Friday, July 28, 2006

"The Only Winning Move"

"A strange game.
The only winning move is not to play the game."

You'll recall that as the lesson learned (and communicated) by the "WOPR" -- the star, not of a new Burger King "super-size me" delight, but of the movie, "War Games."

It's always been a favorite of mine, but my sister, visiting from NYC, had never seen it, so we watched the DVD together this evening (July 28).

It was designed at the time of the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., a time when the "War Games" game of "Global Thermonuclear War" was a potential reality.

But isn't the ultimate lesson of the game, and the movie, equally applicable today? Not just in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the dozens of other areas of military conflict, but in our daily lives?

This is not to advocate appeasement or capitulation, whether in international, or personal, relations. It is simply to say that some strategies, some approaches to everything from mere disagreements to hatreds, will inevitably produce only losers on all sides.

In those situations -- as in the time of threatened "global thermonuclear war," and what we came to see as "mutual assured destruction," or "MAD" -- the ultimate wisdom continues to this day, that "the only winning move is not to play the game."

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