Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Damn The Torpedoes and The Uptight Puritans

I'm a little behind the curve on the story of Captain Honors, mostly because I thought of it as a Tailhook-type nothing to say beyond what's been said story. Some dumb Navy officer does something stupid, vile and juvenile and gets fried for it. I figured it was cut-and-dried, and oh well there are more important things to discuss. I thought wrong - I didn't bother to surf and find out what was going on until today. Tailhook involved assault. Captain Honors did video skits with less offensive material than guys like Conan and Leno have done for decades.

From the AOL story:
The videos were broadcast on the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in 2006 and 2007. The videos, made while Honors was second-in-command, included gay slurs, mimicked masturbation and racy shower scenes. They came to light in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper over the weekend.
Like I said, no worse than Conan.

Short version of the story - a few weeks ago, Navy Captain Owen Honors, skipper of the USS Enterprise - got fired for some so-called "raunchy" videos made four to five years ago back in 2006 and 2007. The videos were distributed on-ship as part of some kind of series of humorous skits introducing movies.

For those who've been in the military, you know how much downtime you have. For those who weren't in the military... well, imagine going to work every day two hours early and standing around waiting for your boss to tell you what to do for the day. Then you do it for ten hours, then you don't go home - you just go to a room where you live with two other co-workers and you go to sleep. If you're in the Navy, you probably have closer to five co-workers sleeping a couple feet from you.
This is where you sleep. If you want to roll over, you probably have to get out and get back in. Get the top bunk and you won't get peed on.

Being in the military, and especially being on ship, is something that gets you close to people, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

The videos in question are compiled right here:

RedEye has a large portion of the video here, sans edits, along with their commentary.

The dudes and chicks sharing a shower is a joke about navy showers. Since water rationing is often in effect, you only get three minutes to shower. The joke is that with two people in the shower, you could have six minutes. Since facilities aren't integrated, it's two dudes and two chicks in the shower, with accompanying jokes. It's funny, unless you're a member of the Film Actor's Guild and really want to hurt morale by trying to crush what little joy servicemembers get.

Some youtube commenters make good points:

As a sailor, these videos crack me up.

Its a rough sense of humor that comes from being crammed in tight living spaces with ridiculous working hours and a job that can be life and death at times. All due respect to those civilians living stateside who get to go home every night to their family and spacious houses, but you don't understand the military if you are questioning this. Navy is investigating to appease you. We kill people for a living, we can tolerate offensive humor. Come on people.
lentillover1 22 hours ago
This is exactly what is wrong with our society.
No sense of ha-ha.
This is hilarious. It's what happens when you spend half of your LIFE at sea.
I feel sorry for people that don't get it.
Guess they wouldn't understand much about:
Spend some time in front of the wire in places like Afghanistan or Iraq.
PTSD2010 1 day ago

Let that sink in.

If you're talking about most sailors who joined at age 18-20, the four years they spend at sea represents the first several years of their independent adult lives. In the petty officer 1 and 2 ranks, you're looking at an individual who may have been in the Navy from age 18-26 - spending all of their independent adult life in a cramped, dank, haze-gray tin box miles from land, away from their family and friends beyond shipmates. 8 years before now that PO1 was a squid. 8 years before he was a squid he was in 4th grade. And chiefs and officers really have been at sea longer than they've been on land sometimes - they are a different breed.

The job of the US military is ultimately to make living people into dead people. The hurricane/disaster relief that the Navy does and all the rest are just very positive side effects of power projection.
Power Projection: _________________<-put your gay joke there.

Another youtube quote:
I love how all the service members support the XO and only civilians have a problem with the videos. I think these uptight puritans have spent so much time in their ivory towers they've completely forgotten there are things in this world that are actually worth complaining about.
Ellgrekko1980 5 hours ago

The money quote from the AOL story is this:
A group that has advocated for gay service members praised the military for condemning the videos.

Yup. People who aren't in the military, whose primary function in life is to turn the military into their private social experiment, are the ones who helped push this along. Why? Because they have no sense of humor. Why? Because they hate. Why? Because they are uptight leftist ideological puritans who can tolerate no dissent and no humor.

