target acquired.

maybe it was the dope talking, but john had a pretty good point. we had been running up and down destroyed landscapes and bombed-out buildings, killing each other. we did whatever we could to completely decimate the other person: throw grenades and flash grenades, fire shotguns, fire automatics, aim for the head. kill! kill! kill! deeply entrenched in the game, "in the zone" so to speak, it was hard to tell how much time had passed. could've been twenty minutes, could've been a couple of hours. however much time had passed, it somehow became clear what we were doing.

"isn't this just ridiculous?" he said. i zoomed in with my scope. "what?" i asked, firing off some shots. "that this is fun? that someone thought up that we should just kill each other and make it into a game?" i laughed. it was obvious, but it took him voicing this obvious truth to put things into perspective. "i mean," he began, "someone thought up that this was fun and entertaining. we're like, blowing each other up and running for our lives." i laughed harder. here we were, two guys in our twenties, playing call of duty 4. "it is pretty fucked up," i said.

"i mean, why would anyone volunteer for this?" he said. "you don't get paid. you constantly put yourself in danger. you don't even get benefits. why would anyone want to be in the army?" i briefly thought about bringing up the point that some poor kids don't have any other choice, but i don't think it's true. if money's the issue, it'd probably be more efficient working retail, or even selling dope, than it would be killing people in a foreign land. if it's about valor or courage or any of those bullshit values, i'd say no. facing reality is, in itself, a courageous act.

"we're such teenagers," he said. "at least we're not playing this at your parents house," i said. he laughed. "yeah man, don't make a mess! my mom's gonna be soo pissed!" "what are we missing?" i asked. "we need some mad magazines," he said. "nah, man. big gulps!" "yeah, that's right." "no. i know what we're missing. what every eighteen year old guy has at some point. maxim." "yeah. maxim. and fhm." "and stuff" we said, at the same time. "shit's so stupid."

the target demographic, 16 - 35. like at 35, a man's going to get tired of his x-box, realize that he's wasted half his life looking at half-nude models in glossy magazines. these strange companies have sold us, and continue to sell us, boobs and guns, bazooka asses. sex and violence. i kept hearing about it, and concerned parents and right-wingers continue to preach about it, so it's natural for everyone to wave them off.

but when you really think about it, when you transition from boy to man and become courageous enough to face reality, you begin to wonder: does any of this make any sense at all?


John said...

Robert E. Lee said "It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it." but, being that he was a defeated Southerner, and slave owner, who cares what he thinks. It's amazing to think of the huge industry built on that crap. When I bought Call of Duty 4, it was through Ebay. That means I didn't just go to the store to get it, I spent time searching it out. I wanted to get something which would allow me to blow your head off (which is more the other way around) in as photorealistic of a way as I could. That's fucked up. The fact that we take such great glee in doing so is even more fucked up. I almost bought the new Call of Duty yesterday, and that's even more fucked up. As humans, we want this. Hell, maybe our advancement as a society has denied us some of the most deep seeded human traits, the want to hunt and kill. Who knows, it's fucked up.

But the most fucked up thing is that we'll be doing it all over again on Friday.

Jacob Dempsey said...

I can't help but think based on this blog entry and the above comment that there is some marijuana being smoked.

talking about hard times. said...

i hope you've been practicing.

Anonymous said...

First thing I'm doing after this final is going to best buy and buying call of duty 4. Gonna kill me some....