Tuesday, July 24, 2007

An interesting take on the "Shock Troops" mess

It is fun and frequently informative to go rabbit-holing in the blogosphere. An offhand comment made on a blog (especially if a link is thoughtfully provided) can take the reader to a complete and previously unsuspected universe. Such as the one I found via a comment at Protein Wisdom. This is analysis of the controversial articles in New Republic that articulated some niggling doubts in my own mind. Mr. Barnes is a professional manuscript reader, I am an amateur one (and writer). I also read a good number of military blogs and I think I have a feel for how they write. As Mr. Barnes illustrates in his post, the New Republic articles by "Scott Thomas" sound like they were written by a *writer*. Now, this writer could very well have some military experience. Or his roommate did. But no military blogger--even those who write with elegance and style--writes like a *writer*. There are little "tells", just like those in the military can sense bogus claims of service. Plus, the stuff he leaves out that milbloggers uniformly put in. Does anyone get the sense that "Scott Thomas" really is part of a unit? That he knows, personally, the people in these little anecdotes? A real military writer is *constantly* doing the equivalent of "here's a guy, I'll call him Joe, he snores and smells like old socks but he can, I shit you not, find his way home if you dropped him some godforsaken 'Stan from 10,000 feet in the middle of the night. Now, one day Joe decides ..." and so on. Sound familiar?

It's not a new phenomenon, either. I heartily recommend the McAuslan books by George MacDonald Fraser (e.g. The General Danced at Dawn) The author manfully attempted to hide the true identities of the Hieland sojers that cavort through his pages, but a fellow officer read it and instantly identified them -- even one fellow that was a blending of two different real-life people. They can't help themselves, see. It's *family*, warts and all. I really doubt "Scott Thomas" is truly a part of that family.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Sunday Funnies

On a personal note (this is funny for me, not for human-caused Global Warming supporters) I have had my bumpersticker [Stop Global Whining!] meet with such critical success one person detoured just so she could find me and ask me where I had gotten it. One location is here.

Now, on to the funnies!
-Yay! Lackadaisy has an update!
-Sgt. Schlock and his mercenary buddies attend a festive funeral they were NOT responsible for!
-Girl Geek Kimiko finds a space robot from space and calls it Hob
-Girl Genius has more political intrigue than you can shake a giant robot at! Plus, if you go back a few entries, the perfect cup of coffee (may cause side effects such as delirium, ecstasy, and terminal happiness)
-The LOLcats are coming! The LOLcats are coming! (and the lolhamsters, and lolruses, and ...)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

There's gonna be fireworks

(on the Forth of July...)
So here I am, in the Snarkatronic Residence (a woman owning her own house, by herself? Horror!) , listening to my neighbors have happy parties (alcohol! Men and women in the same room! Children laughing! Cats and dogs, living together!) and much pre-testing of the copious fireworks purchases (danger! Releases all kinds of greenhouse gases, and might encourage said happy children to consider careers as Professional Exploders!) Now since it isn't dark yet the big guns haven't been deployed, but my neighbors--being unencumbered by pesky city ordinances--feel it is better to avoid the traffic and simply have our own rather nice fireworks display, right here.

And isn't it nice that in the process we are ticking off so many pompous, bloviating idiots who hate the very idea of people having fun?

We hold these truths to be self-evident,
That all men are created equal
And that they are endowed by their creator
With certain inalienable rights.
That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

And if there's one thing that makes me happy,
Then you know that it's (ooh)
There's gonna be fireworks!