Those Who Know, Know Better
I spend a lot of time on social media, particularly Facebook, Google+, Tsu, Twitter, and YouTube. My job requires it, actually, because in order to get freelance work and sell my designs I rely on a more interactive form of SEO. When you see me on a thread, or Tweeting, it looks like I'm just sitting in mommy's basement because I'm too lazy to get a real job.
In reality, that's my marketing. I don't sell, I hobnob. It seems to work pretty well, for the most part. Every now and then, I get into a thread that has a troll running around and causing mayhem. There's many types -- sea lion, angry man, misogynist, #HillaryMen, Foxbots, Teabillies, all sorts of them. (For a complete descriptive list, click here. FYI, it's not "You've Been Trolled.")
|My secret weapon.|
One breed that's started popping up is the "Military Service" troll. These guys aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, are obnoxiously crude -- especially if you use facts to disagree with them -- and in a last-ditch effort to prove their raisin sack means anything, will vomit something like:
"I served overseas, you're a dumbass libtard and should shut the f*ck up!"
I love those bastards more than the anti-vaxxers, they always crack me up because it's a very bad idea to pull rank... eventually they'll engage someone like me.
And I'm the nicest a**hole you'll ever meet.
Come Get Some
The other day on Google+, there was a Twitter meme about the San Bernardino iPhone fight between Apple and the FBI:
|An ironic testament to American Exceptionalism...|
For some reason, one guy thought it called for banning guns. This is a standard reflex reaction that lets me know that a troll's arrived, as they're taking a statement out-of-context. If you've been on social media long enough, you know that taking things out-of-context is a false sense of superiority.
It's the online version of bringing a knife to a gunfight -- you know it's a losing battle, but nobody's been stupid enough to call your bluff yet.
I greeted this pretty little Second Amendment princess by throwing a little bit of logic at him: America will never ban guns because if it ever did, there wouldn't be an America left to ban it. Pretty straightforward, right? Then, I tossed in a brief history of why the First Amendment is before the Second Amendment -- that's due to the Founding Fathers' friend and mentor, the French philosopher Voltaire.
|Because I want to upload a new Vine compilation.|
Finally, I topped it off by asking why he was so paranoid about something that doesn't exist, and pointed out that he needed to consider it; being obsessed about needing guns won't win a fight at all.
Nuke The Site From Orbit...
I will say this much, his response was fun to listen to:
"It's not paranoia to assert a concern or opinion.
I served this country for 10 years and deployed multiple times, having a weapon is a piece of mind I don't expect you to understand."
|Bring it, Britney!|
Oh hell no that troll didn't just play the "Military service" card on my Irish-Italian civvie ass. Lock and load, boys, we just ran out of bubblegum!
...Just to Make Sure
When that comment came up on the thread, I grinned because he wasn't expecting to face someone whose grandmother taught him a thing or two about war and life:
"When you can be held captive, starved, tortured, sleep-deprived and mentally broken for 6-1/2 months by a human trafficker, in a third-world country where you can't even speak the language, escape to the authorities and hold off their CYA efforts for 8 days before getting the Human Rights Inspector involved -- all on your own, and without ever once using a weapon of any sort other than your severely rekt head...
...then I might consider your service relevant. Because I did exactly that.
I'm civvie by choice, because someone's gotta keep WW3 from breaking out at the family holiday dinner table."
Mr. Cyber-Rambo's been rather quiet since realizing that a "Military Service" card isn't a trump card.
|"To stupidity... and beyond!"|
These guys are becoming prevalent in social media because, in the post-9/11 world, there's a big to-do about "support the troops" and "thank you for your service". In fact, our soldiers and veterans are frequently used by elected officials as photo-ops and political points. But outside of that, they're used by armchair warriors against anyone who disagrees with their "Call of Duty" sense of reality.
I've publicly humiliated a few of them in the past year. One's an "ex-Marine who now works as a tax lawyer", but it turns out that really he's just an ambulance chaser out in Los Angeles. It's disgusting to know that these guys disrespect the honor of the uniform by thinking it's a status symbol.
Code Of Honor
There's a particular reason that I take great pleasure in dealing with this new breed of well-intentioned but sadly-misguided trolls. Both sides of my adoptive family have military in them, from World War 1 to Afghanistan -- that I know of. My high school art mentor signed up in 1997 to get his head straight and got stop-gapped twice in Iraq.
It's a d*mn good reason.
The uniform isn't a status symbol, like a Prada business suit or a Lear jet, because you have to earn the privilege to wear it. And it comes with a very steep price, too; what you see and experience in Fallujah, Saigon, or Berlin is completely different than in an Xbox game. It's a completely different reality altogether, because in the real world there's no reset button; "Game Over" really means it.
This is why the military says "many are called, but few are chosen." It's not just a catchy slogan, it's the truth. You have to be insane or a complete idiot to voluntarily go off and get shot at... and boot camp weeds out the complete idiots, because the only thing worse than a bad guy with an M-16 is a properly-trained dumbass with an M-16.
|Thank you, Snopes, for verifying this as "true".|
It's a brotherhood of blood, sweat, tears, pain, and death. It's not a friendship, it's family. It's a bond that is unbreakable, even after the last man no longer stands guard. There's no amount of money that can simply buy respect like that. Soldiers don't fight to earn fame and fortune.
They do it because they earned the honor to do so.
Salute Honor With Respect, Not By Trollin' Valor
So if you truly want to "support the troops" and thank veterans for their service, don't disrespect what these guys had to go through just to put up with your soggy biscuits on social media. Don't dishonor those who served in the past by being a "Military Service" troll.
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Because next time, you might go against someone who knows the terrain better than you -- and there are those who know it even better than I do.
-- Nick Moore (Civ.), The Original Shenanigangster
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