Let's check this combination for one minute: the advent of cheap digital video technology plus young men far away from home who often have too much time on their hands. The end result: military videos that may stretch the level of propriety. Duh. Particularly with the controversy over the don't-ask-tell policy of gays in the military, videos from Iraq and Afghanistan have emerged that are raising questions.
Perhaps the mildest of the latest videos is a look at Lady Gaga's "Telephone." It has even inspired a National Public Radio knock off featuring the likes of Nina Totenberg. No less a social arbiter than Gawker, which has provided a civilian guide to military videos pronounces the 82nd Airborne's effort thusly:
This video shows a group of nimble-footed U.S. soldiers remaking the "Telephone" video. The result is magnificent. Alternating between regulation camo and spangled leotards, our men in Afghanistan swing their hips, snap their wrists, and twinkle their toes like pros.
The Army assured fans that those who participated in the video would not be reprimanded.
More controversially, this take on the Ke$ha video seems more pointed and has raised more questions online (although its creator claims production values are higher).
In the macho world of soldiering, guys often become hyperbolic during their down time and the end result can become a little homoerotic. You have to imagine it wasn't all Betty Grable posters in the barracks during WW II, it's just there wasn't YouTube back then. It may have little to do with gays in the military but there is a certain amount of flouncing in this video from Kosovo, which has always been one of my favorites: