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back to article TV for those who enjoy massacres

In 1991, Bad: Or the Dumbing of America was published. Written by Paul Fussell, a man with experience of war, it pessimistically ran through all that was execrable in the United States with the realisation things were only going to get worse. Under bad magazines, scorn was reserved for the successful Soldier of Fortune, a …

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Paris Hilton

Real porn?

While the righteous right go on about nekkid wimmin they still advocate the worst form of porn that of the industry of killing and maiming.

They always get a stiffy from seeing them forriners get what's coming to them.

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Anonymous Coward

40 lashes

A tazer hurts as much as a lash from a whip, but without the external scarring. This is why they use tazers when they wouldn't use a bull whip, even though we all think whipping is inhumane now, somehow we don't treat tazing the same way because it doesn't leave skin marks that forces to confront the reality of the situation.

Here we get a mass whipping device, a few people without judicial process or control can mass 'whip' a population by zapping them with a pain ray. But it's OK, because the pain doesn't leave scarring, so the evidence is not visible. The populace can go about their day in self denial because the people who suffer the pain don't show marks on their bodies.

And as long as punishments as so easily metered out without process, we will end up throwing out our legal tradition.

Instead of (guilt_probability>90%)?Hurt : NotHurt

We'll end up Blair'ing ourselves:

Punishment = guilt_probability*Punish

Instead of punishing people we are reasonably sure are guilty, we inflict lower punishments depending on how confident we are that they're guilty. We'll end up dishing out a little pain punishment just *in* *case* they're a little guilty.

"Those two look shifty, lets zap them with the ray."

In the Blair tradition of making ever smaller crimes with ever lower levels of proof, to catch people who 'might' be guilty, and applying smaller punishments to them. Have 10 suspects for a crime? Why not punish them all a little instead of finding the guilty one.

Who knows, some idiot may attach them to surveillance cameras, and dish out mini punishments in cases of littering, loitering, looking at the camera a funny way, just like they dish out verbal rebukes now with speakers on cameras.

"Hey mister, you dropped that paper, ZAP".

Problem is, what happens when you only *think* he dropped the paper and you are wrong and he is right? What elevated you about him? Why don't you get zapped for zapping someone without cause?

/idle thoughts

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Your politics are showing, lads...

Seriously, could you foam at the mouth just a little more, please? I didn't get quite enough spittle on my shirt...

George, I love ya, and I love your work, and we've even corresponded a bit in the past, but this time, you're too far over the top. Most of the time, you're dead-on, but every now and again you seem to lose it, like your assinine critique of the current US helmet design a few years back.

Sit back, relax, maybe drink some decaf. Yeah, FutureWeapons is a crock o' shite, and no doubt about it, but really, is it so important an issue that you have to give yourself a stroke over it?

Oh, and leave Shotgun News alone - It's a respectable rag. Guns & Ammo, and it's illegitimate children, though, deserve all the kicking you can give 'em.

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Anonymous Coward

ADS and other non-lethal weapons...

Non-lethal weapons, such as The Active Denial System (ADS), were originally intended as, and are still promoted as, an alternative to lethal weapons. That's why they're called Non-Lethal Weapons.

Time for a Reality Check: That's not what actually happens in the real world, is it?

For example, if a loud-mouth student in Florida simply Will Not Shut Up, then the nano-brained campus plods, presumably at the very moment when they're seriously considering simply shooting the kid in the chest several times with their 9mm, realize that perhaps they can use the non-lethal Taser alternative.

Is that what happened? Were they seriously considering lethal weapons because he simply Will Not Shut Up?

Or was the Taser used to meet out the painful punishment then and there?

So in Iraq, a crowd of angry women will menace the Marines with angry chants in a threatening manner while holding a smoldering Stars-and-Stripes. The Marines, presumably at the moment when they're seriously considering simply mowing them all down with a machine gun, will instead use the ADS? Is that the thinking? Are these the only alternatives: brutal death or painfully zapped?

Is ADS really going to be used as a "non-lethal alternative", or more likely as a lazy soldiers 'stay back, and by-the-way, don't burn our flag' message / punishment?

Let's be honest and rename many non-lethal weapons as what they really are:

"Tactical Torture Devices"

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Song lyric springs to mind

Wasted Life - Stiff Little Fingers

"Killing isn't my idea of fun"

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Overtly bias...

Don't you think you went a bit far on this one El Reg? And George Smith, other than having an obvious bias towards FAS, everything I've seen over on Global Security is pretty neutral and respectable. You've damaged your credability with this rant-based opinion peice.

Future Weapons has an obnoxious host, and an obvious slant towards weapons manufacturers, but for the most part they really are just studying weapons. If you have a problem with the American Military, question its politics and tactics, not its weaponry.

And Shotgun News? That's just auto-trader for guns. For shame...

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Anonymous Coward

Ah I love this show!

I must be sick, I feel guilty now...

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Waddell media

I presume Waddell Media aren't related to Martin Waddell, the children's author? I imagine he'd be most upset about being associated with this kind of death-porn...

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Go

More bias please

I read El Reg *because* it isn't afraid to let it's columnists express their honest opinion. This is not a rag that has ever made any claim to impartiality or balance, and if that is what you want there are plenty of news sources out that that do.

I feel I should also highlight the word *columnist* here. This is an opinion piece, and a strongly expressed opinion at that. Bravo George, more like that please.

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Available on freeview?

