In 1983 a movie was released called WarGames. It starred Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, and a host of other good actors. I thought it was a great film, and seeing it years later, I still like it. In the early days of hacking, home computers, and what computers were capable of, it was an excellent film for preying on the fears of those unsure of what this new technology would bring.
All the young man played by Matthew Broderick wants to do is find new games to play, and he enjoys the challenge it takes to find them. As usual with my posts, I had no intention of talking about this movie. I wasn’t even thinking about it. Certain events that happened today encouraged me to do a search with the two words in it, and lo and behold, there was the movie.
Once he’s hacked into a military computer, the now well known words light up the screen.
A game. Of course!
There are some interesting choices, and honestly, who wouldn’t want to play Global Thermonuclear War?
The “game” starts to look suspiciously real, and Matthew Broderick’s character asks the computer what the point of the game is.
This is the point when he panics and turns the computer off, the computer calls him, and chaos ensues.
It’s also the point where I started making imaginary connections.
However, they weren’t playing a game. They were waging war. I don’t think they got congresses’ approval beforehand, either. In their, let’s just be polite and say somewhat delusional minds, they were at war with the President. Congressmen at war with the President? That sounds incredibly iffy to me. I don’t think they had a bottle to stand on.
Yet they had their “tactics” and their “strategy,” and openly said it was a war. Their goal? To win. For who to win? They can feed whatever they want into their gopbabble, it wasn’t for the people of the United States, it was for themselves. They wanted to win.
Apparently, they pay attention to neither the news, nor have they ever seen WarGames.
A lot happens–now that I’ve pulled up a quote from the movie, I see Matthew Broderick’s character is David and his girlfriend, Ally Sheedy, is Jennifer. They go find the reclusive Professer Falken who created Joshua, the computer who is now running on its own, and bring him back the the military base. David finally figures out a way that he thinks the computer will figure things out, while the military commander thinks this is all real, and the nuclear missiles really are preparing to launch at the then Soviet Union. David teaches Joshua how to play tic tac toe, then tells it to play all games.
[They are in NORAD, watching the computer WOPR playing Tic-Tac-Toe and Global Thermonuclear War at the same time]
Jennifer: What is it doing?
David Lightman: It’s learning.
The only winning move is not to play. Exactly. When you are a member of congress, representing the people of the United States of America, you are not there to play. You are not there to wage war. You are there to make arguments and decisions based on facts and truths, not what you want them to be, but what they are. You are there to work for the best interests of the people, the rich (you) and, more importantly, the rest of us, who might not have a “nice home” to make payments on–we have rent to pay. We don’t complain about how dirty our spa is because we’ve furloughed the people who work there. We don’t harass people who work at parks you have closed (are you really that stupid?) and tell them they should be ashamed of themselves. That woman is completely in the right when she says she isn’t ashamed, she shouldn’t be. She is doing her job. She deserves a medal for standing up to insensitive, idiotic representatives. That was despicable behavior. I’m so glad someone actually got a video of it.
But this whole time, while you have been waging war, it’s been against the American people. The women and children who couldn’t get food for themselves and their babies. The veterans who couldn’t get their services. The veterans who did wage war, at congresses’ permission to the President. The hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers who couldn’t pay their bills or buy other necessary items. See, unlike those people in congress who make approximately $174,000 a year, and are already millionaires to boot, many people live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe more congresspeople have advice such as taking out loans?
People need health care. Do you think because people make less money they don’t get sick? They don’t need surgery? I really believe in this case it may be a case of affluency acting as blinders, the “let them eat cake” syndrome. Congresspeople don’t have to worry about health insurance. They need to go to the doctor, they go to the doctor. Many of us, if we need to go to the doctor, have to find out if they take our insurance, if we have insurance, if they’re an approved provider or an out-of network provider, do we pay a co-pay that is set or a percentage, if we need a prescription, how much is that, is it a drug that’s on the approved list on our insurance, and so on. And then we have bills we have to make payments on stretched out over a year or more. It’s a whole process. So, we have a president who wants to try to provide health care for all Americans: it isn’t going to be perfect, and there are going to be snags and wrinkles that need to be ironed out. However, it is a start, and I don’t care if conservatives and tea partiers think it’s communist, socialist, Marxist or fetishist, it’s the first time it has been done in this country, and it’s about time.
Yet this is what this imaginary “war” was against. Sort of. It was the excuse John Boehner used to wage his war against President Obama, a personal, ideological war, in a situation that should never have arisen, should never have taken place at the expense of the public Rep. Boehner pledged to serve, and should never have resulted in a shutdown of the government while you were still paid. It was a grudge match carried out in full sight of the entire world, who we at least managed to amuse, and I’m sure now we appear much less threatening. An entire country held hostage by a small bunch of right wing conservative extremists? Hell, Boehner probably has fan clubs in some parts of the world. And the tea party? They should cringe every time they think of the name they chose for themselves and truly be ashamed. This is not the American Revolution, and they are not the self-modeled heroes they purport themselves to be. The American Revolution was fought by people willing to die for their country, to fight for was was really freedom. They denigrate the purpose of the Boston Tea Party as the truly revolutionary act it was by claiming any association with it whatsoever. They are not of that caliber. What gives them the right to usurp the name of an incident of far greater import, consequence, and reckoning than they will ever accomplish through misinformation and distortion of the truth?
War as Boehner and his cronies see it is an odd thing again. As Joshua the computer says, “What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” It wasn’t a game, and Boehner sulks that he didn’t win, but says the fight isn’t over. Did he learn nothing from this? Did any of them? What fight? No, he didn’t learn anything. If only when he heard “Shall we play a game?” it meant sticking him in a room with a game console to fight his imaginary wars there. Where no one gets hurt. In the movie, the world is saved because Joshua learns through playing all the scenarios in his “head.”
Maybe Rep. John Boehner needs a processor. I think there’s a place to go for those. All he needs is a companion…
And he’s all set. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…
Meanwhile, we can finally go back to government pages without getting stuck here:
I want to thank all of those who made the use of these pictures possible, including MGM, United Artists, and Sherwood Productions for making such an awesome movie. The Jackalope is mine. And I found another picture while looking for these I found particularly funny: