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Did they call my birthday?

Waiting for your lottery number. James, Oklahoma, 1969, No. 365. I arrived at the dorm and went to my friend’s room where 12 of us were watching the lottery. I remember we had cases of beers to help us through. We knew this day could forever change our lives. When I came into the room I could feel the tension and see that the lottery had already started. It wasn't a big show on TV; it was just a series of numbers scrolling across the bottom of the screen while “I Love Lucy” played above. [more inside]
posted by goofyfoot on Apr 16, 2014 - 69 comments

 

"This will be final message from Saigon station"

"At that point when you say who were the people who stayed to the last, at that point I still had with me in Saigon, a couple of pretty determined and brawny types with whom I was able to get on the Embassy fence and we physically were lifting these people across. And we had a couple of military officers in the crowd with whom we had a deal that if they pick out of the crowd the people that we want, then in the end we will lift them in and they can go too. Well we did that. We made deals like that with the police all through the day. We were able to move people through the city of Saigon by making deals with police officers and saying, "Put your families in among these people and when we safely put them on the plane or safely put them on the bus then we are going to take you too. That worked very well." -- On Monday, The Washington Post published the obituary of Tom Polgar, the last CIA head of station in Vietnam and linked to his memories of the years he spend in Vietnam and the final evacuation of Saigon, written in 2013 for the Pushing on blog, which is largely dedicated to the War on Vietnam and the fall of Saigon.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 3, 2014 - 22 comments

Channeling Their Inner Nomads

Begun at the edge of summer last year, Wanderrlust is the ongoing photography and travel blog of H.J. and Courtney Derr as they travel across the expanse of Southeast Asia. It began in Vietnam with the purchase of two cheap motorcycles and an eye to explore the country. So far they have experienced Ho Chi Minh City, drifted into the Mekong Delta, and to the City of a Thousand Pines. Don't miss the "warts and all" entry to discuss the things that haven't been so fun on their journey so far.
posted by Atreides on Jan 16, 2014 - 2 comments

Giving You Oral

Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 13, 2014 - 24 comments

Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States

"Untold History of the United States challenges the basic narrative of the U.S. history that most Americans have been taught.... [Such history] is consoling; it is comforting. But it only tells a small part of the story." Instead of clips of modern people pondering the past, Oliver Stone's ten-part series relies heavily on archival footage and clips from old Hollywood films, with narration by Stone. Towards the end, he gets into the assassination of JFK, "but that should not detract from a series that sets out to be a counterweight to the patriotic cheerleading and myth-making." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 23, 2013 - 66 comments

The Big Picture

This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 10, 2013 - 6 comments

Far From Vietnam':Six Directors Join to Shape a Collage

Far from Vietnam 1967 (Loin du Vietnam) Far from Vietnam (French: Loin du Vietnam) is a 1967 French documentary film directed by Joris Ivens. In seven different parts, Godard, Klein, Lelouch, Marker, Resnais and Varda show their sympathy for the North-Vietnamese army during the Vietnam-war. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Nov 26, 2013 - 4 comments

Red Napoleon

'Legendary Vietnam Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap dies.' 'Vo Nguyen Giap, the brilliant and ruthless self-taught general who drove the French out of Vietnam to free it from colonial rule and later forced the Americans to abandon their grueling effort to save the country from communism, has died. At age 102, he was the last of Vietnam's old-guard revolutionaries.' 'To military scholars around the world, he was one of the 20th century’s leading practitioners of modern revolutionary guerrilla warfare.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 4, 2013 - 130 comments

"Well, now they know."

