Let me take a moment here, before we dive into the details. Perhaps because the first military history I ever got wrapped up in was World War One, I quite frankly never understood the entire "criticize the idiots in suits, you're not supporting the troops" bullshit. WWI was characterized, to use a phrase from the time, as "lions led by donkeys." Our troops, right now, are the sublime example of this phrase. They are lions led by donkeys who were so convinced the war would go one way, when the facts didn't fit they did what all asses do: dig in their heels and bray louder.
I support the troops by asking they be properly armored, and then demanding answers when the men who were supposed to help them didn't do so. I support the troops by critically examining the plans of the people who have put them in harm's way. I welcome disagreement, but the idiotic "questioning is treason" meme can only come from the mouth of someone completely unclear on why and how this country was founded.
It is not my right to ask these questions; it is my responsibility, my side of the contract we have entered into with the men and women brave enough to put their lives on the line for us. I am not against the war. I am not against the soldiers. I am not -- in the most idiotic extension of some people's rhetoric -- pro-terrorist. Demanding we only send our troops into harm's way when we have exhausted all other options and make damn sure we properly equip them before the war; insisting on well-defined mission objectives and an exit strategy during the war; demanding proper care of the troops when they return after the war ... all that is PRO-SOLDIER.
None of this passes our EEBC. If I point out that you are sending miners into a mine without lamps, oxygen masks, or even a map of which tunnels to dig in, I am not anti-miner. I am not objectively pro-mine shaft. By asking that firefighters be properly equipped, and not sent into a burning building without back-up and a clear route out, am I somehow "pro-fire"? Of course not. Am I somehow undermining the firefighter's morale? Idiocy.
All this would be too stupid for even a moment's consideration if it weren't for a sizable minority in this country who seem to have this mental hiccup. If the world frightens you, or you are so dependent on party identification that you can not even consider the prospect that the Big Manly Washington Men who you put your faith in are not all you need them to be to feel safe ... you are not supporting the troops. You are cowards, retreating to sloganeering to compensate for either an unwillingness or a terror at confronting a complicated world.
Now, on to the happy. My personal goal was based on the Statcounter -- although a couple thousand people swing through here a day, there were, at the beginning of the month, about 500 visiting often enough to keep their browser cookie fresh. Those are the core audience here (of both admirers, and critics, I'd imagine.) If I could charm, annoy, and inform you enough to average one dollar per core reader, I'd be happy.
Well, there we are. As of tonight, the Kung Fu Monkey readers raised $566.67 US. From delight or spite I don't know, nor do I care. As promised I will match that amount. Tomorrow, my business manager will cut a check for
to help take care of the spouses and children of our fellow citizens who are currently in harm's way, thousands of miles from home. Is this an enormous amount of money? Tell you what -- it's pretty goddam fine considering it was the equivalent of a tip jar on the bar. I'm damn pround of you people. I'd rather see this steady run in every month, based on a growing readership and community, than make some huge push once a year.
I won't go into details, or release names -- but we did get a $100 donation or two balanced against a majority of $1-5 and a few $20-25 clusters. I was blown away.
I won't exhort you to do better next month -- I will only use this as a prod for myself to contribute more often, work harder, be more informative and create more value so just naturally more readers feel inclined to cough up some sofa change.
It's incumbent upon me to make this blog equivalent in information/amusement value of four quarters for the majority of you, and I will strive to do so month after month. I also, plainly, need to piss people off more who will donate to punish me with the matching funds. I was really hoping that fuckwit Apuzzo from Libertas Films would cut a check for a grand just to shove it up my ass. Ah well, too busy pimping his patriotic movies to do something in, say, actual service of other human beings. I say again: fuckwit.
Everyone who contributed should have gotten a little note from me. Thanks again, and stay tuned for more common-sense politics, archaic gaming, and in-the-trenches screenwriting advice.
Kung Fu Monkey: turning hot air into altruism, one rant at a time.