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Thousand-Yard Stare

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Origins

Originally coined as the 2000 yd Stare in 1944, successive cutbacks have reduced it to a mere 1000 yds. Not to worry, it's more than enough, and both versions are in the lexicon of common usage.

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Bloody hell Sir!


Goats

Despite the spams popularising the term in WW2, the invention (like most things) was more than likely British and Victorian. I doubt very much that ancient Spartans practiced the Stare to any great effect - other than when they were being hooped senseless by their bezzers. Likewise, the Romans probably had their equivalent after an afternoon of watching Christians being slaughtered and five skins of goat wine.

The French

The Welsh bowmen at Agincourt undoubtedly had it, and the French (or what was left of them) most certainly did in its aftermath. As it is usually associated with a shoeing the 1000 yd Stare is inevitably going to be found being sported by those who've been on the receiving end of someone's ire, whether it be the Frogs (again) at the hands of the Royal Navy at the Battle of Trafalgar, or those Frenchy types (again) after Waterloo.

20th Century

The 1000 yd Stare was again in evidence a hundred years later in WW1 - the look becoming quite fashionable, with both sides adopting it. Round Two saw the Stare back in vogue once again, particularly by defeated Frenchmen (this is getting boring now) at the hands of Hitler's victorious Wehrmacht.

The British, of course, eschewed the Stare in the Second World War despite a couple of missed opportunities: Dunkirk and the fall of Singapore. But what goes around comes around and the aforementioned Wehrmacht actually had the Stare on 1098 at Stalingrad.

The perfidious Sons of Nippon definitely had the Stare - albeit for a 10th of a second, whilst they still had eyeballs to stare with. Serves the murderous, slanty-eyed little cnuts right IMHO.

It was Vietnam that brought the Stare in to modern usage. Thousands of vets had it (that's veterans, not... cows and stuff) and some elevated it to 5k. Nails. Thus the Stare became an issue item with newbies coming out of basic pre-traumatised and all stared-up.

1967 and the Six Day War left the Egyptians, Syrians and Jordanians wondering what had happened to their armies, air forces and large areas of territory, resulting in severe cases of the Stare to all parties concerned.

1982 saw the Stare adopted by an entire nation when Argentina's conscript army of 10 million was roundly drubbed by half a dozen blokes who were quite hard.

The Gulf War of 1990-91 also saw the Stare back in the limelight, this time by Iraq's conscript army - stuffed by the might of the coalition and two dozen blokes from H... who were quite hard.

Today

Who would have believed that in the first part of the 21st Century, that minds immeasurably inferior to ours would slowly, and surely, draw their plans against us? So it was that 9/11 brought the Stare to a whole new generation.

One did not necessarily have to be sipping a frappuccino in the Windows on the World (and witnessing a rapidly approaching 767) on that fateful morning to qualify for the Stare. Merely watching the whole drama unfold halfway across the World was enough.

Since then, the Stare has once again become familiar to the new generation of fighting men and women serving across this mad planet - especially when their MFO box gets lifted from the ISO by thieving locals.

Jack Bauer has a stunning example of the Stare at the beginning of series 6 after his release from 2 years of torture at the hands of the insidious Chinese.

Walts

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Holy shit Lootenant!

The Stare is also a much favoured tactic used by pub walts, who will sit alone at the bar gazing in to space whilst the dust mites dance across the optics. When queried if they're OK they'll scream something like 'Charlie's on the wire' or 'Five rounds... independent... FIRE!' - an oft- quoted line from the popular movie Zulu 1000.

For the record, the image is of Sp. Brian Underwood of the US Army - runner up in the Afghanistan regional Red Bull quaffing semi-finals. Good effort Bri!


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