Posted by: Chelsea Novak | March 6, 2007

Dangerously inspiring

Every time I see one of the new ads for the Canadian Armed Forces I literally have to restrain myself from jumping off the couch to enlist. Yes I know it’s a brilliantly constructed ad, that it’s made to look like a video game, but that’s not what draws me.

I have admitted before that if I were an inch or two shorter I would have perused a military career (imagine my dismay when I learned that I was too tall to be a fighter pilot, totally oblivious to how hard it can be for anyone of the proper height, let alone a woman to be able to fly jets in the Canadian Air Force). For a long time in my teens I was going to RMC and that was that. But things change with time and research.

I’ve also toyed with the idea of being a Navy Diver, but floating around a ship wreck on vacation is dramatically different than what that job really entails. Search and rescue also looked pretty cool, but again, another exceptionally hard job.

The challenges of these jobs aside, I mostly lacked a vitally important skill, one my father told me was the reason he left the forces. I’m not particularly good at taking or giving orders. And that is rather key.

My point I guess is that the idea of being in the military has always interested me in some way. Something about it keeps drawing me in, though not enough to actually enlist. We had the RCMP at work awhile back and I swear I almost ran off with them like a kid running off with the circus.

Back to the ad. It isn’t the first-person-shooter style of the ad that gets my adrenaline going. It’s one brilliant headline and, I think, mission statement that distills what excites me about it all. Fight chaos.

I’m going to try to write this without sounding like a cliche-ma-ton. I think that everyone wants to do something that matters with their life and what matters is intensely personal and subjective. I like having an effect. Carving up a piece of something, sorting it out, making it work, making it better, knowing that I was the one that did that thing. I know I could do that in a greater capacity than I do, but I am what I am and I do what I do, so I try to have an effect in the ways I know how.

At the root of it, I love the idea of making less chaos in the world. Maybe I don’t need to be flying through the sky or submerged in the water to do that. It just seems a lot more interesting than fighting chaos through better institutional communication some days.




  1. like what you were trying to do there with cliche-ma-ton. may i suggest cliche-mazon for you personally? 🙂

    don’t own a tv so i haven’t seen the add, but obviously they got a hell of a marketer to do it.

    fight chaos – that’s absolutely perfect. it’s exactly what i want to hear the military forces are doing. it’s not usually what they actually do, but hey, they wouldn’t be the first to false advertise. but when i think about it, i suppose that the canadian military does usually have that as its prime objective, we’re not invading all willy nilly.

    thanks for the post, it got me thinking about stuff. thinking is good. just got a book called the Everyday Activist, basically because i’m too lazy/busy/poor to be real activist and i still want to do some stuff and this gives 365 small suggestions, out of which i picked a meagre 10, that i could do everyday to feel like i was fighting chaos.

    going to stop now. long winded girl strikes again.

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