July 3, 2008

GTA: Chicago St.

My friend capper has inaugurated a new blog, Cognitive Dissidence, and for his initial contribution discusses a controversial U.S. Army recruiting station at Summerfest.

The controversy arose over the presence of a computer game, America's Army: Special Forces, where 13-year-old kids could mount a Humvee and spray machine gun fire at full-size virtual human beings.

The exhibit is advertised in Summerfest's official guide as "Experiential marketing, a unique venue for discovering and interacting with brands." And then machine gunning them to death.

There was something of an outcry yesterday and reportedly the Summerfest Army has since substituted "targets" for the human figures as well as restricting entrance to the age of majority (18).

Reliable sources inform me that Milwaukee's medium wave talking orangutan Charlie Sykes spent the better part of two hours in the morning* crying over the objections to the exhibit because, you know, every music festival should include an opportunity for seventh-graders to pretend at killing people with machine guns.

Last year, it was the right-nut wing going appropriately ballistic over an appearance at Summerfest by the hip hop performer Ludacris, which they predicted would instigate a reenactment of Detroit 1967. Needless to say, nothing even remotely of the sort occurred.

I have a better suggestion for the Summerfest Army. Never mind the targets, just reconfigure the life-size humans to resemble bespectacled, hair-helmeted AM radio squawkers running back and forth parroting GOP talking points so we can all get in on the fun.

From whence the protests might emanate then, I wonder.

* And is weeping copiously still. Accolades are being extended to the initial objectors, but I reserve mine for those who can actually stomach listening to that idiot for more than a minute or two.


Anonymous said...

This would make one helluva video game.

illusory tenant said...

Shades of the Reverend Grant Storms.

William Tyroler said...

Milwaukee's medium wave talking orangutan Charlie Sykes ...

iT, you're better than that; making this sort of cheap comparison is beneath you ... more improtantly, beneath our noble simian cousins, whose capabilities, if insufficiently understood, nonetheless inspire awe, if anything.

Anonymous said...

No no, not shoot the LGBT; become teh LGBT. The collective conniption would be epic.

BTW, apropos of yesterday's discussion, did you know there's a centuries-long tradition of gay aesthetic camp centered around the Catholic Church? I discovered it yesterday trolling for Oscar Wilde quotes.

According to this author, "The Roman Catholic Church in particular is construed primarily as the key site of homophobic power and sexual repression. Nevertheless, when I peruse the history of the Church and the history of homosexuality, I see a great deal of felicitous cohabitation. I would have to admit that the turbines of Christianity have traditionally spun with an extraordinary quantity of queer steam."

Apparently St. Sebastian - rumored to have been a "special" companion of Diocletian, who later attempted put him to quite gruesome death ostensibly for being Christian - is particularly iconographic. Beginning with Giovanni "Il Sodoma" Bazzi and right up through R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" video, Seb's been an ironic symbol of queer religious martyrdom.

Wilde called himself "Sebastian Melmoth" while in Parisian exile. Tennessee Williams penned a poem - "San Sebastiano de Sodoma" steeped with concurrently gay and Catholic allusion:

How did Saint Sebastian die?
Arrows pierced his throat and thigh
which only knew, before that time
the dolors of a concubine

Near above him, hardly over
hovered his gold martyr's crown
Even Mary from Her tower
of heaven leaned a little down

and as She leaned, She raised a corner
of cloud through which to spy
Sweetly troubled Mary murmured
as she watched the arrows fly

And as the cup that was profaned
gave up its sweet, intemperate wine,
all the golden bells of heaven
praised an emperor's concubine

As they say, The More You Know.

illusory tenant said...

our noble simian cousins ...

Oh, by the way, I remember the last time this came up, and your comment included an invocation of Richard Posner. It occurred to me then to recommend a New Yorker profile of Judge Posner that concludes with he and his grandchildren staring wistfully into the monkey cage at a Chicago zoo, but I couldn't put my hands on the particular issue.

I'm pleased to now report, having recently unearthed a two-and-a-half-foot-high stack of back issues during spring cleaning efforts, that the profile appears in the December 10, 2001 issue, beginning on page 78.

Scot1and said...

Shouldn't Sykes be outraged that his tax dollars were used to make video games. I know I am. But I guess fiscal conservatism doesn't apply to the military.

Anonymous said...



illusory tenant said...

The St. Joseph statue is certainly more attractive than the lawn sign.

Except burying the lawn sign upside down facing the home wouldn't be as effective as burying a statue.

"Some say that this tradition goes back from what is called the 'degradation of the saints.' At that time the tradition was that you threatened the saints by burying them and with that saying to the saints 'I will keep you with your head down in the dirt until you sell my house for me.'"


William Tyroler said...

the profile appears in the December 10, 2001 issue, beginning on page 78

I am, to say the least, mightily impressed by iT's prodigious recall; even so, am impressed even more by our noble cousins.

illusory tenant said...

Fortunately my considerably less-than-prodigious recall is assisted somewhat by a Post-It note I'd placed on the issue because I had lent it to Irene Calboli, a Marquette law prof and fan of Judge Posner (she brought him to speak there a few years ago).

My admiration for Prof. Calboli, incidentally, was enhanced several fold by her stance on the use of laptops during lectures, the abuse of which became positively depressing on many, many occasions.

Display Name said...

America's Army, the home version, has been widely available since 2002.

Never know what you'll find on the Internets. A few weeks back I stumbled on a goodie regarding Jesus healing the gay centurion's boyfriend. Of course, there's always something to dispute here or there. That's what makes flinging Bible quotes so much fun!

As for St. Joseph... yeah, it's monotheism, except for all the other minor miracle workers who live in the sky, too.

illusory tenant said...

I wonder if there's a Canon Law provision for "threatening a saint."