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erislover
08-30-2001, 12:11 PM
The book was great. The movie was great.

But in both there was a fair amount of subtle and not-so-subtle philosophy. Is this indicative of the author himself or just that particular story? I was very intrigued about some of the suggestions and implications and wouldn't mind discussing them here but after the quick question was answered.

Zanshin
08-30-2001, 12:45 PM
eris, in most of Heinlein's books you'll see similar ideas and philosophy. I think Starship Troopers is his only book to tackle ideas like mandatory governmental service to qualify for voting privileges, but some of the overarching themes pop up in his books again and again (i.e., quasi-socialistic government, advocation of physical punishment for children, pragmatism).

(And the movie was GREAT? I thought, like most of Verhoeven's work, that it's good eye candy and it's fun to watch, but about the most brainless movie I've ever seen. If enjoyed on that level, then yeah, it's a fun movie.)

Legomancer
08-30-2001, 01:07 PM
I'm not sure about the philosophy, as I haven't read Heinlein. However, for the movie, I really enjoy it. I find it to be a very witty satire on jingoism and propaganda in times of war, and the nature of war itself. That said, I think it's COMPLETELY by accident, as nothing else Verhoeven has done has convinced me that he's witty enough to come up with it on his own. To me, I think it's brilliant that none of the actors (except maybe Doogie) seem to be aware that they are in basically a satire of a war movie, and their attempts to act their little hearts out add to the effect. To me, I think it's more useful to compare it to actual WW2 movies.

erislover
08-30-2001, 01:18 PM
Oh, the movie was as excellent as Robocop and in the same tradition. It is one of the few movie-book duos where each stands on its own merits and can probably be considered seperate. I would never give up my S'Troopers DVD, and you'll have to pry the book from my cold dead fingers. :p

Hmm, yes, quasi-socialistic.... I've heard some people compare Heinlen to a Nazi sympathizer type. One of those "pave the road" people. However, having read the book I couldn't help but feel compelled to some of the ideas, and I certianl wasn't thinking about Hitler! Knowing it is something he puts into many of his works does encourage me to read more. Any suggestions for some of the stronger material?

Odesio
08-30-2001, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by erislover
The book was great. The movie was great.

But in both there was a fair amount of subtle and not-so-subtle philosophy. Is this indicative of the author himself or just that particular story? I was very intrigued about some of the suggestions and implications and wouldn't mind discussing them here but after the quick question was answered.

The movie failed to deliver anything that Heinlein tried to deliver in the book. Verhoevan took the Starship Trooper book and turned it into something different. There is nothing more then a superficial resemblence between the movie and the book.

Marc

Chronos
08-30-2001, 01:24 PM
Wow, someone's made a movie of Starship Troopers? When did this happen? And isn't it getting confused with the movie that Tri-star made a while back with the same name? I mean, I'd hate to go to the video store and ask for it, and get the Tri-star movie instead.

One thing to keep in mind with Heinlein's works: When he portrays a society, he doesn't usually mean to imply that it's a good society, merely a possible one. An author's characters are not the author, and may say things with which the author disagrees.

Lemur866
08-30-2001, 01:24 PM
OK. Heinlein wanted to write a book about the military. And so he decided to set up the background to give his idea of the "perfect" military. All volunteers, everyone joins as a private, everyone fights, etc. And the creation of an ideal military requires a certain sort of society behind it. There are many societies that would be nice to live in, but wouldn't or couldn't produce an ideal military.

Heinlein was certainly serious about thinking that ST society would be a good idea. But that doesn't mean that he thought that it was mandatory. Compare the "ideal" society of Starship Troopers to the anarchistic/ libertarian "ideal" society of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Both societies were seriously meant by Heinlein as ideal societies, but they are very different from each other.

