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Another Big Dumb War

May 12, 2016

Am I the only one sick of war in my fiction? It’s like there’s some big conspiracy out there that every piece of fiction or movie must include a big dumb war or another. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy Captain America: Civil War. I’m a huge fan of Star Wars. My bookshelf is chock full of expanded universe novels. So! I do enjoy a good fictionalized war, but it just seems tedious now. It also props up this idea that war is some glorious endeavor when it’s not. It’s usually over resources and/or some shitty ideology.

It’s what tricked a whole generation into thinking war was a great idea in 1914 when it got a lot of people killed for not much gain. Which also led into the rise of Hitler…so…you know…there’s that. It’s also what gives the right wing in this country the idea that fighting ISIS with our troops and bombing Iran is a GREAT idea. When no, no it isn’t.

It also seems like the stakes are always the same in these big dumb wars: they’ll whisper in hushed tones about freedom. Or the end of the world or some other reason or another. *snooooorrrreeeeee!* Looks. Wars aren’t about freedom anymore than they’re about who has the bigger dick. In fact, I’d wager the latter is a more accurate representation of why there’s war than anything else. No, they’re always fought over political ideologies or culture.

My culture and political ideology is better. No, mine is better. To war bitch! Even the American civil war wasn’t entirely about freedom. Yeah, we fought over slavery, but the whole reason for keeping slavery in the south was to keep their manufacturing the same, even though slavery was on the way out everywhere else in the western world. And let’s not forget that the north was just as racist as the south. So yeah…competing cultures. Competing ideologies. And that fiction that was in the movie 300? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Sparta didn’t believe in freedom. No, they sacked Athens because Athens formed a democracy.

So no. War is not a noble endeavor about freedom or any other ideology no matter what our fiction tells you. This war love has even infected fucking Star Trek. C’mon….I know they had their own war, but damn…it didn’t make the most compelling of stories. What were the movies best remembered? Wrath of Khan, which was about about one man’s vengeance. The Voyage Home, err…saving the whales! The Undiscovered Country which was based on the end of the Cold War and how old soldiers needed to give up their prejudices if peace was to last. Hell, even First Contact wasn’t about a war.

And yet it seems like that’s where we’re headed with the new Trek. Ugh. If I see one more war about ‘freedom’ or ‘the future of humanity’ I will…I dunno…just stop caring. Actually, I think I’m at that point now. It’s all been done. You can’t convince me that this next war on screen or in a book is going to be any better than the last. Fuck. Did Michael Bay become the architect for these movies?

I want fiction and movies that are smart. That have well rounded characters who don’t test themselves against the backdrop of some lame ass war. Because honestly, your mettle isn’t tested that much in war unless it’s Vietnam because that war was just nuts all around. No, your mettle is tested by your moral choices or your failings. About how you interact with your world and how it changes around you.

War? Well…war…war never changes. Oh c’mon! You knew I was going to work that in here somewhere! That is also a terrible tag line but follow this link to find out why.

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