A Deepness of Thought
Pat's Blog

The Highlander

When I was on the sub, a fascination developed among the crew over the movie The Highlander.

The movie is about an immortal born in Scotland in 1536 who can only be killed by decapitation. Through the centuries, he meets other immortals, some of whom he allies with and some he battles. The final showdown is with his arch enemy, a Slavic looking barbarian.

On the sub, men would make costumes and props from the movie and re-enact scenes. Lines from the movie would often find there way into conversations. Though no one in the crew ever mentioned it and I am not sure they were even aware of it, the parallels to the Cold War are obvious. The Highlander was adopted as a myth that personalized the titanic fight we were in. Something we also never really talked about.

In the build up of Operation Desert Shield, I asked the wardroom what they thought about the coming war. They unanimously responded that we were not going to war. As if we were going to deploy half a million men to Saudi Arabia and just sit there. Or worse, remove them and tell Sadam "just kidding". The men on my ship did not understand even the basics on world politics. It was not that they were dumb, in fact, they were the smartest people I ever worked with. But they were engineers and technicians concerned with keeping the ship running and just did not care about politics.

On a deeper level, they did understand. They were The Highlander, and, when it comes to immortals, there can be only one.

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