Deimos kai Phobos (Horror and Fear)
Deimos and Phobos are the moons of Mars – named after the sons of the Greek god Ares (Roman Mars). It seems so many things about Mars are war-like or resonate with the actions of war. Deimos means horror and Phobos means fear in Greek. I never knew this.
John Carter is of Earth and Mars and he is war-like as are all the Martians in the John Carter stories of Edgar Rice Boroughs. I’m drifting a bit but lets see where it goes.
How can war, something that is both horrific and to be afraid of, also be romanticized? It seems every generation plays with these two pieces of the war puzzle. Isn’t that what video games do for us today – allow us to play at warfare without getting hurt? I struggle with this as a writer who writes about war.
Today the weapons used in warfare are taken for granted – explosives, automatic weapons, missiles. We are used to them in a sense. They are on TV. They are on our visual radar. Can you image how terrifying it was to see them for the first time? The first time seeing an armored tank, a flamethrower, a mortar, a machine gun, large artillery shells and barrages that would make the earth shake, your ears bleed – that could stop your heart from beating? My chest tightens just thinking about it.
I wonder about this as a reader who reads about war – fantasy, science fiction, historical, non-fiction – and a writer who writes about it.