Eventually I will stop making fun of the “tactical” gear mindset. But for now, since I’m stuck in an airport, I’m going to continue to trawl through the justifications in hope of understanding.

Why would you need “military sunglasses” (and what, the fuck, are military sunglasses?) The title of this posting is from the Subject: line of the spam I got with this important announcement about military sunglasses.

From my spam collection of the day

I’m stumped. I don’t see how wearing those sunglasses would make me feel safer from domestic or even foreign terrorism. In fact, I might expect to see such sunglasses on a cop – but I don’t think that’s the domestic terrorists they are talking about.

But wait, there’s a chance to learn, here – they explain it:

Glare? Are domestic terrorists particularly shiny?

I want a flashlight that has technology that was previously used by Elite US Navy SEALS. There are all sorts of technologies “previously used” by those guys, though. Including underwear. I do not want their underwear. But it is probably true that the Elite US Navy SEALS used light technology.

Puerto Rico was destroyed because they did not have good enough flashlights.

As I read this, I realize I am one of the privileged 5% that does have adequate light and solid polycarbonate glasses that will deflect an attack with a Tactical Strike Pen.

It has a beveled edge for self defense. The funny thing is, I’ve actually seen one of these flashlights; I use one in my wet plate darkroom – I de-soldered the white LED and replaced it with a red one, so I could use it as a safe-light. I thought it was just a cheap Chinese-made piece of junk, I did not realize I was handling a deadly weapon that I could use to defend myself if I was attacked in the darkroom.

------ divider ------

Attack me in the darkroom and you’ll get a face-full of silver nitrate solution or glacial acetic acid. I’m not worried about it; there are relatively few darkroom invasion incidents in my area.

h/t Saad for the correct way to write Strike Pen.


  1. DonDueed says

    Wonder how well that “indestructible” aircraft aluminum would stand up to a California wildfire?

  2. says

    I know! You need to tactical shades to protect you from numbnuts with the tactical flashlight! And the beveled strike points, why that’s the for realz Vulcan neck pinch, right?

  3. kestrel says

    They list firefighters? As needing a “tactical” flashlight for “mission critical’ survival? Excuse me?

    No. What firefighters need are things like fire engines. And water.

    I’ll check, but I have never once heard of a firefighter having his life saved by a flashlight. It’s always been mundane stuff, like wearing their SCBA.

    Holy cow, I am on the wrong mailing lists. The stuff I get sent is not anywhere near this hilarious.

  4. Raucous Indignation says

    I have a nice pair of Oakley’s that I use for rowing. Although they are more Aquatical than Tactical.

  5. Brian English says

    Indestructible aluminium ey?
    I guess that unless they hit the aluminium atoms with tactical Gamma rays ™ (I’m guessing, don’t know), then the atoms will remain atoms (indivisible), but the airplane is quite destructible, as some poor buggers found out when that guy plowed a plane into the Alps a few years back, or Russian backed rebels did to that Malaysian flight over the Ukraine, or that other Malaysian flight into the Indian Ocean, or…..

  6. says

    I was the kind of kid who got an “unbreakable” rubber comb and flexed it back and forth for an hour until it heated up enough inside that I could tear it in half.

    Does make me wonder if I put the “unbreakable” under a 30t press if they’d refund my money if it broke.

  7. says

    You need to tactical shades to protect you from numbnuts with the tactical flashlight!

    I should have you write all the “ask a strategic genius” postings; you’re way ahead of me.

  8. Brian English says

    Tactical Water ™! As used by Elite US Navy SEALS!
    Question: Why is it OK to be an Elite SEAL, but not an Elite Climate Scientist?
    Puny scientist muscles can’t defend against Elite Ninja SEALS who wear Tactical sunglasses and use Tactical lamps?

  9. chigau (違う) says

    I have a much less tactical model of that flashlight. I like it. It survived a fall from a moving truck moving at about 15kph.

  10. says

    A couple of Saskatoon malls have “As seen on TV” shops, which stock all those goodies you see advertised on TV. If they don’t already they should have Bell and Howell tactical sunglasses on sale soon. They’re the ones that let you see a “colourful American Eagle” image that’s invisible without them. I wonder how many ISIS moles hiding in Newark wear such images on their clothing.

