The Story is Over.
September 16, 2005 8:51 PM   Subscribe

The Story is Over. - At least, the story is over for The Indictor. Being rotated out, he's leaving his post at Outpost Crystal; drawing the curtains on one of the few consistent wellsprings for information from New Orleans.
posted by jcterminal (28 comments total)
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:03 PM on September 16, 2005

He's done an amazing thing, and being able to communicate with this odd little outpost through all this bizarreness was almost otherworldly. Certainly, his future is secure, and DirectNic could not have staged a better marketing stunt. However, while I respected his military prganization and clear thinking, I did find he was a little extra aggro at times. I won't miss the bravado.
posted by Miko at 9:12 PM on September 16, 2005


posted by jcterminal at 9:16 PM on September 16, 2005

Sounds like the title for yet another police-procedural television show.
posted by SenshiNeko at 9:35 PM on September 16, 2005

It was fascinating to read.

One of the most interesting things I read there was his eyewitness account of what looked like, to him, police involved in organized looting. Never read anything about that anywhere else.
posted by teece at 9:50 PM on September 16, 2005

How sad. I truly enjoyed reading his blog because he gave such a different viewpoint than the mainstream media. I hope he gets some sort of television/movie/book deal out of this.
posted by Serena at 9:58 PM on September 16, 2005

Like a television series? Cause I don't think there is much material here for a sitcom. But then again... Gilligan's Island lasted 3 seasons.
posted by TwelveTwo at 10:23 PM on September 16, 2005

"That's it, then, is it? The old team on the scrapheap?"

I'm sorry, but this guy--with his delusions of Rambo combined hilariously with an office job in IT, for christ's sake--reminds me of no one so much as Gareth Keenan.

Don't get me wrong, a lot of his information has been useful, and he has certainly toned down his Strike Force Delta schtick as the journal continued, but I just could never get fully behind him.

It just really drives me crazy when I see this guy referred to as a "hero" for, uh, ignoring a mandatory evacuation order and trying to keep the data center running. There are so many people out there who are working so hard to actually do something for the city but who--despite the media saturation of Katrina coverage--don't get a fraction of the attention that some network wonk gets for keeping Something Awful online. I mean, really, at the end of the day, freakin' Sean Penn did more to help New Orleans than The Interdictor did.

No, I'm not saying he should have jumped in a helicopter and started pulling people off of roofs. I'm saying he should have gotten out of the city a few days before the storm like the rest of us and saved everyone the self-aggrandizing IT bullshit about how the server always comes first. I mean, hey, everyone thinks their job is important, dude, we just don't get all Mack Bolan about it.

Seriously, has anyone seen anything on his journal about why it was so important to keep everything running? I know that DirectNIC helped set up communications for the police and hospitals, but that was all after the storm. I have not, in fact, read every single comment on his LiveJournal, but every time this issue came up it seemed to go like this:

"Why do these servers have to stay up?"
blackdusterandfedora666: Oh, believe me, they HAVE to stay online.
"Okay, but really...why?"
warhammer_rox: We could tell you, but then we'd have to kill you!
"Yeah, ha ha, that's a good one."
fightinglonelinesswithkendolessons: No, seriously: we could totally kill you.

I know, I know: I should Get [My] Own Blog but, ugh, the more I write this post, the more depressed and disgusted I get at how much coverage this guy has gotten for living out his nerd wet dream:

In a post-apocalyptic world, surrounded by animals and monkeys, The Interdictor must protect his beautiful girlfriend and keep his elite team of grizzled sysadmins together as they complete their critical mission...and maybe, just maybe, become Slashdot legends.

[Full disclosure: I don't know The Interdictor or anyone else featured on his site, but I'm tangetially involved in the New Orleans tech industry and I'm say-hi-when-you-see them-at-the-mall acquaintances with two people who worked for DirectNIC at least a few years ago...I don't know if they still do.]
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:10 AM on September 17, 2005

Funny, I have also thought about Gareth Keenan with respect to this blog.
posted by grouse at 2:24 AM on September 17, 2005

wow...pretty harsh, Ian A.T....

personally I appreciated the daily updates and felt there was a sense of balance to the news aspect of the reports, and the photos and video were fascinating......

the "bravado", "girlfriend is a model", and "strike team" stuff added a bit of humor to a grim situation.. I'm gonna miss the guy..

