"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn

"ignore the story. see the soul. remember to love. you will never regret it" --- Seane Corn
it's a jungle out there

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on Veterans Day

Call of Duty Black Ops. Released 11/9

I bought it for Jack. I did.
I've allowed him to play Rated M shoot em up sniper games AND I've bought the gaming systems on which to play them.
And the headset so he can play with his friends online and interactive.

That's some crazy shit.

Last week I took him to pre-purchase the game and promised I would pick it up Tuesday while he was at school.

Tuesday morning, Jack was like a kid on Christmas Eve.
mom there was an hour long preview of the game on line. It's SO COOL. I can't wait. this is gonna be the longest day of my life. 8 hours of igneous rock and dividing exponents. oh my god i can't take it.

Let me tell you, standing on line at GameStop with all those guys who were also picking up their newly released Black Ops games was WAY more disturbing than the thumb sucking chicken dick

All these
arguably adult men were crawling out of their skins to get their hands on it.
And the looks on their faces when they had their hands on it, it's shape smoothly covered by white plastic, clutching it to their chests and scurrying out of the game store, a gleam in their eyes. eeek

I actually heard some of them hehehe on their way out.

Pathetic. And kinda pervy. It gave me the willies.

I can rationalize ANYTHING. It's one of my talents.
When Jack was a baby, I vehemently expresed my outrage at the whole toy gun thing.
Even water guns. I remember he went to the birthday party of a 4 year old, and the party favor was one of those monster super soakers.

I was appalled

Flashforward 9 yrs and I'm spending my hard earned money on uber violent war games.

Shoot me

I heard a report a while back from my beloved Amy Goodman that these interactive military games are designed with Pentagon backing and George W signed some piece of paper requiring high schools to release the academic records of all juniors and seniors which then get interfaced with the online gaming info so kids can be recruited.
For the military.
Based on their academic performance and video war game acumen.

Can anyone say Big Brother?

I told Jack that the Pentagon was snooping on him.
Wow mom. That's messed up. It's just a game. I'm not joining the military. I don't want to really shoot anyone. Don't you know that about me?

He was totally offended and probably thought I was a dumbass for not trusting him to know the difference between real and make believe.

War is not make believe. The military is not make believe.
There is an HBO special on tonight about soldiers and PTSD.
I heard exerpts from interviews.
A mom talked about the effect that 2 tours in Iraq had on her son.
He could not make peace with the fact that he had killed people.
She said he wasn't raised to kill people. I tried to explain to him it wasn't the same. He was a soldier. It was part of his job. He was doing his job. I couldn't get him to see it was different. Its not the same.


It is the same. Killing people is killing people. Period.

He shot himself in the head because he couldn't live with the memories.
As do hundreds of other veterans. And thousands more think about it.

Still. I tell myself it's ok that Jack plays these wargames for hours every day.
I tell myself it's ok because he does his homework first.
He's in all honors classes.
He's a Good Boy.
He has no desire to enter the military or really shoot anyone.
I tell myself it's ok.

I'm not sure it's ok.

Is it a coincidence that this new call of duty game was released 2 days before Veterans Day?
2 days before this HBO special?

Is that a coincidence? I don't know.


  1. I did the whole stand in line with the crazy Adult men (some dressed like the video game) last year for Call of Duty. I had to. I told my son when he turned 12 I would let him play more hardcore games. Guess what, he turned 12 and true to my word I sat out there at midnight at Gamestop waiting for our pre-ordered game, and the Adults were Creepy. You want to see something Creepier... the midnight lines when certain movies come out. Like Star Wars remakes and Harry Potter... freakshow!

  2. Well, nothing makes my shy, sweet, kind, aspie boy happier than shooting up bad guys on XBox live. He's a different person - bossy, in command, and uber competitive. He plays all the sports games too, but nothing has the online community of hard core gamers like the shootemups. My kid was never going to play with guns either. I caved, on so many issues. It's just a game, he says. So far, I think he's right. Here's something that really surprised me - we went to the Natiional Armory Museum in Rockford IL, where they have a huge room filled with thousands of guns dating from the Revolutionary War to Iraq. He was mesmerized, and had an astonishing almost encyclopedic knowledge of all the weapons since World War I, and I didn't have a clue. Yep, he learned them all playing Call of Duty. He enjoyed this museum like no other, and so did we all. We visited their Veterens Cemetery next, and were so saddened by all the current graves and ceremonies. Talk about context.
    If they timed that game to come out at Veterens Day, that's shameful. I'm looking forward to the documentary. I don't know a single veteran who's come out of any war unscathed. Bless their hearts.

  3. Can SO relate. I stood in line for the pre-ordered game for my 12 year old on Tuesday as well. I didn't understand what language the twenty something dudes were speaking who were in line behind me. It was English but with a gamer inflection. I kept thinking - you've got to be kidding me? Then I wondered, what are these people thinking of me? I still had on my business suit and heels. "Bet she takes off that suit and rubs cammo colored make up on her face at night" Anyway....

