WARNING: Clicking on the links in this post might cause the mentioned ads to show up every day on your browser as well.
I made the mistake last summer of ordering a birthday present for my wife from a Chinese company that I suppose rhymes with “emu.” Note that I’m avoiding the name because I’m already getting way, way too many of their ads (although, I suppose I’m being less clever by linking to the site below — oh, well). Today, I see, they’re pushing a “yoga top” that will make you look like this. Namaste, y’all.
But I rise to speak about another thing they’re promoting today — the “Men’s Nylon Woven Tactical Belt.” See the image above. It’s a sort of variation on the belts my Dad wore with his everyday khaki uniforms, only with the buckle jazzed up. The only “tactical” purpose they serve, to my knowledge, is keeping your pants up. Of course, that’s nothing to sneeze at. An officer who habitually appears on the bridge with his britches around his ankles could go on report in a way that might affect his whole career. So you might even say such a belt is of “strategic” importance.
It seems like you’d only call them “tactical” if they hold up your “tactical” pants that a similar ad coaxed you into buying. You may or may not recall that I mentioned those before, in a post headlined, “‘Tactical pants?’ How stupid do they think men are?” The answer to that question, by the way, would appear to be “Stupid enough to buy any ridiculous thing that we call ‘tactical.'”
And clicking on it will also open you up to lots of other things appealing to similar tastes, such as the vest pictured below. I’m not going to buy one of those, and not just because it would make me look like one of those loonies who wore things like that to assault our nation’s Capitol three years ago. I’m not gonna buy it because I’m a guy, and they didn’t say “tactical” in the name — even though it has holsters! They called it “Men’s Training Vest With Detachable Belt, Subcompact/Compat/Standard Holster.” Apparently, someone was asleep in the marketing department. Hey, I don’t wanna train! I want action! I want to put this stuff on and parade around in public and make folks think I’m a soldier!
But to be more serious…
Y’all know how much I respect soldiers, sailors, Marines, and anyone who legitimately wears our country’s uniforms. But that respect does not extend to the posers who run around pretending to be soldiers. That’s something I did when I was about 8 years old, running about with other boys that age engaging in extensive debates that consisted of such arguments as “You’re dead! No I’m not! I ducked!” We did that with plastic guns. These guys do it with AR-15s. Why? To complete the imagined illusion that they are soldiers, men of courage and honor.
I would say that these guys should go see a recruiter — but these are the kinds of people we don’t want in the service. We need those who don the uniform for their country, not to address their own feelings of inadequacy.
It occurs to me that we didn’t have this phenomenon back when we had a draft. Guys of all sorts got drafted, went in, performed their service, got the urge to wear “tactical” things all out of their systems, and went on to live the rest of their lives as grownups.
Of course, some of these guys — a few, but not few enough — just can’t hold themselves back any more, and they use their toys to commit mass murder. Which means it’s not funny at all. But it’s certainly ridiculous…