Friday, July 07, 2006


Yesterday I went to the gym during lunch, and the televisions were showing a paintball tournament. There was a hard, flat field, and a bunch of big brightly colored cushions that I guess were supposed to be cover. Two teams of men would rush onto the field from opposite sides and blaze away with paintball guns. This was actually being televised on a national sports channel.

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it disrespectful -- maybe even a little obscene -- that grown men are playing pretend-combat on national TV while men and women are fighting in real combat in Afghanistan? In Iraq? In Chechnya? In Sudan? Does anyone else see paintball battles on national TV as glorifying the outcome of combat while pretending there is no suffering, no fear, no loss? Am I making too much of this? Or does anyone agree with me that we should draft these guys and send them overseas to see what it really is that they're playing at. They could do some honest good fighting the Janjaweed in Darfur. And they could still be on television. It would just be CNN, instead of ESPN.

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that could be their new recruitment marketing.

think you're good at paintball?

we want YOU to show us your skillz.
My guess is that nothing will send them scattering faster than suggesting they try actual combat. Paintball does not strike me as a game that requires courage, or even well developed skills.
Yes it leaves a dull feeling in the pit of my stomach. I felt the same way on the 4th of July. What do all those firecrackers represent? Freedom, yes, but also all of the bloodshed. It reminded me of all of the violence that guns perpetuate in our society.

And speaking of paintball...I was driving down the road the other day and I heard a loud bang, and saw a huge splatter of paint right in front of me. Someone was shooting paintballs at passing cars!

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