Starship Troopers WAS intended to glorify the military. It does not advocate military dictatorship, or militarism, or mindless obedience, or anything of that sort.

erislover
08-30-2001, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by MGibson
The movie failed to deliver anything that Heinlein tried to deliver in the book.
I dunno, I watched the movie first, then read the book. I saw quite a few similarities, though Mr V did-- as almost all movie people are wont to do-- put his own spin on the story, characters, ideas, and purpose.

When i read the story, I seriously was not tainted by the movie in any way. After reading the story I watched the movie again.

Still a classic, IMO. I think this is one of the rare examples where both were enjoyable, and seperate. I can only think of two others off the top of my head.

Wow, so is this a meta-philosophical motiff, then, to portray ideal societies all across the board and what he thinks they take to exist? ST is the only one I've read, but now I'm even more intrigued.

CalMeacham
08-30-2001, 02:12 PM
You need to read the book and watch the movie again, folks.

1. I agree with Chronos -- just because Heinlein wrote it doesn't mean that he agrees with it, or thinks it's a good idea. If you read his books you'll see that he tinkers with LOTS of different possible societies. In fact, "How should we structure our government?" is a major theme in Tunnel in the Sky. Heilein threw out a lot of possible ideas in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and in Expanded Universe -- a lot of interesting and innovative societies and methods of decided who gets to vote. They are all mutually exclusive. There's no way he can support all if them. The society he describes on earth in Tunnel in the Sky is not like what we have now, or what exists in Starship Troopers, so why should you think the one in ST is his favorite?

2. The movie is nothing like the book. Veerhoeven and the screenwriter are clearly 180 degrees in opposition to Heinlein philosophically. Were Heinlein to come back from the dead, this movie would kill him, and for all sorts of reasons. the science and logic in it is appalling, to begin with, and there's not a gint of rationalization to make it seem real. The actions of the military are absurd. Perhaps Veerhoeven wanted it that way, but Heinlein would never throw ill-protected, expensively armed and trained soldiers into as hopeless a situation as facing a planetfull of giant bugs that are infinitely replaceable. (Heck, in the book they're all wearing power armor).

3. I've always felt that Heinlein's veteran's society in ST is, nonetheless, closest to his heart. He always was of the opinion that the polity ought to be earned, not given. This would be a good way to earn it, and one dear to that reservist's heart. But his veteran's socierty is emphatically not militarist or fascist -- active soldiers can't vote or hold office. Read his defenses in Expanded Universe and Grumbles from the Grave.

Odesio
08-30-2001, 02:15 PM
Originally posted by erislover
Originally posted by MGibson
The movie failed to deliver anything that Heinlein tried to deliver in the book.
I dunno, I watched the movie first, then read the book. I saw quite a few similarities, though Mr V did-- as almost all movie people are wont to do-- put his own spin on the story, characters, ideas, and purpose.


I felt he made it little more then an action movie with the occasional T&A thrown in.



Still a classic, IMO. I think this is one of the rare examples where both were enjoyable, and seperate. I can only think of two others off the top of my head.


I didn't especially like the movie. Granted part of that is because it was radically different then the book. Had it not been Starship Troopers I may have enjoyed it a bit more. But I couldn't call it a classic.



Wow, so is this a meta-philosophical motiff, then, to portray ideal societies all across the board and what he thinks they take to exist? ST is the only one I've read, but now I'm even more intrigued.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress if my favorite Heinlein book.

Marc

ElDestructo
08-30-2001, 02:18 PM
I read ST when I was kid and reading every science fiction book I could get my hands on. My take on it when I was ten years old was that the society in the book was not meant to be taken as the ideal society. It was a comment on what rampant militarism does to a society. Keep in mind that this book was written in the Eisenhower military-industrial complex 50's. The way Johnny's character changes as the book goes on is sometimes quite chilling. The passage that I remember most is when he's on shore leave and is window shopping in some city (I want to say it's Seattle, but I don't think that's right). Johnny is amazed by the fact that in all of these shops there isn't a single weapon for sale anywhere.
Of course, that could have just been me bringing my own bias to the book. RH could be the biggest fascist of the 20th Century, but in the light of his other works, I don't think he was.

