Caveman-Robot War Continues in Earnest

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Overlords of Betelgeuse - galactic warmongers from a small world orbiting the distant red supergiant - reported to their superiors today that continued monitoring of what they refer to as the “Caveman-Robot War” revealed its certain, indefinite continuance, much to their delight and pleasure.

“Finally, we have found a species that has engineered the perfect, eternal conflict,” said Undulax the Annihilator, a representative of the bloodsport-spectating delegation. “With combatants woefully ignorant of each other in the visceral, tangible sense that tires a lifeform of the horrors of murder, and acting from cold and dispassionate stances that alienate even their own sides, these hew-mons have managed to create a mutual destruction so far removed from what they consider normal life that nobody will ever identify with it enough to declare that it must end.”

Citing cases of primitive, myopic men who take up arms in conflicts which they can barely describe on behalf of ancient beliefs that many of them would no doubt abandon with even the slightest education versus non-sentient, metal weapons that fly through the skies, with neither side mustering forces that understand in any sense the greater significance of what they are doing, or why they are doing it, the overlords cackled with incredible glee. “Look at these foolish bio-forms bowing to some imaginary man in the heavens without the slightest temperance of reason or science!” said Captain GEX, waving an electron pistol for effect. “Look at those unmanned, unfeeling gun-droids who believe in an equal nothingness, and who also have no connection to anything beyond the small piece of themselves that they are.”

Humanity was equally un-afforded to the operators of said robots by the overlords. “Even the actual people who pilot them, safely tucked away somewhere in California, never feel the dark, smoky aftereffects of their great slaughters, and are little more than automatons themselves,” said GEX. “I have heard these young men call each other ‘bro’, and compare their exploits to electronic entertainment devices; completely oblivious to their own monstrousness.”

Of equal excitement among the delegation is that even if the war should someday end, the probability that anything will be learned by anyone, anywhere, is virtually nil. “On our world, much to our disgust, many of our wars are followed by touching, sobering tales about the great tragedies and casualties of violent conflict,” said Xor’el Vampirus, caressing a tibia. “I assure you there are no novelists or poets among the X-Box addicts, unmanned predator drones or illiterate fundamentalists here.”

Added Xor’el, “There is death. Only death.”

Dismissing criticism that many reasonable, well-understood human soldiers continue to die as well, by claiming that clearly they are being phased out as rapidly as possible, the overlords also pointed out that even their slayings are quickly decaying into total abstraction. “The death of soldiers, once a solemn, dignified and largely anonymous affair, are finally being twisted full-scale into not only partisan opportunism, but into predictable segments on television programs, and templates for popular songwriting opportunities,” said Admiral Starkiller, Missile Lord of Andronus. “At this rate, even their sympathetic corpses are turning into a mishmash of generic faces and names - somehow, these brilliant humans figured out that this is one of the few areas in which knowing more actually makes you realize how little you actually know, making you feel you know even less than when you started, and turning the tragic loss of Private Whoever into just another momentary, incomprehensible abstraction that invokes a momentary, insignificant, conditioned and automatic emotional response, no different than a beer commercial.”

Added Starkiller, “We have many medals awaiting this ‘Don Cherry’ whom you speak of.”

Asked why the overlords were so intrigued by the conflict, they explained that they were chiefly interested in who would emerge victorious. “The cavemen excel at underhanded, guerilla tactics that have the unintentional by-product of inflicting horrendous civilian casualties - compare this to their robotic opponents, whose overwhelming, barely-harnassed technological enormity is equally potent at inflicting horrendous civilian casualties,” said Grelznek, Skull-Eater of the 7th Fleet. “Obviously, we are interested in which of the two sides can ultimately claim victory in this race to cause the greatest amount of collateral murder.”

Added Grelznor, “Ordinarily, we would simply look at criteria such as the capture of valuable, strategic territories and resources, but we can’t find any evidence that they are fighting over anything that they won’t quickly be running out of regardless of who owns it, so it doesn’t make much sense that they’d be fighting over that.”

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