Posted by Jack @ 10:01 pm on January 4th 2011

The Honors System: Naval Method Acting for the Frustrated Comic Actor

I few thoughts on Captain Owen Honors’ relief of command of the USS Enterprise today.

1. “Fag-boy.” The “affectionate” term Captain Honors used for his Surface Warfare Officer (SWO) alter ego. Today I had a sailor express mild irritation that the Captain’s use of this word resulted in outrage, and he attributed the attention merely to the repeal of DADT. I asked him if it would have been ok to refer to his SWO persona as Nigger-boy, or Kike-boy instead. Full disclosure, I was a SWO, so I am trying not to take it personally, heh.

2. In the minds of Captain Honors’ reported thousand+ facebook supporters: At what point does “objectification of women” transition from a reactionary, PC, feminazi-generated issue, into an actual problem for their sisters, wives and daughters? Do you see nothing of concern in having the second in command of the ship, a full bird 0-6, introducing a segment of his personal crew entertainment videos as “chicks in the shower” including, reportedly, a shot of a cardboard cutout of himself in the shower? Introduced as something that fagboy would not get? Perhaps interspliced, as his videos apparantly are, with scenes of simulated masturbation?

3. A quote from the martyr: “Over the years I’ve gotten several complaints about inappropriate materials in these videos, never to me personally but, gutlessly, through other channels.” The Navy has implemented a number of official ways in which a sailor can provide input or express concerns to the chain of command. None of them involve directly confronting the Executive Officer. None of them. The approved, entirely official, absolutely endorsed methods for addressing issues include, but are not limited to: Addressing with your immediate supervisor, you know, using the gutless chain of command. Or talking to the gutless Command Master Chief, a gutless position assigned to the most senior enlisted personnel, carefully screened individuals expected to act as a bridge between the crew and the senior office leadership. Or dropping off a note to the gutless official Captain’s Suggestion Box. Or filing a complaint with the gutless Inspector General, an abslute right. But in Captain Honors’ mind, if a young seaman or ensign has a concern about the content of the videos, he should address it directly with the second most senior ship’s company officer, a full bird Captain, a man with extraordinary powers over them. If they use any of the myriad other options that the Navy has put in place at each command, then they are gutless. I think this makes Captain Honors a prick. But I’m just a former fagboy SWO.

4. Executive Officer is one of the hardest, demanding, and time consuming positions on a ship. This Captain held this position on the largest ship in the navy, a 6000 person nuclear aircraft carrier. And yet, while deployed in a war zone, he found the time to develop videos produced by himself, written by himself, directed by himself, and starring himself. It’s like the Tyra Banks show: The narcissim, it burns, and I say this is a fellow narcissist. I recognize a fellow traveler.

5. I did inappropriate shit like this. When I was a midshipmen. Hell a lot of USNA mids did. Back then it was “Eighth Wing Players” or just skits in front of the rest of the company on designated Friday nights. But we were, you know, 19 years old, and not in charge of six thousand other people.

6. His defenders, of which there are indeed many, routinely dismiss these concerns because of the perceived greater good that Honors’ videos did for crew moral. You see, by ridiculing the handful of fags and a percentage of the women who don’t like being thought of as “naked chicks” he probably did indeed improve the moral of a great percentage of the straight males. Thats not “leadership.” Thats “prick” cheap laughs at the expense of the undefended and disenfranchised. It’s the adult equivalent of the jock tripping the nerd or the tard in the lunch room, to the appluase and glee of his admirers. Only in this case, the nerds are also part of his command.

2 Comments »

  1. It isn’t surprising that he has so many defenders. I’d argue that while the specific situation is the jock tripping the nerd, it’s indicative of a more serious problem in the overall military culture which still has a pretty vile streak toward women just under the surface. And I can’t even imagine being gay and serving in the military because they don’t even have the veneer of politeness to make it more palatable. These videos are just an extension of that mentality.

    I know women who were raped and then slut shamed by O-6s into not pressing charges so that USNA didn’t look bad in the papers. As a plebe, my underwear was stolen by an upperclassman who also used to sneak in and watch me sleep. When he got caught, he told the company officer that I was trying to seduce him but since it was my word aginst his that I hadn’t given him my underwear and hadn’t invited him in, he didn’t get in trouble and stayed in my company and continued to sneak in at night from time to time and I was told to lighten up. My roommates and I were not allowed to lock our door even after we asked because we shouldn’t get special treatment just because we’re women. This sort of thing is where chicks in showers and fagboy originate from. When genuine abuse is swept under the rug, then cheap jokes at the expense of minorities are almost enlightened in comparison, so people feel free to laugh.

    That being said, obviously the vast majority of men in the service are not abusive or harrassing and were a pleasure to work with, but most sure as hell won’t stand up for the people being hassled or denigrated either, even when they disagree, especially to a superior officer spouting off. Or at least they didn’t when I was in. And we all know that a woman who stands up for herself and others in a mostly male environment is a feminazi bitch.

    Comment by Liz — 1/5/2011 @ 11:58 am

  2. What creeps me out the most I think were the actual crew that appeared in the video. Presumably, most did so because they shared Honors’ sense of humor, but when the request also comes from the senior commander, it’s pretty hard to differentiate that from other motives. The idea of some sophomoric sexually-motivated creep also in charge of the lives and futures of 6000 people going around asking them if they want to simulate masturbation and shower scenes for a hilarious new video is just too creepy to bear.

    Comment by Brad — 1/7/2011 @ 8:30 pm

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