The more optimistic would say that Afghanitan’s civil war ended barely a few years ago. By other accounts, it is still raging on.
Yet only a short time after that bloody episode (assuming that we are in the optimistic camp), and while its ruins and rubble is still scattered around us, the fascination with war and violence knows no end. We love it so much we are already missing it! Observe, if you will, an Afghan pre-teen in full military attire -on the day designated as the national holiday for education (جشن معارف)!
I am reminded of the title of Chris Hedges’s book War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning. Hedges writes:
“The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, and a reason for living.”
I think that there is more than just meaning to it. It gives us pleasure and satisfaction. There is eros in the experience of warfare, in its collective ritual. Think of it as an orgy. There is a seduction and lure to the blood, gore, violence, and carnage of war. It gives men the reassureance they lack, the same reassurance that they gain after a sexual encounter.
Yes, I have it, it is down there, and it works.
It works just fine.
Like the instinct to reproduce, it is hardwired into our primate brains, our animal instincts. What else could explain the enduring fascination with an anachronism that should have been abandoned around the same time as fire was discovered? And sure as hell the laws of aerodynamics is not the only thing behind the phallic resemblance of all rockets, missiles, and other military projectiles. And oh yes, let’s not forget the magnetism and charisma of the military uniform.
Beg enlighten me, what does a national holiday for education intend to accomplish? Celebrate education by cancelling classes?