Saturday, December 22, 2012

Blending In

I watched an episode of NCIS: Los Angeles last night which I had taped earlier in the week. My first thought is to ask what idiot decided that dialog and “background music” should occur simultaneously and at the same volume? More and more programs are using this “dramatic effect,” and I am usually able to understand about half of what the actors say. My wife and I sometimes pause programs and hold a discussion on what we think the characters might have said. Replay does no good, as we don’t hear it the second time either.

Apparently the regular screen writers are on holiday break this week and they are using the second team, as scripts for all of the shows which are not reruns almost make me wish they would use reruns. This one had to do with smuggling cocaine on a Navy ship by mixing it in paint, which was used to paint the container holding lettuce. The sailors who ate too much salad were intoxicated by the cocaine fumes which were on the lettuce and went on rages. Apparently the lettuce wasn’t wrapped and this cocaine had a unique aromatic property. Anyway, the punch line was one agent saying to another, “so healthy eating can be bad for you.”

I had to giggle at the repeated scene where a group of men would be working and someone would scream at the top of his lungs, “Officer on deck.” Everyone would stop what they were doing, come to attention and salute. Can you imagine how a ship would be able to function at sea if the Navy actually did that? They don’t. You salute an officer the first time you see him each day, the Captain every time, but you don’t “brace” in the process. If the officer wants to address the group he will let the senior man present know, and that man will call out, “Attention on deck.”

Which brings me to my reason for this treatise; this was the first time I had ever paid attention to the new Navy working uniform in the setting of a ship at sea, and it is even more ridiculous that I first thought.

Wearing a camouflage pattern within the confines of a ship is simply absurd. What are they hiding from, and how do they think that silly pattern helps them do it? Given the color that ship interiors are painted, the Marines were more effectively camouflaged than the sailors were. Ship exteriors are still light gray, so it wasn’t any more effective topside.

What it does camouflage is the wearer’s rank, which is not a good thing. You can’t tell the officers from the enlisted men. There was one character who I thought for some time was an officer until someone addressed him as “Master Chief,” and I was shocked. I can assure you that in earlier uniforms, working or dress, a Master Chief stood out like a turd in a punch bowl, but here…

The Master Chief was also one of the ones who succumbed to the tainted lettuce because, it turned out, he was a vegetarian. A vegetarian Master Chief. The mind boggles.

1 comment:

bruce said...

The mind boggles at mixing cocaine in paint. WTF is that? and painting ANY food container? I know the thing about painting everything aboard a ship, but isn't that a bit much?

A vegetarian Master Chief.. well, maybe nowadays, but still surprising in any context. Heaven forbid a vegetarian USMC master sergeant! Speaking of that, I remember attending a Armed Forces Day parade in Torrance where I live, and was sitting next to an older gentleman, we both watched a pregnant servicewoman cross the street, in uniform - he scowled and looked in my direction and and grumbled about a pregnant Master Sergeant in the Army... Humph, he said -of course I am paraphrasing what was actually said...

The uniforms.. well, the cammos are seen everywhere nowadays, even by the Air Force, which boggles me somewhat. Of course, it would boggle a Navy man to see USN personnel in them, especially aboard ship. Of course, Marines would wear them, but still.

I suppose the "attention on deck" is for dramatic effect, except for current and former USN members, who are either WTF or laughing their asses off.

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