This video is a couple of years old, so maybe you’ve seen it already. …I’ve seen it already. It’s rare for internet videos to stick with me, but this one did.
I was reminded of this video yesterday, when I got in a pointless argument with my friend about the Iraq War. …Anyway, this video is called “Food Fight” — and yes, it depicts modern warfare via stop-motion animated food. For some reason — for me, at least — this video does a better job of illustrating the pointlessness, stupidity, and folly of war than most real war documentaries or movies do. The news has decided to pretend that we’re not involved in two wars right now, but this video helps to remind you that we are. For some reason, the cartoonish screams and cries strike home, maybe because they are cartoonish and disorienting — I don’t know.
War is stupidity — this we know. War turns men and women into objects — things that can be buried:
Snowden kept shaking his head and pointed at last, with just the barest movement of his chin, down to his armpit. Yossarian bent forward to peer and saw a strangely colored stain seeping through the coverall just above the armhole of Snowden’s flak suit. Yossarian felt his heart stop, then pound so violently he found it difficult to breathe. Snowden was wounded inside his flak suit. Yossarian ripped open the snaps of Snowden’s flak suit and heard himself scream wildly as Snowden’s insides slithered down to the floor…
“I’m cold.” Snowden whimpered, “I’m cold.”
“There, there.” Yossarian mumbled mechanically in a voice too low to be heard. “There, there.”
Yossarian was cold, too, and shivering uncontrollably. He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden’s secret. Drop him out a window and he’ll fall. Set fire to him and he’ll burn. Bury him and he’ll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden’s secret. Ripeness was all.
…Seeing hamburgers and egg rolls blow each other up does help to remind us that war is, essentially, a macabre joke — a deadly joke that shouldn’t exist. And after all, the best way to combat warfare might be to laugh at it; to laugh and mock the seriousness and horribleness of it all.
And so, this video follows every tragic instance of modern warfare, from WWII to the present. History nerds (like me!) may want to try to identify all the actual wars that are featured in the video. (I was impressed that I could figure out which foods represented “the Korean War.”) If you need a little help in identifying the wars, cheat sheets are available here and here.