Monday, January 5, 2009

"War is like a video game that kills you."

"No--wait--lemme try that again..."

The not-unattractive, reasonably fit, goateed man in Old Navy cargo pants and a Samuel Adams Winter Ale promotional sweatshirt cleared his throat and gave it another go, momentarily drowning out the Foo Fighters' latest sonic turd.

"Video games are cool, and so is war. Wait--video games are cool and being in the Army is kinda like that...a lot."

Two slack-jawed 17 year-old boys scowled at him like he was their dad.

"How dumb do you think we are?"

"Well, we hope that you're really dumb now, so that you'll join up, but then we hope that you suddenly get smart, so that you don't accidentally shoot your own teammates or drop a bomb on one of our own secret torture chambers."

"Dude, we're going to college--why would we want a job that pays shit and will probably kill us or at least ruin our mental health for life, when we could go to college and get a job at Starbucks and have like benefits, such as not getting killed?"

The man with the goatee thought real hard about this one. This wasn't in the manual. He had to improvise. Luckily, that was his specialty; this was why he was given this post in the first place. Philadelphia is tough. Not everybody can do this.

"Wanna just play around with some of our $13 million, taxpayer-funded video games? In this one over here, you can get drunk, rape teenage girls, shoot people for fun, and drive tanks around the city, crashing into schools and shit. Then you can just leave and do whatever. I saw some sexy high-school girls over at Cinnabon about an hour ago..."


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LilyDidIt said...

I understand your stance but wonder what you think about having a military in general. If being in the military is for suckers who would fall for this arcade lure, how should we protect ourselves? how should we make an army career not suck. I haven't read the NY Times article your entry connects to - maybe it answers this question?

Goodtime Charlie said...

The point is not that the Army sucks, but that we shouldn't be tricking people into joining by making it out to be little more than a glorified video game. That is misleading and unfair and not something our government should be doing its people. Of course we need a military, of course people need to be in it, but they should know what they're getting into and approach it with appropriate gravitas.