Thursday, 9 May 2013

Goodies & Baddies (Part 1)

A few years ago my soldiers and I engaged General Public in Greenwich Market.  Whilst studying my stall's table top battle, a young boy asked me 'which side are the goodies?'

As a boy I remember asking my dad why the Germans wanted to be the baddies and why they didn't want to be on the goodies side just like me, my friends, all the Americans and the British (US WWII films were my cultural staple).   I think he answered 'I don't know' or 'because' - he was a good dad but not very philosophical.

I asked the boy in Greenwich 'which country do you come from?' 'England' he said, and so I pointed out the British Army and said he would probably decide that they were the goodies.  Then I told him I lived in France and I thought the French side were the goodies - I was being a provocateur my nationalist inclinations are unthinkingly British.  We discussed our relative goody/baddy positions until finally his mother announced that the French were the baddies and the British were the goodies and they had to move on.

My enemies, the Mega Corp Toys from movies and TV have their wars between good and evil, dark and light, Jedi vs Darkside, Transformer vs Deceptacon - heros are corruptible and can turn to the dark side but the two sides remain clearly opposed, good vs bad.

History also gives us goodies and baddies but who the goodies and baddies are depends on which side we're allied to or where we live.

My dad could have answered my question saying it's a bit like football ... some people support Sunderland others support Newcastle each thinking their chosen team are the goodies. You're either 'red n white' or 'black n white' in North East England unless you were bored by football and when forced to decide chose Arsenal because it had a cannon on the badge.

Goodies and Baddies - to be continued!

In the meantime checkout the French Light Infantry Circa 1812 part of my Borodino series... Goodies? Baddies? Available as Walkerloo PDF Print-Fantry on WargameVault.