Thursday, August 17, 2006


Just to keep you updated on what's happening at Chez Geek:

I've removed "Matt Burkett's Shooting Thoughts" from the sidebar. The last past was October, 2005. Apparently Matt hasn't had a thought since then, and while that's okay by me it doesn't make sense to link to Plymouth Rock when nobody has a reason to go there. Those who are interested can do an Internet Search, which may bring them to this article, from which they can go read whatever they find.

Future Posts: Cooper's Corner
I usually just rant here, as you may have noticed, or talk about The Church Of What's Happening Now.

But once in a while I Get An Idea, and follow it up.

The last time this happened, I posted three or four Kipling poems. I did that because I had been buying and reading Kipling books, and I was very impressed with what I found there.

Problem was, nobody else was buying. I got a dozen hits on the articles, and interest quickly dropped off.

However, a few weeks ago a couple of months ago way back when I mentioned that I was going to buy the 2-volume set of Jeff Cooper's Gargantuan Gunsite Gossip books, and I did, and I've been reading them.

In the process, I kept finding cogent comments, phrases and entries which I found particularly interesting. So about a quarter through Volume I, I began stuffing bookmarkers on those pages with the thought that I might quote them in future nothing-happening-here-but-don't-move-on moments.

The trouble is, by the time I got halfway through the first volume, I had so many bookmarks stuffed into the book it was greatly increased in volume. (Pun intended.)

Bigger problem: When I'm reading in bed, I stuff the book with kleenex. Well, that's what disposable, plentiful, and close at hand.

When I'm reading in The John, I stuff the book with toilet paper.

Thankfully, it's unused TP.

But the book is becoming cumbersome, so the next time I'm moved (sorry!) to include a blogmeat article, you'll be treated to a bunch of direct quotes from the book.

Hopefully, you'll be urged (sorry!) to buy the books for yourself, because what I'm going to include is just the tip of the iceberg. Or the top of the pile. (Sorry!)

While reading the books, I've been impressed that the periodic contributions presented a micro-view of the issues of the day. A glimpse of history, so to speak, because the first book starts with the Guns&Ammo articles of 1981.

The other impression is that Cooper's Corner (as the recurring column was called in the G&A editions) constitutes the first Blogger.

You may compare the series with Ruark's columns in Field and Stream, which went on and on for 20 years and resulted in such published volumes as "The Old Man And The Boy". You may compare them unfavorably. But they weren't the same thing.

You can talk about O'Connor (The American Rifleman), and Skeeter Skelton (I miss all of these excellent shooting-sports writers too much!), but they aren't the same thing as Cooper's Corner.

Cooper didn't write vignettes, as the others did. He wrote stream-of-consciousness. He wrote short, fragmented concepts. He didn't write short stories. Much of what he offered was highly opinionated, confrontational, opinionated and rarely Politically Correct. (He got booted from G&A, came back, refused to kneel, was ultimately booted For All Time. ) I often disagreed with Cooper, occasionally was outraged, found him barbaric and/or offensive ... and upon rereading for the third time, I still do all of the above.

But I found him eminently readable.

Go to the sidebar. You'll find the link to his current writings. I still read him every month, even though he's become less productive in his later years and we are lucky to find a new article every season.

How often today do you have the opportunity to read a man who still writes in the Editorial "WE" (even though he 'gave it up' in 1991)? And how often, within that vanishingly small community (Does Buckley use "WE" any more? I think not!) do you find it so difficult to determine when he is using the Editorial "WE" and when he is using the Imperial "WE". I think it is trending to the latter, and I don't consider it A Bad Thing.

After all, The Man DID start IPSC.

Bearing in mind that he increasingly distanced himself from the trend toward gamesmanship which he found so egregious in the '80s and the early '90s, and did in fact sever all connection to IPSC in the late '90s because the sport had lost, in his opinion, all connection to the concept of "Practical" competition, his is still and shall for evermore be ...

The Guru

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Even though I went to The Dark Side three years ago, I did so because I just couldn't see Iron Sights any more. I would have preferred to compete in Limited 10, which is the class in which I made B rating in 1999 (before I couldn't read without glasses any more.)

I would like to think that Cooper, in his eighties, would use a red-dot sight if he could just get past his outrage.

On the other hand, why should he?

After all, he's right.

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