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Chapter 12 of 2065, Mr. Tucker’s novel in progress, as China has just seized Pearl Harbor and imposed new demands on its major debtor.
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They were playing a game called “Death Dive,” an attempt to re-create the War in the Pacific of the 1940s. World War II was now remembered as a battle fought by Superheroes — Captain America, Buck Rogers, GI Joe, and other figures from that forgotten age who now morphed into creatures of legend, much the way of Atlas, Icarus, and the other characters of Greek legend had become something more than human.
The Air War had been embellished by jets and rockets, smart bombs and heat-seeking projectiles, all operated by superheroes who could outstrip them all at any speed, catching guided missiles in their teeth and spitting them back at the enemy with supreme accuracy. But the main appeal of the game was the Kamikaze, the magical, two-engine Japanese prop plane that, if played correctly, could weave in and out of this hurricane of fireworks and shrapnel and, with exquisite precision, find its way to the Mother Ship where it could plant itself right in her belly, exploding in suicidal glory. Far from terminating the contest, this self-immolation was immediately followed by a rebirth in which the player became the possessor of three Kamikazes that could be aimed at even more appealing targets, and on and on it went. Games had been known to last for months.
Brandon’s parents tolerated all this because they knew, as did all the others, that the alternative was the VR parlors, where young men often disappeared for years at a time. “VR addiction” was now an official disability and the government was looking for ways to deliver monthly checks to habitués who had no other address. The game parlors were more than willing to cooperate, since it helped them to collect their back bills. It was win-win all the way—at least as long as the Chinese were willing to pay for it.
Brandon scored a direct hit on the Mother Ship. It was his third of the hour and he was ebullient.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?