War Games

Let me state right off the bat that I don’t like games.  Cards, dominoes, Scrabble, that one where you stack the little pieces of wood, backgammon, checkers, the list goes on.  In varying degrees, I dislike them all.  When my brother and I used to play Monopoly, I would try to sneak all my money back in the bank so the game would finally, blessedly be over.

I also don’t like sports.  Soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, kickball, most definitely dodgeball…you see where this is going.  In high school I would go to football games, cheer along with my friends even though I hadn’t the slightest clue why, and find someone to make out with under the bleachers as quickly as possible.

I wanted to get my biases out there before I tell you about another thing I don’t like.  Civil War Reenactments.   I’m not sure if it happens anymore, but I can remember a few years ago, when grown men (and some women, I guess) dressed up like Confederates or Yankees or whoever else and pretended to blow each other up on the banks of the Eel River.  And every time I think about it the only thing that comes to mind is: What the fuck?  It’s creepy.  And weird.  I just. don’t. get it.

Yesterday I got a haircut.  While I was sitting in the chair watching my fabulous stylist work her magic, a guy in his early twenties came in.  He sat down in the chair next to me and showed the other stylist a picture of the haircut he wanted.  It was a strange cut – short on the sides with a kind of comb-over on the top.  He said it was a “Nazi haircut.”

Horrified, I couldn’t help but look over at him.  He began animatedly telling the stylist that he was leaving for Oregon the next day to participate in a World War II reenactment.  He told her all about the tanks and the guns and the uniforms and how excited he was that he got to be a Nazi.

The stylist gave him just the haircut he wanted, and when he left her a tip he said, “Here’s a little something extra for the Nazism.”

More than 24 hours later I can’t stop thinking about that young man.  His golden blonde hair.  His glowing pink skin, and the fervor in his eyes about being chosen to play the role of someone who helped to persecute and kill millions of people.

I would love for someone to tell me I am overreacting.  That an Oregon World War II reenactment is simply an educational tool.  A celebration of history.  A fun weekend playing nothing more than a simple game.

Somebody please tell me that.  Please?  Hello?  Anyone?

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26 responses to “War Games

  1. Lighten up! You are SO overreacting. Reenactments are just a celebration of history and a fun time for those involved.

    But you’re so right about sports. I hate sports, except for maybe tennis.

  2. If these guys were 12-year-olds, these fantasy wars wouldn’t be so creepy, but Jesus, Fred, “a celebration of history”? Why not reenact the fucking Inquisition? Of course barbers probably don’t know how to do a Torquemada-style cut.

  3. “Here’s a little something extra for the Nazism.” he said as he placed a dozen gold filled teeth on the counter.

  4. Wake up to today, if it’s in you. Our “leaders” are as bad as the nazi’s ever were.

    this time the bullet col’ rocked ya…
    a yellow ribbon, instead of a swastika…

  5. I love games and am a sucker for sports, but don’t really get the war reenactments. I would’ve been troubled by the glee you describe, too. Hoping maybe he’s a theater major and excited to practice a role or something. Or a history fanatic thrilled for the chance to participate in an educational moment. Icky, though, especially in light of the recent murders.

  6. I’d like to see these clowns “reenact” the Battle of Kursk, but alas, they wouldn’t know anything about it, because the American army was not involved.

  7. Classic war movies spared us the actual blood and guts of battle. So an entire generation of us grew up thinking that only Vietnam was a bloody and messy war. In the last 15 years, movies that take place during wars prior to Vietnam started to show the carnage of those battles.

    A true re-enactment would need to spare no feelings or expense of our senses. Those Civil War battles were not just rifles and pistols and cannons being fired. The way young men’s bodies were cleaved and dismembered should not be something overlooked because some history buffs want to dress up in General Lee’s Uniform and light a firework in a cannon.

    … and a World War Two re-enactment? If anything, you should re-enact the idiot world leaders who allowed another war to breakout. All of those nations proved they learned nothing from the most horrific war ever fought, World War One. Why don’t we re-enact a battle from 1915 when hundreds of young men ran a full charge at a machine gun because they fought a war with modern weapons and obsolete war strategy.

    Of course that is not as cool as dressing up as General Grant. Or in the case of this blog post, a Nazi Officer. I guess the trick to a good re-enactment is all in the haircut.

  8. Oh shucks, I hate coming late to the game and finding everyone else firmly lined up on the other side. So very timidly may I suggest that almost every great actor loves a chance to play the Lady Macbeth’s and the Iago’s. Great villains give actors and actress a chance to play a range of emotions that they don’t normally get to try on for size. Reenacting war games, while not my particular thing seems no worse than pretending to be Darth Vader for Halloween and…it is a little more educational.

    • Ah, Kim…also giving humanity the benefit of the doubt. Thanks. Although in the case of this guy…well, let’s just say I have my doubts about his motivations. xo

  9. Though I have interest in history, I’m not knowledgeable enough to suggest these wars of which Joel speaks. Nor do I disagree with Sally but it does all beg the question: How we will feel when the youngsters grow up and start reenacting Vietnam…..? Hmmm.

  10. Those reenactments of wars give me the creeps too, K’bel. Really really nightmarish. Be a good setting for a Twilight Zone, or a Stephan King. Speaking of nightmares, one of the worst I can imagine is of being stuck playing a board game that won’t end. Around and round it goes, shaking the dice, visiting Illinois Place, moving my little plastic doodah around forever. Unless somehow the heroine of the nightmare wakes me up by sneaking all of her money back into the bank. whew!

    happy halloween,
    suzy

  11. I don’t agree with the Nazi part but I do like the the haircuts, does anyone have specific picture for the one on the right?

  12. I like the cut on the right, dose anyone know how I can see a better pic of it? Please help! I need a haircut!

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