Confessions of a Madman and Flawed Blogger

Neither will this post.

Well this post is incredibly late and was originally prompted by usagijen’s confessions of her undying love of being a less than perfect blogger, and omo’s post about how we all fit in as a community. To be honest I have realized long ago the depths of my own insanity and the intricacies of how my profession basically permeates my own existence. Few indeed are those who are defined mostly by their jobs, but as a lowly grunt in service of a reviled military machine my ass belongs to Uncle Sam 24/7/365. Thus while nominally an American citizen I have elected to shoot my rights in the face and sacrificed them all for the sake of playing with big guns and haul around equipment worth more than most people’s monthly salaries. Suffice to say my own freedom of expression has been voluntarily curtailed and if I avoid touching on certain things regarding my profession it is not because of ignorance, but any one who has half a brain and is aware of the NSA should realize that they might are monitoring everything and to be honest even a gun wielding manic like me is wary of the boys and girls in the black box.

I think that as soldiers and sailors go I am decidedly strange on the one hand I grew up in San Francisco, right next door to the People’s Republic of Berkeley , but have some how ended up in what is allegedly a bulwark of conservatism and Republicanism. To start off the US Military has supporters of both parties of professional liars politicians, it’s just that one party will cling to uniformed soldiers like lampreys and the other is generally embarrassed to be seen with them and treat them little better than lepers. Moreover in line with the apolitical character of my employer it is almost a state within a state of sorts only that there is no Hans von Seekct-class General to make bombastic statements like “Reichswehr do not fire of Reichswehr” nor do we support a bunch of freikorps rowdies. We are for the most part the gauntleted fist of the Republic and our opinions are often, but not to our surprise, ignored.

Remember folks, Rumsfeld was one of you and General Shinseki was one of us and we all know who ended up having to leave first. Times like these make me wish some of the top brass were capable of channeling Patton or even that prima donna MacArthur. I do feel slighted every time some Japanese writer, who is safe and sound in a first world country who will never know hardship of any import, feels the need to preach about my profession and my country. I know it’s not perfect, but what is perfect in this world other than Haruhi-sama? Being a defender of the Republic I am also quite aware of how fractious and varied are the people I am asked to defend and dig latrines for given how many personalities of the American persuasion there are in the blogosphere. It lends a sense of worth to what I am called upon to do, even when some of them have the gall to question how I help provide the blanket of security and bomb free bed that he/she enjoys. You know who you are.

I am part of the very serious and decidedly dangerous enterprise of waging war and unlike Impz my country is actively engaged in war, hence my own sense of mortality is much more acute than that of the average person of 20-30 years age. I will probably never see anime as through the serious business lens, barring intellectual accidents. Anime for me will probably remain mostly entertainment and since I lack the skill to and envy those with the ability for more in depth editorials. Most of my higher brain functions have been subordinated to serve the needs of war through efficiency and violent execution. At times I wish that I could be intelligent and learned like jpmeyer, IKnight, and Jeff Lawson, but if God wanted me to be a sensitive scholar, God would have seen to it that hero worship of Prussia never came into play or that I would have been born to parents that lived in Canada or Sweden.

In a sense my perception of reality and anime to is from a lens of controlled confusion and the immersion into my profession. I think I do have an axe to grind against those who I see as elitist since recent events have shown that lecturing people about niceties like morality and merely protesting about something is insufficient to effect change. More over so called rebels who fight against “systems” are in my opinion idiots and hypocrites who have decided to rail against the very thing that allowed for their privileged status in the first place. I don’t meet many intellectuals or students of the liberal arts who remember ever being poor or in my case having their right to free speech curtailed and restricted. I also think that by virtue of my subordination to Uncle Sam that I am more aware of the savagery of man than most of my college educated compatriots, hence the idealism found in most young people is distinctly lacking in my case. My choice of a science degree rather one in the liberal arts has also kept me concerned with practical results and the limitations of theory.

