why are straight white guys so obsessed with world war 2
like i’ll talk about my interest in history and i’ll have guys be like “yeah i’m a history buff too i love world war 1 and 2″ like cool i was talking about ancient history. like the conversation was literally about ancient egypt.
my fave thing is replying “oh, cool. i just can’t get into it. i like everyday life and religion and art. personally, i find war boring.” and let me tell you it’s a journey to watch them try and understand that killing thousands of people indiscriminately doesn’t hold my attention.
yup it’s always the “oh you’re just not into history” and the response of “yes i am im just into ancient history” and you’re ready to throw 38 greek myths at them just to shut them up about the kinds of bombers the britsh were using in the second world war
except like. they really dont give a single fuck about wwi/ii. they care about the weapons and machinery. do they care about the events and the people? do they care about why wars were actually important? in my experience, very, very rarely.
I think that gets to heart of it: they’re not history buffs in any real sense. What they are is war fanboys. They collect and curate technical information about wars just like any other fanboy collects and curates technical information about the subject of their fandom. It’s basically not real to them; knowing what exact metal the buttons of SS uniforms were made of is of no greater significance to them than knowing the exact height of the captain’s chair on the starship Enterprise – it’s just another shiny technical fact for their collection.
It’s incredibly annoying because WW1 and WW2 are actually really interesting in terms of how politics changed and the like but all people want to talk about is the fighting.
This comic from The Nib is a great analysis of how the cultural obsession with World War II and “the greatest generation” has completely skewed our view of its history and totally fucked us up.
^ definitely definitely read this, especially if you were too young to remember the immediate post-9/11 times.
A year or so after 9/11, I remember one of the guys in my D&D group lamenting how “the enemy” at the time was so disappointing, “scattered and weak,” not like the “honorable and noble foes” that America had faced during WW II.
He’s no longer in my life and I’m glad for it.