Going to war on TV

Cameron and I watched the final episode of the HBO World War II series “Pacific” last night. I still have a lot of images from the series flitting around in my head, and I know they are there, as well, for my 12-year-old son.

Some could question the wisdom of exposing a pre-teen to the voluminous use of the f— word. I questioned it myself at times. But I wanted my son to know what war is really like. It’s hell on earth. At least I guess it is. I missed Vietnam and am thankful for it.

Every pre-teen, teen and young adult male in America seems obsessed by the multiple video war games. I have qualms about it, but over the past few months I have let Cameron play the T-rated versions just so he will not be totally out of his cultural loop.

So war is everywhere in popular male culture. I hope shows like “Pacific” and movies like Saving Private Ryan will help give a better picture of reality. And one of the things I really liked about “Pacific” was that it showed the impact of such experiences on young men — it’s devastating, but it can be overcome.

Gosh, I hate war. I hate it so much that I hope the closest my sons ever come to it is a video game and TV screen.

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