RANGER AGAINST WAR: Desperate Wives <

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Desperate Wives

Even people spooked by guns will be drawn
into the search for new tools of destruction

--Video game report,
Tallahassee Democrat Limelight

Guess he’s been in Starkfield too many winters.

Most of the smart ones get away

--Ethan Frome
, Edith Wharton

I can't get
Any rest
People say
I'm obsessed

--She Drives Me Crazy,

Fine Young Cannibals


Whilst visiting the far-flung regions of Jacksonville, Ranger had the occasion to stay at an upscale motel for a couple of days and experience America in all its glory.

In the business center checking the news, he had occasion to witness five fine young cannibals playing a violent video game. One said animatedly, "It's really neat to cut off their heads and stick spears into people." The others nodded in agreement. Ranger left, but not before offering, "You are some sick puppies if you think cutting off heads is neat." End of story -- almost.

Proceeding to breakfast, he overheard the three young mothers equally animatedly discussing the colors of their toe nail polish (true!) Breakfast continued until one of the daughters walked by my table and deposited her dirty glass upon it. The garbage can was three feet away.

Ranger stood up and stared directly at the girl until the mother said, "The gentleman is upset about something." In explanation he described the video games and the glass, to which the mother replied, "My boy is a good boy!" And indeed, in today's society they are probably sterling examples, and would probably never execute a Columbine-type shooting. Maybe.

Where does this start, and where does it end? Television is full of Jerry Springer-type nastiness -- the abject end of respect for one's fellows, replete with slap downs, wrestling and cage fighting. Reality t.v. encourages nasty behavior and rewards it with prizes. We have moved the Roman Circus to prime time.
The huge market of fantasy kill games glorifying murder are but an outgrowth of a society which disdains and ostracizes the losers.

We celebrate when stealth bombs snuff out human life, but cry when the Twin Towers fall. Death is death, but we do not find it equally hideous in its application.
What is the difference between cutting off heads in video games and remotely piloting drones that kill people in a really neat, precision manner? If you don't have to see it and smell it, it is all rather, surgical, isn't it?

The America that was my pride no longer exists. Or perhaps, the America that I thought was my pride no longer exists. The U.S. is on a cultural bobsled ride, and it is not over until we hit the bottom of the run.

The judgment will be that Ranger is a grouchy old fart out of touch with reality. If participating in this behavior is being in the game, Ranger prefers the sidelines.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i think that the america which was our collective pride never really did exist. we wished that it would, we wished that our wars would be just and our actions full of honor, we wished that our leaders would be wise, merciful, honest and true.

maybe they never were. maybe it has always been our noble washington standing up for freedom and against oppression, but let us not forget, that same honorable man sent smallpox infected blankets to the shawnee during the 7 years war.

jefferson was a firebrand of our revolution, he also fucked his own slaves.

andrew jackson stood tall for the rights of the common man, and, he nearly bankrupted the nation by dissolving the national bank, defied a supreme court ruling to evict the cherokee, choctaw, and other nations from alabama, georgia and louisiana.

the america that i still love, almost never lives up to its ideals, almost never keeps its promises.

sometimes though, it little ways, we can find some nobility in the trying to live up to them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 11:27:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger avedis said...

The America of our collective pride never did exist 100% - or anywhere close to that. Humans, after all, are not perfect.

There has always been an apparent hypocrisey when our ideals weighed against our actions in any arena of life, whether it be political decision cycles, economics, war making, marriage/family, business or broader notions such as freedom and justice for all.

That being said, I do think that once upon a time we had a social contract to keep our sins on the down low. We weren't proud of them. We may have found them profittable, we may have even enjoyed them, but were embarrassed by them if they came to the light of day.

There was an emphasis on putting the best of our nature out in front.

Nowadays, we celebrate our sins openly. There is no shame. The emphasis is on the worst of our nature. Crassness and cynacism rule.

Some say it is better today, more honest, more realistic, more personal freedom. That is usually from someone making $ off something low.

To me it seems like we took a good hard look in the mirror and saw the flaws and, instead of then striving to improve, we threw up our hands and simply surrendered to the worst of our nature.

I say there have always been weeds in the garden, but at least the garden still produced good fruit as well. Now we are deliberately watering and fertilizing the weeds and they are choking out everything else.

BTW Ranger, I found your blog recently and I very much enjoy your perspective. I think I will be a regular reader. Thank you for the regular postings of your insights.

I had been given a copy of Marcus Luttrell's "Lone Survivor" by one of my two children in the service. I did not care for the book much as it was written. Furthermore, from what I read it seemed to me that the tragic deaths of those brave SEALs was due to horribly flawed mission planning compounded by poor decisions at the squad level (i.e they should have exfiltrated ASAP); or, in other words, I agree with your assessment entirely. I stumbled across your blog in the course of searching for a backstory.

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 2:35:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm happy to have you aboard, it's a pleasure to hear from you.
As for Luttrell, I think his book was pap and garbage propaganda crap. I don't think that the team should have been extracted BUT RATHER that it never should have launched.
Repeatedly in these lonely little skirmishes our people are put in militarily unsustainable positions that are simply death traps. The team leader should stand up and state this opinion clearly and refuse to insert into areas that cannot be easily reinforced or that lack proper supporting fires or even avenues of escape..
I have a friend /acquantance that is as fine a soldier that I ever met. We were LT's and CPT's together back when clubs were issued as personal weapons. Anyway he refused to accept a MACVSOG mission as it was envisioned by higher and his unit CDR/S3.
He was relieved and was eliminated from active duty and ended his career as a Reserve forces LTC. A fine soldier. But the point is that the CPT that assumed the mission was killed.
I say this only because it's always been the same - he was strong and correct but the Army screwed him to the floor. This is called the Special ops community and I fail to see what is special when the leaders show no professional judgement.
BTW, I've done essays on all the MOH scenarios except the latest.
I hope to hear from you again.

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 9:34:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I want my country back" Whenever I hear that from a Faux News watcher I just have to laugh. THAT train has so left the station. Hasn't been our country for a while. I don't think the people that bought and paid for it are going to GIVE it back. I was born the same year that Eisenhower made his "Military Industrial Complex" speech I'd like to believe that we DON'T live in a country with government of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations - I can dream no?

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 3:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can dream no?

Just keep that happy thought. It's never been all that good and whole lot of us would like it to be better but at this time it looks like greed has won the battle over the small minds that are in power. Sad.

Monday, October 26, 2009 at 9:23:00 PM GMT-5  

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