Bookshelf Battler here, reporting live from the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare battlefront. I have to hand it to this game. Such ultimate realism – the sights, the sounds, the blasts, the getting shot twenty times and then hiding behind a corner until you get better – ok, so maybe the realism factor isn’t all that high but still it is an all around A+ game.
This week I’m celebrating this game with a tie-in to literary war quotes – mentions in literature about that most necessary (or unnecessary?) of all evils – war. War. Ungh. Goo God yah huh – what’s it even good for? Absolutely nothin.’
In 1984, (the book, not the year that happened thirty years ago – hey what do you know, Happy Anniversary 1984!) by George Orwell, a vivid portrait the ultimate police state is created, so much so that the novel gave rise to the phrase, “Big Brother is watching you.”
What did this book have to say about violence – as in organized violence ,or in other words, war? Check it out:
“Those who abjure violence can only do so by others committing violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell, 1984
Don’t be fooled by the catchy use of the word, “Battle” in the title of this blog. I’m all for peace, happiness, and tranquility. But George makes a good point. Constant threats abound – both from criminal degenerates at home and terrorists abroad. We are able to sit around and type on our blogs, drink our Mountain Dew, and play our video games because “rough men,” i.e. police and soldiers are taking up arms on our behalf and keeping the bad guys at bay. Here’s what else George had to say on the subject:
“People sleep peacefully in their beds only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” – George Orwell, 1984
My opinion, police and military types often get a bad rap. They’re often portrayed in pop culture as savages, jerks, people on a power trip who just enjoy committing acts of violence and while I suppose there will always be a few bad apples in any bunch, we have to be honest with ourselves and realize that we are able to live peaceful lives because the government employs “rough men” (and hey – even “rough women!” to fight on our behalf.
This concept was further immortalized in the 1992 military courtroom drama film, A Few Good Men. Remember the character Col. Nathan Jessup played by Jack Nicholson? Here’s the direct quote of his infamous “You Can’t Handle the Truth!” speech:
“Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know – that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We used these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” – Jack Nicholson as Col. Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men
Well, maybe this is not the best example since Jessup was the bad guy in the film but overall, the main point – if you feel the need to criticize police and the military for being “rough men,” try to also keep in mind that their “roughness” is very much needed.
And don’t forget – my Call of Duty character will be exploded 50 times tonight by frag grenades, many of which I tossed accidentally at my own feet, so that you can play peaceful video games like Mario Kart and Minecraft.
Full disclosure – I have to give props to NBC’s The Blacklist because Raymond “Red” Reddington used Orwell’s quote in this week’s episode. When I heard it, I was like, “Thank you, James Spader! There’s a blog post!”
In conclusion – don’t forget to subscribe to this blog and follow @bookshelfbattle.com on Twitter.
And if you’re a Walking Dead fan – stop by Sunday night to discuss the latest episode! What is Carol going to do as a patient at the evil hospital, anyway?