Ask an Infantryman: "Should I Join Spetznatz or just play in a cover band and do paintball on weekends?"
Infantrymen, your counsel has been requested, once again:
Dear Froggy: I'm a 17 year old American of Russian extraction. I play paint ball with my friends every weekend, and wear camouflage clothes as much as I possibly can, because they make me look cool and also, dare I say, a bit dangerous. Plus, it's harder for the assistant principal to spot me in the woods, smoking my Djarum cigarettes. Long story short, I used to dream about becoming a Navy SEAL when I was younger, because Navy SEALs have really cool movies made about them, especially that one with Charlie Sheen, and the men in the recruiting videos all appear to be very good looking, with chiseled facial features, rock hard pecs, and washboard abs. Plus, it looks like the Navy gives them plenty of time to surf, and gaze soulfully at sunsets, when they aren't playing golf or water polo. But then I found another, competing dream: Music. My new and, I think, one true love. Music is my Aer-o-plane, to paraphrase the Red Hot Chili Peppers. And let me just say that unfortunately, I do not remember anywhere in those SEAL recruiting videos, watching the SEALs rock out with guitars or drums, or even a xylophone. I mean, sure, there's the occasional power ballad playing in the background while they're doing an insertion onto some sandy beach at night, under a full moon, but no: The power ballad you're watching is just a soundtrack to their normal SEAL training, and not part of the actual training itself. Maybe saltwater and the electricity from a guitar amplifier just don't mix? I don't know. Perhaps one of the Ask an Infantryman readers can knowledge me with the answer to this?
So anyways, yeah, I kind of decided to put that Navy SEAL dream aside for my music.
But fast forward to the other day, when I was using the Google machine to look up music videos that were especially masculine. After looking at some Black Sabbath and some Danzig and some Tool -- "Die Eier von Satan" was particularly testosterrific -- I came across Rammstein's "Du Hast Mich," and I was like: "Wow, cool German dudes can rock almost as hard as Maynard James Keynan, my hero -- but they have a whole different language that they rock in!" Let me tell you, Froggy, it was a real eye-opener. And then it got me to thinking: Are there any rock hard bands that rock in still different languages, other than English (Tool)?, or German (Rammstein)? And the Google machine was like: "Hellz yeah, Vladimir, you should check out this video for this crazy Russian band called "Spetznatz.""
So I clicked on that shit, of course.
And in the Spetznatz video, the lead singer is this hyper-masculine looking older dude, wearing a blue and white t-shirt that looks kind of French and hip, underneath a set of camouflage fatigues. And you can tell this lead singer guy for the Spetznatz band has been around the proverbial block; like you can totally imagine him rocking out back in Afghanistan on a Central Asia tour back in the 80's, before there was all the violence; and he probably has like, a ton of scar tissue from all the mosh pits and the stage diving. But in addition to the scar tissue, he has this awesome masculine voice, and he's doing this Russian singing/rapping thing, and there's this catchy guitar, riffing off in the background, along with what sounds like either clapping, or maybe some stomping of boots? I can't tell which. Anyways, let's just say that even though I don't quite understand the lyrics, it made me very curious, and a little bit tingly, sort of like the way I felt watching that one scene in "The Hunt for Red October," where the Captain, played by salt-n-pepa Sean Connery, starts the crew off singing some kind of Gregorian-chant-like business -- but even more awesome, and more Russian, and more, dare I say: Primal.
Anyways, while this dude is singing, there are more of these hypermasculine guys in his band. Like, hundreds of them. And they look almost exactly like the lead singer, sporting the same blue/white t-shirt underneath camouflage fatigues motif; but you can tell that they're younger, more wiry, and perhaps a little less buffed out; also, they seem to have fewer facial hairs, and fewer badges on their chests. And of course they aren't singing, because there's only one singer -- the older, lead alpha-dude, who kind of reminds me of what I wish my father looked like. Instead, they're going through this extremely tough-looking obstacle course, doing the kinds of things me and my paint ball brosephs here in Florida only wish we could do. I mean, these guys are HARD core, and they're using real guns -- like, AK-47's, and some other old skool hand cannons, that look incredibly dangerous. And they're just firing that shit from the hip, while running over walls, and fences, and corrals, and jungle gyms. All the while stuff is exploding, and smoke is wafting around like they're in the middle of a Kiss concert.
