COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., July 15, 2016 – With 84 dead at the hands of a terrorist armed with a semi-truck in Nice, France, perhaps the seriousness of the war that’s being waged against the civilized world will begin to dawn on the Pokémon nation.
Or not. We may be too busy to notice anything in the real world as we are a nation occupying our time by playing Pokémon GO. The video game’s ad entices us to put aside our real lives for a go at pop culture at its most myopic worst:
Travel between the real world and the virtual world of Pokémon GO for iPhone and Android devices. Pokémon GO is built on Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform and will use real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon.
Sorry, did the ad say “real”?
There seems to be a systematic war against civilization by the forces of evil. For a more complete definition, if unclear, consult your nearest Bible.
Or try this: Last week, five police officers were killed and nine others and two civilians were injured in a Dallas shoot-out with an angry black supremacist. The dead comprised four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer, all white.
The shooter, an ex-military man, told his negotiators prior to his death he wanted to kill white people, especially white policemen in Dallas. Sadly, he accomplished his fatal goal.
The president attended a memorial service and chose to use the occasion to push his own political agenda before a captive audience. He said, “We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book.”
The message, in case you missed it: “We’ve got to get the guns.” If someone in Nice had been armed, would that truck have been stopped by one of the many heroes that grabbed at the truck, trying to stop it?
The officers who were supposedly being memorialized were heroic, and one might presume their actions were not aimed at giving the nation’s top political leader another pulpit to continue his rant about gun control and racism.
With race relations at an all-time low in America and Thursday night’s terrorist event on a beach in France, it seems that many Americans choose to shelter in place, playing video games on their devices. Perhaps, to give them credit, the hopelessness of it all has turned them into tone-deaf robots.
Pokémon GO is fun. Pokémon GO requires no tears. Pokémon GO is close at hand, a diversionary activity.
It has been reported that some visitors to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., rather than reflecting solemnly on the many names of soldiers who died in the lengthy and brutal Vietnam War, spent their time there instead searching for some fictitious action figures using their cell phones.
Many of us walk through life, zombie-like, ignoring reality, preferring to substitute comic cartoon creatures instead. Do we notice the wind in the trees or the wispy clouds in the sky? No. Neither phenomena can hold a candle to victories achieved in video games.
Some parents even claim the new Pokémon GO phenomenon is a good thing, inasmuch as it entices their young ones out the door and into the Great Outdoors to continue their live action searches for the fictitious bad guys.
When many in the younger generation are not playing these silly games, they worship at the feet of pop culture caricatures such as Beyoncé, the Kardashians and ‘War of the Worlds’ movies produced by a humorless and cynical Hollywood.
The louder, brasher and more violent the film, the higher the box office returns.
Those of us raised during the ’50s no longer recognize our country, the world, American culture, the dearth of manners or the greedy self-serving actions of our politicians. Helicopter parents are giving their children everything in the world except an appreciation of their country and importance of politesse in all social dealings.
Fortunately, the country is in the process of choosing its next president. The sharp dichotomy between the two presumptive candidates provides Americans with clear approaches for the course ahead, the way we view America and how we intend to respond to the out-of-control violence, both internal and external.
Republican Donald Trump, bolstered by retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, frequently “name it to shame it.” They’ve dispensed with political correctness by calling out Islamic terrorism and Islamic terrorists by identifying them.
And in the course of the national campaign, they’ve even managed to prod the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, to use harsher, more accurate language – she just managed to squeak out the words, “jihadist terrorists,” in a phone interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
Perhaps that’s some progress.
Flynn’s language in his new book, “The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and Its Allies,” mirrors the rhetoric against political correctness that has become a hallmark of the Trump campaign:
“This administration has forbidden us to describe our enemies properly and clearly: they are radical Islamists. They are not alone, and are allied with countries and groups who, though not religious fanatics, share their hatred of the West, particularly the United States and Israel. Those allies include North Korea, Russia, China, Cuba, and Venezuela. Let’s face it: right now we’re losing, and I’m talking about a very big war, not just Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
“We’re in a world war against a messianic mass movement of evil people, most of them inspired by a totalitarian ideology: Radical Islam. But we are not permitted to speak or write those two words, which is potentially fatal to our culture.”
Such big words for what many have characterized as the next world war. Pokémon enthusiasts may someday, God forbid, find the need to glance up from their devices to a world that requires their best efforts to repair.
Gentility, reason and common sense must return to America and the world. Those who would face our problem, including Donald Trump and Flynn, to name two, have the best start for dealing with it. Those who continue to haul out the psychoanalysts and the Blame America First crowd, do not.
Fortunately, America has a clear decision to make at the national presidential election. Will we continue to excuse evil men, such as the terrorist who just killed so many Bastille Day celebrants in Nice, by continuing to ask “Why?”
Or will we take back the reins of the civilized world by standing up for ourselves, our countries and our evolved values?
The Pokémon nation may at long last want to look beyond their rapidly moving digits long enough to take responsibility for the real world that surrounds them. To step up, help out, and take notice of others who are seriously dedicated to restoring our ecumenical civilization with all its real world values and beauties.
A return to humanity, and the value of each life.
A good evening meal, eaten in peace and without fear of attack.
Honest politicians, who have renewed their personal dedication to service.
Responsible and responsive parents.
And a turning away from these hand-held devices that have distracted and temporarily separated us human beings from our own humanity.
During the last world war, a great man, a German, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who fought Adolf Hitler to his last dying day, warned us, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
To which we might add, “Not to call out Islamic terrorism is to surrender to it.”