Shock and awe (TM)

Well the first Gulf War was referred to as a video game war. Night-sight graphics tinged in green, on-screen displays with read-outs taken direct from fighters and even the missiles – it did look like a video game. Were those really people dying there or was it just a multimedia extravaganza, lead by the happy, smiling face of Norman Schwazkopf.

Today in the Guardian I read about how Sony (amongst others) are planning to capitalise on this new war by registering the phrase shock and awe with the US patent office, so it is now Shock and Awe (TM). Sony say they are not necessarily going to make a game of Desert Storm II – although other software makers have already announced just this. Oh no, Sony are sensitive – they are only registering their trademark now in case they wish to use them on a future product, if it is suitable. Nice how they went to the patent office while the bombs were still falling, a fine touch.

War and commerce, my how well these pillars of our civilisations work together. The British Empire, the world’s largest, was powered by mighty commerce and awesome military power. It was also supposedly based on our 18th century Enlightenment theories of liberty. Liberty, massive armed forces and commerce. 18th century Imperial era – 21st century post-modern world. Anyone spot the difference? In France in 1940 we had the Phoney War. Today we have the Sony War. Plus ca change.