"Don't offend me" groups - here the gays and leftists offended on their behalf - specifically the uptight leftist ideological puritan gays who can tolerate no jokes and no words they find offensive - are exercising their influence to push the military into what they want it to be, not what it must be. Whether repeal of DADT, relieving on-duty commanders for humor - neither helps the military's mission. The puritans don't care - they are safe in their ivory towers of media and academia.

The military is not a playground for social engineers. It is a tool to defend a free society that allows people to be as gay as they want or as straight as they want or as bi as they want.

To the uptight gay, they don't care. They don't understand that there are second and third-order effects. You get rid of DADT, you lose old soldiers, sailors, and Marines who don't want to be part of the sensitive touchy-feely military run by hairdressers and Barney Frank. To the uptight gay, that's a good thing - it purges the military of elements they loathe.

To the military and the nation, vast quantities of experience and knowledge are lost when those men and women exit the military. It leaves those who are ideologically pure for the uptight gay activists, and those few who can force their sense of duty to be greater than the offense they have been done. But it does damage to the military and its ability to fight.

You fire a commander because he's not politically correct, and you end up short one commander who knows the job well, and you are forced to replace him with someone else. The replacement isn't going to know the job as well, and the replacement is going to have to form a new bond with the unit he commands. Not to mention the crew of the ship don't want a new commander.

GAY SAILORS who served under Captain Honors weren't offended, and are angry that Captain Honors was relieved of command. Go ahead, click the link - it's a news site.
It's unknown what this guy's opinion was, but he looks like he's got a sense of humor.

To uptight ideological puritan gay, or leftist who is offended on their behalf, the concept of military readiness is alien. They think the world is at peace because it always has been - in their limited experience and understanding of culture. They know they can get the military and other US institutions to do what they want by waving paper at them and telling them they're mean. The rest of the world agrees with them externally - because it's a means to tear down the US.

Except for Japan, which is just in it for more gay and lesbian sailors... Or gays and lesbians in sailor suits, anyway.

Obviously not all people who are gay have no sense of humor and want to get officers fired because they can't take a joke. And some gay people recognize that a Navy-gay-shower joke, or calling someone "fag", unless they're a Harley Davidson rider, is really pretty meaningless and harmless. The military is full of people from the ages of 18-22 who say "fag" or "gay" as a general negative, but who have no real dislike of gays or lesbians (or Harley Riders). It doesn't make them Fred Phelps.

Gay people with a sense of proportion often understand they should be concerned about places where being gay means you'll be executed. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but "fag" - especially when not directed at you, nor meant with mean intent - can never hurt you. And the dude saying "fag" in a manner that isn't aimed at gays is the same guy who stands against those oppressive regimes, and for gays being safe - and who's sworn to uphold gays' Constitutional right to defend themselves.

And again, there are those who see the big picture, and who understand that - gay sailors know this is bullshit and address it:
In all honesty, do Americans really want a military full of men and women who's first reaction to a harsh word or off-colored joke to go running to mama crying? Do we really want those people as our defense against the ever growing terrorism threat and foreign nationals with a vendetta against America? It seems thats what the media and the higher ups that be wish... Before you know it they'll be administering sensitivity training on the polite and politically correct way of killing the enemy.
- Eric Prenger

Thank you for your service, Mr. Prenger. Thank you for speaking out against people whose interest in you is as their pawn and who can't understand that you're the sailor who has their back covering them while they go from ship to shore. I'm sure Captain Honors would be proud to serve with you again.

I don't know the man beyond his letter to an Atlantic writer and his letter to the leftist gay group that got Captain Honors relieved, but Mr. Prenger knows more about comraderie and what it means to put on a uniform than any of those who claim to be offended on his behalf.

Mr. Prenger does more for gays than any uptight leftist ideological puritan gay political action group and the leftists who are "offended on their behalf" who actively makesthe US less safe by targeting the military as their ideological enemy. Mr. Prenger's example, through time, would've eroded DADT - the other favorite recent subject of the uptight puritan gay. And if Mr. Prenger and his crew were offended by Captain Honors, with the good working relationship between commanders and troops evident by an XO who does movie night skits, they would've been able to address it. Had he or any other gay sailor been offended, he could've requested mast over it. The procedure is already there to say "Sir, that was kinda uncalled for." But it wasn't necessary.

Morale was improved (aside from a few lame jokes), no one was hurt, and no one cared.

Colonel Kurtz makes it simple to understand:

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!

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