SAS: Rogue Warriors, produced and directed by Matthew Whiteman.

Falklands,_Campaign,_(Distances_to_bases)_1982.jpg

Episode 1, Series 1, BBC 2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08f00s0/sas-rogue-warriors-series-1-episode-1

epistemology

noun PHILOSOPHY

the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.

I recently reviewed a Channel 5 series, Secrets of the SAS: In Their Own Words. Other programmes have SAS tags in their title, or synonyms such as Special Forces. Scroll through channel listings and you’ll see them. Even I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, which I’d rather chew my way through a nest of killer ants than watch, has its roots in the do-derring macho male with a weapon and a cause. The SAS came to fore, front page news and televisual clips of  masked men abseiling down from the roof of  a  three-storey building and the noise of  stun grenades being heard all over the world, with the Iranian Embassy Siege in March/April 1980 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_p4DmuGyehc). The SAS were first to yomp across the Falklands in 1982, when the word yomp hadn’t been invented. They were British and they were ours and we were proud of them. The Falklands War was enough to put Margaret Thatcher, who was lagging in the electoral polls back into office. Wars are good at that kind of thing.   We look back nostalgically to the First World War, a small island nation, had a quarter of the population of the earth under our control paying fealty and homage to the notion of Empire, and another half of the world’s population paying for our imports, but now, although we had become an economic backwater and second-class nation these programmes are telling us we can be great again. We still had the men. But here’s another secret, when you’re watching a different and more popular kind of propaganda with the tag Benefit in it, the SAS is a meritocracy. Ninety-nine percent of the SAS are white, working class males. Losers by any other name. Benefit scum. Should be aborted at birth…[stick your own propaganda ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5 tag from TV listings in here] When we celebrate the SAS we should be celebrating the idea of how a meritocracy should work and compare it with how the rich, one percent, and their middle-class cronies, profit by  dividing a nation and sinking like the Belgrano, the jewels in the working-class crowns, the NHS,  local authority housing and comprehensive schools’ system, not for glory but for their personal gain. Then look across the Atlantic at the billionaire bankrupt moron’s moron that has been elected President, who went to military academy, but refused to fight for America, and is the most powerful man on earth and most likely to end us all with the push of a button. So how do we frame a force of fighting men that are defunct as dreadnoughts when with new smaller weapons nuclear war is seen as being winnable?  The smart money, the Silicon valley super rich are buying up bolt- holes in places like New Zealand in the hope that nuclear winter will not kill the rich, only the poor and misguided (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/29/silicon-valley-new-zealand-apocalypse-escape). When we talk about the epistemology of the SAS widening out the scope of what they are and where they came from shames all of us mean-minded money grabbers who always put themselves first. The secret of the SAS, if you watch closely , is not about individualism, but teamwork. It’s about treasuring and making use of the rogue elements in our population, not caging them and letting them rot in prisons. Not waging a propaganda war that has its basis in eugenics. This is a programme about men, real men, who dare to think differently.

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