Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The "Warrior" Look. Does appearance make a difference when meeting the enemy?

via Art Of Manliness.
Spartan men not only had the skills and training to back up their reputation as formidable warriors, they enhanced that reputation — and their efficacy on the battlefield — by cultivating an external appearance that matched their internal prowess.

The Spartans terrorized their enemy before they even got within spears’ length of them. As they awaited the command to advance, they stood straight and steady in formation, and everything from their clothes to their equipment bespoke strength, discipline, and ferocity.

Spartan warriors were clothed in a scarlet tunic and cape (discarded prior to battle), for, Xenophon tells us, the color was thought to have “the least resemblance to women’s clothing and to be most suitable for war.” The latter statement gave rise to the apocryphal idea that red was also chosen because it hid blood better — concealing a wound, and a weakness, from the enemy.

Over his tunic and hung from his arm the Spartan hoplite carried armor and a shield which had been buffed to a brilliant shine and glinted in the sun.

Spartan men wore their hair long — a style which had once been common all over Greece, but which Lacedaemonians held onto after other city-states had shifted to shorter cuts. For the Spartans, long hair symbolized being a free man, and they believed, Plutarch says, “that it made the handsome more comely and the ugly more frightful.” The Spartans kept themselves well-groomed, often braiding these long locks, and keeping their beards neatly trimmed as well.

Atop their heads was placed a crowning piece of equipment which the narrator of Steven Pressfield’s Gates of Fire (a work of historical fiction accurate in many details) describes as the “most frightful of all”:

“Adding further to the theater of terror presented by the Hellenic phalanx . . . were the blank, expressionless facings of the Greek helmets, with their bronze nasals thick as a man’s thumb, their flaring cheekpieces and the unholy hollows of their eye slits, covering the entire face and projecting to the enemy the sensation that he was facing not creatures of flesh like himself, but some ghastly invulnerable machine, pitiless and unquenchable.”

The formidable appearance of the Spartan helmet was further enhanced by the fact it was “overtopped with a lofty horsehair crest which as it trembled and quavered in the breeze not only created the impression of daunting height and stature but lent an aspect of dread which cannot be communicated in words but must be beheld to be understood.”

The clothing and equipment of the Spartan warrior worked to his advantage in two ways: 1) it made the soldier himself feel more ferocious, more invincible, more confident, and 2) it intimidated the living daylights out of his foe.

The power of the Spartans’ appearance softened up the enemy line before they even hit it, and added to a reputation for strength that sometimes deterred enemies from even going to battle against them at all. 
Story here and WELL WORTH A READ! 

Sometimes a story makes you sit up and think and this little ditty did just that to me.

What does a Warrior look like in the modern age?

I've seen guys in uniform (girls too) and just from how they carry themselves, the look of their equipment etc...I've made hasty assessments of them.  Is it right?  Probably not.  It's damn near profiling and it's probably a vile habit of mine that SHOULD be changed but I won't.

I clock people, make assessments and move on.  No biggie.  It's just what I do regardless of race, color, national heritage etc... I almost consider it a survival tool.

But back on task.

I've seen plenty of Marines that I wonder how they could call themselves Marines based on appearance alone.  I've seen plenty of LEO's that make me wonder how they survive the mean streets of American cities based on appearance alone.  I've seen EMTs that make me wonder how they could lift a child onto a stretcher much less a 95th percentile male.

I won't even touch on the combat capabilities of those same individuals.  People that allow their bodies to go to shit and yet still engage in professions that might require them to engage in mortal combat are the same individuals that tend to allow their gear to lapse into shit shape condition too.

LEO's that walk around with shit dangling, unsnapped, dirt and grime visible (not from training hard but from simply being filthy creatures) are seen almost daily.

EMT's that have guts that extend from here to yonder and arms the size of Barney the purple dinosaur are EVERYWHERE.

Marines that look like their cammies are the maternity version have become commonplace.  The same with soldiers, sailors and airmen.

But what about civilians?  Yep.  See the same.  The weird thing.  The guys in the most labor intensive jobs seem to have the "warrior" look.  But in a different kind of way. 

So how do you get the warrior look doing a simple 9 to 5?  I guess by being neat, clean and orderly.  Carrying yourself properly. Working out. Maintaining your gear, and your workplace.

But it kinda goes against the modern American esthetic.

If you have a ton of shit you can't maintain it.  If you're fucking lazy and don't want to maintain your body and want to suck down carbs then you're gonna be nasty.  If you get off on alcohol and drugs and don't worry about the health implications then you're gonna be sloppy and sickly.

Consumerism and laziness. 

The Spartan way is the hotness that the gun/prepper community embraces.  But how can that be when the basic tenets of their lifestyle conflict with the current American way?

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