John Banvard, 95, Gerard Nadeau, 67, were married Thursday at a Chula Vista, CA Veterans' senior living facility. Mr. Banvard, a World War II vet, and Mr. Nadeau, a Vietnam vet, have been together for 20 years, and were married at the facility despite the opposition of some residents. In response to the opposition, Mr. Nadeau said, "Oh, that's their problem not mine, but you know what this will do, open the door for other people." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 14, 2013 - 32 comments

Vietnam's Infinite Cave Tourism

World's Largest Cave, Son Doong, Prepping For First Public Tours (previously)
posted by kliuless on Sep 12, 2013 - 14 comments

"Come on Clock, talk to me boy!" . . . "It hurts"

Many years ago, I found a quarter inch audio reel in a rotting cardboard box, covered in dust, while helping my dear friend and mentor, Lighting Cameraman John B. Peters, clean up his garage. He told me it had been recorded in Vietnam during his coverage of that war. On the box, still legible, was handwritten: “Firefight, no name village, near Chu Lai, September 10, 1966, Nagra 3, 3,75 I.P.S.” John recalled that he was out with a patrol that day, and when the Vietcong ambushed them, they all had to duck for cover, but his soundman kept the audio recorder rolling throughout the duration of the fierce firefight that followed.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 6, 2013 - 43 comments

Back from Da Nang

Former CBS Reporter Bruce Dunning, who reported the story of the last flight from Da Nang, has died at the age of 73. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 27, 2013 - 6 comments

The circuitous histories of hamburgers and ketchup

The history of the hamburger could be a relatively short story, or one spanning centuries and continents, depending on how far you disassemble the modern hamburger. If you look for the origins of ground meat between two pieces of bread, that's something American, but where and when exactly is the question. But how did we get the ground meat patty? You can thank the Mongols and Kublai Khan, who brought their ground meat to Russia. Oh, and don't forget the fish sauce! [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 19, 2013 - 35 comments

John Hodgman On Full Metal Jacket

"But The Shining speaks to what makes Kubrick such an interesting and, for a lot of people, troublesome filmmaker, because he does not give you what you want. At all. He does not give you a Vietnam movie set in the jungle, and he does not give you a horror movie that is just like Stephen King’s The Shining. He doesn’t even give you scares for a long time, [just] ominous foreboding. And it takes people a while to figure out, “Oh, maybe I don’t know what I want. Maybe this is better.” - Mefi's Own Jon Hodgman talks about Full Metal Jacket with Scott Tobias for "The Last Great Movie I Saw."
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2013 - 75 comments

Facing up to CNN

Should viewer discretion be advised for pictures of children with congenital deformities? One Ontario woman doesn't think so: "I am 'deformed' and reading that viewer discretion warning ahead of the article (amounted) to telling me that every time I left the house I should wear a similar warning." [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte on Apr 23, 2013 - 32 comments

Fascinating pics of Vietnam in the 1980s

Fascinating pics of Vietnam in the 1980s (Part 1) (Part 2). Photographs by Philip Jones Griffiths. Here's a 1993 interview.
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 22, 2013 - 13 comments

A sobering look back on an infamous chapter in history

In the Year of the Pig is a documentary on the Vietnam war, produced and originally released in 1968 as the war raged. It begins with some background on the end of the French colonial period, then moves on to the American involvement. It features gripping historical footage from the war itself and from leading political players of the time. At the time of its release, a New York Times review said "There are no frills and few ifs, ands or buts about the stinging, graphic and often frighteningly penetrating movie". It is highly recommended for anyone seeking to understand more of the history of the war. Viewable in its entirety here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 21, 2013 - 27 comments

CS in VN

Kids In Vietnam Are Crazy Good At Programming - '11th graders in Vietnam are so good at programming that they could easily pass an interview at Google' (via)
posted by kliuless on Mar 27, 2013 - 63 comments

The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon's 'treason'

Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson's telephone calls provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations - he planned a dramatic entry into the 1968 Democratic Convention to re-join the presidential race. And he caught Richard Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks... but said nothing.
posted by Obscure Reference on Mar 16, 2013 - 64 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

He said he would welcome a million American soldiers to come in

On July 17, 1945, the OSS Deer Team, led by Major A. K. Thomas, was parachuted in the jungle 200 km north of Hanoi, to make contact with a mysterious group of resistance fighters willing to help the US against the Japanese. They were greeted cordially by the group leader, "Mr C. M. Hoo", a sick-looking older man, and his acolyte "Mr Van", a dapper man wearing a white linen suit and a black fedora (and he did like his fedora). From mid-July to the Japanese capitulation, the Deer Team trained Hoo's ragtag band, provided them with explosives and small arms and followed them during skirmishes. They also allegedly saved Ho(o)'s life. Major Thomas' full report on the Deer Mission (including the FPP title and the line Forget the Communist Bogy) is buried in the 1972 Hearings on the causes of the Vietnam war (see also the same events according to Henri Prunier, last surviving member of the Deer Team). [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Mar 14, 2013 - 23 comments