Maeglin
08-30-2001, 02:22 PM
I also viewed the movie as satire and criticism of the original book. I admit, I also interpret Showgirls as satire, to the derision of my friends. How could any movie with the line:

I'm a dancer, not a stripper!

...be taken even remotely seriously. I think Verhoeven's in perfect form with Starship Troopers. That fact that he had the stones to diverge considerably from a well-known book by a respected author is pretty cool in my book.

gobear
08-30-2001, 02:33 PM
The movie was a complete mockery of ST's philosophy. You only have to see the Nazi-inspired uniforms to see where Verhoeven is going. Still, I love the DVD if only for some fun, brainless action and Casper Van Dien's exquisite backside in the shower scene (and the big, dumb cowboy who gets killed later on ain't too bad either.)

jwg
08-30-2001, 02:39 PM
One of my impressions from the book is that Heinlein had the military take over after the civilians, who were risking nothing, kept sending them into war. This ended up with a society where the military might run things, but they knew enough not to war against each other.

I thought the movie was great, mindless, dumb, physically impossible and improbable, but fun. Of course, having Denise Richards in it did not hurt. How come the girls in my high school didn't look like that? Most of them looked more like Michael Ironside.

erislover
08-30-2001, 03:24 PM
Originally posted by Maeglin
I also viewed the movie as satire and criticism of the original book.
Yes, after reading the book I get that impression. "The only good bug is a dead bug" commercial was a point blank way of achieving this, I think, though PV admitted to loving the story in the DVD IIRC (need to watch it again now!)

But what I found particularly interesting in the movie was the speech the biology teacher gave about bugs being lower on the evolutionary scale and such because they didn't have feelings. Was PV's essential question what produces a better soldier: feelings, or lack thereof?

The end of the movie strongly implies we will win. Interesting thought, that.

glee
08-30-2001, 03:45 PM
Wasn't there a (black) hole in the plot of the film:
- we had spaceships and guns, while the bugs 'threw rocks' across interplanetary space?!

But Denise Richards and Dina Meyer kept my interest throughout...

Sir Rhosis
08-30-2001, 03:54 PM
Not much to add to the criticism of the movie, but will admit to a hankering for the redhead (as opposed to the girl whose lips made her look like a famale version of The Joker).

One thing to add, and that is to the discussion of the military running things, etc. Heinlein on many occasions explained that the word "veteran" in ST does not only mean military veterans, but veterans of many branches of government and civil service. So don't bandy the word about with just "military" attached to it.

Sir Rhosis

Lemur866
08-30-2001, 04:32 PM
I don't know WHY people get the impression from Starship Troopers that the military controls society. It is explicitly stated many times in the book that active duty personell cannot vote and cannot hold office. It is explicitly stated that only retired servicepeople can vote or hold office, or hold certain reserved jobs, like policeman.

That means that a career serviceperson is explicitly and intentionally denied any input in the political process. Most voters weren't career people, just 2 year volunteers who served their hitch and left.

And it is explicitly stated that most of the people who volunteer for service do not go into the "military". In fact 19/20 are not in the military, but rather in civil service jobs of one sort or the other. This could be anything from trash collection to teaching school to being a researcher on Pluto (the fate of Juan's friend Carl).

I don't know why people seem to have such a problem reading the plain words of the text. Maybe they think that Heinlein couldn't have really meant them, since anyone who likes the military must be a fascist. Beats me.

Sir Rhosis
08-30-2001, 04:39 PM
Lemur,

Actually the impression I get is that most folks (the fine posters here are an exception) read the book's blurb or somebody's negative review (or like one poster who is an exception to those in this thread who saw the movie and decided that he was an expert on Heinlein's politics), and go running off at the mouth, knowing not of what they babble. Hence, they see the word "veteran" and two sentences later the word "military" and voila, their little minds go into overdrive.

