Opinion: Duels are so 15th Century.

Hi listeners, Nikki (of Not the News fame) here.

It’s hump day – I’m tired, you’re tired. The last thing we needed to confront on today’s show was two blokes thinking it’s still fashionable to duel. Well, guess what? 2020 hates us and that is exactly what we had to do.  

Today on the show, Caro brought forth the story of two men engaging in a gun duel in the parking lot of a Weld County Walmart in the United States. Twenty-four-year-old Jewan Satcher and twenty-three-year-old Sheldon Nails were arrested on Friday after participating in a gunfight that resulted in the damage of several nearby vehicles.  

Here’s my hot take: duels were only cool in the Middle Ages. In Medieval society, duels were fought by knights and presided over by a judge. Cool. Both parties wore bespoke armour. Cool. Back then, duels were called ‘chivalric combat’. Awesome. Often, judicial duels culminated in the execution of the loser. Not so cool. Perhaps for this reason, duels went out of fashion somewhere in the late 18th century.

So, did Satcher and Nails miss the memo?

NtN does not wish to condone or trivialise gun violence. In saying that, could these guys have picked a more urbane setting for the revival of the duel? A suburban Walmart is potentially the least romantic duel backdrop one could conjure. Whatever happened to the dust clouds and swinging saloon doors of the Spaghetti Western? Where oh where is theatre?

Or, perhaps the pair couldn’t pull off the duel because violence is no longer conflated with the pursuit of justice? Not sure.

Maybe, then, our only certainty is this: if you’re interested in useless opinions you should give tonight’s Not the News podcast a squiz. Listen here:

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