Sticks, Stones and Barbed Wire

I don’t often read the American geocaching message boards – I’ve got enough to do to keep up with the British ones – but last night I had a scan to see what’s new.

There’s an American cacher who’s started using as his caching slogan “Geocaching – Family Values for a Stronger America“. Fairly innocuous you might think, although the idea of a stronger America might make the rest of the world shudder and hide under the table, but it’s causing all sorts of bad feeling over there. Apparently, in the state of Oregon, “Family Values for a Stronger America” is the slogan of the anti-gay movement, and is seen by some Americans as hateful, and incitement to all sorts of horrible things.

It made me reflect how statements and actions can be taken the wrong way and cause offence: Here in the UK, showing the St George’s flag is seen by many as evidence of racism, and certainly anyone who’s opposed to Britain joining the single European currency is considered racist or a “Little Englander” by some. The swastika, of course, was a Christian symbol for centuries before Hitler hijacked it, although I suspect that if I wore one on my neck chain it would give completely the wrong idea.

This morning I returned to the cache I failed to find last night, Hawksley’s Hike and had another go at it. I thrashed around for a while, finding the “Free with Walkers Crisps” pedometer I dropped there last night, and the pen I must have dropped not long after. Then Geoff arrived (from the caching team “Geoff and Bonnie”) and we thrashed around together for a while. Eventually I spotted the cache, about 40 metres from where the GPS said it ought to be, and Geoff spotted it a minute or two later.

Still not wrapped any Christmas prezzies, though.

Comments are closed.