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Saturday, 7 September 2013

For the Last Time!

I promise I wont touch on this subject again, well unless someone presses my buttons in the wrong order.
 But I was laid the other night in bed reading my latest Wargames Soldiers and Strategy. The article concerned Lt Leach, winner of a Victoria Cross in the first world war.The article was by a chap called Mark Backhouse, and although not a period I game, I always like to read about different periods.
 As an aside he mentioned that he had recovered from a school skip a series of books titled The Times History of the Great war, which I found quite spooky as many years ago I salvaged from the side of a beck in my village,the self same books. I loved the pictures in the volumes, but being very young, I soon became bored by the text. The books eventually ended up in a school skip! [ I'm only joking] they actually ended up in the local landfill.
 Anyway I will return to my point, in Mark's final paragraph he wrote those words, ''I always worry about glorifying war''.
 A simple throwaway phrase.........
From there I returned to the latest Miniature Wargames editorial by Henry Hyde, where he talks of the latest Bolt Action dice bag displaying the motif of the Africa Corps.
  Henry goes on from there to say that ' some people ' would be offended by this display of a contentious badge. He goes on to counsel wargamers that we should bear in mind that our hobby might be seen in a very different light by some people' [ my words]


The Offending Badge.

So whats my beef,one may ask?
 Well its quite simple really. Has there been a diversity/on message conference recently that some wargamers have attended, and in order to show that they are on message they have decided to become hyper sensitive to ' some people'
 I emphasize 'some people' because this is a group one hears and reads about that are offended by everything. They must be a majority of persons because they can get legislation introduced, and actually get people who are not on message imprisoned.
  Mark Backhouse is worried about glorifying war, so he wargames! Surely if he is that worried, become a monk, or other worthwhile activity.

 Henry Hyde is worried that 'some people' will be offended by a dice bag displaying the badge of the Africa Corps. When my father bought me the Airfix boxes containing the Eighth army and the Africa corps, I'm certain it never entered his head that he was disrespecting his fallen comrades and he had actually fought in the Eighth army against Rommel.

 I'm not saying run around dressed as a guard from Auschwitz, but lets get a bit of balance here. We paint and play with toy soldiers. We read military history books. If 'some people' are offended, give them a voice, let them explain their offense, perhaps then I wont feel like the hobby is starting to be infiltrated by an insidious creeping political correctness which has created an atmosphere of fear and paranoia.  

13 comments:

  1. Hear - hear ! well said sir ! , Tony

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    1. Thank you Tony.
      I feel that I am turning into Victor Meldrew.
      I was re reading some of the editorials of the late great Donald Featherstone the other night. He didnt give Harold Wilson, CND, and the Labour government the lickings of a dog. God knows what he would make of things brewing now.

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  2. I think you'll find that 'some people' are closely affiliated to 'they' and 'them'. I'm not aware of any reports of anyone having met a member of these groups, but they do have an almost mystical influence on what 'we' think is permissible.

    I'm not interested in what 'some people' think about my hobby. Like just about every other wargamer, I set my own standards as to what is acceptable. No. I'm not aware of creeping political correctness in the hobby, but I am aware that quite a few gamers (how many's that?) are mindful of the potential to offend the sensibilities of others but no more than Morris dancers are that they may get laughed at.

    I didn't know that 'some people' had taken offence at the logo on the WG dice bag until I read it on t'internet. Henry H ceased to be an object of bewilderment a good while ago, so his views on what 'some people' think are just wish-wash to me. He's got a magazine to sell and he's in need of copy and items which will generate interest or debate (not always the same thing in wargames mags).

    WG were still sellling the 'offending' dice bag at Partizan last week, so 'some people' don't seem to have made much impression. I did think of buying one as a souvenir (bound to come up on Antiques Roadshow someday), until I saw the price. Now, I find THAT offensive. Discuss . . . .

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    1. Gary,
      I am reminded of 'some people' who had called for a re classification of the 'Railway Children'as they felt that it ''could encourage children to go onto the railway lines''
      Luckily it was ignored.
      I think the actual response should have been to place the said ' some people' on the main East coast line just as the 125 rode past. As for the price of the bag, well are the group not ex Games Workshop.

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  3. I think that you have totally misread Henry's editorial as he seems to be saying something completely different than what you write.

    Henry points out that a controversy of some sorts has popped up "occasioned by something as innocent as a dice bag". He then goes on to say that the Warlord Games people are good guys and that they have issued a dice bag as an accessory to their Bolt Action rules . He reports the facts, I.e. that the bags have the Afrika Korps logo on them consisting of the palm tree and swastika.

