Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ganzer Syndrome

'...Ganzer syndrome, in which the soldier will begin to make jokes, act silly, and otherwise try to ward off the horror with humor and the ridiculous.
The degree of affliction in confusional states can range from the merely neurotic to the overtly psychotic. The sense of humor exhibited in the movie and television series M*A*S*H is an excellent example of individuals mildly afflicted with Ganzer syndrome. And this personal narrative provides a look at a man severely afflicted with Ganzer syndrome:

"Get that thing out of my face, Hunter, or I'll feed it to you with hot sauce."
"C'mon, Sarge, don't you wanna shake hands with 'Herbert'?"
"Hunter, you're f---ed up. Anybody who'd bring back a gook arm is sick. Anybody who'd bring one in the tent is begging for extra guard. You don't know where that thing's been. QUIT PICKING YOUR NOSE WITH IT! OUT, HUNTER! OUT!"
"Aw, Sarge, 'Herbert' just wants to make friends. He's lonely without his old friends, 'Mr. Foot' and 'Mr. Ballbag.'"
"Double guard tonight, Hunter, and all week. Goodbye, sicko. Enjoy your guard."
"Say goodnight to 'Herbert', everyone."

Black humor of course. Hard laughs for the hard guys. After a time, nothing was sacred. If Mom could only see what her little boy was playing with now.
Or what they were paying him to do.

- W. Norris
Rhodesia Fireforce Commandos'

from On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

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