I do believe a few folks are a bit jealous, what do you think?
posted by HuronBob at 2:48 AM on September 17, 2005

Seriously, has anyone seen anything on his journal about why it was so important to keep everything running?

Because that was his job?
posted by mrbill at 3:09 AM on September 17, 2005

Ian A.T.: Having read almost all of that guy's post I don't think he really makes any claim to be doing something anywhere near as important as rescue work.

And the whole Ex-Special Forces role is probably one you automatically would adopt in such a crisis. He is running an "outpost", after all. In the face of extreme weather, potential looters, and even stupid or misinformed cops/National Guard.

As far as usefulness goes: He pulled routers and fiber for New Orleans City Hall, for starters, and provided a lot of connectivity for a lot of people in the area that had none or next to none post-hurricane.

It wasn't just to keep Something Awful online, or someones crappy blog. He was actually a resource and aid in the emergency management and recovery effort.

At the worst: He provided a stark, calm, realistic and fresh view of what was going on in NOLA that the media totally failed to provide. He wasn't a burden on rescue staff. He was successfully self enabled and reliant. And he provided a valuable service to the city itself, as well.

Full disclosure: Jealous much? WTF?
posted by loquacious at 3:28 AM on September 17, 2005

I'm not going to answer the seriously bizarre jealousy accusations--yes, if there's one thing that my last post just screams, it's jealousy!--because, well, this thread isn't about me. But let me clear something up: when I said that I was only tangentially connected to the tech industry, I meant it: I am (er, was?) a copywriter who works mostly in the miniscule interactive design field in New Orleans. Occasionally I meet, in passing, people on the tech-y side of the business. But it's not like we have the same job on any level and I'm certainly not competing with them. My part of the process is over long before--or occasionally, long after--their part.

Again: I don't know The Interdictor or his team, but it's possible that I'm minor acquaintances with people he knows. Or not, I don't know...I just felt uncomfortable not at least mentioning my (quite peripheral) connection in my earlier post. My bad!

In fact, my beef isn't really with him: aside from his aforementioned--uh--"quirks", I have no trouble admitting that he seems like an all-around stand-up guy. Hell, if I still had belongings to go back to, I'd certainly put him in charge of keeping them safe. And his site has been a good source of information when I've been trying to find out about downtown.

My problem is more with the way his "mission" is univerally and unquestionably accepted as an Awesome Thing, even though I can't get a straight answer about why it was so critical. I'm not trying to get all 9/11 on you guys, but, as insomnia_lj pointed out "there are a lot of others in New Orleans who are doing a lot more for the people, with a whole lot less bravado."

That's all I was trying to do with my post. Oh, that and make a bunch of jokes about nerds.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:36 AM on September 17, 2005

Yeah... he was a little silly sometimes, but it made for pretty compelling, "man on the scene"-type citizen journalism. You knew where he was coming from... and I guess I really came to appreciate that.

If I were running a business in New Orleans, I'd probably want some d00d to go rescue my business records and whatnot as well... and keeping companies alive is a pretty important function of recovery/damage mitigation crews, I'd say.
posted by ph00dz at 5:38 AM on September 17, 2005

I'm sorry, but this guy--with his delusions of Rambo combined hilariously with an office job in IT, for christ's sake--reminds me of no one so much as Gareth Keenan.

ON THE MONEY! Thank you.
posted by mr.marx at 5:56 AM on September 17, 2005

Holy shit. I never read this blog before, but having just looked at the AIM contact info for that guy I realized that I know him. I'll have to go read the whole thing now. "Bravado" and "delusions of Rambo" convince me even more that this is the same person.
posted by Hal Mumkin at 6:17 AM on September 17, 2005

I'm sorry, but this guy--with his delusions of Rambo combined hilariously with an office job in IT, for christ's sake--reminds me of no one so much as Gareth Keenan.
This is spot on. Thank you for explaining why I found that journal simultaneously compelling and annoying.
posted by missmerrymack at 7:38 AM on September 17, 2005

Although I'd read references to him, I'd never looked at the blog until this thread.

"Mission." "Rotated out." Knowledgeable about what types of weapons the military is carrying. [Not to mention his descriptions of *women* who shriek at cockroaches in their hair - because of course, if a roach landed in a Manly Man's hair, he'd never yell, "JESUS CHRIST!"]