And then about halfway through the video they're all, like, "Whoah, comrades: Let's chill out for a bit in Red Square, and do some Tai Chi." But it's this very stoic version Tai Chi, and it's done in formation, with a soundtrack. And then they stop doing Tai Chi for a bit, while some of their brosephs start running around demonstrating their karate chop prowess on each other, with the occasional ballet broseph doing these awesome David Blaine/Chriss Angell style magic flying kicks. Seriously, watching this Spetznatz band was like watching a cross between Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jet Li, Justin Timberlake, and one of those new Japanese robots.
And then it dawned on me: "Spetznatz" isn't actually a band.
It turns out that Spetznatz is actually, like, the Russian version of Navy SEALs. And how bad ass is that? I mean, just think about it: You're some ugly, fat, Muslim terrorist, who wants to force women to wear sheets after surgically removing their clitoruses (clitorii?), and you're just chilling out with your goats in Chechnya or something, noshing on some dried figs and hummus, you know? And you're reading a translated Tom Clancy novel to pick up ideas on how to deliver a suitcase nucular device into the Port of Oakland, right? And all of a sudden: This music starts playing, all slow at first. And the hairs on your neck stand up. And the music sort of builds, and builds, and builds. And you can almost imagine this barrel-chested, sage older Spetznatz warrior dude, hiding out behind a berm somewhere, as he begins rapping/singing the manliest of lyrics, foretelling of your impending destruction. All the while, one of those sweet Russian Helicopters is up above your whole situation -- an Mi-28, just like in "Red Dawn," with Charlie Sheen (Who was also in that Navy SEALs movie). And this barrel-chested bassist, and wiry-assed drummer dude, are hanging off the side of the helicopter, on this crazy looking wooden pod/soundstage, with their blue/white T-shirts, going all Alexander Nevsky with their yoked up power chords, and your fear just continues to build. Because you've heard about this shit in your terrorist chat rooms on the Interwebs, about how just before Muhammad al Amriki got popped, he texted one of the faithful about just such a soundtrack interrupting his nap time in his downtown Karachi hotel. So you're starting to get real tense. Because you know that within a few minutes time, some hard as nails Russian commando with a faggy looking t-shirt is going to tai-chi your ass into submission. I mean, one second you'll be standing up, anxiously looking around, trying to spot some movement in the treeline, and all of a sudden, whoah: Flying bat-shit Russian warrior boot heel coming out at you from the [email protected]@in ether, snapping straight into the small of your back, propelling you 30 feet forward, and you're lying with your face in the dirt, out of breath. And then you pass out. And then you wake up and you're hog tied, and some dude named Pavel -- who smells like a combination of sardines, caviar, and Elizabeth Taylor's "Black Pearl" fragrance -- is whispering/yelling in your ear: "Where is the [email protected]#%ng suitcase nuclear device? You stinky, goat-loving, clitorus-cutting terrorist?"
Except Pavel will be speaking in Russian, right? So your fear will be geometrically multiplied? Because they don't teach Russian at your little weak-sauce madrassah? And you'll be all freaking out, because for all you know, Pavel is saying: "I'm going to rape you now?" And you'll be all clenching up? And trying to avoid that (being raped)? Because rape is unpleasant? And then you'll pee yourself, and crap your pants, because that's what they say to do in the rape defense classes -- anything to make you less attractive to the rapist?
Anyways yeah, Froggy, my question is, after watching the following video, do you think I'd be better off joining Spetznatz (I have dual citizenship), or just starting a band with my paintball brosephs and going to Junior college next year?
Thanks in advance, -- Vladimir in Sarasota
Your advice for Vladimir in Sarasota in the comments below, please.
-- Uber Pig