Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Armchair Commander-in-Chief

If you're anything like me, this Iraqi crisis has you by the balls, doesn't it? If you care too much, then you're bound to feel rather alienated because, let's face it, nobody, especially the leaders of the allied countries, really seems to care about your two-cents. It's not an election year, after all. On the other hand, if you don't care at all, then, when it invariably arises in the conversation amidsts your camarilla of fried cheese eating friends, if you have friends, you're left holding your tongue because all you really want is the conversation to get back to the topic of Super Bowl commercials, because you've just come up with a killer quip that'll slay them all. The trick is, of course, to have an opinion of substance, but not one that overwhelms most people's torpid interest in foreign policy. Perhaps something rooted in the region's history, but only, at the most, the past twenty years. If you're feeling especially prophetic, or perhaps just feeling the strain to keep the conversation from moving on to CSI: Miami, because, damn her, your girlfriend wanted to rent Ghost Ship instead, you might want to have a prognosticating perspective on the situation, whereby you not only divine the future but also provide a clear analysis of the recent past.

So, with haste and a measure of desperation, you ask twice, having been ignored the first time due to your nervous habit of coughing nervously to get attention, "So, what do you think this new, compelling evidence of Bush is gonna be?" One friend, the token liberal you each kind of hate but also, ambivalently, admire for her ability to feel moral outrage about something as boring and out-of-touch as AIDS killing half of Africa, hisses her incredulity at first, which then recede a bit, upon conceeding that the token conservative is right and that, yes, maybe the White House does truly have something good up their sleeve, but simmers anew into frustrated dismay that we should feel encouraged by leadership that so willingly allows, nay, encourages, its allies to look silly. Seeing your chance in the quiet aftermath, realizing that you need to get in your perspective before that of the the Conservative's because his always revolve around Bill Clinton as the cause for all America's messes in the first place -- and because, though none of you would admit it, you each not-so-ambivalently hate him because of his tendency to make more money and the consequent ease with which he can buy more cheese sticks each week and refuse to share, not even the leftover marinara sauce! -- you regain the conversational floor you ceded minutes ago with the question, ready to assert your perspective on all things Iraq, as the gist of the original question matters very little after the Liberal's paroxysm. The floor is yours: what to say . . . what to do?

Here at Silentio, I respect these kinds of situations. Hell, I've been in them regularly. I'm here to help -- enter Idleworm's Gulf War 2. In the designer's words:

This is a projection of the most likely outcome of a new war in the Gulf. I used sophisticated temporal algorithms and historical semiotic analysis to achieve an accuracy rating of 99.999%. It's the mother of all Flash games.

Presto! Your conversation is saved. An instant opinion, one whose apparent, offsetting depth can be saved easily by prefacing (or post-scripting) it with: "I read this on the internet."