Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Maybe imitation is the best form of flattery

I want to weigh in on the whole Franck Gervais story. For those of you living offline, Franck wore a military uniform and medals and other accoutrement he acquired on kijiji. He then wore this put-together uniform on Remembrance Day in Ottawa and was approached by the television media and questioned on air.

Military members serving and retired were quick to out Franck as an imposter, both because they didn't know him (the Airborne community is tight) and because he wore many elements of his uniform improperly and they didn't go together, and items were missing.

He turned himself in to police and was charged.

But it doesn't stop there. He's been suspended from his job. He may face more charges. He has been vilified by many people, especially members of the military, but not just. The hatred and anger and fury and judgement that has been levelled at this guy is monumental. Gervais was called human garbage, a waste of life, a fool, a jackass, scum, an attention whore and the lowest of the low.

I have many questions. Why did he do it? What were his motivations? When questioned by the media, he seemed proud of the military. Is he an egomaniac, or is he attempting to imitate those he has high regard for? Were his actions based on reverence? Is he in need of psychiatric help? Is he deluded or schizophrenic? According to his workmates, he recalled his made-up time in the military. He wore another military uniform on his wedding day. Did he know that what he was doing was illegal? Did the average person know it was illegal prior to 11 Nov 2014?

Don't get me wrong. What he did was stupid. It was misguided, uninformed and technically illegal. It was offensive to our soldiers and veterans. But did he do anything malicious? Not that I can tell. Besides doing something ridiculously moronic, he didn't try to harm anyone physically. He has no criminal record. He wasn't trying to benefit financially. He wasn't trying to infiltrate a place where he didn't belong. He never asked for an interview, although he may have placed himself in a location that made it more likely. He did verbally state his admiration for our military members. He fabricated a back story for his life as the kind of person he aspired to.

We've collectively shown no mercy, no sympathy, no compassion for this guy. It’s easier to kick someone when they are down than to understand why they fell.

3 comments:

practicalmanagers.com said...

Because this: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2014/11/20141119-171536.html,

and other cases like this. And while Franck didn't threaten anybody, inflating your self-esteem by stealing valour from others is not cool. Do I believe the reaction to Franck is disproportional? Perhaps. Am I glad somebody is getting made an example of? Absolutely.

practicalmanagers.com said...

Because this: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/straighttalk/archives/2014/11/20141119-171536.html,

and other cases like this. And while Franck didn't threaten anybody, inflating your self-esteem by stealing valour from others is not cool. Do I believe the reaction to Franck is disproportional? Perhaps. Am I glad somebody is getting made an example of? Absolutely.

Karl Plesz said...

I keep hearing the words "stealing valour", but I think this is a subjective description of events. Like I said, for all we know, this guy may be quite messed up in the head. If they end up talking to the guy and he admits that he totally knew what he was doing and that he knew it would absolutely piss us off, then, yes. All batteries. Fire at will.