Go forbid when they see "fascist" and start down that well-debunked road.

Sir Rhosis

magdalene
08-30-2001, 04:56 PM
Legomancer - Veerhoven and the screenwriter (whose name escapes me) ABSOLUTELY made it a satire on purpose. C'mon, those little "news briefs" are BRILLIANT! You've been "whooshed", hon.

magdalene
08-30-2001, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by MGibson
Originally posted by erislover
The book was great. The movie was great.

But in both there was a fair amount of subtle and not-so-subtle philosophy. Is this indicative of the author himself or just that particular story? I was very intrigued about some of the suggestions and implications and wouldn't mind discussing them here but after the quick question was answered.

The movie failed to deliver anything that Heinlein tried to deliver in the book. Verhoevan took the Starship Trooper book and turned it into something different. There is nothing more then a superficial resemblence between the movie and the book.

Marc

This is because things that "work" in a book don't always "work" in a movie. It's almost impossible to make a scene-by-scene movie of a book - movies aren't LONG enough, for one thing. You need to limit the number of characters in a movie, so the audience doesn't get confused or bored. Filmmakers who adapt books try to preserve the most important ideas and feelings, but they can't really "turn a book into a movie." I haven't read the book. The movie was an entertaining and intelligent satire about a militaristic fascist utopia. The Earthlings in the film solve problems with force, assume they are at the top of the universe food chain, and underestimate their opponents. From what I understand Heinlein's book delved into more detail about the structure of the fascist Utopia, and was more concerned with the question of whether living in one would be so bad after all. The movie didn't have much time to get these larger ideas across, so did it in subtle visual ways. But the movie does do a good job of showing you what that society values and what those values mean for citizens. The movie also didn't hit you over the head with the larger questions - if you were too dumb to see the satire, and saw it as a straight action flick, then it didn't try to correct you.

bdgr
08-30-2001, 05:16 PM
I loved Starship Troopers, but I guess I may be in the minority in not liking the original nearly as much.



I mean, in the live version Rick Wakeman such an incredibly organ solo. the original was good, but Tony Kaye's keyboard solo was not nearly as good as Wakeman, and...oh, the movie and the book....gotcha

Sorry

Odesio
08-30-2001, 05:30 PM
Originally posted by magdalene


The movie failed to deliver anything that Heinlein tried to deliver in the book. Verhoevan took the Starship Trooper book and turned it into something different. There is nothing more then a superficial resemblence between the movie and the book.

Marc

This is because things that "work" in a book don't always "work" in a movie. It's almost impossible to make a scene-by-scene movie of a book - movies aren't LONG enough, for one thing.
[/quote][/b]

I can appreciate that and I recognize that most movie adaptations fall short of the original book. However a decent director and script writer should at least be able to give one the feeling of the book. The writers/directors of Starship Troopers didn't even make an effort to be true to the book.


Filmmakers who adapt books try to preserve the most important ideas and feelings, but they can't really "turn a book into a movie." I haven't read the book.


Well if you had read the book you'd have seen that PV didn't try to preserve the important ideas and feeling of the book.


The movie was an entertaining and intelligent satire about a militaristic fascist utopia. The Earthlings in the film solve problems with force, assume they are at the top of the universe food chain, and underestimate their opponents.


Well I disagree that it was more entertaining then any other mindless action movie and I certainly don't consider it to be intelligent satire. I thought Robocop was one of his better movies. And heck you get to see funny commercials in that one as well.



From what I understand Heinlein's book delved into more detail about the structure of the fascist Utopia, and was more concerned with the question of whether living in one would be so bad after all.


Well I'd read it first before I'd try understanding it.




The movie didn't have much time to get these larger ideas across, so did it in subtle visual ways. But the movie does do a good job of showing you what that society values and what those values mean for citizens.