A Tiny Vietnamese Village Where Women Chose to be Single Mothers

LOI, Vietnam — They had no plan to break barriers or cause trouble. But 30 years ago in this bucolic village in northern Vietnam, the fierce determination of one group of women to become mothers upended centuries-old gender rules and may have helped open the door for a nation to redefine parenthood.
posted by winecork on Feb 15, 2013 - 19 comments

I ate a dog in Vietnam

Vice details dining on dog in Hanoi. (Trigger warning; pics of roast dog, graphic text). Dog eating is not limited to South East Asia, there's a historical precedent almost everywhere in the world, and is still eaten in parts of Europe. [more inside]
posted by Keith Talent on Feb 1, 2013 - 101 comments

Stanley Karnow, 1925-2013

Stanley Karnow, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and historian, has died at age 87. He won the prize in 1990 for his book In Our Image: America's Empire in the Philippines (discussed on Booknotes). He is best known, however for his work on Vietnam. His book Vietnam: A History was widely acclaimed and its companion series on PBS, Vietnam: A Television History won six Emmys and a Peabody award and was one of the most widely watched documentaries on PBS. He discussed the war in 2000 in this Salon interview. Needless to say, his reporting was not appreciated by everyone.
posted by TedW on Jan 28, 2013 - 9 comments

Subspecies Extinction Alert

DNA analysis has confirmed the death, by poaching, of the last Javan rhino in Vietnam. This marks the official extinction of the Vietnamese subspecies of Javan rhinoceros. The entire species is now represented by just 35 individuals from the Indonesian subspecies, all of whom reside in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.
posted by Scientist on Jan 16, 2013 - 52 comments

Are Western tourists being poisoned in Asia?

Western tourists (mostly female) visiting Southeast Asia (Thailand, Vietnam, and Bali) are ending up dead, likely poisoned. Local officials have blamed the use of the insecticide DEET as an exotic ingredient in so-called "Bucket Drinks", or the use of Chlorpyrifos in hotel rooms. But Deborah Blum, an author and poison expert, doesn't buy into the insecticide theories offered by local officials. She thinks this looks like targeted murders. Since writing about the poisonings, she says she's been contacted by people who claim poisoning foreigners is common in 5-star hotels, and the police and owners cover it up.. A Facebook group was formed not only so that world travelers could share safe travel tips, but also so that notice of the unexplained, and often uninvestigated, deaths could be made public.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 9, 2013 - 75 comments

Vietnam: An Antiwar Comic Book

A comic written by Julian Bond and published in 1967, after he was expelled from the Georgia House of Representatives for opposing the war in Viet Nam. [Warning: n-word is used once as an example of hate speech] [more inside]
posted by laconic skeuomorph on Jan 9, 2013 - 17 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Honey, I Shrunk the Tariff

"Honey laundering is a complex exercise that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
posted by vidur on Dec 6, 2012 - 37 comments

Reflections of China Beach

On April 26th, 1988 ABC aired a made for tv movie as a backdoor pilot called China Beach. It went on to be a critically loved, audience deprived show that lasted four seasons from 1988 - 1991. [more inside]
posted by mediocre on Oct 26, 2012 - 32 comments

Malcolm Browne, 1931-2012

Malcolm Browne, the war correspondent who took one of the most iconic and disturbing photographs of the Vietnam conflict, has died. He was 81. [more inside]
posted by Rangeboy on Aug 28, 2012 - 18 comments

"Very interesting and attractive young women without hats"

Leftist Planet: Why do so many travel guides make excuses for dictators? [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Aug 15, 2012 - 75 comments

Watch with one eye, hear with one ear, hand-made celluloid films!

