War Is No Game

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Polygon.com is reporting that ISIS has released a trailer for a video game based on Grand Theft Auto for “the training of children and young teenagers to fight the West.”

Such video games have been in existence in the West for years. Call of Duty and similar militaristic First Person Shooters are based upon a game design and engine developed by the US military specifically for recruitment.

The original video game America’s Army was first released in 2002. Forty-one versions have been released as of January 2014. It has been used at amusement parks, schools, and other events to provide “virtual soldiering experiences” to participants. It has been expanded to include Xbox, Xbox 360, and other platforms. The game is available as a free download and is paid for by the US Government, aka the American people through our tax dollars.

I have written extensively on this blog about video games as educational tools and the need for alternatives to be developed that train children in the way of peace.

When we are as fanatical about peace as ISIS is about terror and are willing to commit as many resources as the US government does to war, then perhaps we will reach the day that the prophet Isaiah describes:

And God shall judge among the nations, and shall reprove many peoples; and they shall forge their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-knives: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

A Society of Discontents

Their purpose is to create a hole within you that never gets filled up.

The latest version of the newest model of the most recent rendition of the smart phone, TV, tablet, computer, gadget is one that you cannot live without.

That is what they tell you.

The snap crackle pop of the latest pop music crackles with the static of love without commitment, fame without responsibility, an endless party while the world burns, shadow puppets on the stage.

Buy what I am selling, they say.

My house is bigger than yours. My tummy and butt are tighter. My penis is larger. My breasts are perfect. I have the face of a goddess. I am the perfect lover. I do not have ED or PE. My children are prodigies. My car is shiny. My vacations are dreamy. My investments are sound. I am more than financially secure. I am the Jones times a million.

You can keep up, they say.

How dare anyone threaten this lifestyle. Missiles, drones, ships, jets, weapons of mass destruction, bombs smart and dumb, they can always come up with a reason, something or someone to fear, to launch destruction.

Aren’t you a patriot? they ask.

Fill it up. Take a long swig. Stuff your face, your pockets, your house, your shopping cart and grocery bags, with as much as it, they, you can hold.

Funny how it is never enough.

Lockjaw

I need to lose this bulldog mentality,
this eternal case of lockjaw.

There is nothing wrong with tenacity,
but so much of what I hold onto leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

It trickles down my throat like arsenic,
sickening my soul,
and oozes out of my pores onto those closest to me.

Anger is the byproduct,
a loathing of self then spilled upon others,
toxicity.

Release.
Balm for sore jaws.
Something else to chew on.
Grace?

Breaking or Healing

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Those are the two options.

To be part of the destruction of that which is precious,
even the life of the enemy.
Or a conduit for the substance that binds up wounds and the broken hearted.

Even when flaws cause me to hurt those around me or engage in broken thoughts and so for a time join with the razing power,
if I am repentant, make the necessary changes, and return to the healing stream
then the danger of losing my humanity is minimized.

And if at the end of my life when I am weighed in the balance and my contribution to fixing outweighs the breaking then I will be satisfied to rest easy in the knowledge that in some small way I was an addition to the healing sum.

The Prison of Me

I have become who I do not wish to be.
Upon waking this morning I could not find me.
Instead a stranger had taken up residence
beneath machine gun towers on a razor wire fence.

Somehow while I slept a prisoner I became,
captured naked  and exposed, a number for my name.
The cumulative refuse of years like a disease
had suddenly overwhelmed my inner faculties.

The circles I ran in turned around again,
enclosing me in my own hoary skin.
In what putrid lab had this creature taken shape who now inhabited a body with no escape?

But I must confess that these bars were of my own making.
My subtle declination left me ripe for the taking.
And so in this prison I will forever be
until I learn to love the me that most frightens me.