A rant about cowards.

Every now and again I get a message I have to have a good long think about.

Sometimes, it’s because I honestly don’t know the answer.

Sometimes it’s because I have a gut reaction and really want to say one thing, when I know something else is actually probably more appropriate, or constructive.

Every now and then I take some time and reflect because I’m MAD.

I’m not a particularly easy guy to rile up. As far as most things go, I’m willing to try to bridge both sides of an issue, try to understand the foundations of where opposing views come from and then make up my mind in an informed, rational way.

I received a message this week I had to sit on for a few days. For reasons of privacy, I won’t go into the details of it. Suffice it to say the person was asking for advice and the reason for asking was due to a truly negative experience they had with fellow wargamers. It included them attacking this person regarding personal challenges over which they had no control.

Now I’m all for shit-talking with your friends. I’m pro ribbing and for taking the piss from each other because you know those folks so well that the jokes becomes an ersatz form of reality-check. You keep each other honest with those little pokes of ‘Oh no, you’re not getting away with that, this is how well I know you.’. They’re a valuable part of group-bonding and are often a show of how strong friendships are.

That’s not what this was. This was strangers pointing out what they saw as a flaw in order to make someone feel small.

I had to think about it for a long time. After I thought about it, I wrote it down. Then I read what I’d written and rewrote it.

I wrote it enough times that I figured I’d share it here as well. Thank you to the person that sent me the message. I hope what I wrote helped you, it certainly helped me think through my position on what you experienced.

For the record, here’s what I wrote back.

Well bud, I don’t really know what to tell you. What you’ve written makes me really angry. I kind of want to just say ‘Bastards are bastards. Don’t associate with them’. But that doesn’t  really help you does it?

What you’re describing is someone that’s projecting their own insecurities. Anyone that needs to tear someone else down to make themselves feel big is hiding some pretty deep seated feelings of not being adequate themselves. That’s the usual driver for that kind of behaviour. You’ll encounter people like that all over your life. They’re at work, in school, in your family and even amongst your friends.

The _hardest_ part, once you know that, is deciding how to react. That person wants you to feel hurt or weak or small. That’s where they get their fake, inflated sense of importance from. They’re using straw-man attacks because in reality they’re the ones that don’t feel like they’re in the power position. You can know that intellectually, but really taking charge of your emotions and putting your brain in control, BELIEVING IT in that moment, requires massive effort.

If you can do it though, if you can recognize when that kind of thing happens, you’ll realize that anyone that tries that kind of an attack on you is actually already defeated. You’ll find you can look assholes like that right in the face with a smile while they try to make you feel wrong for something you can’t control, because they’ve just played their hand. They’ve shown THEY are the ones on the backfoot, somewhere deep down.

And that gives YOU the win. The ability to grin and shake your head in disbelief confronts them with the fact that you are stronger than they are and that they can’t hurt you.

And then those people will disappear, because that was all they had to try to hurt you with, and they realize you’re invincible.

It’s where my favourite latin saying comes from. Illigitimus Non Carborundum. Don’t let the bastards grind you down.



I considered titling this post ‘A rant about bullies’. I decided not to. That’s not what they really are.

I’ve had quite a few encounters with bullies in my life. Deep down, every single one is a coward. I know that. I know there’s something in them that I ought to feel bad about. Something I should pity.

But I don’t.

So I needed to get that out. If anyone was unclear, bullies don’t have any place in any of my hobbies. Or my home. Or my family. I see someone getting in someone’s face about who (or what, or how) they are, they should understand that they are getting in the way of the world being a better place. They don’t get second chances.

And if you read this and think ‘hey, something like that’s happened to me…’ then remember that all you have to do is smile into the dead little eyes of your bully and you’ll see what cowards they are. Smile and laugh and their spell breaks and all the power they think they have goes away.

It boggles my mind that in a weird little hobby like this anyone would want to push aside or put down someone that shares their interest. It’s few enough people you get the priviledge to meet in life that share a passion for laboriously building and painting toy soldiers for the sole joy of doing math problems while pushing them around an exercise in geometry for several hours.

So yeah, to sum-up: Go get-fucked bullies. You’re in the way.

And don’t let me see you at it, because I’ll gladly get into yours.


~ by Achilles on June 9, 2015.

7 Responses to “A rant about cowards.”

  1. Well put sir! And it is reasons like this I hope to be able to get the ability to come out there and play a few games with you. You sir are very wise. Thank you for the amazing words. And I hope your days are filled with many a good battles.

  2. In one post on Facebook I wrote that you are a great guy. What I read here is just the proof that I was right. I feel happy that, eevn through such “impersonal” ways like bat reps, your videos and / or Facebook, I came to know “a little about Ash”. Is not only for the games, or the hobby, or all those weird passions that a lot of us, scattered all around the world, share together. Is the pleasure to know that even miles and miles away there is people that you could easily befriend, in a world that day after day become more crowded with useles, hypocrite, small chicken-shits.

  3. Very well put, good sir. I hope I get the pleasure to game with you at some point.

  4. Spot on Mr Barker, spot on! UK Geoff

  5. And that is one of the reasons you and I get along Ash. I can’t stand bully behavior and don’t have an issue in calling them out on it. Your response was well crafted and what I have come to expect from you Sir. Well done.

  6. Well put. spot on. and as Shakespeare said…. A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.

  7. Reblogged this on On the inside looking out and commented:
    Sometimes something really good shows up on my reader. This is about wargaming, but it just as easily could be about anime. One of the sad things about both wargaming and anime is the number of people who can only relate to their fellow fans or gamers through insults. We catch enough crap from people outside our hobbies, so when I see it happening from fellow gamers and fans I find it really depressing. Anyway, here is my first reblog.

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