by Marko Sijan
It’s a dangerous and exciting time to live in Canada. We’re at war with barbarians bent on delivering evil through our gate. The other day the Islamic State launched a new agitprop video of one of its “respawned” Canadian jihadists threatening to “indiscriminately” slaughter us on our home and native land. The threat comes just after two other homegrown terrorist attacks, one in Québec and one on Parliament Hill. So we know the threat is real. And I’m terrified.
I’m also thrilled. Thrilled because the imminent reality of more attacks will unite all Canadians from coast to coast, Canadians of every culture, class and brand. United under our flag with its blood-red maple leaf, we’ll let our government do whatever it takes to keep us true north strong and free. War games waged across the country will ignite our glowing hearts with true patriot love. The walls of Tim Hortons will run red with the blood of dead jihadists.
And so we’ll answer our call of duty to stand on guard for democracy and help Western civilization’s struggle to spread freedom to the peoples sitting in darkness in the Middle East.
The terror the immediate future will bring is cause to rejoice for many reasons. For instance, as a typical urban professional consumer living vicariously through fake heroes in mass entertainment, I endure a life of constant comfort, security and boredom. I’ve never seen bodies get shredded by bombs or piles of headless corpses floating downriver, except in the tens of thousands of movies and games I’ve consumed. But now I await the onslaught of real-life violent fun. Lately I wonder how it would feel to be shuffling down the street to the soundtrack of my life on my iPod and to suddenly see a homegrown jihadist chop off someone’s head and scream, “God is great! Death to the infidel!”
Soon such visions of gore will be a routine facet of our lives. Then the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, our Master of Games, will declare martial law and we’ll rally around the flag. Mr. Harper will lead us to victory over the savages. To immortalize his heroic leadership, we’ll build him a monument.
During the first eight years of his leadership, I wasn’t sure if I liked Mr. Harper’s authoritarianism, but given the terrible events of recent weeks, now I’m certain he’s the fearless strongman we need. Plus he works tirelessly to secure our national interests abroad. He knows we’ll be fighting an ever-growing legion of homegrown jihadists across the nation. He knows we have a moral and economic stake in the wider geopolitical Great Game of advanced warfare. And he knows we’ll prove not only our mettle, but also our spotless moral integrity by playing a part to protect the things we love most: our friends and family, our freedom and democracy, our PlayStations and Timbits.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, our war machine has joined the West’s two-hundred-year-old battle to sustain our limitless need for energy to power our markets, businesses and entertainment industries. Our CF-18s arebombing Islamic State targets in Iraq, and while thousands of innocent people will have their heads and limbs ripped apart, that will be an accident. Our enlightened moral principle on this matter, though not stated explicitly but rather trumpeted around the world through our actions, is this: better a thousand innocent people die than one guilty beast go free.
However, to offer a fair and balanced critique, let’s give some credit to the Islamic State. Reports indicate that many of their recruitment videos are “gamified” to look like Call of Duty. Thousands of Islamic State mujahideen love playing COD. Spawned and bred in the West, here they were victimized by abusive families, bullying peers and a tough job market. As a result they chose to respawn themselves as mentally ill jihadists. They also love raping, beheading and crucifying their enemies apparently because such play is a “real-life evocation of a video-game fantasy.” Millions of us still loyal to the West live in that same fantasy. The first day it went on sale in 2012, Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassifiedgrossed over $500M and remained the “largest entertainment launch of all time” for almost a year. So the depraved ground we and our enemy stand on is not uncommon.
Nonetheless, while we approve of the Islamic State’s taste for the grisly violence of Western mass entertainment, our resolve to bomb them into the Pleistocene will magnify once they bring the battle to Canada. Our commitment to helping our Western allies secure an eternal supply of energy while spreading freedom, democracy and fun to the Middle East is proved by media reports stating that today patriotism and support for our military “is overflowing.” To fuel our economy we need an interminable war in which our land becomes a small part of the global battlefield pitting the enlightened bearers of civilization against the subliterate respawns of barbarism.
As realistic as battles in games like
Call of Duty
are, seasoned soldiers
their “real-life experiences” on the battlefield are “vastly different” and the “feeling of real-life danger isn’t [in these games].” Apparently there’s “no way [they] will help anyone prepare for war.”
So to satisfy our consumer demand for realism we need to play war games that are real and not play.
Anyway, the war games we support and help finance in the Middle East continue the legacy of the Great Game our cultural ancestors started playing over two centuries ago. Soon we’ll all be playing it for real and that’s exciting. ✠