Excellent article! Couldn’t have said it better myself.
I, too, have never understood the fandom for this show. I’ve watched a few clips of it, and am appalled by the cruelty, the celebration of cynical sadism it depicts. And I’m not a particularly squeamish or sensitive person.
Here’s my take on it: here in the U.S., we have never been under enemy occupation. All of our wars have been fought overseas, where we can watch the latest video of the fighting on CNN. We don’t realize how brutal war can be.
I suspect the largest group of fans for this show are the young male demographic in this country. Spoiled, pampered upper-middle class suburban young men, who have seldom seen REAL blood in life. Or are only familiar with the cartoonish violence in video games. They’ve never witnessed real violence, or been forced to commit acts of violence. Faced with it, they would probably fold-up in terror.
I doubt very much that people who are refugees from ISIS, from one of the African conflicts, or people who were in Bosnia in the 1990s would EVER want to watch a show like this. Because they have seen and experienced the true horrors of war, societal breakdown, and tyranny.
I’m 62, and when I was a child I had an uncle who fought in World War II. He was in the thick of battle during the invasion of Germany in 1945, and experienced hand-to-hand combat. Whenever a war movie would come on TV, he would immediately ask to have it turned off. It was simply to painful for him to watch.