Oh boy oh boy oh boy I get one of these!
So! You know the saying, “All Shipgirls Are Created Equal,” right?
Wellllllllllllllllllllll. I’m not surprised if you haven’t heard of that one. I came up with it just now. Aren’t I so clever, haha!
Um. Okay. Well, truth be told, not all shipgirls are created equal. Some of us are a lot better at some stuff than some others. Some of us are really good at shooting stuff and picking out a target on the fly. Some of us can’t hit the broad side of a barn without significant assistance.
You can guess which side of that particular spectrum I’m at, hahaha…
Anyways, we’ve got a bit of that Rifleman’s Creed there. Don’t get me wrong. Every shipgirl can fight. We’re all pretty good at it (in theory). Even I’ve managed to score dozens of solo mission kills and I’m flatly one of the worst shots in STEC.
But, you know, there’s a lot of jobs to be done. So, when there aren’t Abyssals to be fought and I’m not practicing or training, I’m volunteering my time to the finer arts of writing! Most of these days I write borderline scandalous romance fiction centered around my friends. When I get tired of this stuff, though, I head down to STEC’s informational warfare section down in Intelligence to help out.
I think they like me a whole lot! I mean, I notice whenever I show up, the little guys scramble to get everyone in charge involved to make sure there’s something I could do. Nowadays, though, we’re involved in some pretty big research projects of public opinion. So, instead of writing fun stuff, I’m mostly stuck writing boring but practical briefs instead.
Let’s talk practical stuff. You know, STEC is America and the world’s premiere-tier anti-Abyssal organization. Notice how I don’t say, we just “kill” the Abyssals. We do that! But, in a war, there’s more to winning than just killing your enemy. Sometimes, you know, if you kill an enemy, they actually aren’t killed –
ACK THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANTED TO WRITE
WHY DID I TYPE THAT OUT
WHY AM I USING A TYPEWRITER FOR THIS
Okay okay. Let’s think a bit. I should pick a cool title this time to go with how I wanted to write what I had up there.
Marby’s Pearls of Wisdom?
The M Report?
Too scary sounding. Also too formal.
The Daily Marblehead?
… The only thing I write on a daily basis is friend-fiction half the girls consider too salacious for ordinary company. I don’t want to write daily…
Operational Report something or other following STEC archival conventions and procedures?
That’s really boring. Also, that’s really not me.
Bleh I’m gonna go call Mike. Stay right where you are little typewriter, Marby’ll be back shortly!
Bwuh, should have known. Mike just wanted something simple and to the point. I guess since it’s for the girls and everyone here that SORT OF makes sense. The girls get a LOT of reading already, so something that’s educational and fun like this… probably should be kept short.
See, I started our own newspaper-magazine-literary-luminary publication thing here. I had originally envisioned a great amalgam of poetry and short stories and art. There would be a nice classified ads section. People can use it to organize fancy balls, parties, send out wedding invitations. That sort of thing.
What I found was that you can’t get people to create on the fly! I waited for three month and I got tons of submissions – every SINGLE one being a political op-ed by like, five of the same shipgirls. While they’re actually remarkably polite most of the time, it really isn’t what I had in mind…
I had originally wanted to create the thing because I wanted to give people a soapbox to voice their opinions. The act of creation is a relaxing thing, you know! Here’s a blank sheet. You get to be the boss. You write whatever you want to write. You get to think whatever you want. The paper will not discriminate because the paper’s always friendly – well, unless you spill coffee on it or something but as long as you can read it it’s fine!
Well, that’s not entirely true. You see, we aren’t living in a vacuum, right? Each one of the relationships we have, from family to friends to professional colleagues to creative co-conspirators, how we interact with others is really a big part of how we live our lives.
Oh, wow. Hey! I got it. I know what I want to write about now. Thanks, paper!
Marby here! I know, I know, you aren’t really here to read about my ramblings –
… Wait a minute why am I even writing that down?
Marby here! Last week, Mike sent out a bulletin asking us how we want to communicate with each other. He was wondering if we thought the regularly scheduled weekly reports could use any improvements.
I think a good thing that we could use would be a sort of formalized “soapbox” system. Simply put, I think we should create an environment where anyone who feel like there are any issues with how things are should feel free to bring it out into the open. It shouldn’t have to be anything terribly formal, but I know sometimes I worry about the upcoming war, and it would be nice to see how others respond to it.
I know this typically runs contrary to how military organizations work. In general, information is controlled, filtered, censored, and organized in such a way so that only the most “winning” perspective is shown. We all know that Rank Has Its Privileges, and that I think every one of us agree that order and discipline is paramount. I can see the concern that a thing like this could cause detrimental efforts to morale and it may place undue stresses between all of us.
But, my point is, I think you’re going to get those stresses and differences to appear anyways. Look back to how the public perception of the Great War shifted when they found out that the front wasn’t all rosy and glorious like the correspondents made it out to be. Look at how much of the media fell prey for Hitler’s charm offensive and supported appeasement. Think about why any government or any organization would want to stifle or control the freedom of expression, to prosecute defeatism, or to make sure that the “correct” thoughts are to be had.
It’s all towards an end, right? Winning the war.
I say we can do the same. We can win the war. I say we can also do this in a new way. STEC is not a country, but in service to one. STEC is not an army, but it functions much like one. STEC does not need to fear propaganda – the word itself that sends shivers down many a shipgirl’s spine.
What is propaganda?
Propaganda is little more than some abstract thing made to sustain the will. It is functional, not specific. The ultimate goal is to make sure that our spirits do not falter no matter what challenges are presented to us. It’s to keep our morale up.
If that’s the purpose, then I think a very good way to keep our morale up is for us to have another way where we can work our problems out. It’s no good sugarcoating it or hiding it. I think it’d be much better if we could all work together to figure out how to solve the problem together.
Just my two cents!