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February 07, 2015

Blog Game: Sound Like a Badass Without Committing Yourself to a Lie

In the comments to the last thread, I wrote:

>so i should have put this in the last thread but I was just saying on twitter that what Brian Williams did wasn't just dishonest, it was dumb and crude.

Let's admit that most of us wouldn't mind if other people thought we were kind of more badass than we were.

Williams had a lot of options to get people to think he was badass. He did not have to tell these stupid stories where he's obviously *intending* to make you think he's a hero.

He could have done what actual heroes tend to do. They sort of shrug, deflect, and say something badass like "I did my job, that's all a man can do."

The thing is, you wind up imagining they did all this Hero Shit, even if they actually didn't see any combat at all.

Williams insisted on this crude, direct sort of Hero Tale (like the Hero Tales of teenagers talking about, sometimes lying about, getting laid) instead of the sort of cool badass "A little bit of danger comes with the paycheck, you know" answer that 1) would sound badass and 2) would not be a lie.

>

Of the helicopter flight, you could imply you were in danger without saying so by saying...

"The guys around me didn't seem worried, so I figured, least I could do, is try to pretend I wasn't worried either."

There-- that pays tribute to the troops, but also gets in a subtle self-brag disguised as self-deprecation. Win win win.

Anyway, this suggests a game by which we attempt to make ourselves sound badass without committing ourselves to any specifics that we could get called on later.

Like, JohnE. says:

“it was no picnic, that's for damn sure”


Attempting to top him, I offered:

"It's not the report of artillery fire that scares you... it's the silences."

Okay, now I'm strongly implying I've been shelled but look carefully and I don't quite say so.

Anyway, I thought this might make a fun game: Re-write Brian Williams' attempts to sound bad-ass in such a way as would not have gotten him in trouble.


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posted by Ace at 07:32 PM

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