Q-Tip, not wrong, but certainly on the nose if you've been watching the show at all: "This is like that holiday Dirty Earl is always talking about, the one where the working man gets to fuck the rich man's shit up!" Redman pisses on the couch, which they all pronounce heinous, and Manimal gets really violent with a wall, and then they decide to leave, and Christeson snags a painting off the wall. "Nice," somebody says. That would be Christeson, who stared gape-mouthed at the beauty of Q-Tip's painting of a hamlet, before it was destroyed. Stealing art, for no reason other than vandalism. This isn't war.
This is part of war: the trucks rolling through town, people running up alongside and behind, grinning and laughing, yelling through the windows: "America good! Saddam no good! No jobs! No good! No good! We have nothing to do but talk, play dominos, smoke! Saddam was an asshole!" Ray offers a guy a cigarette as he's declaiming very simply, "Life is very hard." The guy asks Ray for Valium, because he apparently can't sleep, and the conversation changes very swiftly. As usual, Ray keeps up and his whole demeanor changes -- this is one of his best scenes -- and he starts indulging and teasing the guy in a way only an American could understand. "Really? Why?" Oh, it's bad of course, and the liquor store was closed when the bombing been started, so please give the guy drugs. "Oh, that's horrible," laughs Ray. "I got some uppers if you want to party all night... Just uppers, no downers." The guy lights his cigarette and keeps asking for Valium; everybody's asking for Valium. And I mean, if ever there were a situation that called for a fucking Valium, it's Baghdad Spring '03.
Manimal grins at the girls bringing tea; Q-Tip and Christeson tink their glasses. Poke points out the women to Lilley: "Check it, bro. The men are all sitting around talking shit, and the women are all working." Lilley drops another smarmy patronizing Wire-like line about how if they were fighting the women instead of the men, they'd get their asses kicked. And in case you weren't under the impression that Iraqis are all women-hating faggots who let their bitches dig for food while they lay around sucking each other's cocks, some dude hits on Gabe, and Gabe tries to get Walt to shoot the guy, and Walt tells him everything's fine, and maybe if those two little scenes weren't so contiguous it wouldn't seem so gross, but there's something frisky fucking jingo about taking something as complicated as sexuality and the admittedly upsetting gender politics of the Middle East and crushing them together into some retarded base-level non-joke like that. Because God forbid dudes make out without it making some larger point about how some men are men and some men aren't men and the best way to figure that out is by seeing who acts more homophobic and thus more American and thus less deserving of murder. Some gunner blows Gabe a kiss. In the book, the guys thought it was hilarious, because they weren't characters in a show but actual guys, who thought it was funny; because what it is, is fucking funny. It's not 99% culture shock, 1% American values: it's 100% sensory overload, and dudes in the middle of a bombed-out piece of shit city that moments ago was one of the most beautiful cities on the planet trying to score some Marine ass is funny, because that's guys right there. Dumbshit scene. Play to the cheap seats and that's who shows up.