My very existence is hostile to rebellious brats and self serving revolutionaries even those in anime. Moreover it seems to me that the limit of most college rebels’ commitment to their cause is simply to ramble, protest, and nothing more. Even when they dare to take up arms they are under some mistaken impression that their war is going to be pleasant, I remain willing and eager for the chance to run them through with a rusty bayonet for their insolence. The fundamental problem that I see in the educated elite is that while their intelligent, they remain ignorant of practical necessity, that the “system” must change for them rather than for them to change it, and ultimately that they are too good for public service. That is not to say every person who gets a degree thinks that they are too good, but recent events have demonstrated to me at least that the best and the brightest do not all go into government and to a lesser extent the military. I am aware that the political rules are fraught, convoluted, and easily broken, but nonetheless you will have to play the game that has been played since the dawn of your reigning government. There is a reason why some people are elected while others are not, even the much reviled Neo-Conservative Paul Wolfowitz was able to get into a position of influence because he was able to play the game, and while many in the more liberal circles hate him with a passion there is no denying that the man is intelligent, he did graduate at a time when a degree was worth more and he graduated from Cornell no less.

I also have suspicions regarding reporters and journalists because true objectivity is in my opinion only possible when a person doesn’t really care about the issue. Also since journalistic integrity seems to be more of a fantasy than a possibility I regard reporters as little better than spies who print every rumor they hear as fact. I remain wary of Impz’s aspirations of attaining journalistic standards. I am paranoid and believe that there is no man in the world that has no agenda. “Fair and Balanced” is to me little more than a punch line of pretentious assholes, hence I will readily admit and confess that I am neither fair nor balanced. If I ever get to be a drill instructor I will probably have to be fair, but never balanced. Even when I read the BBC I mostly take notes of likely trouble spots that might end up on my itinerary. I never had a weeaboo stage either as having Chinese parents made me realize really quick that the East did not have all the answers.

Most anime fans these days go to college, have graduated from one, or plan on going to one, thus I don’t think many of you have had to meet, for more than a month, with rural folks or people from varying socio-economic backgrounds given that college is but a pipe dream for most people out side of the middle classes. With my near constant exposure to folksy people I admit that they are admirable in some respects and quite strange in others, nonetheless even with politics being as repulsive as they are I don’t consider them to be un-educated or bitter folks who wield guns. Hence girls like Kou-chan get a pass for being utterly ignorant of urban life because I have seen the effects of such culture shock at times. I grew up under the watch of Chinese parents, aunts, uncles, grand parents, and great grand parents, so I am probably in the minority here in that I remember the crush of being poor and the delightful change of economic conditions once my mother, father, aunts, and uncles learned trade skills. Having a near constant parental presence of elders and then having to wean myself of all outside support in my college years along with a military profession have made me contemptuous of males who rely on others for simple tasks. Hence if you need you imouto to wake you up every morning consider yourself a likely target for stray bullets of the NATO 5.56, and NATO 7.62 variety.

I think I fail as a blogger because I am unable and unwilling to divorce myself from my profession and its ethos. I come from the Clausewitz and Sherman schools of warfare and lack the eloquence and the all encompassing education of a liberal arts major. I am a technical, unsettlingly ruthless, and pragmatic kind of person for whom politeness and civility require more effort, and understandably is something I really fail at. I draw upon a soldaten vocabulary that is lost on most people and make no effort to provide a translation. I am cynical as most of my food, pay, and equipment that my country provides are poor, late, or inadequate. I dislike emo-characters who have a tendency to bitch about what I would call small matters. I have never suffered from depression. The loss of purpose, or the will to endure have never been part of my life experience. I felt that from a young age that I was called upon to serve as a soldier, if reincarnation is real then most of my past lives in accordance with the Air theory of discontinuous reincarnation were spent as soldiers in the Imperial Prussian Army along with one or two fangirls who died early in life.

