|The offending piece|
I am not even allowed to use the word snowflake in the house without a censorious eyebrow being raised by my daughter. I know I am not alone in my complete bemusement regarding what people will take offence about next. At work, what my team are now OK to say or not say in terms of illustrating business life lessons is like walking through a minefield (oops, probably not allowed to say that now either).
Whether it be proscribed offensive nicknames, unacceptable descriptors or the proper use of inclusive terms, two parallel universes are experiencing equal and opposite reactions. In one, the number of things that are permissible is diminishing at a rate of knots equaled only by the exponential growth of the lexicon containing tortured PC descriptors in the other.
|This magazine could be considered as offensive|
So, on opening Wargames Illustrated #378 April 2019 and thumbing through it over a lunchtime coffee, I came upon the Fighting Talk contribution of Pete Brown entitled Taking the offensive. Hmm, I thought - let's see what Pete has to say.
After reading his piece, for some reason I spontaneously thought of Captain Harris in Platoon calling the airstrike into his perimeter and pulling on the tin helmet 'It's a lovely f****** war' (oops Cap'n - can't say that). Pete, I thought, well done but, be ready for the incoming!
|Get yer tin hat on Pete!|
What offends one person doesn't bother the next. It's been like that forever however, the internet is changing the magnitude and rhythm of the ripples. Remarks which disappeared like Scotch Mist (no offence to other mists of the world) after leaving the mouth of the utter-er are now recorded and replayed in a cacophony of bruised sensibilities. Mob fury is being whipped up everywhere and about anything. It's like the very unwelcome dawn of a new religion - like we need another one of those (oops - I'll get it for that too).
Old Pete (don't know you Pete but I intend that as a term of endearment rather than a comment on your number of birthdays - please don't write to me about it), is pointing out all of the elements in our hobby that are causing offence. Often this offence is taken by people who have nothing to do with our hobby - we offend them nonetheless. Some are so offended they think it is OK to come and share their displeasure with us by protesting against war at SALUTE or similar acts of complete and utter pointlessness.
|This is hardcore offensive to me|
Well, I am offended by that. I don't go out of my way to protest about K Pop, reality TV shows, The Daily Mail, Quinoa, Network Rail, people constantly doing double-Vs in selfies, photographs of people's lunch, phone zombies and the way Newsreaders now have to turn every bulletin into a performance because they are 'Stars'. If only they could have cloned Peter Woods or Kenneth Kendall. They simply read the paper in front of them - That worked for me. (No raised inflection at the end of every sentence). All of these things really upset me and I feel traumatized by exposure to them. I need a lie down now.
|This man read the news- he didn't want his own show on TV|
In his article Pete has helpfully pointed out all the bad items in our collective collections likely to cause offence and, how manufacturers (usually small) are being lambasted for creating outrageous and unacceptable products. My goodness - there is a lot that people don't like out there in the dangerous world of wargaming.
|Have Confederates been airbrushed out of history yet?|
One of the most likeable gamers I know has in his collection; Japanese schoolgirl ninja minis, Nazi penguins and various harem items for his Back of Beyond adventures. Is he a social pariah or does he simply like off the wall games? I can't help you make up your mind on that but, think on. It's not my cup of tea I admit but I have never protested outside his house or asked him to melt his minis down in front of me.
I have been advised it would do Warfare Miniatures a power of good to start a Facebook page. As a matter of principle, I have ignored this wisdom. How that particularly creepy organization got my email address in the first place I don't know. Their man Al Gorithm, thinks it is fine to email me twice a day to tell me all the friends I don't give a flying f*** about are just waiting for me to join them in virtual Nirvana to discuss where they walked their dog yesterday and what they ate at the weekend.
No matter how much this corporate Big Brother crooks its virtual finger at me I signal back with a single digit. Actually, I am offended by this intrusion into my privacy and feel a need to write to somebody about it. Pete! are you listening? Where did these voyeurs pick up MY personal details?????
|What is wargaming anyway?|
It is surprising that our hobby has avoided the lighthouse beam of right-on indignation for so long. It is the spiritual home of generations of socially-awkward lonely kids. It is a refuge for those out-of- sync with a mainstream of sponsor-daubed football shirts, binge drinking and rowdy Costa del Sol holidays (yup, I managed to offend about half of the UK in a single sentence there - Go Bazza ya wee Sweaty!). Wargaming attracts and is a relatively safe haven for some damaged goods. Surely, these are the people that the offended masses are offended on behalf of?
Can't you see, Outraged of the World? - You are supposed to be protecting little snowflakes like us wargamers from the forces of evil who would do us down and threaten our very existence!
We demand a safe haven to sit in our man caves and sniff lists. We need to paw through the depravity of 17th century commission registers by candlelight behind a locked bathroom door. We threaten society with our tetrahedral dice and cardigans. Tupperware lunchboxes are likely to breach the rights of someone somewhere.
|My school photograph -Everyone in Scotland has ginger hair - we need to get over that|
Just to reassure all of my English friends - I will never be offended if you call me a Jock (again), or a Sweaty, make jokes about Scottish drunks, wear Jimmy McJimmy wigs and bunnets when we meet, say we are crap at sport, do all the cliches about deep fried Mars bars and Irn Bru, assume I vote SNP or like the Proclaimers and, try out your side-splitting Scot's accents by calling Glasgow - Glasgay.
With all that incoming negativity, prejudice and oppression from south of the border is it any wonder we have a deep fried chip on each shoulder up here? I will however be enormously offended if you EVER mention John Churchill in my presence.
Read what Old Pete has to say.... a dose of common sense in a world gone completely snowflake.