The Epic of Roostard

"In retrospect, the whole experience feels strangely visceral. Three days ago, this meal was walking around in my neighbor's yard, annoying me every morning at dawn. So I bought it, killed it, cooked it, and ate it. This reminds me of my place in the food chain at a deep level I've never experienced before."

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26 Responses:

  1. coldacid says:

    Bloody glorious. Reminds me of my days of living on a farm. But I'm surprised at the lack of a "tastes like chicken" line, in the entries or the replying posts.

  2. I was pretty blown away by how serious a turn the end of this took.

    People have been anthropomorphizing farm animals for, well, ever. Most city dwellers might think it's a bit strange to kill and eat old Bessy, and surely children get upset, but that's cliche at this point.

    But, in this case, <lj user=giantlaser> hated this rooster... but feels a bit weird about eating after having connected with it emotionally.

    It's just not the "eating a named animal" philosophical line you usually here.

    • s/usually here/usually hear/

    • omarius says:

      My wife won't eat lamb.

      She was raised a country girl, in 4H, the FFA, whole nine yards. One lamb she raised was named "Little Orphan Annie."
      Little Orphan Annie, for Bob's sake. Her dad killed, and mother served.

      She went veg for a while. She's not now, but she won't eat lamb, either.

      • ivorjawa says:

        4H has always seemed a bit twisted to me, too (and I spent several early-childhood years on a farm).

        Kid raises an animal essentially as a pet for several months, has it judged ...
        and then it's eaten.

        I've always been a hardcore "vegetables are what FOOD eats" militant carnivore, but 4H just seems bugfuck weird.

  3. pinkpaluka says:

    Given that this guy's working in ever-so-peaceful Baghdad working for the ever-so-loved occupation, it's entirely possible he's gonna end up Rooster'd himself. Although probably not eaten. Visceral, indeed.

    Has anybody ever come across a blog where the author bites it?

    • jwz says:

      I think I remember seeing an LJ community that listed journals of people who had died (in whatever manner), but I don't remember what that was called.

      <lj user="rebelcoyote"> was in the National Guard in Iraq, but recently got sent home when he got a foot full of shrapnel. His story's really interesting; normal life ended here, Iraq life started here.

      • pinkpaluka says:

        Whoa, I've just been checking out Roosterd and rebelcoyote's journals. This stuff is history! I mean, real live imperialists talking about their daily life, subduing the restive natives etc.

        The comments on his injury posts are pretty surreal too. It's all ra ra ra, what a sacrifice you made, thanks for being out there ready to shoot civilians if they sneeze at the wrong time. It's as if he got injured holding a bake sale. Only, he happens to be there supporting a bona fide colonial adventure! It's fascinating to see how personalizing the most base barbaric actions of nations renders it almost palatable.

        I think a long detour into the Iraq blog scene is in order...

        • ioerror says:

          real live imperialists talking about their daily life

          Define imperialist.

          Do you mean someone that is white living in the middle east to always be imperialist? Do they have to work for a government agency? Is it wrong to support anything in the middle east?

          I honestly want to know, please do tell.

          • pinkpaluka says:

            No, I mean somebody working for a government responsible for invading a foreign country. Doesn't have to be white, and the invadee country doesn't have to be in the Middle East.

            • ioerror says:

              And why do you assume that just because that person is in Iraq they fit your bill of an imperialist?

              Working in Iraq != being someone employed by the US (or any) government.

              • pinkpaluka says:

                Roostard is working on government-funded projects, and the other guy's a soldier.

                • ioerror says:


                  First off: Roostard is a dead rooster.

                  Second: giantlaser isn't anymore working for government funded projects than you would be if you worked at starbucks and happened to serve a soldier a mocha.

                  Like I said before, being in Iraq isn't equal to working for the government that is a part of the ocupation.

                  • pinkpaluka says:

                    Who else but the US is running the local projects??? His company installed Ahmed Chalabi's home network! Check out this post:

                    Although a person can "happen to" work at Starbucks NOBODY just stumbles into a job in Baghdad.

                  • ioerror says:

                    Actually, you're mistaken.
                    Read a bit deeper.

                    At the moment it's entirely possible for you to fly to Jordan, take a private car ride to Baghdad and setup shop. No visa stamp required, you don't even need to check in with the embassy. Sure people in Iraq that happen to setup networks are going to end up having customers that may be in the military, but again, this isn't the same as working for them.

                    And re: stumbles into a job in Baghdad: Yes, you can easily get a job in Baghdad if you have the correct skills. Just go ask Giantlaser.