A tale from Van Phuc village is a short film by Tibetan filmmaker Tsering Tashi Gyalthang. Half-fiction/half-documentary, this short shows the singular craft of Nguyen Van Long, who spent several decades entertaining children in the Thu Le park in Hanoi, Vietnam by playing his hand-made flipbook cartoons or 5-min celluloid movies on a Soviet projector.
posted by elgilito on Aug 5, 2012 - 3 comments

Vietnam War Zippos

Engraved Zippo lighters from the Vietnam War.
posted by curious nu on Jul 5, 2012 - 37 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

How to kill a rational peasant

How to kill a rational peasant: America's dangerous love affair with counterinsurgency. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2012 - 66 comments

Iconic Image from the Vietnam war.

The photograph of 9 year old Phan Thi Kim Phuc (often referred to as the "napalm girl"), taken nearly 40 years ago on June 8th in 1972 by press photographer Nick Ut, won a Pulitzer Prize at the time and became one of the most important images from the Vietnam War era. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Jun 2, 2012 - 39 comments

Realpolitik in Action

The United States sees the world as Vietnam does: threatened by growing Chinese power. [more inside]
posted by Renoroc on Jun 1, 2012 - 18 comments

A Motion Comic

The Art of Pho by award-winning British illustrator and animator Julian Hanshaw is a moving and surreal story in interactive animation about a creature named Little Blue and his relationship with Ho Chi Minh City. In Vietnam's bustling capital Little Blue learns to master the art of making Pho - Vietnam's ubiquitous national noodle dish. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 16, 2012 - 11 comments

Not Your Typical Vietnam War Documentary

"First Kill is a war documentary that explores the dark side of man and the psychology of soldiers at war. Vietnam veterans are interviewed about their experiences and what war does to the human mind and soul." [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]
posted by gman on Feb 16, 2012 - 9 comments

78 78s

78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
posted by carter on Jan 29, 2012 - 15 comments

This is actually the last level in "Frogger."

"Where I come from, a little patience at the crosswalk usually rewards me with a stoplight-induced pause in traffic, but here things are different. One had to simply cross, stride forward into the asphalt gauntlet with no fear, just faith that two intersecting streams of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, would reconcile themselves. And they always did." Photographer Rob Whitworth stitches together 10,000 images to bring you a very kinetic time-lapse video of "Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam." [via]
posted by bayani on Jan 6, 2012 - 15 comments

War Photos Tumblr

Once Upon a Time in War is a photographic retrospect of the Great War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and the War on Terror.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 6, 2011 - 6 comments

Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball combo: Sepak Takraw

When you combine Kung Fu, Soccer and Volleyball you get an awesome sport called Sepak Takraw | the film version, Libas | 'Just Give Me The Damn Sepak Takraw Ball'. A few more examples: grass court | women's match . About the Sepak Takraw ball. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 31, 2011 - 20 comments

"Crazy Shots"

Ray Bribiesca: "Crazy Shots" (via "60 Minutes" video extra) Interview of "60 Minutes" correspondent Lara Logan highlighting Ray Bribiesca, the Vietnam War veteran responsible for some amazing combat footage. [more inside]
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere on Jun 5, 2011 - 9 comments

William Nolde (1929-1973)

Colonel William B. Nolde, 43, Bronze Star and Legion of Merit medal recipient, was killed by an artillery shell near An Lộc on January 27, 1973 - 11 hours before the truce that ended the Vietnam War.
posted by Trurl on May 30, 2011 - 10 comments

Captured:

Captured: A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. (The following photo collection contains some graphic violence and depictions of dead bodies.)
posted by docgonzo on Apr 21, 2011 - 18 comments

Where Do Babies Come From, and Where Do They Go?

Interactive map of international adoptions, from the superlative Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. The site contains an amazing amount of information about corruption in international adoption in countries like Nepal and Vietnam.
posted by the young rope-rider on Apr 19, 2011 - 18 comments

Coming Home

1699 US Military personnel are still considered as POW or MIA from the Viet Nam conflict, but one is finally coming home. The remains of James Moreland are being returned to the US, and Kathy Strong, who's worn his POW/MIA bracelet since she was 12, can now, 38 years later, take it off.
posted by tomswift on Mar 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Alice's Restaurant

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 24, 2010 - 164 comments

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