Tuesday, January 20, 2004

It's about time I started this farce.

Hey there, hello and welcome. Been a while since I tried to do one of these thingies, so excuse my ineptitude. I've been looking for an excuse to avoid doing my homework until the last possible moment, and I think I found it. At the moment, I'm avoiding writing a one-page reaction paper for my Rumi poetry class. Which is bad, cuz I'm gonna have to do it anyway and I've got morning classes. Tomorrow's my long day, with classes from 9 AM till 5 PM. With plenty of breaks in between, of course, but still.

Last night I saw perhaps the most disturbing commercial that I have ever seen. It's a recruiting commercial for the US Army Reserves, but it's done in the style of a video game. What exactly are we supposed to make of this? I know that it's done that way to appeal to their target audience, namely males in their teens and twenties, but this is really beyond the pale. I can't believe that anyone, especially the military, would want to make war seem like just a game. In a video game, you can blast the shit out of pretty much anything that you see without any real world or emotional consequences. At the risk of stating the obvious, it's different in a real war. You're shooting real weapons and killing real people, and seeing and touching real blood. It's not a game, and I think it's frightening and even insulting to the troops to even insinuate that it is.

See, I'm a pacifist. I am absolutely, 100% convinced that war and violence are wrong and usually completely counterproductive, especially wars fought to pad someone's bank account or ballot box. But at the same time, I feel real compassion for the members of the armed forces. They're out their, risking their asses because a man dressed in a suit and tie, sitting in an office somewhere with bodyguards to protect him, told them that they have to go and get shot at. It's an absurd, sad situation. But it's not the troops' fault, so I can hardly blame them for anything. On this flip side of this coin, I can't blame the deserters for leaving, either. They know damn well that what Dubya told them to do is wrong. The people who stayed with it know that it's wrong too. Reading these letters sent to Michael Moore (of Bowling for Columbine fame) conviced me of that. There are people I graduated from high school with who are over there right now, and more who are going soon. I wonder how they feel about it.

And on that happy note, I'm gonna quit for the night. I've got work to do and precious little time to do it in. So, till next time, peace, y'all.

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