Created By: callsignecho on August 12, 2011 Last Edited By: callsignecho on December 30, 2011
Nuked

White Mutiny

Passive-aggressive resistance--military style

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Do We Have This? Seen It a Million Times. Description under construction.


What happens to The Neidermeyer when his subordinates have had enough.

The phrase was coined by Sailors to describe a tactic used to express their displeasure with the Powers that Be--short of disobeying orders, or offing the bastard. There are many different ways of executing a white mutiny, and varying degrees of severity.

It may be as harmless as a unified Take That. The white mutineers may obey commands from Sergeant Rock or the Plucky Middie with ostentatious cheer and enthusiasm, while grudgingly executing orders from the General Failure with the minimum of effort.

They may affect stupidity during execution or take an overly literal interpretation of their instructions. When confronted, the rebellious subordinate may smirk and say "I was Just Following Orders ... Sir."

If they've really had enough, they may request Permission to Speak Freely.


Examples:

  • In The Number of the Beast, Deety, Zeb and Hilda interpret Jake's orders literally and as stupidly as possible, and refuse to show any initiative.
  • In Nate Fick's account One Bullet Away, the Marines express their loyalties subtly during PT. When their unpopular captain counts cadence, they mumble along half-heartedly. When Gunny Wynn takes over, they shout the numbers back at him like they're in boot camp.
  • Master and Commander: One sailor gets the lash for failing to salute the incompetent and timid [FORGOTNAME]. The result is an ominous scene where every sailor falls dead silent as [NAME] enters the lower deck, and each man salutes while staring expressionlessly at him. Needless to say he's completely freaked.


Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • August 12, 2011
    neobullseye
    I think this would be Exact Words
  • August 12, 2011
    callsignecho
    neobullseye, Exact Words would be one method of White Mutiny. There are other tactics, which I'll add as I go.
  • August 12, 2011
    Koveras
    • In the end of Ghost Story, Harry with some help from Archangel Uriel threatens to rebel against Queen Mab (his new employer in the position of the Winter Knight) this way if she ever pushes him too far.

    Sorry for the huge spoiler but it's the ending of the most recent book in the series revealed up there.
  • August 12, 2011
    ajmint
    Done quite a lot in Blackadder Goes Forth, by pretending not to receive messages, etc.

    Melchett: Are you trying to tell me you haven't received any orders? What the hell are you playing at, Darling?
    Darling: That's a flagrant lie, sir. I spoke to Blackadder less than an hour ago.
    Blackadder: Yes you did. To tell me some gobbledygook about having a lion up your bottom.
    - "Corporal Punishment'', Blackadder Goes Forth
  • August 12, 2011
    Generality
    I think this is covered in Bothering By The Book.
  • August 12, 2011
    Bisected8
    Yeah, this is Bothering By The Book.
  • August 12, 2011
    ajmint
    The first type might be, but I don't think this whole trope is covered.
  • August 12, 2011
    KamenZero
    I dunno, reading the two, they both seem pretty much the same, just worded differently.
  • August 13, 2011
    jate88
    Would another one be giving the commander free reign to change their orders but not reporting information that would convince the commander to do so? It's similar to the first but the difference is the first is about trying to find loop holes in the wording of a contract and this is about using a supposed tyrants own inertia to hinder or stop them without taking into consideration your own safety.
  • August 15, 2011
    callsignecho
    ^ Yes. Anything that hinders him or manipulates his actions to your own ends (without actually breaking any rules) counts.
  • August 15, 2011
    GuesssWho
  • August 15, 2011
    callsignecho
    I read Bothering By The Book as taking refuge in the rules, whereas this is stretching the rules to the breaking point. The inverse, if you will.
  • August 16, 2011
    Bisected8
    Nope, these are both rebelling by following the rules literally to annoy those who set them down.
  • August 16, 2011
    callsignecho
    Okay, but it's not just following the rules literally. If you read the trope description, it's also aiming Take Thats in your direction, going over your head, and otherwise communicating the fact that they don't like you and don't want you in charge.
  • August 16, 2011
    GuesssWho
    Then you might want to change the title, because Bothering By The Book says that it is also known as White Mutiny.
  • August 17, 2011
    TBeholder
    There is a difference, but the question is, is it big enough? What part of malicious obedience DOES NOT fall in Bothering By The Book?

    There are gray areas, too. E.g. using all the formalities and titles when it's not normally used other than in official ceremonies may clearly imply "well, if you say so, sir", but it's still one leg in Bothering By The Book.

  • August 17, 2011
    JoeG
    • If you launch this, please find a new title. This one sounds like some kind of racial conflict.
  • August 17, 2011
    jaytee
    Agreed. This is Bothering By The Book.
  • December 30, 2011
    LOAD
    bump
  • December 30, 2011
    AgProv
    What the British Army calls "dumb insolence".

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