Saturday, January 26, 2013
This past Friday on the TV news, all the liberal cable channels were aghast at what Prince Harry had (apparently) just said, giving an interview (being badgered) standing by his dusty helicopter in Afghanistan (or recently in Afghanistan.) Helicopters of modern vintage have a dazzling array of automatic functions and blinking-light star wars consoles and so (to me) it seemed only natural to compare the operation of a chopper in combat as akin to playing a video game. Of course, this was in uber-poor taste for the prince to do: comparing the killing of Taliban to a sort of video game. He meant no harm. He was only trying to explain the process to a bunch of dumb reporters. But all the press and cable TV stations were aghast, as I say - their liberal jaws slack with unutterable shock, their sensibilities gripped with a horror too intense, too awful to describe. Oh! How they will assail him in the days to come, thinks I, as I watch the charming camo-clothed chubby red-haired munchkin use his index fingers and thumbs to illustrate how one goes about strafing assorted Taliban positions. Nothing was mentioned about the Taliban also shooting up at the prince, since the American press consider them to be simply misunderstood freedom fighters.
I left it for the TV news folk to translate what he said for me. Although I watched the film clip that accompanied the story, I couldn't understand two words in a row what the exuberant Captain Wales was saying, so I was forced to accept the newscasters' version. Where are those helpful subtitles under the picture when you really need them? Is he from the North of England? My American ears simply couldn't attune to his vocal cadence. I used to be able to understand him. Perhaps Afghanistan has introduced some sort of desert impediment. You think? Well, hell, it might have been me, I could have been partly to blame, as Jimmy Buffet is fond of singing.
But, speaking of killing one's enemies with disrespect, I must admit that I immediately thought of the American drones over Pakistan or wherever. These are "flown" by pilots sitting in front of TV monitors, reacting to the visual input of the drone, miles away, and controlling it with their various remote control joysticks. So how the heck is that different than killing your enemies like they were pawns in a video game?
I ask you.