Sunday, July 26, 2009

The joys of Yahoo! Answers

I'm known to bounce around Yahoo! Answers, particularly the Outdoor Recreation section, trying to share a bit of what I've learned from a life enjoyably misspent in the great outdoors. However, far too often, you come across utter idiocy in there. Normally, I let it drift right by like so much sewage, but I saw one today that just bent me the wrong direction.

Should the Cubs, and Scouts be reclassified as?
Youth Paramilitary Groups? And then banned?
Additional Details
You know Baden Powell based the Scouts on the Hitler Youth, don't you?

Now, then, you should know, I'm an Eagle scout, became involved with the Scouting program on my eighth birthday, and am a full-on, 100%, drank-the-Kool-Aid-and-it-was-yummy believer in Scouting, what it does for boys, and what kind of men it tends to turn them into. So, on this very morning, I took this quite personally, as an attack on something near and dear to my heart. My reply:

I suspect that you are nothing more than a troll, in the textbook internet sense, doing nothing more than baiting and trying to cause trouble. However, I'm in the mood to feed the troll right now. I hope you like a diet of crow.

The modern Scouting movement, originally started in England and shortly thereafter brought to America, predates the rise of Adolf Hitler and the "Hitler Youth" by almost two full decades. Therefore, your little shot in Additional Details is completely null and void, rendering your entire argument useless.

As to your original question, what, exactly, in Scouting is in any way "paramilitary?" I'll limit the scope of my reply to BSA, simply because that's where my experience lies. Scouting encourages physical fitness, but not to anything approaching a military or combat standard. They teach camping and rudimentary wilderness survival skills, true. There is some basic firearms and archery instruction, but not enough to become a proficient game hunter, much less any variety of combat soldier. Is it the fact that there is a rank structure? The rank hierarchy in Scouting is far from military, it lacks the discipline and authority that military hierarchy requires. It is more akin to a business environment, and knowing how to operate within that structure is a life skill best learned at a young age.

So, no, there is nothing even remotely military about the Boy Scouts of America. And I have a question for you: What is it about young men learning valuable life skills to make them better men when they're grown that terrifies you so? Is it that you lack those same skills yourself, and the motivation to acquire them, and scream and throw a tantrum if the government won't bring everyone down to your level? For shame, sir. Elevate yourself, instead of demanding the government drag everyone else down.
Harsh? Most certainly. But oh-so-gratifying today.

1 comment:

  1. My only quibble would be that I would compare the rank structure to Academia more than the business world. Ranks indicate a level and quantity of learning and "class work". Sort of like the letters academics append to their names.

    It might also be interesting to note that one of the early actions of the NAZI party on assuming power and creating the Hitler Jugend was to ban Scouting organizations and require members to join the HJ. Hardly indicative of Scouting principles being compatible with National Socialist ideology.

    But wait, I'm sorry, I'm injecting facts into the discussion again, aren't I? ;)