  11. cartomancer says

    I note that the sunglasses are “Apache” and the torch is “Cree”. It’s strange how Native American names are used in a military context by US companies to signify some kind of supremely generic warrior ideal, but nothing more than that. They seem very popular in military nomenclature (Apache helicopters, Tomahawk missiles etc.), but utterly devoid of specific cultural context. They don’t even trade in the kind of kitschy faux-Indian imagery that so many other US invocations of Native American stylings use. It all seems rather cruelly dismissive really, reducing native identities down to such trite generalities.

  12. cvoinescu says

    @cartomancer, for once, one of those is not the fault of the tactical gear peddlers. Cree Inc is a well-known manufacturer of lighting-grade LEDs (and other semiconductors). Everyone wants to say they have CREE LEDs in their products, because they are genuinely very good.

  13. jimmf says

    I think y’all are way overdoing this “tactical” stuff. I think it’s more of a marketing / fashion thing. Like fancy drinking glasses or long, baggy, short pants or polka dot undies. Glasses only need to hold beer and not leak all over your face (unless you’re quaffing) and look at all the crap glassware they talk us into buying. They’ll probably make a simple cup out of titanium with a transparent bottom and call it “tactical” to get the dimmer amongst us to buy one for $100. Maybe put spikes in a ring around the bottom for the $500 model. You make this crap go away by not buying any of it and turning off the advertising that talks you into it. And ridiculing it is fun too; but I’ll bet you still want to by one of those tactical cups.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    Glare-resistant sunglasses – I am guessing they mean polarized. I like polarized sunglasses, they do cut down on certain kinds of glare; coming off surface water and windshields for example. They’re also helpful in explaining LCD monitor technology (put on a pair of polarized, turn your head 90 degrees and look at a monitor). A quick check at my favorite outdoor gear vendor tells me that low-end polarized sunglasses start at $12.95.

    Regular flashlights are weak, halogen-based devices…” Pfffft. As if LEDs have not pervaded the marketplace. I was an early adopter of LED lighting, but that was over a decade ago. And yes, Cree is a leader in the high-power LED field.

  15. felicis says

    I think they heard ‘amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics’, got confused and decided that ‘gear=tactics’…

  16. Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute. says

    kestrel @3

    They list firefighters? As needing a “tactical” flashlight for “mission critical’ survival? Excuse me?
    No. What firefighters need are things like fire engines. And water.

    I know this was meant as humour (and I do find it humourous), but . . . .

    I work wildland fires (like the ones in California (though I have no idea if I will ever be able to work a forest fire again with my now fucked up back)). Really good flashlights (powerful, break resistant, compact) and sunglasses (high UV protection for high-altitude use, break and scratch resistant (with, of course, good eye-protection goggles that fit over the sunglasses)) are almost as important the trucks and the water. Fires are not always fought in daylight. Fires are not always indoors or in shady areas.

    And one can fight wild fires with no water — remove the fuel from the advancing flames, and, voila! a large violin.

  17. kestrel says

    @Ogvorbis: Swimming without a parachute: Yeah, it was meant as humor… I know about wildland, but not personally like you do. The Partner is the local fire chief and while they do some structure fires, most is wildland. It just seemed so silly to think your flashlight was that important when your special pants and boots are far more important. Granted, though: you need it all.

    On a different note: Generally, it’s pretty fascinating to me that the people who DO run into physical violence in our society: women, trans women, black women and particularly black trans women, are not the targets of the advertising. If they show a person with this gear, they show men. And usually, white men. Is anyone making/selling/marketing fighting gear so black trans women can defend themselves? I haven’t seen any.

  18. komarov says

    Re: Caine (#2):

    You need to tactical shades to protect you from numbnuts with the tactical flashlight!

    Indeed you do. LEDs are frankly too bright for their own good sometimes. I had a lovely experience last winter walking home from work when I encountered a cyclist heading the other way. It was pitch black where I was walking and suddenly I had the intense glare of an overdesigned headlight pointing way too high in my face. Completely blinded all I could do was stand there and hope the cyclist was polite enough to go around me (it was a wide path). I actually heard them muttering as they brushed past me.
    Oh well. At least I know how a deer on the road feels. It’s thinking, “What the hell is this? I can’t see anything! Where the hell am I supposed to go when I can’t see? Turn those damned lights down and slow down or we’re both dead, you muppet!”

  19. Curious Digressions says

    I doubt if you’re going to be able to top the tactical plastic spork. It’s a self-parody. Not that I want to discourage you from trying.