    My son, scarily - has always had a propensity to want to join the military - thanks to his ultra patriotic and utterly ignorant dad who packed it into his brain beginning somewhere around 3. At 6, he would tell a complete stranger that he was ready to die for his country.

    We've come a long way in 6 years. He now says he's rethinking the military route. I think it's wonderful when young men choose to fight for our rights and protect our country, they are heroes. But I want it to be his choice, not something he was pre-programmed to do.

    As far as the game goes - if Bush set into motion some sorta tracking system - my son (nicknamed The Commando) - will be scooped up at age 18 and dropped into the deepest, darkest jungle of whatever current conflict we are in. He beat the game in 2.5 hours. I think he may be a shootem' up prodigy.

    However, like you - I continue to check in with him to gauge his grasp on reality. You're a good mom - he'll be ok.

  4. Looks like these games are a Black Op(eration), i.e. a stealth way to hard wire young men for the new approach to weapons, which from what I hear are controlled sometimes from military bunkers in the midwest using video-game-like controls. Scary!

    Maybe boys who play these games should take a field trip to a veteran's hospital and talk to the men there about what war is like. It would be a way to honor the soldiers and to give them a dose of reality.

    I do understand your quandary. What their peers are doing really sucks them in.
    Hugs. N2

  5. I don't know. I heard that interview too and it knocked me down to the dirt.
    Michelle- back to the woolly mammoth, back to the sabor tooth tiger, back to the times when this group of humans had to defend themselves and their women and children against that group of humans- who was it who had to do the hunting, the killing? The young men. They got together in packs and went off and killed. Then they came home and impregnated all the girls they could.
    I mean- that's one of the reasons we're here as a species. And now, well, it's not appropriate behavior unless you're in a "war" or playing a video game. Or in a gang, I guess.
    I don't have any answers. It's the fact that we don't live in the world we evolved to.
    And you have sons.
    Bless you. You're the mother. You follow your instincts. I trust that.

  6. This was so moving for me today. This morning when my 14 year old went off to school we mentioned it was Veteran's Day and he really didn't care. My husband immediately set it straight and told my son how people risk their lives and go through hell for us to have our freedom. I really hope to watch that HBO special tonight.

  7. Interesting post. I'm so glad I don't have the awesome responsibility of parenthood. I'd fuck it up.

    Love you mucho.

  8. I understand your quandary but so far I've held out on the war games for both my boys (aged nine and twelve). I have a harder time with the gross-out, sarcastic movies, actually --

    I had a similar experience going to the Gamestop in the middle of the day to pick up something for my son. Filled with large adult men -- do they have jobs? what the hell? -- your description is perfect.

    Maybe you can devise some sort of military burial for the games. Twenty one gun salute.

  9. I'm just eating my words here, nervous that I was making some sort of judgement on your allowing your son to play those games. I cave in so many areas that it would be ridiculous for me to tout not caving on the military games. We're all muddling through, I guess. And I think of you and the post you wrote about junk food every time I'm walking the aisles of Target and contemplating cereal.

  10. I like to think I'll ban these games and lovingly cocoon my son, but in all honestly he'll probably wind up playing my brother and boyfriend online by the time he's 12.

    I think it largely depends on the kid. I'm sure you know Jack well enough to make the judgment, but like all judgment calls when it comes to our children, it's scary not knowing the exact effect of things. We do the best we can.

  11. I am completely with you on this. Can you get out of my brain? ;-)

    I used to cringe at water guns and when my son's Star Wars figures accidentally-on-purpose lost their weapons, I secretly smiled...

    I was very very very anti gun and anti video games.

    Yet I've been sliding down the slippery slope, caving a little each year.

    I sort of hate myself for caving, but I know my son knows the difference.

    He says he wants to declare himself Quaker in case there is ever a draft. I tell him he should start a blog now so that he has documentation. And nix the video games (that he only plays very rarely).

    Although he says he wants PS3 for Christmas.

  12. I don't think it was a coincidence. At all.

    We do the no gun thing.

    My son's favorite things are superheros right now, SpiderMan, Iron Man, Hulk. I know we're only a few years away from graduating to Black Ops type heroes.

    I don't know what I'll do. I have no clue.

  13. Well, it comes out every Nov at this time but I think it is more for getting people started on spending their holiday dollars. My 14 yr old spends his own $$ on it. We are more concerned with the internet and Facebook than the competitions his friends get into with playing this game. And we've made our concerns about playing online with any strangers (since the PS3 is the internet).Even if I had anything against this game I am sorely outnumbered (last night Hubs played it for awhile, for the first time in about a year).

  14. I was the same with my little boy. Then someone got him a sword, and it turned out my 1yr old girl was really good with a sword. I don't know what's right either, but I do know it's hard to always say no. And to not let them do what all the other kids get to do.


so... wadaya think?

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She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
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