                  • pinkpaluka says:

                    If you saw a dog mauling a cat and a bunch of people standing around gawking, would your first thought be to sell lemonade to the onlookers? Ok, so maybe Roosterd isn't a pure imperialist--he's just a filthy opportunist feeding off the aftermath of a conflict that's killed from 5-10k civilians depending on whose figures you go by.

                  • ioerror says:

                    That's the worst analogy I have EVER heard regarding the war and people that work in Iraq. Do try to come up with a better one in the future.

                    The company giantlaser works for is an iraqi company.

                    If I were to go by your analogy, it would be wrong for me to bandage up victims on either side of the dog/cat fight. Any type of support given to anyone on either side would be wrong with your logic. So lets not support the red cross or anyone that serves food in Iraq.

                    So again, he isn't an imperalist, even by your wacky defanitions that seem to shift around.

                    As far as being a filthy opportunist? I think you're mistaken. It's entirely your choice to think that about him, but at no point is it really valid just because you think it.

                    You think that it's wrong to setup networks for people?
                    Would it be alright (ie: would he still be a filthy opportunist in your eyes?) if he didn't serve the US army?

                    You should really give it some thought and no just jump as far to the left as possible everytime you see anything going on in the world.

                    Pull your head out of your ass and think about it before just being angry with people for things they do.

                    Or let me guess, you hate the idea that people make money?
                    Because money is evil?

                  • pinkpaluka says:

                    Woo hoo! You've stopped arguing and started abusing and reading my mind and intentions! And with remarkable precision too. Why yes, how did you know I hate money?

                    Can I add you to my friends list?

                  • ioerror says:

                    Tell me something, what do you think of the Iraqis that work with him?

                    What would you use to describe them?

                  • pinkpaluka says:

                    If they were working directly with the US military, helping them track down resistance members, I'd call them traitors. If they were working in some other capacity, well given the mass layoffs I can see why they'd do so. I wouldn't hasten to label them anything.

                    As for Roosterd, he was living in California, reasonably comfortably, and the only reason he's there is to advance his career in the opportunity opened up by an invasion. Check out his beginning post where he talks about learning about enterprise networking or some such. And I believe he's working for a British company based in London, not an Iraqi one.

                    The Iraqis are living there and having foreigners thrust upon them. Roosterd chooses, very deliberately, to arrive there. He has no pre-existing connection whatsoever with the place. And he is by no means working only on humanitarian tasks. Installing Chalabi's network? Flying in a US Army helicopter? He's simply a filthy opportunist.

                  • ioerror says:

                    Traitors? To whom? To Saddam?
                    So you support the Saddam supports that kill US troops?

                    You understand that mass lay offs so any job they get is ok?
                    So an iraqi can do Giantlasers job, that's alright?

                    And it seems you make a really interesting value judgment. You say that because Giantlaser was living in california, that he was happy, he shouldn't have moved. That was wrong somehow. Why is that?

                    Tell me, why is it wrong for an American to go to Baghdad and improve the quality of life for the people who want that improvement?

                    It's not just the US army that asks for his services, it's also people from Iraq that want networks.

                    Who cares if he made the choice to go there? Why is that a bad choice. Do you honestly think that after we DESTROY their country, we should then stay entirely out of it?

                    Because even with that logic, you still would have a hard time saying that about giantlaser, he works for a non-american company.

                    Is it the job he does that you dislike or is it that an American is doing the job?

                    He's not a filthy opportunist. You just can't seem to wrap your head around the idea that an outsider (who by learning arabic and respecting the culture is set apart from soldiers that kill on command) coming to Iraq. You're hung up on the concept of him making any sort of money or supporting any one in Iraq that is a foreigner.

                    Tell me, do you pay taxes? Do you drive a car that uses gas as a fuel? Do you eat animal flesh? Do you eat foods that come from other states?

                    You support the status quo just as much as the next person, the main difference is that you're boring (your journal doesn't show me anything other than that). You spout the same liberal leftist non-sense every other californian seems to be full of. It's really tiresome. You're not doing anything other than whining about someone else, who in this case happens to be making a difference.

                    If anyone should be in Iraq fixing things up, it should be Americans, we started the illegal war, we should (as private citizens and not soldiers) go fix it.

    • giantlaser says:

      You've got a very hostile view of westerners in Baghdad, and made several large assumptions about why I'm here.

      I'm not part of the occupation. I work for a company owned by an Iraqi bank and UK-immigrated Kurdish exiles. My customers include American military units, DoD contractors, Iraqi ministries, locally-owned internet cafes, and private businesses of all kinds. We employee a 90% Iraqi staff, giving jobs to a lot of people. I enjoy the fact that what I do helps bring money and modern technology to the people here.

