Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Still Ready For War: A book of about 3" thick caught my eye at the library last week. It was re-printing the top 5 favourite war stories from the comic's (Comix?) we had as kids. Those in particular were the 1/- (one shilling - now 5 pence) 60 to 70 page A5 booklets, which we used to buy and swap at school. The 'ordinary weekly' comics, for me, would have been during the 1957 to 1964 period, and the favourites were Lion, Tiger, and Victor. They had other stories included about sport and football, but some of the war stories were fictional, like Captain Hurricane, and some were true, which took up the back and front cover story in the Victor.
Both Lion and Tiger included a one-page cutaway, almost engineering style diagram of an aircraft or tank, and as the war stories would keep us young lads in touch with warfare, the cutaway diagrams would interest those who might be into designing and building the hardware for war in the future.
Despite no one wanting another war after two, or three counting the Crimean, in fairly quick succession, the comic's kept it in our minds - just in case.
But what are they doing now to keep it in the mind's of the young, now that comic's have drastically changed, and some lad's, not long out of school, are out there in Afghanistan doing it for real; I asked myself? And it didn't take long for my question to be answered: X-Box Live; and the 'Call Of Duty' game.
My son plays it live on-line with players from all over the world, speaking to one another on a headset, whilst Mrs. B and I often wonder if we should hide behind the sofa in fear? Such is the amazing soundtrack to this extremely popular game, it often sounds as if there are a troop of soldier's checking every room along our hallway, and shouting "Clear!" as they pass.
So despite the comic's changing to more pacified content, war is still there in the minds of the young, albeit subliminally, creating tactical minds and developing manoeuvres should the day ever arrive when they may need to use it.
Me? I gave up after 'River Raid,' in about 1991, which was cassette loading and immense fun.