Divided We Fall; Can We Make America Great Again?

A house divided against itself cannot stand. – Abraham Lincoln

James Calvin Davis is a Christian studies and ethics teacher. Who he is and his religion aside, and even putting aside his book, Forbearance: A Theological Ethic for a Disagreeable Church – I have to agree with and share my personal concern and distress over the current climate of divisiveness in this country. I used to be quite the firecracker when it came to heated conversations. No more! I no longer share in debate and banter with friends and family because it gets ugly in seconds flat. Now, I stand in fear of antagonizing or creating a rift in longstanding friendships.

Journalism: “writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation”

Then, there’s my first love – journalism – a profession that has been vilified as both a career and a calling. Let us try, for a moment, and remember the importance of a free press. Today, the openness to ideas and communication is gone. Self proclaimed well-read and concerned citizens choose to ONLY hear their own voice and those who share that voice. But please think – – -one doesn’t need to agree with on a moral, ethical or simply personal level with everything we see and hear and read, BUT we do have a human obligation to weigh possibilities; to intelligently debate ideas; to actually care about a differing opinion in order to see a more valid truth. This CANNOT be the future:

“You either hate women or like to kill babies. You are either a hawk or a peacenik. You are either homophobic or a fan of bestiality. You either prefer owls to people or condone raping the environment. You are either a socialist or a one-percent. You are either for law enforcement or for African-American rights. This is what most of our public debate looks like these days.” – James Calvin Davis

How do we move forward? Who will teach future generations to communicate, to speak, to share – without being immediately dismissed, rebuked or belittled? We learn by example. It is a general belief that by the time we hit our 20’s, the measure of our integrity has been well established. So what then? I think the importance of teaching ethics is vastly under-emphasized.  It is paramount, perhaps more now than ever, to give our future generations the tools in which they are ready to engage and debate alternative views. Conflict resolution should not just be a line on a resume.

We have become a nation numb to the simple virtues of honesty, integrity and compassion. What is conveyed every day by people we should hold in great regard has become accepted behavior. Dishonesty, malice, disparagement: this is the new norm. In fact, I see it not only accepted but worse, emulated. Something’s gotta give, because this is real and this makes me sad.

xoxo DDJ

A Dictator On A Unicorn Rides Into A Video Game…

Glorious Leader 1 Glorious Leader 2

So in the land of the increasingly absurd, a gaming company in Atlanta—Moneyhorse Games—has created a game called Glorious Leader. Now I admittedly am not even a sometime gamer. I don’t game. But even with the likes of such incomprehensibly violent games already in existence, this one strikes a different chord.

Based on Kim Jong Un–North Korea’s Darling Dictator–you are the “Glorious Leader” and you ride unicorns, battle the United States, set fire to the US Flag—and all I can say is WTF?—play basketball with Dennis Rodman. The CEO of Moneyhorse Games, Jeff Miller, claims the game is an attempt to “carefully walk the line of satire without being an apologist for the regime.” REALLY?

As the world becomes a more dangerous place, and less than diplomatic leaders become less than stable, is this really a good time to make light of the subject? We have the OH SO AMERICAN, Grand Theft Auto, which I am sure is a perfectly fine game for perfectly fine adults, but I think the unicorn and fun times playing basketball with a DICTATOR might just pique the interest of… actually, I don’t care whose interest it piques. It’s silliness, and worse than that it’s irresponsible.

I am not incapable of seeing the satire in a 90’s retro game, but maybe I just read more news than other people and don’t find it terribly funny. I sincerely miss the days of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and Asteroids which were probably 8 bit games, and this is a fabulous 16 bit 90’s style, which in theory is kind of fun to me. But other than that making me feel old, perhaps it makes me less in touch with the current slew of games of 64 bits and 3D and so much more that is completely foreign to me. [And excuse me if I got those ‘bit’ facts wrong.]

I suppose time and scientific studies will tell if any of these video games have left a mark on a generation or two. Eventually we shall see if people are desensitized to violence or world calamity because of the video games they play. And some of that might depend on whether Kim Jong Un wins this video game or the real game in the REAL world.

But this is just my humble and non gamer opinion. Feel free to check it out for yourself. BUT, after you giggle at it take a moment to think. Yes, it’s just a game… but is it?

                                                Does anyone remember Joshua?  😉war games