Wednesday, February 25, 2009

13-Year Old Vows to Honor Geneva Convention in World War Two

Despite the minor fact that the majority of the Geneva Conventions did not exist in World War II, a chubby 13-year-old has convinced his parents to allow him to play "Call of Duty" on the conditions that he honors the guidance contained in the 1949 agreements.

This kid's parents think they're being responsible; in fact, they're merely showcasing their ignorance. It's quite impossible to break any Geneva Conventions in the game; characters have no chance to torture, execute prisoners, or launch attacks against civilian populations, although they get to witness those acts in graphic cinematic sequences.

The scoundrel's only possible chance to tread a fine line is to fire a finishing shot into an already mortally wounded opponent; and this would probably be justified by the fact that many of those opponents will planning to make a "last stand" attack where they draw a pistol and blaze away until they run out of ammunition, or until they get shot again.

Still, gory and realistic though this game is, it's hardly an educational training ground for learning the nuances of International Humanitarian Law. What it really represents is an opportunity for out-of-shape American youth to exercise their bloodlust without endangering themselves.

If young Evan Spencer really wants to learn something about war, there's plenty of hot-spots in the world where another teenage meat-puppet could make themselves useful as a bullet sponge.

What do you think, Dear Readers? Is ol' Cleitus being too hard on today's callow youth? Is it in fact, the reverse - not that we have too many gratuitously violent games and movies here, but not enough over there? Would Chechens and Russians, Azeris and Armenians, Serbs and Kosovars, Israelis and Palestinians be less likely to fight if they could just sit down around an X-Box and kill electronic simulcrums of each other?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Once more into the breach...

Kudos to my distinguished colleague Diodotus for having largely shouldered the burden of running this humble discussion for the last several months.

I further applaud the resolution to spend less time writing, and more time in action; as James, brother of Jesus wrote in 49 AD, "Faith without action is as dead as a body without a soul."

However, wicked pagan that I am, I shall for my part follow the advice of the Japanese sage Miyamoto Musashi's instead, and since he preached that the way of the warrior is the two-fold art of pen and sword, I shall apply myself a little more to the former, and a little less to the latter, in order to make up for what one can only hope is the temporary absence of the esteemed Diodotus.

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