Again I disagree. The movie didn't really show much of anything in my opinion.



The movie also didn't hit you over the head with the larger questions - if you were too dumb to see the satire, and saw it as a straight action flick, then it didn't try to correct you.

Yeah, I just love these movies that all the smart people get while us stupid peons can just marvel at the special effects.

Marc

Legomancer
08-30-2001, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by magdalene
Legomancer - Veerhoven and the screenwriter (whose name escapes me) ABSOLUTELY made it a satire on purpose. C'mon, those little "news briefs" are BRILLIANT! You've been "whooshed", hon.

I'd like to believe that, I really would. But Verhoeven's other films just don't show that spark. Maybe I need to see Robocop again or something.

ModernRonin2
08-30-2001, 07:01 PM
I liked the part right at the end where they'd netted the brain bug and dragged it out into the harsh light of the surface. Dougie Houser, SS puts his hand on it... and it takes Mr master Psychic master several long seconds to figure out "it's scared." Whoah, ya think??


-Ben

Tuckerfan
08-30-2001, 07:44 PM
Read an interview with Michael Ironsides and he said that he'd read the book back when it first came out and said that it really "pissd him off." He said he later realized that the book was satire. :rolleyes: As has been stated before, the book was not statire. It was merely a look at a possible way of organzing a society that Heinlein wanted to explore. One of the things he comments about in Expanded Universe is that all societies collapse after a while. He thought that the structure of the society in ST might prevent it from collapsing. Much of it was modeled after Switzerland. Last time I checked, no one was calling that society fascist. (Oh, and let's not forget in ST where Johnny says that he'd never want to fight in an army of draftees. He seemed to think that draftees wouldn't fight as well as volunteers. Damn! That's a fascist statement if I ever saw one!)

bagkitty
08-30-2001, 08:05 PM
Yep, a fascist is a fascist is a fascist is a fascist...

magdalene
08-30-2001, 08:37 PM
MGibson, I'm in no way saying that you are dumb. But A LOT of people didn't get that the movie was a satire. Including many critics.

And I'm going to read the book now. So there. :)

CalMeacham
08-30-2001, 08:45 PM
Oh, Jeez.


Yeah, I realize that they have to change plots to transfer a story to the creen sometimes. ST isn't one of those cases. I know it's satirical, and I love whats-his-names use of the internet clicking as a way to introduce "sound bites", like the Newsbriefs he put in RoboCop. But the movie is philosophically vastly different from the book, and if it's satirizing the spposed fascism and militarism of the book, it's way off target.


If the wanted to tell a story about how he miltary gets carried away, ignores possibilities for truce and peace by erasing misunderstanding, and use the same military setup as Starship Troopers, why didn't the just film Joe Haldeman's The Forever War?

But to claim they're adapting Heinlein's book is just completely wrong. I have a copy of the movie because I love it technically, I like the writing, and because I'm so fascinated by a movie so completely at odds with its source material.

waterj2
08-30-2001, 09:57 PM
The movie:
The movie was crap. It was basically designed to look like a propagandistic action film glorifying war, but be purposely bad and naziesque enough that those in the know can sneer at people who enjoyed it. This wouldn't be so bad, except that it seems to fail at both. As the Pearl Harbor type of story about friends, love, and war, it seems to actually try to succeed, but not really. Since it just seems trite and formulaic, the satire doesn't work, as it's too hard to figure out that they did that on purpose. Also, the blood and gore parts are simply too engrossing and overdone to really show a commitment to the satire aspect.

What really pisses me off, though, is that Verhoeven took a good story and perverted it for his own artistic ends, one of which was to sneer at people who like the story. Especially since he doesn't criticise the story, just gives it moronic heroes and Nazi-styled uniforms. The entirety of Denise Richards' role was also pointless and stupid, and not part of the book. I've heard that Verhoeven didn't read the book, so as not to interfere with his artistic vision. This is simply wrong, as it was Heinlein's artistic vision that Verhoeven was using to make a pile of money.

