RANGER AGAINST WAR: Book Club Debacle <

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Club Debacle

Neon lights, Nobel Prize

When a leader speaks, the reflection lies

You won't have to follow me

Only you can set me free

--Cult of Personality
, Living Colour

How can you have any pudding

if you don't eat yer meat?

--Another Brick inThe Wall
Pink Floyd


Our Book Club went over like a lead zeppelin. How come no one showed up? We know we've got some erudite readers here, and we have got some flat out, hardcore military people (not that the twain shall never meet . . .), and you can't have figured out Counterinsurgency all on yer own, or you'd be dipping into the big bucks doing the government contractor - analyst gig. So that's not it . . .

We laid out the table cloth, set out the fancy Sea Salt & Vinegar chips AND the Cheezedoodles (for the work boot crowd). We gave you entre, intro and other book reports from which to crib. So what's the deal?

Help us out. Did you really wanna read
Push, or The Help, or Three Cups of Tea? What was it that kept you away? 'Cause we'd really like to see if we can have a viable interaction over a third party's writing, to do that hard exploration from a hopefully disinterested vantage point.

See, the thing is, Ranger's pretty opinionated, and it becomes too easy in the blog world to gain a fanatical following of a cult of personality (ego's not a pretty thing, *sigh*.) An early posting to this blog elicited the comment, "Tell us what to think, Ranger"! But we cannot tell you what to think; we can only make an observation, and along with your input, hope to create some deeper understanding.

We would like to branch out and try new things. We are open to suggestions. Come as ANON, if you must, but tell us how we could hold a more successful Book Club.

Better eats? What?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have enjoyed reading the book and participating in the discussion. However, I have been so crazy busy that I can do neither. Nor have I had the free brain power to respond to some of Ranger's more (ahem) provocative recent posts. I write this as one man's explanation and contribution to keep your morale up because I think the book club is a nice idea.

Maybe if someone would volunteer to read me a chapter each night at bed time I'd be able to join in eventually.


Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

i will read to you if you take your teeth out and suck on chocolate covered peanuts like an old man would.
Thanks for staying with us.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

FWIW. this book was not worth the effort to read it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:07:00 PM GMT-5  
OpenID brtrain said...

I've read TAG and went to Milpub yesterday, but like Anonymous I had a busy day yesterday and could not take the time to respond. I suppose I should have left an "I was here" so that you woudln't think it was a complete debacle.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 1:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was about "gorillas" and zoos, so I didn't read it.

No, I jest. No money to get the book, no time to see if the library has it and read it.

I'm busy living the life of a retiree, running 2 part-time minimum wage jobs that may or may not last just to keep the lights and heat on.

However, I did find a copy of an interesting tome, "Fredericksburg", by Kirk Mitchell. I've been picking away at that for a while, so I'm not entirely going illiterate.

And after avedis is through with those chocolate-covered peanuts, I'll take the part he can't bite, b/c I still got my real choppers.


Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 4:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Lisa said...


Your titular misconstrual reminds me of a friend who invited me to a midnight showing of, <"A movie about Vietnam." So I'm a teenager working til 9, and I think, "OK -- VN, that sounds mildly interesting."

After driving all the way to Orlando I discover I'm in for a different kind of bloody-minded film: "A Clockwork Orange"!!! He misled me, or didn't know the difference bet. the "Agent" and the "Clockwork".

He later joined the Army.

Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 5:36:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 2012 Republican Nat'l Contention :) is in Tampa.

Is this gonna be an accidental war?


'Splain this piece of equipment please, and why it's called "rescue 2".

It seems oxymoronic to me.


Thursday, November 17, 2011 at 5:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The peanut thing is an old southern joke.
Well you may not have money to buy the book, but the war funding continues.
Fredricksburg is a great study for the student of war.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 8:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

The vehicle that you sent in the link is an old 577 command track with modified road wheels and tracks for city/pavement use.
These were in the old infy Bns. as command centers.
thanks for the link.

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 9:19:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fredricksburg is a great study for the student of war.

. . . . and for the Student of Procrastination.

Other books Mitchell wrote are based on "What if the Roman Empire never fell?" ( "Procurator" et al ) and a decent one about Mark Twain and time travel, "Never the Twain".


Friday, November 18, 2011 at 10:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

I think that one big thing was that the most vocal commentors over there pretty much said up front that they didn't want to do Kilcullen. And without Andy, Al, seydlitz, and Publius the pickin's get pretty slim there.

I think the other thing is that a lot of people are just running out of energy to debate COIN any more. The whole thing just seems pointless; the Army's gonna do what the Army's gonna do and Joe Citizen has about as much chance of affecting that as a cow does the outcome of the Council of Trent. I know I had a REALLY hard time wading through Kilcullen and giving a shit. I skimmed most of his Iraq chapter thinking "Who gives a fuck at this point? That pooch is done screwed..."

I'm getting that feeling about a lot of things; it's like I can see the problem, I can see that there a some pretty straightforward things that we as individuals or a nation could do about them. And then I look at the news and its full of some idiotic crap or a GOP candidate talking bone-stupid shit, and I roll my eyes and think "What's the point? Who am I going to convince here?"

So sorry, man. It's not you. It's us...

Friday, November 18, 2011 at 4:25:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous mike said...


I had a few initial comments. Then had to pack up and go visiting grandkids. Their computer was belly up and I had not brought my laptop so never got to follow up - sorry! Too bad though I had two pages of notes set aside. Probably for the best though as I had to return the book back to the library, big run on it here, there were 15 people behind me with requests for it. Bigger market here for Kilcullen than in the our late departed bookclub I guess.

Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 11:39:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I will publish any thoughts that u have on the topic. As a guest article, which is something that we rarely do.
I do appreciate your efforts and apologize that i didn't have the heart to continue the thread.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 10:58:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Thank you for taking the time, and we will re-post the book @ RAW in hopes of getting a response and certainly hearing your thoughts.

As Jim says, we'd be happy to publish a guest-posting, should you ever like to submit one.

Monday, November 21, 2011 at 12:48:00 PM GMT-5  

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