      You think I'm an imperialist for what I do, and you've got strong political opinions. So you shot your mouth off about it. Fine, I can play the six-degrees game too. Assuming you work in the US, the taxes you pay brought the soldiers here. Which means you are an imperialist for being part of the chain. I suppose that makes us even?

      I'll make an assumption about you. I bet you have very few stamps in your passport. Perhaps none at all. Perhaps it doesn't exist. Travel a little, learn a few languages. Earn the knowledge to go with your right to freedom of speech. And we'll talk again.

      • pinkpaluka says:

        Assuming I work in the US? I don't. My taxes haven't brought any occupation soldiers to Iraq. Travel? I've lived in Syria, Switzerland, Canada, the US, and Pakistan. I speak English, French and Urdu and I've been studying (classical fusha) Arabic on and off for 5 years now. I've travelled over much of Europe, Turkey, Egypt, Syria (lived in Damascus for 9 months) and Pakistan.

        I don't think there should be any Americans in Iraq. They're there taking advantage of an invasion, slowly legitimize it with "facts on the ground" much like the Israeli settlers in the West Bank. And the military presence is going to continue indefinitely to make sure nobody gets out of line.

        Imagine if the situation were reversed? Say Mozambique declared that the US has weapons of mass destruction (it does) and has used them (Hiroshima anyone?), threatens its neighbors (Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba), destabilizes countries it doesn't like (very long list), has a leader who wasn't chosen by the people. Then the Mozambiquans invade, destroy the civil infrastructure, kill tens of thousands of civilians (all the while moaning when one or two of their soldiers get blown up), and are soon followed by an army of civilian contractors (like you) rebuilding what they blew up! Of course, they hire local cheap labor, and make a sincere effort to understand the local culture by watching Friends and boning up on English. And since they're helping bring the Mozambiquan advanced technology in, say, Guava growing, the poor backwards Americans should rejoice: it's humanitarian! Oh and, they bring back Gore Vidal from Italy to be their local puppet.

        Tell me: would you join the resistance? Would you put up a fight, covert or overt? Or would you, for one, quietly salute your new Mozambiquan masters?

    • Hi. I'm one of the imperialist pigs. I work with <lj user="giantlaser">.

      I strongly opposed the war, but now that it has happened, I feel that we have an obligation to remain here and restore some semblance of order to the country. Am I pleased when I hear that they're pushing to install some puppet dictator rather than allowing elections? No, not really. Do I feel that staying here or going back to the U.S. will affect the proceedings? No, not really.

      I do have to say that your comments show that you have a poor understanding of the situation in Iraq. It's easy to hold strong opinions about things you nothing about, though.

      Between the embargo (yes, that's my fault, as well) and Saddam's relentless greed, the cities here are in poor shape. I'm not talking about cities that have been bombed or damaged by U.S. military action, either, just cities where everything is in disrepair because the people here have been systematically oppressed, and denied access to materials from outside the country. The nation of Iraq is about 10 years behind western countries, technologically.

      We are installing networks, giving people access to global communications and information that they would not otherwise have access to. We install sites for the military, we install sites for Iraqis. Actually, like most functioning businesses, we pretty much help anyone who asks us to and has the money to pay us. I believe that's the way it's supposed to work, this business thing.

      Are we getting paid more than the Iraqi engineers we've hired? Yes. Do we know significantly more about computers, networking, and the internet than they do? Yes. In addition to a fair wage for the area, though, we're also giving them better and more thorough training in modern networking technology than anyone in this country has access to. Any one of our engineers who has been with the company for more than two months could leave the company and start a successful networking business. And they don't. We're not holding them at gunpoint. We're not threatening them. We are offering them more knowledge than they can get anywhere else.

      Without exception, every Iraqi I've encountered has been incredibly friendly, and with the exception of the delays in restoring reliable power to the cities, the people I've talked to are glad that the US invaded. No, I haven't talked to any resistance fighters (that I'm aware of). I don't carry a gun. I rarely travel with guards. If everyone here hated westerners, or even if most people here hated westerners, I'd be dead by now.

      Of course, this is all just more justification from someone who is stealing the lifeblood of the Iraqi people. Nyahahaha! *twirls moustache*

      If you want to let your hatred of the United States convince you that every westerner here is a carpetbagger bent on robbing the Iraqi people, I can't stop you. But the people I work with want us to be here. They're real live human beings with actual lives. They want to improve their lives and live in a functioning, modern country. What a bunch of traitors, eh?

      • ioerror says:

        Really, very well said.

        It's hard to argue with your day to day life, when the opposite side is basing their argument on perception of media they see during the day.