THERE IS NO GRAVITY– THE WORLD SUCKS. via
For our soldiers in Vietnam, something so honest and everyday as a lighter became a powerful token of pre-war life, and a way to express their frustration, fears, and loathing over the war. These young men were sent into Charlie’s jungle to fight an invisible enemy, over a conflict that many didn’t trust or understand– and about the only items they could take with them from civilian life were a wristwatch and a lighter. The Zippo became a symbol of their souls.
The often dark and powerful haiku-like sayings and mottos engraved on the side of the old chrome Zippo’s often reflected themes of delusion, death, drugs, or sex. It was a way for the soldier’s to express who they were, and how they felt. Many were like tattoos not worn on the body, but carried in a pocket. The old Zippo’s live on today as American folk art, and a haunting reminder of a confusing and painful time for the men who were there, and our country as a whole.