A few of you might know that I play an online multi-player computer game. Social interactions there can run from dealing with nice, kind people to avoiding the utter idiots. Keep in mind that it's a world-wide game where people from any country can belong to different servers. Our local server is predominantly Australian / New Zealand due to the local time zone factor (if you play within your own time zone you have more players online at your shared night time etc) however shift workers or insomniacs (that'd be me) sometimes play on international realms to suit their own quirky time patterns*.
In the game itself you can belong to a "guild" - basically a (hopefully) like minded group of people sharing the fun and helping each other out.
So just recently I was in a 10 person group when the leader was called away unexpectedly for work ( no big deal really - it happens to most of us at one time or another since we all have Real Life obligations, so for most of the players it was a "see you next time, take care" situation). One of the group was less polite and asked what sort of work he does that dared to interfere with our game time. His best friend (and workmate) replied "Oh we're in the US Army".
Cue the idiot blathering on about them being "paid to kill night and day".
Guess who saw red?
But you'll be pleased to know that I kept it polite and simply shot back a (typed) comment reading "actually (idiot's game name) - they are PROTECTING day and night".
Idiot was wise enough to type a half-@rsed apology and then go off-line before I could work out how to reach through my computer screen and beat him about the head with my mouse.
The really sad thing? - the player in the US army had obviously had this comment thrown at him before and was then surprised to have someone else stand up for him.
I haven't seen him back online since. I really hope that he'll accept the reality that there are idiots in all countries; and that it doesn't interfere with his future game enjoyment. (meanwhile the "idiot" is on my watch list - one more xenophobic asinine comment and I'll recommend that he's booted out of the guild)
And on the "would you join up" question that's thrown at me occasionally? Well.. baring the age factor (sadly the "never grow old" thing only seems to apply to vampires and Rock Stars with botox budgets) I'm not sure that I have the personality type that the military would find useful. I'm timid, docile and prone to tears if people yell at me. However I think I'd make great support staff (NATO standard coffee anyone?**) - and I deeply believe in supporting those that are brave enough to stand between me and harm*** (oh okay... I may also be admiring just how nicely they look in their uniforms too... it's a girl thing ya know)
We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm." - Winston Churchill*I should mention here that I'm in the middle of a move across to a USA based server. Part of the move is to deal with the weird hours I've been keeping (3 a.m... oh I'm awake *again*) - also to become part of a guild that a friend of a friend is in (it's been described as an "awesome group of ADULTS" - which is novel enough for me to want to experience it first hand. They've kindly allowed one of my characters to join them and yes - definitely Awesome so far. Now to afford to move my main characters across so I can be useful :D)
**Did you know? - The phrase "NATO Standard Coffee" is widely recognised to mean "Coffee, White with
***I also deeply believe in freedom of speech. If your arguments are well reasoned, and articulate I’ll gladly debate with you. Tell me how you feel about the ongoing military situation by all means (I may even agree with some of your points) but Don’t DON”T ever try to reason your arguments with attacks against those that are doing their sworn duty for their country. The Chain of Command requires them to follow orders. So if you feel strongly enough about changing the situation as you see it then learn how to VOTE – and do it effectively – because it’s those at the Top that call all the shots.