Those live action Modern Warfare 3 commercials featuring Jonah Hill and Sam Worthington may be lighthearted nonsense to us regular folk, but US Army Special Operations Command paratrooper D.B. Grady thinks they’re crass, hideous, and trivializing.
“The advertisement trivializes combat and sanitizes war,” he argued in an article. “If this were September 10, 2001, maybe it wouldn’t be quite so bad. Those who are too young to remember Vietnam might indulge in combat fantasies of resting heart rates while rocket-propelled grenades whiz by, and of flinty glares while emptying a magazine into the enemy.
“But after ten years of constant war, of thousands of amputees and flag-draped coffins, of hundreds of grief-stricken communities, did nobody involved in this commercial raise a hand and say, ‘You know, this is probably a little crass. Maybe we could just show footage from the game.'”
While I don’t doubt that the commercials trivialize war, all I can say in return is … welcome to Western culture. The American military — and the resulting fetish regular people have for it — has been exploited up and down for the past decade. While there’s definitely a case against those ads, I don’t think it’s the “new low” Grady says they are.
At least Infinity Ward’s not cynically shouting “THE TROOPS” for cheap applause at rock concerts.