Sunday, October 09, 2005

God Willing and the Gates Still Hold

Larded Crescent of Vienna
How do most blogs start? Probably, like us, you spend a great deal of time looking and lurking. Eventually you settle on your favorites. Your next step is a momentous one: you begin commenting. As time goes on, your comments increase in length, if not in quality.

It’s starting to occur to you at this point that you’re taking up too much room in someone else’s space. Time to get a place of your own, one with its own personality and focus.

For Gates of Vienna, the choice seemed obvious. Ever since 9/11, it was hard to escape the realization that in-your-face terrorism had become the defining issue of our time. Of course, the Great Islamic Jihad loomed as far back as 1972 and 1979 and 1983 and 1993 and 1998 and 2000… From our side, at least. On the other hand, for the mujahideen, the current war dates back to at least 1683.

Hence the name for our blog.
     From our perspective at the dawn of the 21st century it is hard to realize that a little more than three centuries ago the whole of Christian civilization was threatened. When the Turks stood at the Gates of Vienna it seemed that all of Europe would be overrun by the legions of the Prophet.
This war never ended. While many individual treaties were made between various states over the centuries, no truce was ever declared between Islam and the infidels, and no permanent peace was established (as General Gordon discovered at Khartoum in 1885).
So that was our start. Drawing on the energy and optimism of Wretchard at the Belmont Club, we set out to make our case.

By now we’ve seen lots of lists of what to do and what not to do in blogging. Back then, though, we were flying by the seat of our pants. In other words, bouncing off a few trees and taking a few lines of washing out of people’s back yards. Sometimes we got chased.

Kind people helped along the way. USMC_Vet told us what a site meter was and how to get into NZ Bear’s TTLB Ecosystem. Until then we had no way to know who our readers were, aside from our commenters.

Where did we learn to link-whore? Probably from Bill Ardolino at InDC Journal, when he chastised someone for what he considered “shameless” link-whoring. Having little shame, we quickly adopted the practice with great dedication. Without the generosity of Charles Johnson’s open threads at Little Green Footballs, we would still be Insignificant Microbes. But, thanks to the enthusiasm of his Lizardoids (Bwahahahaha!), we began to climb the food chain.

Then the great surprise: being blogrolled by our BlogDaddy, Wretchard himself. During the daily reading of Belmont Club, the Baron would idly scroll to the “G” section of Wretchard’s blogroll. It wasn’t that he ever expected to see “Gates of Vienna” there — it was just his Walter Mitty fantasy, one that made me roll my eyes. But I was the one who first spotted the impossible. “Double-take” does not adequately describe my reaction. Scroll up, then back down again. Yeah… it was still there. Even after all this time, seeing “Gates of Vienna” on Wretchard’s site still makes me smile. Some things just don’t get old.

The ’lanches were great giddy fun. Coming down from them was disappointing, but we did notice that each new traffic baseline following a ’lanche leveled off just a bit higher. We were learning that success is incremental and patience is essential.

We have been singularly fortunate in our commenters. They are intelligent, often witty, and quite knowledgeable. They come from literally every corner of the globe. We stood corrected more than once; we got sent to interesting sites; we learned, and we learned. We’re still learning.

Other bloggers have told us about their unfortunate experiences with trolls and hateful email. Our trolls have been rare and mild, and never stay long. So far (knock wood) we haven’t gotten any hateful email, just the occasional disgruntled, puzzled Muslim.

It was commenter truepeers who first discussed Viennese crescents. He mentioned that they dated from the siege of Vienna, and commemorated the victory over the Turks.

To celebrate our first anniversary, I thought a batch of crescents would be fitting (in the old days, I used to make them for Christmas cookies, having no idea of their origins) to celebrate a whole year’s survival. However, in the interim between my idea and our anniversary there blossomed in a field in Pennsylvania the “Red Crescent of Embarrassment.” Nothing would do for the Baron but that we create our own red crescent and star. He insisted that some part of this confection contain lard. Real, true, rendered pig fat! So lard it we did.

Pictured above is our celebration of survival, a small thumb of the nose at Islamofascism, and our very own embarrassed red crescent.

For the skeptics among you, that is not a snake. It is not Play-Doh. Made lovingly from haram Betty Crocker cake mix — you can be sure this cake wasn’t going to be made from scratch — and iced with a mixture of lard, Crisco, powdered sugar, and the last of the red food coloring left over from Easter eggs. Did we eat this thing? Surely you jest.

See you here this time next year. Provided the Gates hold.


ShrinkWrapped said...

Congratulations on your blogiversary. May we also enjoy many more years of your wisdom and insight.

Wally Ballou said...

What about the Celtic designs on the cloth folded back at at the top of the picture? is that symbolic of Xtianity about to extinguish the light of Islam?

Leandra said...

Three cheers! Keep your sails full of wind and just let 'em have it!

Dymphna said...

Aw, shoot, Wally -- I was hoping no one would notice!

Always On Watch said...

Crescent and star with rendered lard? LOL!

And congratulations on you blogiversary! May the Gates hold for many more.

Personal note here: If you get the chance, maybe you'll stop by my blog and add your comment to "Exteme Tourism and Two Questions." I'd be interested to get your input on this one.

Papa Ray said...

I wonder if anyone but me thinks of a sharp blade when he sees a crescent?

Nah..just me, most likely.

A very joyful thanks for your great efforts and insight this past year.

Papa Ray
West Texas

neo-neocon said...

Happy anniversary!! We are practically twins (or would that be triplets?)

Baron Bodissey said...

If you add the apple, it would be quadruplets.

Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Congratulations on a blog well done.

(You can take it out of the oven now.)

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

TigerHawk said...

Great year, Dymphna. And the 'Villain, of course, is thrilled to know that he is not the only blogger in Buckingham! ;)

Your story on the Islamists in Charlotte County is wonderful, and I am linking. Later today, or perhaps tonight, I will post my blogiversary present to you.

Charlottesvillain said...

Happy anniversary and keep up the good work. (Loved the recent C'ville vegeterian festival piece by the way).

truepeers said...

Ahh, you have me in mind of some baking. Viennese Crescents. They're nutty AND sweet, Muslim or Christian, or Jewish? just right to please everyone, offend no one, at your next neighborhood function, heh heh.


But only one year?? You're already ingrained in this mind's world; I could not imagine the internet without you.

And you're spawning your own... I've just joined a group blog where I'll post from time to time:

Dymphna said...

Hooray! Truepeers has a blog!!!


gumshoe said...

happy aniiversary D & BB.

piglet would be proud.

Texas Gal said...

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!!

BeSt WiSheS FoR MaNy MoRe!

Jesse Clark said...

Congratulations guys! I completely identified with your thesis on why people start blogs of their own, as that's what happened for me! Your site has been an inspiration for me in creating my own blog, and I appreciate your willingness to help out the newbies and read the e-mails we send. Thank you and keep fighting the good fight.