we just keep delving deeper into bizarre.
we were up early to meet the sgt. major and then go to the weapon simulator everyone's been suggesting since we arrived. i knew from the beginning when mac was describing it that i would not partake, but i was curious and said i would videotape. they said it was like a video game, but no, it was very real. first he showed us mortars, we held them and felt their weight, and then we moved into a room decorated in fatigue colours. on the floor were two large rifles, and raised from the ground on four little stands, the weapons that they were to use. i watched as affa, pam and johnny picked up the 9mm replicas, were taught how to load, how to work the safety, and how to shoot. before them was a large screen with simple targets. i filmed, i took pics. i swallowed the discomfort in my throat and felt it nestle into my stomach. as they got more comfortable with what they were doing, the guy directing them made things more complicated. soon they were on to real life scenarios. i couldn't help but think of the episode of the simpsons where marge becomes a cop and has to practice shooting at "good guys" and "bad guys". it was just like that, except on video, and there were real people acting. you had to be quick. you had to be sharp. and you had to be merciless. seeing my friends with the guns in their hands was disturbing enough for me, i didn't need to see them killing people.
we all left in strange moods. and so sick it's amusing was affa's first comment: "that was so real." it's zoo tv. that's what it is. the inspiration behind the tour, what did it always go back to? the soldiers comparing their work to video games, the way one in particular said of bombing the desert: "it's so realistic."
we're off now to play our last show. we're at a different base in kosovo, we go back to the other one tonight then tomorrow we're off to vienna. it feels weird that this is over, but it also is a relief. how do i go home after this?