(Screwdisk is executive vice president for sales and acquisitions for HellCorp North America. Scumbucket is his nephew. The inspiration comes from CS Lewis’s “The Screwtape …
(Screwdisk is executive vice president for sales and acquisitions for HellCorp North America. Scumbucket is his nephew. The inspiration comes from CS Lewis’s “The Screwtape Letters,” which you really ought to read.)
My dear Scumbucket,
My esteemed colleague Hobbleclaw has a… well, I suppose the proper word would be “hobby,” though that might imply the strange concept of “free time.” He has long been thoroughly enamored with the history of the American Civil War, which, as you know, was one of the bloodiest and most gruesome conflicts we have yet managed to engender among the mortals, at least in North America. An internecine strife of tremendous proportions, made all the sweeter by its sheer and unmitigated brutality.
So his hobby, if you want to call it that, is Civil War reenactment.
By this, I do not simply mean that he enjoys pretending to be a participant—dressing up in the styles of the day, or taking part in quasi-authentic encampments, or doing walkthroughs of the choreography of famous battles. No, it is his contention that we could, and ought to, rekindle this conflict in all its inhumane glory. He thinks we could arrange things in such a way that the last century’s advances, both in weaponry and medical technology, could be made less accessible to the majority of the American public, thereby reducing the conflict back to the delightfully gory slog that it was before things like carpet bombing, ballistic missiles, or anesthesia, for that matter, came along.
I see his point, but I am not entirely convinced. I rather like the banal and dehumanizing aspects of modern warfare. The kind of gritty hand-to-hand slaughter about which Hobbleclaw can wax so poetic certainly affords many opportunities for sadistic cruelty and extraordinary atrocities, but it also can lead to incidents of gallantry, heroism and self-sacrifice. Drone warfare, for example, largely obliterates these unpleasant and undesirable side-effects. As much fun as it may be for us to watch a man eviscerate someone up close—or to sample the pain and terror of his victim, and the blood lust of the victor—for our strategic purposes, for the corruption and eventual takeover of souls, I believe it is better for them to kill each other in as abstract and disconnected a way as possible. Wholesale massacres of innocent civilians, demolition of entire cities, all this can then become nothing more than another day at the office: a few clicks on a mouse, a check-off on a “to do” list and then donuts in the break room.
But I digress.
I have also been skeptical of our ability to provoke Americans to take up arms against one another in the requisite numbers. The occasional mass shooting is child’s play to arrange, of course. But I understand that someone has actually created—get this, now, this is so ingenious—a CHURCH dedicated to GUNS. It’s in Northeastern Pennsylvania, they call themselves “Rod of Iron Ministries,” and who knows? They could catch on.
Keep your powder dry.