Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why Doesn't Anyone Impersonate Submariners?

For those readers who don't stray outside of the submarine side of the blogosphere, there's been a major blogswarm the last couple of days regarding a video put up by someone named Jessie MacBeth, who was claiming to be a Ranger who "admitted" commiting horrible war crimes in Iraq. In short order, the glaring inconsistencies in his story caused it to blow up in his supporter's faces. Most of the background can be found here and here.

A "blogswarm" is when a large number of blogs all start talking about one controversial issue; it's a very effective way of getting lots of dedicated people figuring out what the "ground truth" is. The blogosphere is fairly self-correcting, even across partisan lines; in this case, it only took a day until even the "progressive" sites were distancing themselves from the MacBeth claims, due mostly to the great detective work done by a large number of milbloggers, especially at Milblog Ring HQ. Lately, I've been interested in how these blogswarms get started. In this case, I'm pretty sure I can identify the initial post that got the milbloggers all working on the issue: it's right here. (Of course, I'm not pointing it out to blow my own horn; it's strictly to aid future pop-culture historians researching the blogswarm phenomenon. I knew my early morning scans of Democratic Underground would pay off someday.)

Back to my initial point: why don't we ever see anyone impersonating a submariner? Submariners are cool; they make movies about us! Maybe we don't have the notoriety of SEALS and Rangers, but chicks still dig us. It just doesn't seem fair...


Anonymous Brad said...

Maybe because no one wants to impersonate anyone who wears something called a "poopy suit"?

5/24/2006 5:07 AM

Blogger girlfriday said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5/24/2006 9:52 AM

Blogger girlfriday said...

I impersonate a submariner all the time.

I'm doing it right now in fact.

5/24/2006 9:53 AM

Anonymous craig said...

Back in the day I did see some intraservice posing-- guys fresh from bootcamp pretending to be salty diesel boat sailors, and the like. Diesel boats being much more manly and cool, don't you know. (Later, when I became a brownshoe I saw the same phenomenon-- knuckleheads in bars always told the wenches they were F-4 pilots, even though, or maybe because, the Phantom was by then a worthless wornout piece of crap.) The funniest of these: Some of my class mates from FTG 'C' school and I were enjoying some (presumably) true sea stories from one of our instructors (a very salty E-6 who had been an E-8--but that's another story) in one of Groton's many fine drinking establishments. We couldn't help but overhear some dude who looked like he'd been out of basic sub school about a week holding forth to some guys who were, evidently, both fresh from bootcamp and very naive.

His stories of liberty in foreign ports were particularly entertaining. Especially the one about his boat pulling into Paris. Our instructor had to call Bullshit on that one. There are limits, you know. Even to sea stories.

That same dude must have written the screenplay to "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." If you don't get the reference, trust me, don't watch the movie. Its not worth it, even if you're a Peta Wilson fan.

5/24/2006 1:23 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Along about the time that the move "The Hunt For Red October" came out, Navy Times had a cartoon about a young lady in a bar asking a slick-looking pilot if he was "one of those very cool submariners". The qucik-thinking airdale replied (as he quickly covered his wings with one hand), "why, yes I am. Won't you have a drink?" or some such words. Haven't been able to find it on google, but may be some one else can.

5/24/2006 3:53 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im at an A-school. We get a lot of the guys from the fleet who are converting over to our rating. These folks routinely spread their salt to the boot-campers. We encourage these guys and gals to tell sea stories, but call them on the BS. Some of them have been known to corrupt the naive, but we have had a lot of luck with getting superb sailors (SN to MCPO) who actually mentor and guide the young-un's.

5/24/2006 7:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

during the cold war, we had several people aboard, at different times, impersonating unqualified submariners (officer and enlisted) -they were not the usual CT spooks, but undercover folk (NCIS). Razzman

5/24/2006 11:47 PM

Blogger PigBoatSailor said...

*sigh*, this is why we don't get impersonated. Darn skimmers.

5/25/2006 8:14 AM

Blogger Cookie..... said...

Great Post amigo...and some real good comments as well.

I can only speak fer this here Cookie but here's anuther reason no one ever emulated me...

5/25/2006 1:50 PM

Blogger Zoe Brain said...

I'm no submariner, and I don't pretend to be one.

I do hang out with them sometimes, often at X hundred metres. You have to when you make very expensive machines that go "Ping!".

The reason why no-one wants to impersonate submariners is that they're the silent service : quietly competent.

Well, mostly competent... as the man says, the stupid are punished.

5/26/2006 1:41 AM

Anonymous craig said...

According to Smash at Milblogs our boy Jesse was not only an Army Ranger but a Navy SEAL as well.

From one of our hero's comments on a poetry thread: "i just graduated 8 months of navy seal qualification training and got my wings yesterday lol"

I got no argument with the LOL...

5/26/2006 12:56 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason nobody impersonates a submariner is that there aren't any INDIVIDUAL heroes on subs. A fighter pilot is on his own, SEALs and Rangers kill people "this close" and GI's, well they get to walk on some interesting soil.

5/27/2006 7:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The reason no one impersonates submariners is that most submariners are gay and people don't want to degrade themselves by pretending to be a submariner. I know... I used to be one.

Don't believe me about the Gay factor? Just look at all the grab-assing that goes on. In my book, that's not screwing around. It's gay. I don't care what you say in their defense. You can't get away with it anywhere else. Why on submarines? Must be all the testosterone in one place. Not thanks.

I've never been more embarrassed than when I tell people what I did in the navy. It's bad enough that the navy treats their people like dirt. On top of that, I was stuck in the armpit of the navy! I will continue to wear my fish upside down until the day I die.

I used to have honor. Then I volunteered for subs...

6/05/2006 3:27 PM

Anonymous Paul Mullin said...

PLEASE, whoever's running this site remove Anonymous at 6/05/2006 3:27 PM's homophobic rant. I served in submarines proudly for ten years and I honestly can't figure what he's talking about. Sorry you had a bad time of it man, but shame on you for the "armpit of the Navy" comment. And I'm sure that over 50 crews of lost submariners would join me in saying "piss off"

6/24/2012 3:05 AM


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