Greetings! You are reading an article from The Mudville Gazette. To reach the front page, with all the latest news and views, click the logo above or "main" below. Thanks for stopping by!
February 1, 2006
This cartoon is offensive to any soldier past or present. Here is what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Military had to say. Read More
Today, there was quite a lot of violence being employed by the police/army in Amona, all for the sake of wrecking nine houses there. Read More
United States General (now retired, PTL) Wesley Clark has been out of the limelight for the past few days, but he has managed to bask in the warm glow of the media once again by throwing the troops into the fire. ... Read More
Navy Wife - The Toughest Job in the Navy On 2 January 1991, while aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Operation Desert Storm, Captain ‘O.W.’ Wright wrote a poem about Navy wives entitled “Loving a Sailor”. The poem was p... Read More
I should have known why this story was written or why it caught the eye of a dominent media type. These are the two physicians who operated on Woodruff and Vogt. It’s too bad these two were injured but it’s enough already. Woodruff has ... Read More
Tonight's pot and pan performance outside the President's State of the Union Address brought together an amazing collection of dedicated amateurs for the first ever performance of John Cage's Cantata for Calphalon.... Read More
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, who is allegedly a Republican, has announced that Congress will launch an investigation in light of rising oil industry profits, highlighted by ExxonMobil's record $ 31.63 billion profit, which I ...... Read More
Imagine the uproar over an investment manager that refused to allow his clients to remove their money from a fund they felt was under-performing. Judging from the Demoncrap's hooting and hollering at the SOTU address, over stopping Social Security re... Read More
I think that I shall never see A liver like Ted Kennedy's Brave and resilient, a symbol of might Whilst put to the test night after night Twere it not for the strength of this filter within He'd be yellower Read More
I asked that question in an earlier post, and so far I've only gotten two answers. Surely y'all can do better than that. Leave your answer in the comments or email it to me and I'll move it to the Read More
Ms. Thomas' bitterness has swiftly melted away and been replaced by utter joy with the blossoming of new found love. A love based in common values. Those common values being their hatred of their President. Read More
Is there a string on it? Is someone behind him pulling his skin back to make the eyebrow go up like that? Read More
I've noticed this trend on the right to try and rationalize the election of Hamas as the majority government in Palestine as being a possible good thing. This concerns me. I don't know if it's a sincere belief, or just a lame attempt to put a smi ...... Read More
Did you know that if you google 'Casey Sheehan' almost everything that comes up is about Cindy Sheehan? Read More
I've had it! I have never called for a boycott in my life, nor directly participated in one. But I'm going to be boycotting the Washington Post. This is the last time I wil ever link them, and I will not be reading any of their articles online. Pleas... Read More
If you want to do a really nice thing for your military person....tape the game, including the commercials, and send it to them. The guys would have a second game showing just for the commercials. Read More
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