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Simulacra

[ 45 ] September 9, 2011 |

So, apparently Great Satan’s Girlfriend isn’t exactly a hot COIN-nerd chick who wants to talk war and show you nifty pictures of herself in a bikini.  As Spencer points out:

“Courtney Messerschmidt” is a composite personality, made up of several men as well as an actual woman named Courtney. Not to mince words: it was gross to see national-security practitioners and commenters in their 30s and older pop semis over “her” barely-legal-security persona. But that’s a comment on “her” audience, not “her” “herself.” I don’t have any opinions on “her.”

Frankly, I think that Amanda could do a lot with this, as could Alyssa Rosenberg.

It’s a weird blog.  Once you claw your way through the prose, it’s obvious that the author has a good, working knowledge of counter-insurgency theory and defense policy.  For my part, however, there was never anything so particularly interesting or compelling about GSGF that made it worth the trouble of interpreting the torturously affected writing.  It’s basic COIN plus some boilerplate right wing defense politics.  Moreover, in my professional capacity I have become familiar with many woman in their early twenties who are more than capable of both tackling counter-insurgency doctrine AND writing intelligible, complete sentences in the English language.  Thus, the idea of “Courtney Messerschmidt” wasn’t particularly novel, although “she” certainly had an interesting marketing scheme.  I won’t claim that I had any idea that “she” was actually a collective, and I dutifully accepted her friend request on Facebook.  It just never seemed to me that there was much more to GSGF than a novel blog marketing approach.  However, opinions vary…

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  1. Malaclypse says:

    Donalde’s probably feeling kinda not-fully-crunk right about now.

    Donalde, there is nothing wrong with realizing you had a crush on a couple of middle-aged dudes. Trust me, it does not lessen my opinion of you one iota.

  2. Idiots.

    I exchanged messages with Courtney tonight. She’s the real deal.

    And of course, Charli blogged her as well, quite favorably: ‘Things I Would Like to See More Of’. Call that an LGM self-douche, and W. James “Costanza” Casper = RACIST = Repsac3 thought Courtney was da bomb.

  3. Warren Terra says:

    I seem to recall this exact thing happening about six or twelve months ago: a fake neocon opinionator who purported to be a very attractive woman, but was in fact written by one or more middle-aged men – although in that case it was a fake twitterer, not a fake blogger. I’m pretty sure I read about it on Spencer Ackerman’s then-blog.

  4. ema says:

    There are 4 of us The brains behind the thing is a guy actually. He’s a bit older than me (Courtney) or Lauren, and helps out with the milspeak so to speak.

    The older guy contributes the good, working knowledge of counter-insurgency theory and defense policy and the other 3 cats the torturously affected writing?

  5. Johnny Johnson says:

    lonelygirl15+frustrated neocon writer=gSgf

    I always assumed the girlie pics were on the site so when milblog fans were caught jerking in the office they could pretend it was to the photos instead of the war porn.

  6. Molls says:

    I cannot, for the life of me, understand why these men feel the need to pretend to be attractive women.

  7. kth says:

    That a smart guy like Tom Ricks thinks that that blog has a great voice, instead of a great marketing gimmick, that he thinks that the stream of Avril Levigne-isms actually has some organic connection with the ideas there, and represents anything beyond mere schtick, in short that he finds anything authentically feminine there at all, is a frightening commentary on the paucity of real women’s voices in IR.

    • Njorl says:

      I should get my wife to do an IR blog. She’s been a bit down on the subject since getting her degree in technological aspects of diplomacy with the Soviet Union in 1991.

  8. If you are actually named after the Nazis’ fighter planes and are writing a blog about military policy, sure, go ahead and play up the name. Nothing wrong with that. It’s kind of funny.

    But to go out and pick the name of the Nazis’ fighter planes is pretty disturbing.

    • Fighting Words says:

      Slightly off topic, but a true story nonetheless. I actually met the great-grandson of Willy Messerschmitt at Boy Scout camp many, many years ago. We discussed Dungeons and Dragons.

      • Warren Terra says:

        I’m sure he’s a lovely person, and he’s not to blame for his name – and I have no idea what the political leanings of his ancestors were.

        But Joe made a good point: unlike your Willy, in this case the name was deliberately chosen. This composite persona was designed to appeal to trigger-happy chickenhawks, and they chose a Teutonic name famous for being the name of advanced weapons used by the Nazis in WWII. They could choose any name, and those were the resonances they wanted.

        • Ed Marshall says:

          Sort of the opposite number of Charles “Krauthammer”.

        • Fighting Words says:

          Oh, I’m well aware of what Joe from Lowell was getting at. I was just name dropping because I don’t get the opportunity to do that very often. How many times do you get to meet the ancestor of the designer of the famed ME-109?

          In fact, I thought of the fellow when I tried to read GSGF for the first time – before I found out she was a fraud. I can’t remember his politics, as this was about 20 years ago and he was probably 13 years old, but I do remember have a great conversation about the Drow (dark elves). I know this isn’t helping.

          Of course, if she really knew her WWII stuff, she would have chosen Junkers, Dornier, or Focke-Wulf. Or, if we want to go all WWI – Fokker.

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