Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Adventures Of Johnny Guardsman Blog Goes Public, 9/11/2011, 9:11 AM

Photo by an Afghan brother-in-arms, blog post by John Hoff

Normally, I write a blog post, I hit the PUBLISH button, and that's it, except for going back and fixing typos.

I don't fool around with the time stamps on blog posts because I feel the electronic record of when a post was written is part of the factual information associated with the post. And this blog is infamous for its dedication to The Truth, ugly though it might be.

So I will make a point of truthfully telling you THIS blog post was actually written on September 8, 2011 but dated ahead for 9/11/11, at 9:11 AM.

I will be very busy that day. For one thing, being at a Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan, we will be extra concerned about threats, and extra preoccupied. I am also scheduled to see my reenlistment NCO, to sign up for another six years, along with a buddy of mine.

We have a wide window of time to reenlist--my current hitch isn't up until the end of this year long deployment--but we thought it would be cool for our reenlistment to be dated on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 while we are stationed in Afghanistan, knowing very well the date will make it into our DD 214s.

Also, the internet goes down for days at a time around here. And I really want this blog post to be dated September 11, whether or not the internet is working that day.

You see, I have been hiding something...

Another little blog project on the side, click here for Blog Utopia, a/k/a The Adventures of Johnny Guardsman.

At some point I realized that, as much as I feel the Johnny Northside blog is important to my neighborhood and should continue as my primary blogging effort, it is limited by its very nature to always be a LOCAL blog. And, though I have done it quite a few times, I do not care to commit further "unnatural blogging acts" by trying to wedge in stories about my many travel adventures, which are only tangentially related to North Minneapolis issues.

Also, the Johnny Northside blog is never going to make me rich. Heck, it's more likely to make me POOR, considering how often I have to defend lawsuits, cracked and ridiculous though they may be. (Don't worry, faithful readers, I'm just too stubborn and willful to ever stop blogging about North Minneapolis issues. Exhibit A: blogging from a mud and straw "qalat" in Afghanistan about North Minneapolis issues)

But I wish to make some money blogging--or at least revel in free meals, free trips and free samples--as well as produce commentary on national and even global issues. I'd like to get a bigger audience and have a bigger impact.

Ultimately, the focus of Blog Utopia will be consumer culture, but for now I'm in Afghanistan, so I will write about Afghanistan.

During the time I am deployed and right after, it is right and fitting that I should document some of the small human interest stories of deployment. Indeed, I will even manage to document consumer culture from the perspective of a deployed soldier, since this experience has exposed me to all kinds of interesting products I wouldn't normally encounter in the United States.

For the record, I am extraordinarily careful about operational security (OPSEC) which is one of the reasons I prefer to focus on consumer products and small human interest stories rather than my vantage point in the larger war effort. Those war stories may get told eventually--years from now, when our nation leaves Afghanistan--but now is not the time to tell those tales.

The Adventures of Johnny Guardsman blog will appear on my "blog roll," just like Hammers And High Heels, NoMi Passenger, North by Northside and other blogs that are relevant to North Minneapolis.

And so I hit the PUBLISH button, knowing for the first time it won't actually publish...

Until September 11, 2011.

God bless America and free speech.


Johnny Northside! said...

This blog post falls under the 9/11 to 10/11 announcement and is a "troll free zone."

Johnny Northside! said...

Just to be clear, here.

I did not tell the trolls I would publish their comments on these blog posts after October 11, 2011.

No, their comments on these blog posts from 9/11 to 10/11 will not be published at all. Ever.