    He notes that the swastika illicit s reactions from some people ( he is not saying that he personally is outraged) and that some people wouldn't bat an eyelash if the symbol is used in its historical context, such as on a model tank or airplane tail fin. "But when used out of context, the temperature in the room goes sky high and whether one likes it or not, some people are genuinely offended."

    Hyde continues by saying that the DAK is one of the least Nazified military formations of the war and commanded by one of Germany's best and most decent men, Erwin Rommel, "but that the history of the Korps does nothing to assuage some who simply see that hateful hooked cross."


    Hyde goes on to say that it is not his role to conduct a political lecture in a Wargame magazine, nor would he want to be the person to deliver such a message. He points out that what might seem acceptable to wargamers might be viewed differently by non-wargamers.


    Far from being "concerned" or "worried", it appears to mr that Henry is reporting a story. I wouldn't take any more out of it than that.

    Jim

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    1. Evening Jim,
      I appreciate the reply from yourself. Without wanting to offend you,to understand what I was trying to get at I hope that you and your countrymen have not suffered the diversity/political correctness that has taken control of the British way of life, and that is no exaggeration.
      Having been in law enforcement for over 30 years, the British police are a perfect example of how ' some people' have been able to control things. In my job we have what is known as 'the exclusionary bible' this is basically words and behavior that an officer cannot use or do. If he is heard to use them,or behave in a way contrary to the bible it is well documented that their livelihood is endangered. This is no exaggeration. A perfect example actually happened to me on my last diversity course[ 3 days!] I mistakenly opened the door for the 'lady' tutor.I say mistakenly as I was then subject of a lecture in front of the other students that I clearly shown sexist attitudes by believing that the lady was too weak to open the door for herself!!. When I tried to explain that it was how I had been brought up, I then had to suffer a lecture about the need to appreciate other cultures.
      Perhaps not the best example to give, but Henry Hyde like many other persons seems to want us to walk on egg shells for these 'people' Well this worm has turned. When I finally walk away from the police I hope to be able to express myself as I see fit. By the way I disagree that Rommel was a decent man. Hitler was his benefactor and this was clearly reciprocated by Rommel.

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  4. On the English civil war Facebook page, there has been a very similar discussion over someone's avatar of the Afrika Korps *swastika and all).
    Most of the gamers I know are well aware of the symbolism of warfare and the atrocities committed throughout history.
    On a personal level, I don't give a hoot even though there are a lot of things out there that offend me !

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    1. Evening Joe,
      I was taught that sticks and stones will break your bones but calling never hurts you.Obviously that changed so that any action, word or misinterpreted deed is bound to piss someone off.And don't forget to behave yourself if you still go to Saint James's Park. No chants that could be construed as hurtful to a player who is clearly scared of making a tackle.

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  5. Mind you I know a monk who is an expert on the military aspects of the Crusades...

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  6. Hi Rob: I'm not offended by models and figures for WW2 having the swastika because that s part of the game. I don't have a problem with the dice bag either, although if I had one I would not run around in the public carrying it for all to see.

    I would be more worried about people jumping to conclusions about me based on that dice bag, more than I would be worried about offending someone. As Flashman always said, you have to look out for yourself first.

    The door opening story is rather sad because what you did was good manners and acting like a gentleman , something that seems to be in short supply these days. I've heard some women say that they found men more attractive because they opened doors for them. IMHO, good manners are never out of style.

    We have the same political correctness forces at work here in the States and as long as you have to work for someone else, it is probably prudent to keep your antenna up so that you do not run afoul of the political correctness police.

    In general though, I think that more and more there is less tolerance these days for contrarian opinions on any subject.

    Jim

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  7. Any lady that tells me off for holding a door open for her, I have a simple answer(which I have used). I simply state that, as a matter of common curtesy and decency, I was brought up to hold doors open for men and women without discrimination, and that I am both sorry and a little saddened that she was not.

    Rob

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  8. Hi Robbie- I'm offended that some daft sods are buying dice bags ! I agree with Joe(now there a thing in itself!!) and Xaltotun - as a rule I've found that Ladies - or indeed Gentlemen do not object to having doors held open Wimmin- who are by their own definition not ladies object when it suits them and thus are - like most of the PC brigade self serving hypocrites. I note that on the couple of occasions over the years some woman has cast aspesions when I've held the door- its always AFTER she's walked thought it otherwise I'd have just let go --- .
    Most people don't understand the difference between toleration and agreement. These days agreementand total aquiesence is implicit in the term "toleration" . Which lingustically is twaddle.
    I tolerate many things but feel no need to accept or aquiess-Warm Lager , Silly dice bags , Nasty plastic soldiers, to name but 3

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My 6mm Napoleonic set up.
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