In this regard I am in anime terms essentially a Zentran who has a habitual weakness for shoujo, yuri, and anything with a hint of shoujo shipping. If the blogosphere is as Omo puts at a Neo Venezia then I am pretty confident that I am some poorly paid colonial trooper who is rarely seen, rarely heard, often ignored, but nonetheless has a necessary if somewhat disquieting task whose only semblance of normality is to take a ride in a gondola to get to his post and back home. My handle of Crusader was no accident and to be honest the label that Johnny Arab has applied to me is quite fitting, my aspiration in life is to achieve something great, possibly terrible but nonetheless great. The current situation of where I am asked to wage a rather religiously charged war is not one I really wanted and I do wonder what might of been had the 1990s worked out better. Humanitarian aid and peacekeeping should have been the order of the day after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, alas it was all an illusion. It should have been a new and better age for man, but it was to be undone not by military failings but by civilian apathy and political haggling. I just hope that in the future I will be called upon to conduct a more pleasant and benevolent crusade (against poverty or something) rather than the kind I am called upon right now. I do what I do because I believe that some how that it will in the end have been for the best, desire does not enter into it.

I am in partial agreement with usagijen’s blogging doctrine of it being an extension of your soul. As I said before I am somewhat convinced that in one or more past lives I was a fangirl who got assimilated into the souls of Prussian Soldiers because God wanted me to have some way to mellow out. I blog mostly because of that inner fangirl as there is no other way for her to express herself on the field of combat. I am also blogging to promote my favorite ships and to embrace my own insanity. Truth is in the case of my real life serious business of war you have to be a little insane since the contradictions and turn of events can often be fantastic. I know that by virtue of being part of the American military machine that my presence is not always, if ever, welcome, but to quote Sherman on the more recent point of contention, “You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war to our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in starting this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices in the coming days and years than most of you to secure peace. But you cannot have peace and a division of that country. If they submit to a division now, it will not stop, but will go on until they reap the fate of eternal war. I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect a more early success.” (A Carthaginian peace is still peace.)

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27 Comments

  1. justam
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    The picture of Darth Vader up at the very top of this post pretty much sums up my understanding and reaction. Urgh then again, I haven’t really bothered to deconstruct your post and properly understand it… I sorta skimmed it, and only came out enlightened with 2 new pieces of info:
    1. you’re asian.
    2. You’re convinced you’re a flawed blogger. (I say “You’re convinced” because I reckon you’re not flawed as such… just… er.. not ‘balanced’… which I’m fine with.)

  2. Posted July 2, 2008 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    “I will probably never see anime as through the serious business lens”

    …and that explains why you can enjoy Toshokan Sensou and Lupus can’t :P

    But you’re not a failure as a blogger, if your profession has been so embedded in your system that your blogging shows it, that ultimately shows who you are. That what makes you unique, and that’s what makes you Crusader :3

  3. Posted July 2, 2008 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    …You make more sense when you are drunk and declaming the qualities of militarized loli squads…

    What you are basically saying (for the Wall-Of-Text haters) is that you can’t dissociate your own empyric knowledge of your country’s social and economical status and how it influenciates the way you perceive Anime as a story-telling device….

    Well, DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No matter the efforts you take, anything we create will have our own personal touch and views based on our past experiences and personalities. You should be rather saying that your point of view is quite unique compared with other bloggers. (Tell me,how many gun-ho maniacs and possible NRA associate you know that blogs about anime and shoujo?)

  4. Ruk
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 3:37 am | Permalink

    Whatever your reasons for blogging, I sure enjoy reading what you write.

  5. Posted July 2, 2008 at 3:59 am | Permalink

    @Ruk: ….when he’s drunk… and why noone says that likes me? ./aspirin /emo /slit

  6. Posted July 2, 2008 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    And for all of that smack-talking, bullshit-spouting tl;dr nonsense, your weakness for Noe still proves that underneath all that hardened soldier surface, you’re still as human as anyone else.