Also, the military tactics are so incredibly bad it's painful to watch.

And for the record, I think Robocop is the greatest movie of the 1980's, and one of the best of all time.

The book:
I think Heinlein was playing with the idea of a society perfected for the purpose of making war. Sort of a future Sparta. Obviously there are aspects of the society that he sympathized with, such as the emphasis on personal responsibility. To say that this book, of all his books, is the one society he wanted most is a baseless assertion.

[u]The song by Yes:[/i]
Never found any philosophical or political meaning in it, but Steve Howe's guitar solo at the end is simply incredible. One of the best of all time.

waterj2
08-30-2001, 10:01 PM
Oh, and I should toss in that the book and the movie share the same sort of relationship as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz, in that there are a bunch of striking similarities, but no good reason to believe they're specifically related to one another.

;)

Odesio
08-30-2001, 11:05 PM
Originally posted by magdalene
MGibson, I'm in no way saying that you are dumb. But A LOT of people didn't get that the movie was a satire. Including many critics.


I know you didn't and I didn't mean to come of as though I was insulted. If the movie was meant to be a satire and so many people didn't get it then that's a sign of a bad movie in my book.


And I'm going to read the book now. So there. :)

It isn't my favorite but I think you'll find that it bears little resemblence to the movie. And it is short so you shouldn't take to long to read it.

Marc

erislover
08-31-2001, 01:38 AM
Originally posted by waterj2
What really pisses me off, though, is that Verhoeven took a good story and perverted it for his own artistic ends, You know, I think the same think about Dickens and "A Tale of Two Cities." what an incredible story he had, but I'll be damned if the telling didn't suck ass. :p

It's a shame, in some way, that the book/movie dichotomy doesn't let the movie stand on its own feet. Why am I reminded of people thinking that "Last Action Hero" was a terrible action flick?

mag, I don't think your opinion of the movie will change after reading the book, FWIW.
Marc, "If the movie was meant to be a satire and so many people didn't get it then that's a sign of a bad movie in my book." Heh, some of us refer to those dealies as "cult classics." I know people who still, mysteriously, hate "Heathers." I blame Flouride in the water, myself.

Akatsukami
08-31-2001, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by magdalene
Legomancer - Veerhoven and the screenwriter (whose name escapes me) ABSOLUTELY made it a satire on purpose.
Well, Verhoeven stated that, before making the movie, he deliberately did not read Starship Troopers, so as not to limit his artistic vision (and, as anyone who has seen Showgirls can testify, Verhoeven can't afford to limit his artistic vision by so much as a pixel). If he was directing a satire of the novel anywhere but in his own mind, then, it was purely by accident.

Starship Troopers, the novel, asks some interesting philosophical questions (as usual, Heinlein offers answers, but doesn't pretend that they are the answers). Starship Troopers, the waste of film stock, does not.

Odesio
08-31-2001, 11:05 AM
Originally posted by erislover
Heh, some of us refer to those dealies as "cult classics." I know people who still, mysteriously, hate "Heathers." I blame Flouride in the water, myself.

Well you don't have to make a good movie for it to become a cult classic. Rocky Horror Picture Show immediatly comes to mind. Have you ever seen Battlefield Earth? That movie is so bad I get a kick out of watching it.

Marc

PS: I really liked Heathers.

waterj2
08-31-2001, 11:11 AM
You know, I think the same think about Dickens and "A Tale of Two Cities." what an incredible story he had, but I'll be damned if the telling didn't suck ass.
First, the telling was meant to be read in serial form, I believe.

But more importantly, it's not like there was some really good Tale of Two Cities story that Dickens stole and made suck. He made his own story suck, which isn't as bad.