Yep, dude's on a bit of a GeekFantasy trip. Still, some pretty interesting comments and bits of info. (And I want to absorb all I can, because I constantly have the feeling that, thousands of miles away, I still can't comprehend what it's like down there.)

Welcome to New Orleans. Please flood us with your tax dollars! I promise we will spend your money responsibly!
Yep, the more I think about that, the more I am not thrilled. Especially as duhbya, Hastert, etc., don't think it's important to figure out where all that money is going to come from.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:52 AM on September 17, 2005

"The mission went off without a hitch. That means I am now out of the building and back in Harahan."

He's only 5 or 10 miles from where he was in the first place. Harahan basically abuts the western border of the city. He could be within eyeshot of Tulane.
posted by Carbolic at 9:30 AM on September 17, 2005

I never thought of Gareth when I read The Interdictor, but that's great!

He did remind me of a lot of IT d00ds I have worked with though. The slightly annoying macho personality made it all the more real for me.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:41 AM on September 17, 2005

Gareth -- bwahahaha. Perfect. Glad I'm not the only one who found him a little wearing. He reminded me of the many random guys at parties who hit on us ladies, saying things like "When I was in the service I saw shit you wouldn't believe....' They want you to be impressed, but you're really kind of embarrassed about their naked need for approval.

But I would agree that he did a good job at, uh, whatever the job was, and that he's certainly someone you'd want around in a disaster - his approach and organization were exactly what you need...especially when the women go all hysterical, you know. I was quite happy to read his point of view; it was highly interesting, it offered a singular perspective, it was real-time, and at least his filters were made known.
posted by Miko at 11:54 AM on September 17, 2005

As ridiculous as some of you found his writing, I have no doubt he will be soon taking up a nice job doing this exact kind of work in far more serious situations, precisely because of the real-world experience he displayed.

As others have said, I can hardly blame him for getting caught up in the moment. Also, his job is not IT. He didn't just hop up from his server room and decide to become the military-style leader. That was exactly what he was hired for, it was his job, not something he decided to do on his own for "heroic" status. If I were his boss, I certainly would feel like I got my money's worth.
posted by odinsdream at 12:03 PM on September 17, 2005

As ridiculous as some of you found his writing, I have no doubt he will be soon taking up a nice job doing this exact kind of work in far more serious situations, precisely because of the real-world experience he displayed.

posted by mr.marx at 12:40 PM on September 17, 2005

You're right marx, I had no point.
posted by odinsdream at 1:34 PM on September 17, 2005

I got a lot of good information from The Interdictor during the last couple of weeks. I appreciate what they did. &, really, I didn't expect him to write like a journalist.
posted by taosbat at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2005

Law enforcement have absolutely lost their minds. Some guy wearing khaki fatigues and black vests which say Police on them have their faces covered in black ski masks and are touting M4-A1s with front hand grips -- like they're some kind of Delta Force operators waiting to hit the tire house. They're guarding the four corners around the Bell South building for crying out loud. And what, they need secret identities? Come on. You can just tell some of these guys have never gotten out before. Now's their big chance to play Army.
I think he finds the ultra-gung-ho at least as amusing as the rest of us. His AIM's ikilled007 - I remember when he had an LJ under that username, too. He was annoyingly gung-ho himself in the Debate community, but I gotta have some respect for a guy who can weather a hurricane, a flood, looters, and corrupt/idiot cops, and keep us all posted, too.
posted by skoosh at 3:47 PM on September 17, 2005

Damn. I forgot to mention that quote's from 4 Sep 2005, 3:24 pm.
posted by skoosh at 3:48 PM on September 17, 2005

I'm one of the guys Buff picked up at the airport. He has a great sense of humor about all the hero-worship and the nasty comments that fly about when people discuss him (often coming from the same people). He is gung-ho and maybe a little... eccentric, but it got the job done. The man is a badass and if it weren't for him my job would be a LOT harder now.

All the guys (and Crystal) who stayed here for the storm or rotated in to relieve them have my respect. They may not have been out there in shitty water saving lives but they did bust their humps to keep the information flowing.
posted by djeo at 8:36 PM on September 17, 2005

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