Monday, March 31, 2008

Military Monday. 4000: A Different Perspective

Last week the United States passed the "grim milestone" of 4000 dead in Iraq. I've always hated the way these casualty numbers are utilized, either to rail against solemnly justify the Iraq war. Not that they shouldn't be, depending upon your view. There's just no perspective in this real and tragic number. It's a throw-away statistic that will be valid for a limited time only, until we hit the next milestone, as if 4500 or 5000 were waiting in the wings to take us to "the next level".

And while most of us continue on, watching the big numbers get bigger, Lieutenant Sean Walsh, USA, clings to two very small numbers in comparison: 8 and 3.

"The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings."

Full article here.

Finally, numbers that mean something. And they are politically "neutral". Just or unjust, few or many, the cost is always the same.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Grand Opening 24 Years in the Making!

Welcome to Cthulhu's Family Restaurant! A Blog about...uhhh...fuggit just read!

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Well, not quite. You see, after dreaming for many strange aeons, the Great Old One realized he was in a bit of a rut. Since dreams require action to come true, "The Big C" has decided to bail on R'lyeh and pursue his true dream, good food and family fun at affordable prices! (Just watch the shoggoth omelettes; they're a bit of a challenge.)

And yeah, it took 24 years for the doors to open. Why such a long time? Well, for that you need to go back to a 1984 junior year U.S. History class at BMC Durfee High School in Fall River, MA. Two students are bored and distracted out of their minds. This pisses the rest of the students in the class off because they still whip up on everyone else at "history jeopardy", crush puny-minded mortals in political debate, and ace tests with ease. One day, in a fit of boredom, one hands the other a piece of paper with "Cthulhu's Family Restaurant" written on it, and the beginning items of a menu:

"Pocket Sandwich...a real deep one!"
"Lady Fingers...fresh, New England cut!"

and silliness ensues. Dot-matrix signs made with Print Shop (remember it was '84), improved menus, you get the idea. One of those students was my buddy Briwei. You can check out his blog, "It's a Briwise World", from this page. The other was yours truly. I think we were heavily involved in a Cthulhu-based AD&D campaign, or maybe Call of Cthulhu, or maybe we just hadn't got laid yet. Okay, the third was beyond a maybe. So here it is, 24 years later, and I've entered the Blogosphere (technically my second blog - I started posting on Regime Turnover, along with several other friends, last month) and I've got Briwei to thank for the blog name...and for being a great friend all these years. Thanks Briwei. I'll try and bring life to some of those menu items we came up with!

But if you come here expecting perpetual Cyclopean Silliness and warmed over Cthulhu jokes, you'll only be partially satisfied. I'm also doing this for the same reason many others do - to think, share and express. Particularly think. I believe I (and much of America) has lost a step or two when it comes to thinking...especially critical thinking.

And there's plenty to think about, express and share. I look forward to doing just that!

Cthulhu Ftaghn,

Bull, a.k.a. "Stick"