This Day in Death

6.4.14: Chester Nez, Last WW II Navajo Code Talker – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:06 am June 13, 2014

CHESTER_NEZNow that’s how you take a picture. Grave, dignified, still wondering what exactly happens to your soul when the flash goes off. My theory is it goes to a place called “The Dream Zone,” but most of the evidence I’ve gathered thus far is admittedly pretty weak.

 

Chester Nez, last of the Navajo “code talkers,” the group that helped the U.S. military transmit and receive secret messages during World War II, has died at the age of 93. To honor Mr. Nez’s work, I’m writing the rest of this post in a unique and fun alphanumeric code. It’s easy: First, make a table of the first 26 prime numbers. The first is 2. Then 3, I think. Then I’m pretty sure it skips 4 and goes to 5. After that you’re kinda on your own. Or maybe it skips 3 and goes to 4? I don’t know, you can probably trial and error that out for yourselves. To be honest I’m not sure I know what prime numbers are. I think I may’ve meant to use exponents this whole time… You know what, nevermind. I’ll just write in whatever language I normally use for these things. Uh, English, I guess.

U.S. forces had decided to base a code around the Navajo language because of the extreme difficulty it posed to non-Navajos to understand or replicate it. Also, because if you’re going to mercilessly exploit a culture for hundreds of years, it’s only right that you use every part of that culture. Now, astute readers will notice I kinda already used that joke once before. That’s true, but I hadn’t yet used it twice. Getting as much mileage as possible out of a single flimsy premise is what the Native Americans would’ve wanted, which proves that I’m just a little more in tune with the Navajo spirit than you guys. That would explain why I’m so big on ponchos.

Nez was among the code talkers who were shipped out to Guadalcanal in 1942, where the code talkers worked in teams of two, with one relaying and receiving messages while the other cranked the portable radio and listened for errors in transmission.

“That was my first combat experience, and there was a lot of suffering and a lot of the condition was real bad out there,” he told CNN’s Larry King in 2002.

Despite being discharged after WWII Nez still volunteered to fight in Korea, an admirable decision that speaks volumes for he and his people. God knows that if a bunch of pasty Puritans came to my land, fucked up all my maize crops and gave my family herped-out blankets or whatever, the last thing I’m doing is voluntarily working with their military. Then again, I’m a very petty guy. I once willed myself to menstruate just because my 9th grade biology teacher told me I couldn’t. Don’t you sick the “Can’t” Police on me, Mrs. Blackthorn!

 

Source: CNN

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12.23.13: Mikhail Kalashnikov, Inventor of the AK-47 – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 8:50 pm January 2, 2014

Russia Obit KalashnikovOh, cool, this post should go well; Nothing screams “reasonable, well-researched article” like an American writing about guns in 2014.

 

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the creator of the infamous AK-47 assault rifle, has died as a result of a gastric hemorrhage. In tribute, rapper Ice Cube opted to use his AK, despite the fact that he had been having an otherwise good day.

Kalashnikov lamented that his creation had fallen into the hands of terrorists, instead of being used exclusively for the purpose of Russian borderland defense, often claiming that the government is the reason he wasn’t developing agricultural equipment instead:

“I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists,” he said on a visit to Germany, adding: “I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work – for example a lawnmower.”

But, come on, that’s a bit of a cop out. It’s a gun. It’s a device that kills things that you point it at. You can’t really claim you were blindsided when the deadly weapon you put into the world got used by the guys you didn’t want using it. Terrorists don’t tend to worry much about original intent; That whole “I’ll kill you because my God is one of love” thing should’ve tipped you off that there was an outside chance of that happening. I knew when I created this blog, with the noble intent of soliciting hate mail so that I might once again experience some form of human emotion, that it would eventually be hijacked by spambots looking to share unbelievable deals on genuine Versace winterwear. It’s a risk we geniuses accept when the protective membrane that holds back all of our intellectual metaspheres can no longer withstand the strain of our brains’ solar flare-like brilliance, causing our revolutionary thoughtwaves to burst forth and wash over an existentially-unprepared world, recasting it in the glow of a color that only exists in the visible spectrum of those of us gifted with the proper ocular nanostructures. (We also get very different biology textbooks in high school.)

