heroes, American media, Digital video, Hero industry, Pacification

Document Type

Research Paper

Abstract

In Ben Fountain’s 2012 novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Half­time Walk, the titular US soldier and the Bravo squad become canonized Iraq War heroes when their rescue attempt is captured on digital video. In recognition of their bravery, their tour of duty is halted for an American media stint that culminates in their participation during the 2004 Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving halftime show. This celebratory return allows the proud American public to interact with the heroes from the video, subsumed, however they may be, by the militarized media spectacle and abstracted into icons of precious, simplified mean­ing. Commodities like War Hero Billy Lynn are a neces­sary product when images of postmodern warfare do not bring a nation’s culture any grounding, pacifying sense of meaning. Better than a mere screen, Billy is alive; he can be touched. Endowed with the experiential knowledge of soldier subjectivity, he becomes a ready vessel brought close for an American public to inhabit . . .

Genre/Form

articles

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.