Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Going to War on Going to War

"War. War never changes." 

So goes the famous line from Fallout. It's probably one of the most paradoxical lines I can think of. On the one hand, yes, war never does change. People die. Homes burn. Refugees flee for safer ground. Economies plunge as governments support the war effort. Weapons manufacturers, mercenaries, and smugglers make fortunes.

But, on the other side, war has changed. Three centuries ago, soldiers stood in formations across a field from each other and methodically fired muskets until one side broke ranks. Then, in World War II, we had paratroopers dropping behind enemy lines, snipers killing from hundreds and hundreds of yards away, and land mines that could kill people just for stepping in the wrong place. Then, in Vietnam, we had planes and helicopters dropping liquid fire on acres of jungle, sometimes without a clear idea of where the enemy was. Today, we have drones...unmanned aircraft...dropping bombs on targets thousands of miles away from anything even remotely resembling a "front line." People are still dying. Homes are still burning. That hasn't changed. It's just gotten easier.

War has gotten so easy to wage in our modern day that we don't even bother declaring it on people anymore. Got a drug problem? Declare a war on it! Got a terror problem? Declare a war on it! Upset that a Christmas tree isn't being planted in the town square? A war is being waged! Women not getting paid equally? They are at war!

I'm sick and tired of guns because they make war easy. I'm also sick and tired of war because it makes conflict easy. In hundreds of years, diplomacy is still hard as hell. Peace is still hard as hell. Maybe if all that hard work and innovation went into peace instead of war, there'd be less war. Some say it's human nature to destroy ourselves (specifically, Arnold said it in Terminator 2). Maybe we should show true dominance, true control over our fates, by ascending our destructive natures and working on peace instead of war.

I'm against guns and I'm against war, but notice I'm not against violence. I like boxing. I like MMA. I like professional wrestling. I played Witcher III last night and cut up some drowners with my enchanted silver sword. Violence is a painful part of life, but it is, indeed, a part of life. But violence isn't war. That's the difference. Violence can hurt someone, but it doesn't necessary kill anyone. Violence can shatter a home, but it doesn't burn it down. Violence is personal. Violence is intimate.

So I'm pro-violence but anti-war. I'm pro beating someone with fists but anti shooting someone with a gun. I'm pro lightsaber but anti-Star Wars. Yes, I know this is confusing. I barely understand it myself.




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