Besides, it’s not like you can’t hurt someone with a lawnmower. Hell, sticking your hand into a flywheel is the official pastime of the state of Florida, and I don’t see John Deere pussyfooting around the carnage his murderwagons hath wrought. Sometimes you just gotta own that shit.



Source: The Guardian

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10.4.13: Vietnamese General Võ Nguyên Giáp – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 7:52 am October 8, 2013

General Vo Nguyen Giap shakes villagers handsUh oh. This looks like it’s gonna get really morally grey very quickly. I’ll be treading lightly, because I really don’t need a repeat of the shitstorm I got for suggesting that Mr. Rogers could’ve been the actual Unabomber. *I* was just pointing out that they’ve never been seen together, *you guys* turned it into a whole ‘thing.’

 

Well, since my keyboard just attempted to slit its own throat, I have to imagine that today’s death is Vietnamese general Võ Nguyên Giáp. Annnnd now my character map is on fire, lovely. Look, I’m not that ethnocentric, but my computer definitely longs for the carefree posts about John Qwerty choking on a banana peel.

Prior to Hồ Chí Minh appointing him to general, Giáp was actually a propaganda writer with zero military training, because apparently Vietnamese generals get their jobs from wandering into the wrong room like a character in a Looney Tunes short. Only, instead of hilarious, light-hearted hijinks and slapstick antics involving mistaken identity, Giáp changed the course of world history. Counterpoint: Elmer Fudd did a lot to draw attention to the plight of hunters with Down’s Syndrome.

In late 1967, wanting to draw the Americans away from the coast so he could attack South Vietnam’s cities, Giap began building up his forces around an isolated U.S. base at Khe Sanh. The Americans reinforced their position and were besieged for 75 days.

Hey, you remember that line in “Born in the U.S.A.” about having a “brother at Khe Sanh/fighting off the Vietcong”? Yeah, the Vietcong were never at Khe Sanh. It’s a pretty minor error, but it’s useful for weeding out which of the people you meet at parties are getting all of their data from pop culture incidentals. So shut the hell up, Dennis, you don’t know things!



Source: The LA Times

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12.27.12: General “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 6:33 pm January 1, 2013

NORMAN_SCHWARZKOPFGrenadian resistance forces were stunned when, during the US’s 1983 invasion, Gen. Schwarzkopf successfully managed to discharge several live rounds from his finger gun. No, I made that up. It’s just silly.

 

Retired military general and Chris Farley job creator “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf died last week, due to complications related to pneumonia. A key figure of the Persian Gulf War in the early 90s, Schwarzkopf found himself in the public eye as the first military figure to be part of the then-emerging 24-hour news cycle. And by “news cycle,” I of course mean 2 hours of actual reporting, 4 hours of getting screamed at by an ideological zealot, 4 hours of getting passive-aggressively screamed at by the other kind of ideological zealot, 6 hours dedicated to finding out which celeb might be sporting a baby bump, and 8 hours of a live feed from that channel that just shows aquariums.

Virtually unknown to the public before the Persian Gulf War, Schwarzkopf became a household name while he oversaw the buildup of 700,000 coalition troops, including more than 540,000 U.S. forces, after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990.

The war began on January 17, 1991, with the start of the nearly six-week air campaign against Iraq that was followed by a 100-hour ground offensive that pushed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait.

Schwarzkopf also challenged the notion of the violence-obsessed military leader, saying to Larry King in 1992 “I never wanted a war” and “absolutely, I hate war.” Convincing Americans of that must’ve been a bit of a tough hurdle, considering how deeply ingrained that stereotype had been in people’s minds. Plus, you know, he had “war” right there in his last name. That’s why I had to change my last name from Von Sexjaguar. My mom still hasn’t forgiven me for that but I’m sick of being pigeonholed.

Source: CNN

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