The Arena, a hallowed battleground where generations have wagered their lives for honor and acclaim. Sadly, these days fewer and fewer young people than ever are interested in The Arena and earning their keep in this competitive job market.
The principal charge against The Arena is that it exists only to please the ruling class. This is naive and immature. Our warlord built The Arena using resources he had the foresight to hoard before the collapse. Not only that, but he did so at great personal cost to his own workers. He took these risks so that the masses might be entertained. Watching and cheering as the strong overtake the weak is for the benefit of us all.
Protesting The Arena shows a lack of respect for the natural order of things. Ending a life to improve one's material condition is how humans have always organized. The credo of “two men enter one man leaves” is the market as its most efficient, as it both allocates resources to the worthy and minimizes the waste of non-combatants. You can't expect people to support entertainment that encourages the value of cowardice over an honorable death.
It wasn't always this way. Our young people once proudly answered the call to battle. Not only did they never hesitate to sever a limb at the crowd's behest, but they were grateful for the opportunity. Kids today believe they are entitled to life without having to fight and claim another's life. They ought to learn that a clean cup of water tastes much sweeter when it's been mixed with blood and properly earned in single combat for the adulation of the public and The Warlord.
Perhaps this wasteland wouldn't seem so barren to these young people if they applied themselves to collecting skulls from the vanquished. Performing in The Arena doesn't just reward a man with scars and haunting visions of the lives he's ended, it builds character. Staring deeply into the eyes of an adversary as you plunge a rusted dagger into their chest is what person-to-person skills are all about. What better way to learn these valuable life skills?
If they don't like their odds of victory in glorious combat, all these whiners have to do is accept exile and go scrounge the wastes with the rest of the dropouts.
While it is true that only a few contenders rise through The Arena's ranks and etch their name into the hall of heroes, this is fundamentally for the best. Proving your worth in combat is the ultimate meritocracy. There is no greater example of equality of opportunity then two men determining which of them is removed from existence. Instead of denigrating the accomplishments of those who are skilled and ruthless, these complainers should be inspired by them.
Frankly, all that time and energy spent arguing about who deserves what would be better spent training in combat skills. A name isn't built overnight and success in The Arena awaits those who can think outside the bars of its twisted, terrifying cage. The great Gore Jaws did not discover his signature throat tearing bite until his seventh pit fight, and Stabby Joe was but a low-level duelist until audiences were amused when he refused to stop puncturing a wailing deserter.
You need to put in the effort to discover what separates you from the rest of the unknowns among the mass graves. There is a pernicious assumption among the youth that if they're forced to fight for their lives and freedom, they can just pick up a sword and shield and try their best. There are no participation trophies in The Arena, only the victorious and the dead.
Before this generation considers boycotting The Arena, they should think about who this decision hurts most. Those of us who are wracked with the indignities of age, and need some way to experience the pride of victory and the humiliation of defeat. Watching eager blood spill upon the sand helps us affirm our values, and distracts from the acid rain and ashen crops. The Arena is our last piece of pride and history. Young people should be eager to kill each other, and not turn their backs on our greatest tradition.