This channel sounds awesome!! is there any chance of it moving to freeview.

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Military Channel

Well, I have to admit that I've watched the show a number of times, and mostly because I am a military buff more than a rabid carnage viewer. It used to be Discovery Wings Channel but apparently there was too little aviation content to keep it going. The thing that George is missing is that the slant of the show is to provide information on developing systems for use by the military to help better protect the soldiers and people they are sworn to protect. I did love the segment on the mine clearing tool that I think was developed over in UK. An armored tractor with spinning chains on a drum, very medevil in design, but very effect on a strategic problem that unfortunately gets left over after the fighting stops.

I know the humanitarian choice is to not go to war, but we are still primative and violent in our nature and it will happen again and again. Increasing the suvivability of an army greatly increases it's chance of victory and perhaps even reduces the length of the conflict. I'll still watch the show when nothing else better is on the 200+ channels but unlike SoF, GnA, and the rest of the paramilitary rags, I'm not going shell out extra money for it.

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Cable

Damnit, now I need to get cable, this sounds like fun.

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Dude!

You can make anything sound bad.

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What woke you up?

Why the rant on FutureWeapons? Why now? (It's been showing on US cable networks for quite a long time.) In the same vein, we also have programs devoted to knitting, cooking, 'albuming' (No, it's not what that sounds like to a chemist.), anything-goes fighting, surgery, sex, women yakking, men yakking, war, huge erections (no, not that kind) and poultry-raising-for-fun-and-profit.

Oh, and we have any amount of programs devoted to the use of current weapons - they're called CNN and Fox News. So why the rant about this particular program and why now?

The same thing applies to your bits about magazines. Soldier of Fortune, Guns 'n Ammo, Big Stick With A Nail In Weekly - why these ones and why now?

I'm personally in favor of all of the above as it keeps a certain personality type out of the pub while I'm there.

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Coat

"Big Stick With A Nail In Weekly"

Kodos: Well, Kang, it seems the earthlings won.

Kang: Did they? That board with a nail in it may have defeated us. But the humans won't stop there. They'll make bigger boards and bigger nails, and soon, they will make a board with a nail so big, it will destroy them all!

[They both laugh maniacally]

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JC
Joke

What to buy

Buy one of those new-fangled TVs with a remote control, then it won't be such a torture to switch the channel when a show you don't like comes on.

I think we can generally say 95% of modern day television programming is terrible, but what a waste it would be to rant about all those shows one after another.

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Happy

It's a really badly made show

They hype all these weapons etc and then demo them in the most meaningless way possible it's not only a stupid show for kill freaks it's also dull dull boring and awful how do they make mayhem so impossibly humdrum to watch I would say if you were trying to keep people from liking this sort of thing leave it alone it will bore them to tears and they will be cured.

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Pirate

Military Industrial Complex Complex

As President Eisenhower warned in the '50s - the US Military Industrial Complex could eventually take on a life of its own and in effect make armed conflict (at any level) the first choice rather than the last choice.

The appearance of Blackwater and shows such as FW are the results of that prediction of not having any type of controls on that industry. I've watched the show a few times when I was bored shitless - its really pretty inane. But lets face the fact that its really is an info-mercial for these companies to show their "wares" off.

The danger here is when you couple "perfect weapons hype" with boneheads ( Bush administration implied) ... the idea is formed that you can have a quick + clean + tidy war on the cheap. Iraq is a fine example of this.

The many mini-wars / disputes around the globe are also a side effect.

The tooth-paste is out of the tube at this point - we need skillful and principled politicians to guide us through all this. Which is a nice way of saying we're screwed ------ so be sure and look for a mini-ADS on sale soon for your grand-mother

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in my younger days

I used to buy 'Military Technology' magazine from the newsagency. I dont really think I was their target demographic, the ads in there were for destroyers, and artillery systems etc.. kind of outside the reach of generic suburbia..

This TV show sounds like a continuation of the magazine, although from the comments, dumbed down in presentation. This reinforces my opinion that TV simply isnt worth watching.

As an aside, why is this article in Science, and not Entertainment - or even Hardware ?

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Dead Vulture

Erection? it's bloody boring

I'm sorry but if anyone isn't bored watching the same shot taken from a dozen different angles of a bullet going through something then they are not only welcome to watch but also demonstrate the perfect level of intelligence to sign up for the marines and toddle off to Iraq and "get some" for themselves....

The article is an interesting little rant, but when all's said and done the arms companies only create what they think they can sell, if people want a tactical torture device (I like that description) then they can buy one or then can get their local bobbies to beat the crap out of the protesters as they do in Burma for example. Personally if I happened to get caught up in a protest I think I'd prefer something that doesn't leave a scar, but then I'm no martyr...

And finally if you want to start lecturing on the morals of arms maufacturers then I can think of plenty of other industries that deserve your attention, tobacco manufacturers spring to mind...

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They show it in the UK all the time as well.

Those who haven't seen it might not understand it isn't just archive footage of stuff, the majority is him on the Missile range or elsewhere talking to the designers and going round the targets before and after the strike. He gets exclusive access and in return just reads off the marketing spiel and has some fun. The only questions are rhetorical statements such as this is a serious bit of kit isn't it, wow that just destroyed everything didn't it. Etc.

The videos are the identical to the ones manufacturers release, but with better production and scripting. This is just an advert for weapons but it doesn't pretend to be anything but.

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