    Thank goodness for that. Sieg Noe. :D

  7. Posted July 2, 2008 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Crusader, I think you’re smart and you don’t fail as a blogger! At least, you’re smarter than I will ever be …

  8. Gideon
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Well if this is quiting talk, I’ll have none of it!

    We got a whole new season of Gundam 00 this autumn, and you’re the only blogger who gives Patrick and Ali their due credit! I’ll be damned if I have to take up blogging myself to get that point across. I write for a living damn it! I can’t be caught blogging. *shivers* (such a dirty word).

    Besides, I thoroughly enjoy reading your rants.

  9. Posted July 2, 2008 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Inextricable bipartisan hegemony.

  10. Posted July 2, 2008 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Being a pussified, liberal, borderline socialist academic never killed the Prussia-worship in me!

  11. Posted July 2, 2008 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Every writer needs a voice. Writing like you speak and of what you know goes a long way toward that.

  12. Posted July 2, 2008 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    “A Carthaginian peace is still peace.”

    …So long it wasn’t a Pyrrhic victory. (a minor jab into eschewing Roman words of war a là Togusa vs. Batou)

    To put on a tangent, I didn’t know Prussia (or whatever that’s left after the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire — which is neither Holy, nor is it Roman, nor is it an Empire! *insert historian pun here* —) inspired many a great military thinking in Western circles. Kindly introduce us to military philosophy (if there is one).

    But most importantly, no matter how much 3v1L you are, now matter how much you favour the ruthless precision of the Barret 50 calibre (note: I’m just pretending to insert some vague military terms/items because I wasn’t conscripted to do military work, anyway), the Heel Face Turn trope will always ensure that you’ll be empathised by us.

  13. Posted July 2, 2008 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    “I draw upon a soldaten vocabulary that is lost on most people and make no effort to provide a translation.”
    I am so glad I study German and studied Modern History ^_^.

    There’s a German movie called “The Edukators” which portrays revolutionist youths who are probably the exact kind of people you hate.

  14. Posted July 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Small problem.

    Haruhi isn’t God.

  15. Posted July 2, 2008 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    @justam
    It was a fair warning…

    Specialization tends to inhibit and negate balance.

    @usagijen
    Thanks, though I am sure Lupus will one day mellow out a bit.

    @Extrange
    In the military we call it truth serum. I am sure there are other gun toting maniacs, like Impz, but I don’t think they have reached the levels of my madness.

    Also if you posted more you would get more love, I am sure there are plenty of guys on IRC who would love to have your man babies. ;)

    @Ruk
    Thanks.

    @Ascaloth
    Perhaps, I am partly human, and Noe is Moe Sieg Noe.

    @blissmo
    I am sure you will be smarter than me, my knowledge in incredibly specialized and has no practical application outside of my profession.

    @Gideon
    I am no quitter the only way I will ever stop is when I die in some forgotten ditch. I too eagerly wait the resumption of Prince Ali’s kill streak and the saga of When Patrick met Katie. Thank goodness the Feddies get a good start in the named aces front.

    @lelangir
    Well it would not be the case if the Libertarians and Green Party focused on winning elections at a local level, you instead of running presidential candidates with no hope of success.

    @jpmeyer
    Who says you’re pussified? It takes some courage and chutzpah to walk down that aisle.

    @intro
    Thanks, but sometimes I wonder what it be like to be the smart academic type.

    @TP
    Clausewitz’s On War is basically the military bible that provided the military philosophy that served Prussia so well. The tactics were always in flux with the introduction of new weapons, but it ended up being the lack of strategic vision beyond mere victory that was to be their un doing.

    Heel Face Turn hehe. Maybe being slightly insane isn’t so bad.

    @DrmChsr0
    Correction Haruhi-sama is not your God, that doesn’t not mean she isn’t my Goddess. What you believe is irrelevant because Haruhi-sama has designated you as an infidel… ;)

  16. Posted July 2, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    @Crusader: I want girls to have my babies, not men -.-Y

    But yeah, I know I’m too hawt that even men can’t resist me.

