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"And I Loved Them..."

It's been an interesting couple of weeks.  More and more MilBlogs are popping up.  I think we'll have over 500 on the roster by the end of 2006 and there'll be thousands not counted, too.  And, this blog gets more readers everyday (thank you for visiting). Also, interestingly, I've gotten more hatemail than usual.

Harvey likes to read my hatemail (and a lot of you have asked me to post the messages complete with email addresses).  EasonGate provided some real gems.  And whenever I mention Michelle Malkin in a post, I usually get a few nasty emails.  What the heck is up with that?  And of course, just being me generates some classics.

Man would I love to meet you Bush sheep fags. Just so I could spit in your ugly faces, you bleepin freaks.Get out of my Country you bleepin Nazis, and take that pile of bleep Bush with you, the malecheerleader awol cokehead.

My friend, Phil, thinks I'll really hit the bigtime when I get blog-groupies who send photos.  Since he's the only one who's sent me one *shudder*, I don't think that I've made it quite yet.

And since this blog has been in the media lately, there's been a few questions about my identity.  Especially, when they report that I refuse to give out my full name:

    Army Times - "Blackfive’s author, who goes only by Matt, celebrated his 2 millionth visitor Feb. 13."

    The American Prospect - "As Easongate got cooking, the trio quickly reached out to “BlackFive,” a former paratrooper and prominent military blogger in Chicago who declined, in an e-mail interview, to reveal his surname (his first name is Matt)."

    And, I've been interviewing with other media sources, too.  We'll see how they turn out.  One of which I'm pretty sure will not be too nice to me (the questions were leading and I followed without thinking).

For starters, let's clear up one thing.  I am...

...not Karl Rove.  I know you're disappointed, but, really, I am not him.

I am not a five jump chump as one IRRSoldier male Captain-type (who I think has "a thing" for me) has wondered.

There's also someone that believes that I'm not the first Blackfive and that the blog has been handed off a few times.  Call it the Dred Pirate Roberts theory of Blackfive blogging...heh.

Who knows who I am?

Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds, Omar and Mohammed, and Armed Liberal, Jim Hake, Brian J., Angelweave, Tim Oren, Jeff Jarvis, and soon Harvey and Eric and Teresa (and maybe John and Blake someday soon).  There are others, too - I just can't remember who I've outed myself to in the last few years.

While no one has ever accused me of being humble, I'm really nobody special.  I appreciate my pseudonymity.  In my interview for The American Prospect, I was asked about why I protect it.  Here's my answer:

5) What is your surname and/or why don't you like to have that out there?

A.  My employer wouldn't appreciate my blog.  I'd just rather not take
chances with it.  Several bloggers have found themselves jobless
lately. [edit.note: I don't blog from work]

B.  My family has been threatened before.  I worry about what I write
and the effect it may have on them.  I get about 100-200 emails per
day and about 10-30 hatemail messages per day.

C.  It's not about me.  I'm not trying to get a job on a network or
write a political column. [edit note:  I do have a face for radio, though!]

D.  If some people in the DOD knew who I was, they might be able to
find out who my contacts are...I would rather that not happen to my

I had an interviewer recently ask me if I was leading (sort of) a double life - schlepping an uber-white-collar job and sneaking over to Starbuck's to post to the blog.  He pretty much hit the mark.  I don't miss being cold, wet, tired, and hungry (and all of the other crap of a military career), but I do miss the quality and caliber of the people serving this great country of ours.  I love the dedication and motivation of military people. 

One of my favorite quotes is from General Douglas C. MacArthur, and it makes me think of my friend Mat Schram and why I started blogging:

    "They died hard - those savage men - not gently like a stricken dove folding its wings in peaceful passing, but like a wounded wolf at bay, with lips curled back in sneering menace, and always a nerveless hand reaching for that long sharp machet knife which long ago they had substituted for the bayonet.  And around their necks, as we buried them, would be a thread of dirty string with its dangling crucifix.  They were filthy; and they were lousy, and they stank.  And I loved them."

Frank J. coined the term "Reagan's Ronin" (Frank J., funny as he is, is also pretty damn smart, too. - "the wisdom of babes" and all that).  So, following through on Frank's metaphor, I am now masterless, but I still follow "the code", still fight in my own way for my brothers (and sisters) in arms.  Okay, enough drama.  I'll switch to sarcasm.

This shouldn't surprise you, but I am not going to give my name, address, and social security number to some bitter, washed up, Army Reserve Officer who can't surpress his sexual urges for me. 

Really, what would you expect?  Why don't I just give him the address of little Blackfive's daycare provider or the high school where my wife teaches History?  Okay, enough sarcasm...sorry.  Couldn't help it. 

At first, this post was going to be a rant about moonbats, the media and me, but, in the end, we don't really matter.  I decided midway through writing this that I really needed to get across one message to you...

"Thank you for caring for our defenders.  Thank you for reading MilBlogs and getting the info from the source.  And thank you for visiting and trusting"

~ Matthew Currier Burden