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That awful meme

There’s a sword meme going round the internet which features some self-important prick that can’t hold a sword properly and has the posture most commonly associated with a lifetime spent hunched over a porn site, and words along the lines of the following:

While you were out partying, I studied the blade.

While you were having pre-marital sex, I studied the blade.

While you were taking drugs, I studied the blade.

Now the enemy is at the gates, and you have the audacity to beg me for help?

This sort of fuckwittery boils my blood. It was clearly written by a fantasist who has zero knowledge of what actual swordspeople are actually like, and it is egregiously annoying because it calls my profession into disrepute. Especially the last line. What, exactly, does the original writer think a swordsman can do against threats in this modern age? And since when does mastering a particular skill entitle you to sneeringly withhold it from those who did other things? My doctor has never, not once ever, said to me “I spent years in medical school learning to heal the sick while you were fooling about with obsolete weaponry. Now you’re sick, and you have the audacity to come to me?”

And what’s with the horrible notion that training with blades requires some kind of hermity asceticism? It's unhistorical, unrealistic, and while a degree of temperance is required to train to a high level, there are entire branches of martial arts that include mind-altering practices of one form or another. And I'd bet money on the notion that a lot of people have trained to become proficient with the sword precisely to get laid.

So I’ve fixed it:

While you were out partying, I was too, because social interaction is very important. I also studied the blade.

While you were having pre-marital sex, I was too. Probably not with the incel that wrote the original version of this meme, but a good sex-life is very important for mental and physical health, and I’ve always been lucky in my choice of partners. Plus I also studied the blade.

While you were taking drugs, I was probably drinking. I also studied the blade, and sword practice is a great way to get over a hangover.

Now the enemy is at the gates, but unfortunately swordsmanship isn’t terribly useful these days. I have many friends though, so I can certainly call on soldiers, pilots, doctors, nurses, lorry drivers, plumbers, gardeners, farmers, writers, singers … please state the nature of your emergency so I can help you better? Because you’re a human being and thus entitled to whatever assistance I can reasonably offer you.

Less catchy, perhaps, but way better.

I'm sure you have an opinion: do share!

4 Responses

  1. Well said, sir. That meme paints a sorry picture of a practioner. It has been quite some years since we have had an enemy requiring swordperson’s attention at the gates. (Although, people rarely use their own picture in memes, usually just some random image that got attention. So it might be that someone got lots of unwanted attention when they are just learning the basics..)

    1. Fair point. But the image in question is definitely not of a beginner starting to train, so I don’t think there’s a problem there.

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