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May 17, 2003
SAVING HOLLYWOODBy Greyhawk
Boycott Hollywood, that is. Could I be more confusing? Let me start at the beginning...
Some time ago the situation with the web site Boycott Hollywood came to my attention. Attorneys for the William Morris Agency, agents to the stars, were threatening to shut the site down. Had succeeded, in fact, as the web host had notified the site that they were going to pull the plug on them within hours. I was probably one of the first to hear of this, having caught mention of it on another Blog who may have been the first to post on it.
Now, being in the service of my country, sworn to support and defend the constitution, etc. etc., this kind of suppression of free speech tends to (ahem) irritate me a little. Especially during an actual war currently being fought in defense of that freedom. Whether for Hollywood morons or the everyday brilliant geniuses who actually make America great, when I say defend free speech I mean it. When I say I was irritated, I mean it's lucky for Kim Jung Il I wasn't still in Korea.
But what could I do about it? Nothing really. A bigger Blog then mine was already posting about it. So for a half second I was going to move on and hope for the best. Then I remembered that I'm a Florida voter (really) and that every vote counts.
And two, here was a real chance to test Greyhawk's theory: "The (so-called) liberal view in the liberal vs. conservative debate can not survive the immediate 'printed' media that is today's web." See the connection? My thought was that the Blogosphere would certainly "act up" on this one. I truly believed the liberal elite had underestimated their opponent on this one. They may have thought they were taking on one little web site, but they were going to learn differently. There are an estimated 3 million Blogs in America today.
But again I thought, why bother? I had convinced myself that this problem would be solved with or without me. No action was required on my part. And any action I did take would likely be an exercise in futility.
But then that Florida voter thing came back again.
So I did the only thing I could do about it, and committed myself to doing whatever else I could. I researched (15 minutes work) every involved party in the situation, their websites and e-mail. (Original posts I had seen had not listed this information.) I sent a quick e-mail to the attorney's (carefully worded) then put all my efforts together in this blog entry posted it and sat back. (Total work: one half hour.) Then I realized I could do more. I'm a fairly regular commenter on several different Blogs so I pasted the same piece into their comments sections, slightly modified each time for the "target audience". In most cases these posts provoked heavy discussion (a lot of my Blogging buddies are attorneys) and some heavy e-mail traffic. But also a result occurred that I didn't anticipate.
On one of my visits to Boycott Hollywood shortly after I noted some posts in their comments section on this story that made me a bit suspicious. A familiar name popped up, similar to someone who is a regular visitor here. And this person had purchased (registered) domain names for Boycott Hollywood that would let them continue operations with minimal expense.
So I sent an e-mail to my suspect, and shortly after got a reply. I was right. The "Angel" that helped Boycott Hollywood was a reader of this web site that had actually first heard of the situation through one of my posts. Furthermore, a connection with a web hosting service (one with a spine) allowed this person to help set up a new site for the beleaguered Boycott Hollywood. This host will not buckle under at the first sign of trouble from the liberal elite, I'm sure. So don't expect Boycott Hollywood to go away any time soon. (Unless they want to.)
Three conclusions I draw from these events:
One: Never believe your actions are futile or don't matter. Boycott Hollywood probably would have been "saved" even without my meager efforts. (I'm even more convinced that Greyhawk's Theory is right, and that my theory doesn't need me.) But hey! I played a part! The obvious moral: Take action! It does matter!
Two: Angel is my hero. And a great and true American. I'm proud to serve a country that has people like her in it. Thank you Angel. It's going to be easier for me to go to work tomorrow.
Three: I'm proud to serve a country where good wins over evil. And that is fundamentally what really happened here. It doesn't always work like that. To you good people at Boycott Hollywood: Thank you for persevering against heavy odds. Your foe appeared bigger, stronger, and faster then you, but look who won. That is truly inspiring.
Keep the faith people!
Posted by Greyhawk / May 17, 2003 2:11 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
I like having visitors to my house. I hope you are entertained. I fight for your right to free speech, and am thrilled when you exercise said rights here. Comments and e-mails are welcome, but all such communication is to be assumed to be 1)the original work of any who initiate said communication and 2)the property of the Mudville Gazette, with free use granted thereto for publication in electronic or written form. If you do NOT wish to have your message posted, write "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email.
Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com