Wednesday, January 19, 2005

GI Joe Has Feelings, Too

Being rather bored i checked the statistics for my site that are auto-generated from the activity logs. It seems that last month (December '04), i caught the attention of the U.S. military. Or i caught the attention of somebody who uses the U.S. military's computers, as the number of hits from that source that month constituted about 1% of the traffic on my site for that month. Now, i realize that 1% of the traffic on a backwater, obscure site like mine isn't that many hits in terms of absolute numbers, but still, it makes me wonder what was so faaaaaaaaaaascinating to them that they had to keep coming back--i'm too lazy to check the actual logs to see which pages they actually visited. I've noticed from time to time a visit from some .gov or .mil, but it's usually just a few hits toward the end of the month, and not enough activity to actually show up as significant in the stats. So, what was so special about December?

The biggest change i made to the site back then was the addition of this blog, so mebbe that was it? Did i trigger some threshold value for the number of times the word "suicide" is written, making me a potential advocate of something of actual interest to them like, say, suicide bombers? Perhaps. Personally, i would think that a site that carried on at great length about fertilizers without showing the slightest interest in either gardening or agriculture to be far more suspicious, but that's just me. Or maybe it was someone trying to gain insight into why so many members of the U.S. military stationed in Iraq are apparently committing suicide. If the latter is the case, then here's your answer, captain:

People kill themselves when they find themselves in an unbearable situation in which they see no better alternative than death. They kill themselves when they cease to hope for anything better. You may own that soldier's ass while he's enlisted, but he still has the final say on what he's willing to put up with. So if you'd rather GI Joe not suicide, you need to actually pay attention to how he feels about what he's being asked to do and the conditions under which he's being asked to do it.

Yeah, that's right. I'm asking you to pay attention to soldiers' feelings. And if you think that's an absurd request, then i marvel that you would give a damn about humans killing themselves in the first place.

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