There's a show that airs on the History Channel called "History's Greatest Warriors" and in its existence as a program can be found irrefutable proof that the world will never know complete peace as imagined by John Lennon, at least as long as it is run by men. There is something about violence especially in its televised or dramatized version that inevitably draws us menfolk to it to like flies to clotting blood. Not that all of us are thirsting to get destructive, but we sure as hell want to find out more about it.
Coming back to the aforementioned TV show, it pits comparable legendary warriors from different parts of the world and time periods in a showdown which history had unfortunately missed out on setting up. So we have a bunch of computer guys, martial arts experts and doctors coming together to analyze and ooh-aah over the devastating effect of the warriors' special weapons and techniques on a dummy which replicates the exact texture and strength of human flesh and bones. The outcome of a Samurai sword on a neck and a Viking axe on the abdomen is bound to be gory but I watch, transfixed by the spectacle. The icing on the cake is the final computer simulation where the two warriors square off in a spectacular fight to the finish.
And it's not just passive spectatorship either! Often times, I find myself cheering for a particular side. I was overjoyed when the street smart American Indian warrior, the Apache overcame the Gladiator from Rome in a swift hamstring cutting and then jugular vein slicing knife move! I was delighted when the disciplined Japanese Samurai absorbed the power surges and then clinically dispatched the extremely strong but equally crude Viking. Crushed is how I would describe myself, when the Ninja got his backside handed to him on a platter by the Greek age Spartan. A recent episode when the former USSR commando, the Spetznaz taught a hard lesson in combat to the American Green Beret is one for the pleasant side of the memory bank. All of the preceding combat was of course virtual in every sense of the word but if there is to be such a war, I always would want to know what channel it is on.