Notes on a Fieldtrip, Part II (or, Academics with Guns)

And here's the second part

The lunch: it's in a mess—reminds me of MASH (which is, sadly, my only reference of a Mess). Lunch includes lots of fried food with salt and cheese. This can't be good for the health of the Darkliquid operators. I mean, there wasn't even any water (the choice was between Gatorade and Iced Tea. Did even Coke and Pepsi refuse to be associated with mercenaries?). That is most likely why their turnover rate is very high.

To round-off the “active part” of the day, there's the shooting. I will disappoint my PTSD readers by saying I was one of two people (out of 50 or so) who didn't shoot. I did learn how to load and unload a Beretta, a Glock, an M4 and another big Gun whose name starts with “S” and which I have forgotten but I didn't shoot. I think (and LilSis picked up on this as, in between all this Darkliquid-ing, I was frantically calling her to learn whether Trinidad and Tobago had managed to draw with England. Sadly, they didn't though two Liverpool players scored for England). In any case, I didn't shoot because everyone else was shooting. The reaction of DB to this refusal to shoot was rather amusing too. He said, “Can I persuade you? Do you think it's just bad? Can I change your mind?”. I don't think shooting is “bad” but I just didn't want to do it then. Again, not many academics can say they have been "peer pressured" by a Private Security Operator.

Others did shoot so imagine 50 academics, each shooting rounds, with only 3 instructors about. Nothing occurred—we had a rather dodgy moment when DB yelled (in his best parade ground voice) at someone who used “the wrong gun” to shoot the wrong target (he used the BigS gun to shoot at a steel target, which were apparently limited to pistols). But, it all went well, including the Group Photo at the end (where the women—about 7 in total—were given the guns to carry and to stand in front of the group. I'm trying to get this picture so I can put it up for you, PTSD readers, to enjoy)

Then, it was off to the Gift Shop (and the story of the big black bear which was shot on Darkliquid grounds for allegedly almost attacking an Operator and which is now stuffed and holds pride of place by the entryway to the Gift Shop). The Gift Shop has Darkliquid T-shirts, Darkliquid magnets, Darkliquid other stuff and also the M4 for sale (a bargain at $1,999).

During the course of the day, we often hear of "Mr. King"* whose “passion” it was to start up Darkliquid. Parallels between Mr. King (of whom no pictures are ever seen and who is apparently the only shareholder of Darkliquid) and Dr. Evil are made by my fellow participants (well, by my dinner-mates. The reactions of people to Darkliquid is a different story).

Overall, a fantastic day. Darkliquid (and DB) were the highlights of the Workshop so far. Today, it's back to footy though the matches today are fairly boring (as are the presentations). I think Argentina might win the Cup, at this rate. But, then, one can't tell since in the knockout stages, anyone can have a good day and oust a better-playing team. So, Go Germany! Go Spain!!

* ETA: A quick bit of Googling reveals that Mr King is a right-wing Christian, whose father invented some gizmo for cars (visors, I think?). So, Mr King is a multimillionaire right-wing Christian. In charge of a large plot of land. With loads of weapons and highly-trained people (and the facility to quickly train more). If I were in charge of the two states Mr King has his training facilities in, I'd be a bit disturbed.


At 6/16/2006 11:51 PM, Blogger peter said...

All i can think of is a scene from James Bond--From Russia With Love comes to mind--where they are walking through the SPECTRE training camp. There's a guy pulsing a flamethrower as black-clad wannabe-SPECTRE henchmen run and leap over the flames. Another henchman is shooting as the recruits crawl through an obstacle course. There's karate and shooting at targets.

The SPECTRE Henchman asks Col. Kleb:
"Do you approve of our training methods?"
She replies: "Training is important but no substitute for the real thing"
Henchman: "Oh, I Agree, we use live ammunition."

At 6/17/2006 9:30 AM, Blogger Priya said...

So did they at Darkliquid--untrained academics with live ammunition. Great fun!


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