The Other Club was first published February 19, 2005 on Google’s Blogspot.I have included a first day post below. It celebrated a display of American valor and courage that had taken place 60 years earlier.
In 2005 “valor and courage” would have been a nearly universal opinion. The memory would have invoked reverence and gratitude. Seventeen years later, I wonder…
As the post went up, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. The first ever Tweet was 13 months in the future. Facebook would not open to the general public for almost 18 months. YouTube had come online 4 days earlier. Ask Jeeves was still a thing. Google Maps had just been launched on February 8. Pandora was to be launched on August 25. Tumblr was 2 years in the future.
Surveillance capitalism was just booting up.
If you wanted to be notified of a new post at any given blog, you would subscribe to its RSS feed. If it supported one. To find other sites you might find interesting, you depended on blogrolls and word of mouth.
Content wasn’t targeted at you based on deep learning analysis of every search you conducted, every website you visited, every cell tower you passed, the content of your emails, every person you “followed”, every purchase you made, every app you used, or a comprehensive summary of the computer make and model, browser, OS, graphics processor, IP and MAC addresses… etc., you used while volunteering that information.
It was more likely than not you didn’t “google it” in 2005. Google processed a bit less than 37% of searches then. Ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively; Yahoo, MSN, and AOL handled 54%.
Now Google attracts more than 90% of internet queries. Reading more than Twitter’s
140 280 characters before concretizing your righteous outrage has become passé. Facebook has gobbled up the open discussion space by strategically monetizing polarization.
Add TikTok, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. etc., and you get a cultural petri dish where narcissistic moral-superiority contests flourish, and “mean girls” of both sexes actually make a living by practicing their sociopathy.
Signaling virtuous victimhood as indicators of Dark Triad personalities, from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is a look into who powers the victimhood industrial complex.
“We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits-Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy-more frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies.”
A popular way to monetize victimhood is complaining about cultural appropriation. Hoop earrings, for example. As if persons of ‘Latinx’ persuasion invented hoop earrings. And, in their cultural purity, refuse to use anything invented by, say, a dead white British male. Like vaccination.
An environmental impact study would find “the better angels of our nature” an endangered species in a shrinking habitat. Gossip, maliciousness, and reputation savaging, you see, scale and can be monetized. And it works just as well if you can appropriate victimhood.
Well, this turned into more of a rant than a ‘happy anniversary to me.’ Enough.
TOC documents some bits of the last 17 years. Of topical interest, there are 109 posts tagged ‘canada’ as I write. The first is from February 25, 2005. I just tagged it. There are certainly more. Blogspot didn’t have tagging for a long time and I have only partially updated them. Now I’ll have to complete ‘Canada.’
I have made TOC’s ~2,900 posts into a ~2,100 page PDF. About 1.1 million words. Electronically signed copies can be made available. ;)
I think I managed to meet the level of Theodore Sturgeon’s adage: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” ;)
Anyaway, here’s that first day post I mentioned above. Blogspot didn’t provide for images then, so I’m adding what I would have used.
Original inks have rotted and are replaced from web.archive.org.Saturday, February 19, 2005
Flags of our Fathers
John Bradley, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Mike Strank are the Navy corpsman and Marines who, on 23-February-1945, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. It’s a famous picture.
Still, Suribachi’s island wasn’t declared secure until 26-March, and it was 7-April before American fighter planes took off from the refurbished runway so many had died to secure.
Describing the Americans who fought this battle, Admiral Nimitz uttered the words that appear on the Arlington Cemetery monument to that flag raising: “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue”.
Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal said that “the raising of that flag on Suribachi means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
Thank you Marines. Semper Fi. 440 years to go; though I expect you’ve extended that a bit in the interim.
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the death-struggle for Iwo Jima, in which over 2,000 Marines died in the first 18 hours of fighting.
In the next 36 days Marines had a casualty every 2 minutes. 6,821 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese died. Of 353 Medals of Honor awarded during WWII, 27 were given for heroism on Iwo Jima; 13 posthumously.
And this was not the end of the Pacific war. In fact, it was just the first battle on Japanese soil.
My appreciation of this battle, and my gratitude to those who fought it, grew immensely when I read a book given to me by a former Marine. That book is Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley.
Bradley discovered that his father, a Navy corpsman who survived the battle of Iwo Jima, had not only been awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts there, but was one of the men in the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. He discovered this only after his father had died, as he sorted through his father’s papers.
Danielle Girdano is another person belatedly aware of her father’s contribution on Iwo Jima.
18 year old private first class Daniel Girdano, 4th Marine Division, 24th Regiment, 1st Battalion A Company, first saw Iwo Jima’s beaches on 19-February-1945. His daughter learned what really happened there almost by accident. She bought a vial of Iwo Jima ash for her father as a Christmas present in 2003, and he could not speak of his experiences still. “He saw this vial of ash, and this man who I’ve known my entire life as the Rock of Gibraltar, broke down,” she said.
What she learned from her small gift resulted in the Legend of Heroes Memorial. A monument in glass, metal and wood; it has the faces of 10 Iwo Jima vets engraved on it. Her father is one of them. It is beginning a 49 state tour this weekend.
It is inscribed, “Boys became men, men became heroes, heroes became legends.”
I am cowed by the modesty, even self-effacement, of men like Bradley’s and Girdano’s fathers; though it is typical of those WWII vets who saw soul-wrenching combat. Part of it is certainly the modesty becoming of a different era, but I think most of it arises from the pain their experiences brought. (Note to John Kerry – your eagerness, sustained for 30 years, to capitalize on your experiences of “atrocities” in Viet Nam is one of the reasons you were not credible.)
I recommend Flags of our Fathers, but for a brief tour you should read Arthur Herman’s piece at:
Herman also invokes contemporary issues via a perspective on the doubt and debate surrounding WWII strategies that most of us now think of as uncontroversial.
# posted by Hershblogger @ 2/19/2005 06:46:00 PM