Chronos
08-31-2001, 11:35 PM
OK, so Verhoeven wanted to make a movie satirizing a militaristic society. I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with, is the fact that he stole the title and the names of a few characters from a perfectly good novel, which was not by any stretch satirical. What, his artistic vision was so important, that he couldn't waste any of it in thinking up a new title?

On the subject of the book itself:
And it is explicitly stated that most of the people who volunteer for service do not go into the "military". In fact 19/20 are not in the military, but rather in civil service jobs of one sort or the other. This could be anything from trash collection to teaching school to being a researcher on Pluto (the fate of Juan's friend Carl).I've heard this mentioned many times, Lemur866, but I have to say that I'm at a loss as to where it comes from. The last time I read the book, I was specifically looking for any evidence of this, but found the contrary. The service is not necessarily combat, but it is in the military. Remember Juan making out his list of service choices? He starts with all of the Navy positions, then lists all of the Army positions, culminating with the M. I. He doesn't even bother listing any other choices, and implies that they're all just suicidal guinea pig slots. It seems to me that if he could have listed "postman" as an alternative to "testing spacesuits on Venus", he would have.

Lemur866
09-01-2001, 12:30 AM
Yes, but what happens to Carl? He isn't sent to the MI or the Navy, he becomes a researcher on Pluto and is killed by the bugs there. And when joining up, Juan asks the doctor if he was a doctor before he joined up or if they decided he should be a doctor and they trained him for it. But the doctor tells Juan he's a civilian. Meaning that Juan thought it would be perfectly possible to be assigned the job of doctor. And Juan lists a bunch of intelligence and logistics (he studied logic in school, you see....) positions too.

Juan cares more about the military jobs, since they have the highest profile. And of course when you are engaged in a war with the Bugs, I imagine that there are a lot more slots for the military.

Also, remember when he asks the recruiting sergeant if they ever reject someone with the physical? The sergeant tells him that if someone comes in blind, deaf, and in a wheelchair, they'd probably find him something silly to do like counting the fuzz on caterpillars by touch.

Meaning that the recruiting board assigns you a job based on your skills and potential. That could be military or something else. But you can't join and NOT choose the military, you have no choice about what you are assigned.

I believe the specific figure 19/20 doesn't come from the book itself, but rather from Expanded Universe where Heinlein complains that people didn't understand the book. While the book certainly gives the impression that many/most people who join end up in some sort of military outfit, it is definately stated that some people don't.

Lemur866
09-01-2001, 12:33 AM
Oh, one more thing. I do think that while many jobs wouldn't be strictly military, you would definately be under military-style discipline. Of course, you could quit at any time except during combat if you thought your boss was being a jerk. And the only penalty was that you would never be able to vote or hold political office.

waterj2
09-01-2001, 01:07 AM
Isn't there also a mention in the book that Rico thought his teacher, Lt. Col. DuBois, had probably gotten his service in as a ditchdigger or something? I'll check my copy of the book tomorrow for specifics, but I don't seem to recall that the non-military positions were particularly dangerous.

Chronos
09-02-2001, 02:00 AM
Sure, you could end up being a doctor, or a ditchdigger, but there's such a thing as a military doctor, and historically, various armies have always been the world's number one employer of ditchdiggers. The catepillar thing is obviously a joke. Logistics/intelligence is also a military role, and we're never told what sort of research Carlos was doing, are we? I'm still not convinced. Like I said, there's plenty of non-combat jobs, but non-combat does not mean non-military.

If Heinlein ever did complain about people not getting the book, I'm pretty sure it wasn't in Expanded Universe. So far as I know, I've never read any specific comments by RAH on the matter.

erislover
09-02-2001, 02:19 AM
Hmmm, I seem to remember a conversation about the whole idea of volunteering when Rico was undergoing the physical. He asked about failing the physical-- to which he found you couldn't. The physical was just to find out what sort of job you qualified for. If you had no arms, no legs, and were blind in three eyes they'd still find a job for you.

I'll see if I can dig it up...