Full Metal Smog

By Nathan Payne | pablosmoglives | 11 May 2021


Most people aren't aware that Kubrick originally intended Full Metal Jacket to be an allegory about the death of the music industry, in addition to a biting commentary on the duality of man. From the beginning of the film, when the amateurs, wannabes, and dilettantes symbolized by the Vincent D'Onofrio character have long-since condemned themselves to oblivion after failing the rigors required to become a professional soldier (musician), to the final scene in which they battle their muse to the death (symbolized by the Viet Cong girl), the real musicians are left to fend for themselves among the smoking ruins of a once-inspiring and interesting culture that has been ravaged by artless, sanctimonious control freaks who not only feel that they're entitled to the product of the musicians' labors for free, but who also take offense at everything and demand total conformity and compliance to every disconsolate whim that strikes their fancy, at any time.

In this scene, Joker sports a "Pablo Smog Lives" helmet and pin as an act of defiance against these humorless rats.

 

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In this gritty scene, Joker loses a piece of his soul as he realizes he has just murdered his muse to save his own life. The "Pablo Smog Lives" hat and button he once wore as a reminder of his truest inward self, now stand in mockery of him and of the atrocities he has been forced to commit in order to survive.

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In the end, of course, the soldiers join together in a rousing chorus of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song, symbolizing their victory over the angry, disconsolate bureaucracy that has forced them into war.

 

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Nathan Payne
Nathan Payne

I am a songwriter and bandleader who travels the world in search of the golden ticket. http://www.pablosmoglives.com


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