  17. Posted July 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I am in partial agreement with usagijen’s blogging doctrine of it being an extension of your soul

    …then just go ahead and be the unbalanced blogger that you claim you are! You are not quitting, are you? that fangirl inside you as you claim it will scream if you would.

    I think I fail as a blogger because I am unable and unwilling to divorce myself from my profession and its ethos

    …au contraire! that makes you who you are and identifies you as THE “Crusader”.

    FWIW, the seemingly contradicting characteristics of who you are in RL, a man serving the country and the anime blogger who “fangirls” over shoujo, yuri, and anything with a hint of shoujo shipping, defines you and shows in your writings… and people like it… I have always liked your entries and your approach to the subject and I enjoy reading them especially that they always have a good discussion trail after each post. :)

  18. LDC
    Posted July 2, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Sigh, you’re much better blogger then I could ever be and yet you bawww you’re not good enough. May you should go back to episode blogging?
    BTW, where all the history knowledge comes from? Do you spend a lot of time on Total War Center?

  19. Posted July 2, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    @Omisyth
    Duly noted did it have anything to do with the Red Army Faction?

    @Extrange
    Just take what you can get… :P

    @KaeBoo
    Thank you for welcoming me into your fangirl community. XD

    @LDC
    We can for the most part get better at this blogging thing, but I think I have found some of my own limitations.

    I have an unhealthy appetite for books on war, Sherman and Clausewitz were a good example of the intellectual approach and the practical approach to waging this dirty business. Nevertheless I hero worship both of them.

  20. Posted July 3, 2008 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    It’s alright, bro. We can start our own BakaRangers Sentai Team. You can take Red while I call dips on Pink. :P

  21. Posted July 3, 2008 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    “I think I fail as a blogger because I am unable and unwilling to divorce myself from my profession and its ethos”

    HOGWASH! You don’t fail as a blogger at all! You are one of my favourite bloggers and that’s probably because your posts are different.

    I love your attitude and above all I love the honesty that comes through in your posts.

  22. Posted July 3, 2008 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    p.s I just watched the raw for MF 13. Someone might want to tie down Impz now lest his computer screen burns out. Just sayin…

  23. Posted July 3, 2008 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    @Shin
    Noooooooo…..I wanted to be Blue. ;)

    @D.J
    Thanks, good to know that my downward spiral into new depths of madness keeps people tuned in. ;)

    I just saw Omni’s post and holy shit this looks to be good… I am downloading the raw now just to see the stuff happen in real time. I hope subs come out quick.

  24. physics152
    Posted July 4, 2008 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    I say that those NATO rounds are too much of a nicety for their kind. A BMG .50 cal or the Russian 12.7mm (since they’re more potent than the NATO version) should be their reward for their lack of discipline. I was thinking about them 25mm GAU rounds or the GAU-8 API depleted uranium rounds but they are too expensive to eliminate such garbage. However, I will very much like to prop those worthless male specimens on catapults, launch them high up and try to go skeet shooting with some Bofors AAA cannons.

  25. Posted July 4, 2008 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    On second though I think maybe just 9x19mm NATO would do just fine its not so much that I want them to die quickly I think we should all practice pistol accuracy and make them feel that they are dying…

    Also I would heartily recommend swapping out the catapult for a trebuchet as it offers higher velocity and gives a more predictable arc for our 40mm Bofors.

  26. Posted July 4, 2008 at 4:21 am | Permalink

    Well Hubby-sama is now well and truly hooked LOL ^-^ and definitely a firm Sheryl fan. Its a happy, happy episode for the girls thats for sure.

    As for the madness, if I learned anything while gaining my psychology degree I learned that we are all mad to varying degrees ;)

  27. Posted July 4, 2008 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    No Crusader, people like Scott from The Animé Almanac are the failures.

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