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Raging Pencils by Mike "Fluffernutter" Stanfill

Ed and Sal Monella.

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start rant

Deep Threat

"War is a racket." - Major General Smedley D. Butler

the war lover Among my many clients is a purveyor of niche-market videos. He offers a vast spectrum of DVD's on golf, exercise, food and most prominently, not to mention profitably, videos of war.

His latest military offering is a multi-DVD retelling of the War of the Pacific during World War II. It's couched iconically as the "Eagle vs. the Sun".

Get it?

There's plenty of other WWII productions available in his catalogue besides this one and they're all readily snapped up by a seemingly war-insatiable public. I would generally applaud this thirst for knowledge but these videos are to history what The Texas Chainsaw Massace is to instructional videos on the care and feeding of power tools.

It's often said that those who do not study history are doomed to repeat their mistakes but this isn't always true. History teachers in Japan and Germany, for instance, all sort of pretend the years 1939-1945 never happened. Apart from the occasional market glitch both countries seem to have done all right for themselves since then.

But Americans are taught the glory of war (except for unpleasant anomalies like Korea and Viet Nam) and we just can't seem to get enough of these gory videos showing the same Japanese Zero spinning out of the sky and onto the deck of a battleship. We accept the ensuing grisly deaths because we know that vengeance is coming.

It's like the world's least sexy snuff film.

Personally, I think anyone who doesn't watch them for either the military strategy or the technology ought to spend a few minutes studying the real history of the causes of WWII. Because it was all about oil, both in Europe and in Southeast Asia. Learning why that war started is a lot more important than how it ended.

America, hopefully, is on its way to energy independence and perhaps future oils wars can be avoided. But it really doesn't matter as we'll be eventually be fighting for food or water or, hell, probably chocolate. Without doubt, sometime in the future, you can bet some grizzled veteran will be slumped in his Astro-Lounger viewing and reviewing the gratuitous splendours of Hydro War IV in glorious 3D.


end rant

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