Ok, I'm about to name-drop in a big way. Today has been an e2 odyssey.

Step 1: Riding my bicycle up to the Sackler Library from Folly Bridge, I put episode 10 of The Everything2 Podcast on the old ipod in an attempt to block out the ominous sound of double-decker London-bound buses roaring past me. Episode 10 is the best I have heard thus far (they seem to get better with every episode!). So get out there and listen, e2! One of the nodes read out on it is the first of sam512's wonderful Ed stories, which can be found in visual form at March 9, 2003.

Step 2: I left the Sackler and came over to the MCR after many hours of studying/falling asleep atop books. Our college's MCR has a computer lab in the basement of what used to be an octagonal 14th century chapel. When I look out the window in front of me, I can see the Bodleian Library, and, to my left the Radcliffe Camera. They're doing some sort of construction work on the Bod and there are huge pieces of scaffolding obscuring most of my view of its yellow walls.

So here I logged onto e2 and started to read the Ed Stories. First was first, March 9, 2003; fantastic and funny (though I seem to recall more exposition at the beginning from the podcast), but on the way down the daylog I found myself pausing to read BrianShader's w/u there, about constructing his first CV. Posting it the way he did was such an open, vulnerable position -- not that it was a bad CV, in fact I bet that it has done him quite well in the intervening four years, but still to post it out there made him seem naked before us. I wondered where he was now, what he'd needed the CV for and if he'd gotten it; and I wondered about my own, certainly not the first iteration but in its fifth or sixth, and I'm only 23 and struggling to make it look different, more professional, more like I belong here.

Reader, I cooled him.

Step 3:And finally I clicked on the next of the Ed stories and the magic of e2 took me to the node for March 21, 2003. I scrolled down the page, scanning the other nodes, looking for the second story, and nearly skipped right over the 18thcandidate's record of the news for the day -- when I realised what exactly had been happening in late March of 2003.

Our splendid little war for the 21st century. The President kicking it up a notch on those terrorists' asses.

I remember that March quite well. I was a sophomore attending American University in Washington, D.C.. I came back from being out with my roommate and somehow wound up in the room across the hall watching the glowing nightvision goggles bombing of Baghdad. Huge fucking buildings lighting up, burning out the range of the cameras' vision, the phrase 'shock and awe' over and over again ringing in our ears. And though I was appalled, I was also very detached. And even though I marched in quite a few of the anti-war protests, I was still very detached. And when he got re-elected, I remember being in London, walking through St James Park with my forlorn 'Kerry/Edwards' pin stuck on my bag and a man coming up to me and saying he was very sorry, but I didn't know if I was.

Anyway. March 21, 2003: the news.

Polls Indicate Growing Bush Support

About two-thirds of Americans approve of President Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq and think he did enough diplomatically before invading, according to a new poll released yesterday. An ABC-Washington Post poll found the president's job approval rating at 67 percent, up from pre-war polls that showed his approval level ranging from the mid 50s to about 60 percent. The public rallying around the president is typical in wartime. But the public is viewing the administration's actions in Iraq less enthusiastically than the actions in the Persian Gulf war by President George H.W. Bush a dozen years ago, in which the senior Bush's approval rating reached as high as 90%.

and, lest we forget:

Senate Unanimously Supports Bush

The Senate voted 99 to 0 yesterday for a resolution that "commends and supports the efforts and leadership of the President, as Commander in Chief, in the conflict against Iraq" and praised the troops "who are participating in the military operations in the Persian Gulf region, for their professional excellence, dedicated patriotism and exemplary bravery." The House of Representatives also passed a similar act with an even stronger pro-Bush wording 392-11, in which it was stated that Iraq was in "material breach" of United Nations resolutions. The debate in the House, however, was quite intense, with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi arguing strongly for a toned-down endorsement of the military action.

Seems a long time ago, doesn't it? But I think it would do all of us a lot of good to remember that it wasn't. All of the finger-pointing currently going on seems to have forgotten those heady days of March 2003. Let's all just remember what America's mood was then.