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.)