Saturday, July 21, 2007
The Politics of Military Recruitment
Yesterday, I checked out Canal Fest in North Tonawanda NY, between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. It was an impressive festival for such a small community, featuring live music, a midway, lots of different food options (including Democratic and Republican food venues), and even a charity casino. What surprised me the most was to see such a heavy emphasis on military recruitment at the festival. The Army, the National Guard, and the Marines had three separate recruitment stations interspersed throughout the vendors. All three featured military-like video game simulations to attract young people. I sat and watched a teenager play a first person shooter game, and interestingly, it didn't appear possible to "die" in the traditional video game sense. Recruiters followed up with encouraging words and a not so subtle suggestion that the Armed Forces needed "people just like you." I hope we never get to this point in Canada.