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June 25, 2003
Ooglay Hussein's DiaryBy Ooglay Hussein
Good evening to you Pig Americans! Here I am, being still Ooglay! Ooglay Hussein, the son of the rightful ruler of Iraq, cradle of all human history! Here is the thing you are thinking you would say to me if I was some place I could hear you: "Ooglay! Where is it you have been being?" And I would say that is a stupid thing to ask me when if you were where I could hear you you would be in the New Yorks Times office and would know it is I who am managing editor now because my name is on the door that says so. Stupid American.
Here is why. So you should know I was last in Hollywood and got this job as reporter because some brown skin man was fired for making up some story about a girl soldier who was invading my country but your country has laws so they had to replace him with somebody who was not a white American man and I am having experience writing here so it is me. So hey, no sooner do I come here but they fire brown skin managings editor so who can take his place? Ooglay is who!
So I start right away running things the way my Glorious Father, for whom Allah wears a smile, ran his country. "This is not so different from Mr Rain leadership" is what the workers there are saying. So it is good to know people everywhere expect a good beating when they anger their betters.
But here is a different thing I do. There was a Moose, but now there are sandals. I am having a cousin who is Al Quada guy who sells sandals in a shop near the UN building and also does interpreter thing there on the side. (One day for fun he is letting me do some interpreter on the side because I am speaker of France, English, and many dialects of my homeland. It is fonny I said wrong thing on purpose as joke but France ambassador believes it and is soon meeting me in central park with briefcase full of money to preserve oil rights with Saud family! This is easy money, the French believe anything they hear that is not American. But that is long complicated story and I am not telling it now. Next time though I am going to start a war for fun.)
Now though I am telling of getting hundreds of pairs of sandals from my cousin paid for by Times with finders fee and profit sharing for me and my cousin also gives a kickback, it is no crime if I did not tell him what he does not ask! So what I make more on sandals then him? It is proving Allah loves me more.
Now everyone who is making me happy at newspaper is getting sandals. And all are wanting them because they are not just for wearing. If you have these sandals now at NY Times you are allowed to strike anyone who angers you as often as you like. I am sure you are seeing the attraction; it is not being surprising to me that these people will do anything for the earning of sandals. Some give money so my wealth increases even more. Some do other things. A girl writer who is not to be named tried to demonstrate some talent she had but after I was finished slapping her hindquarters with sandals I was not going to give her some to use on me! Sorry Maureen!
So at first the people who had some sandals would only use them on interns and mail room types who moved a bit too slow, but soon they learned I wanted them used on reporters and others here too. I have never seen some group so eager to inflict the slappings of the sandals on one another! They are gleeful when they are applying this discipline. They call it "total cultural immersion" and "celebrating diversity", but I think they just are getting what you call jollies. And do not be the one who shows weakness! This makes the whole office come after you. And they are much worse then the crowd who smacked my Glorious Father's statue (may the pilings of one thousand camels line every path they walk) I am telling you now! The painful screams of whoever they are slapping only drive them to more frenzied smacks.
So the Publisher I am worried will not be happy to see all the slappings, but he is loving it! "You have certainly shaken the heirarchal structure here, boy!" He is saying and giving me cigar. "Let's go to my club and discuss the leadership and managment technique book we're going to write together!"
Then as we are leaving he is laughing and sandalslapping my secretary and the doorman!
Hah! Moose was stupid, yes?
Posted by Ooglay Hussein / June 25, 2003 12:00 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...)
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