"Please Mr. Postman" starts up, and outside a lit-up '60s diner, Jerry drains his beer. He's in his letterman jacket, surrounded by adoring females, but feels all alone inside. I can just tell. He's sad his beer bottle no longer has beer in it, and makes a speech to a nearby girl about having to get another bottle. A man in a uniform gets out of a car and Jerry collars him, saying drunkenly that Uniform is "just the man [Jerry's] looking for," because Uniforms "defend our freedom" and "can buy beer." Uniform says starchily, "Sorry." Because he's "in uniform." Jerry hollers after him, "Thank you, good man, good man!" Then he says, gee, I think I'll go to Nam and get in the shit and get a little crazy. Because the captain of the football team is under craaa-zee pressures, see.
Jerry comes home late, and drunk. He says he has good news. Dad says, "Notre Dame?" Nope. "Marine Corps. [He] joined up! [He] thought [they'd] be proud!" Dad looks at the ground, not proud at all. Some triumphant faux-military music starts up, and Jerry gives a speech about how he lives in the "real world," where he doesn't have the grades (that's his "brother's department"), or the moves to get into Notre Dame, and he thought he'd be "a damn good Marine," and he thought "that would make [his parents] proud." His mom, all decked out in a yellow chenille robe and curlers, hugs him and swears that she is indeed proud. Dad's face reads not-so-proud and maybe a little mad. Smarter Brother peeps around the corner and puts on a look of foreboding like, oh, dip, my brother's going to go into the shit in Nam. Then Dad gets up and says he's "never been prouder of anyone in my life," and joins in on the hug. Jerry O'Connell claps him on the back, but his face says, "Yeah, right."
Sound Guy cues up Track 6 on The '60s Soundtrack Of Subtlety: "Soldier Boy." Jerry O'Connell only has a duffel bag with him as he walks to the army bus. Julia Stiles asks if that's all he's bringing. Then she remembers that the Marines give out uniforms and guns and stuff. Hugs all around. Jerry O'Connell says to his mom, "It's okay, we're not even at war with anybody!" Dum dum dum dummmmm! He gets on the bus, and everyone looks sad and sniffles. Dude, you think this is sad -- wait 'til he gets back from being in the shit.
Birmingham, Alabama: 1963. On the old-fashioned black-and-white TV inside my TV, George Wallace says that thing about segregation. He was wrong. Then, on the old-fashioned black-and-white TV inside my TV, we see Martin Luther King marching with a lot of other people. Was that really on TV when it happened? I know it was in the newspapers -- I guess TV news is such a joke that it's hard to think of it existing when TV was created. The Today Show was around in the '60s -- Florence Henderson was a "desk girl," her job was to sit on the desk and dangle her pretty legs over the side for the audience to droool over -- like Katie Couric today. Michael watches at home footage of the cops turning on the hoses and beating protesters in Selma. A woman cries, a police dog barks and snaps. Pretty fucked-up real stuff.