It’s the blood that bothers me. It didn’t always.
When I was a kid playing war, I wore bandages — white sheets ripped and splattered with red nail polish — to convey that macho, against-all-odds look. I was re-enacting history then, playing the part of boyhood heroes from battlefields far distant in both space and time.
When the U.S. sent real people into Vietnam and I watched the combat movies during the nightly news, pretending to be a soldier seemed very wrong, even distasteful to me. The clash between reality and fantasy was just too jarring.