Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

4chan Gives 90-Year-Old Vet a Great Birthday 363

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-lighter-side-of-awful dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Members of 4chan aren't known for doing things that are cute and heart-warming and when they decide to go after someone, it's typically to subject them to ridicule. But not this time. Someone at 4chan decided that the Internet should get together and wish 90-year-old WWII veteran William J. Lashua a happy birthday, and soon Lashua's local branch of the American Legion was deluged by birthday calls from people as far away as Sweden. The account someone set up for Mr. Lashua's birthday on Facebook had 3,956 'likes' and over 500 comments, most of which wished him a happy birthday and thanked him for his military service. It's not clear how 4chan originally came across a photo of Lashua, but a member of the site posted a snapshot of a flyer that was on the bulletin board at a store in Ashburnham, Massachusetts asking for guests to attend the nonagenarian's birthday on at the American Legion hall and the post took off. In contrast to their usual behavior, 4chan members 'were giving him nice phone calls and sending him nice notes' and discouraging those who wanted to do something stupid or mean. 'They were all being.. well, shucks, awful nice.'"

*

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

4chan Gives 90-Year-Old Vet a Great Birthday

Comments Filter:
  • Thank you (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @08:39PM (#33484746) Homepage

    Thank you William J. Lashua.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LanMan04 (790429)

      Indeed. Thank you for your service in the LAST WAR that protected American freedoms. Everything post WWII.....well, it's history.

    • by jmccay (70985)
      Thank you for your service, and for helping secure the freedom of my family, friends, and myself.
  • April 1st so soon?
  • Reddit (Score:5, Informative)

    by slime73 (1083393) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @08:42PM (#33484776)
    Reddit did it's part as well, example [reddit.com]
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by Cwix (1671282) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @08:51PM (#33484826)

    4chan being nice?!?

    I do believe this was foretold in the bible as one of the signs of the end times.
    REPENT!! THEN END IS NIGH!!

    • Re:Wow (Score:5, Funny)

      by jolyonr (560227) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:00PM (#33484884) Homepage

      4chan being nice. Duke Nukem Forever possibly being released soon. Cats and dogs living together.

      End of days, my friend. End of days.

      • by Zapotek (1032314)
        rofl, I actually have a PoC picture in my camera for the latter...and there I was thinking that my father was wasting his time while he was documenting history...
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by drolli (522659)

        Let me add:

        4chan being nice.
        Duke Nukem Forever possibly being released soon.
        Microsoft supporting open source
        Cats and dogs living together.

    • by Eil (82413)

      I would say the picture in that photo says very emphatically, "leave me the hell alone, especially on my birthday."

      Mystery solved.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)

      4chan being nice?!?

      Hmm... I think good PR could spin a lot of their actions as "nice." Their efforts to combat the dangerous cult calling itself "Scientology" for instance aren't exactly greedy and evil. Maybe they're motivated more by a sense of superiority than a sense of justice, but they're still attacking an evil organization.

      I haven't heard of 4chan, say, killing puppies or disrupting the flow of natural disaster relief supplies or flooding the gulf of mexico with crude oil. Whether that's because they don't do it or

  • well, it evens out, the anonymous collective can't be dicks all the time
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BluBrick (1924)
      What amazes me is that so many of them can manage to not be dicks at the same time! It's almost like they have a choice to act in a douche-ey manner or not - you know, kind of like free will.
  • Thanks from Italy (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    While WWII might indeed evoke fairly bad memories in those who were actually there, Happy Birthday, and Thank You mr. Lashua.

    I live in Italy and if it wasn't for people like you I'd probably speak German or Russian now, and concepts like individuality, freedom of speech, personal rights might be alien or completely twisted in my mind/society.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RichiH (749257)

      > I live in Italy and if it wasn't for people like you I'd probably speak German or Russian now, and concepts like individuality, freedom of speech, personal rights might be alien or completely twisted in my mind/society.

      While I agree with what you say, it seems odd that someone from Berlousconi-land would _speculate_ about how "concepts like freedom of speech, personal rights might be alien or completely twisted in my society."

      Note that I removed "individuality" and "my mind" from the above. I know seve

  • The power of 4chan and Anonymous is tremendous. It must be held carefully. This is one good example of how to put this power for good instead of evil.

  • Ugh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 05, 2010 @08:59PM (#33484864)

    As an oldfag over at 4chan, let me tell you this:

    Anonymous does whatever he fucking feels like, whether it is sending an old man birthday cards or bullying a child. There is no rhyme or reason to it because Anonymous is a disorganized swarm made up of people of all ages and cultures. "Anonymous" is a constantly rotating, relatively small sample of a large, global population.

    Trying to predict Anonymous is pointless. There is no command structure, no ultimate goal. Most of the activities partaken that affect the outside world start as pet projects of individuals and gain traction through spamming and samefagging (because everyone posts anonymously, it is easy to pretend to be multiple people to take advantage of the group mentality there).

    This particular incident was started by someone close to the man in question and spammed endlessly over the course of several days leading up to the event. It was a shameless abuse of /b/ as his personal army, but it succeeded because it was relatively novel and interesting.

    • Jaron Lanier, is that you?

    • Re:Ugh. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:41AM (#33485944) Journal

      As an oldfag over at 4chan, let me tell you this:

      Anonymous does whatever he fucking feels like, whether it is sending an old man birthday cards or bullying a child. There is no rhyme or reason to it because Anonymous is a disorganized swarm made up of people of all ages and cultures. "Anonymous" is a constantly rotating, relatively small sample of a large, global population.

      Trying to predict Anonymous is pointless. There is no command structure, no ultimate goal. Most of the activities partaken that affect the outside world start as pet projects of individuals and gain traction through spamming and samefagging (because everyone posts anonymously, it is easy to pretend to be multiple people to take advantage of the group mentality there).

      This particular incident was started by someone close to the man in question and spammed endlessly over the course of several days leading up to the event. It was a shameless abuse of /b/ as his personal army, but it succeeded because it was relatively novel and interesting.

      As someone who's been on the internet longer then any of you old or new fags, let me tell you this.

      Get off my lawn.

      Swear to god, you oldfags, newfags, are a bunch of little girls squabbling in a public message board. Yes, your the big fag, seeing as you can claim your old fag and preach how you, i mean, 4chan isn't this and that, and does what it wants, and no one tells it to do anything because it's not your personal army. yet, somehow, it does do things, because someone got creative on how to spam it in 4chan.

      And notice how I'm not posting anonymous? unlike you, i'm not scared to stand behind what I say, right or wrong, i said it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by vertinox (846076)

        And notice how I'm not posting anonymous? unlike you, i'm not scared to stand behind what I say, right or wrong, i said it.

        Unless you happen to be the same guy posting a rebuttal to his own anon comment?

  • by pickens (49171) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:02PM (#33484888) Journal

    His name is Jack Vaughn.

    He was a prize fighter, a diplomat, and the second Director of the Peace Corps.

    Read a very interesting story about his life at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Vaughn [wikipedia.org]

    Happy Birthday, Jack, from RPCVs around the world.

    • by rrossman2 (844318) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @10:10PM (#33485240)
      My grandfather is also damn close to 90. Joined the military at age 16 (obviously lied about it), went into the air corps and passed, even with getting sick for the first year or so, because his flying was so good.. learned on bi-planes at that. Went on to fly B-17s in WWII over Europe, was involved in other conflicts, and retired as a Colonel in the Air Force working in the Pentagon. Just wanted to throw that one out there too :)
  • Reddit... ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:15PM (#33484942)

    I thought this started out as a post on Reddit - not 4chan. But I could be wrong and certainly don't want to piss off 4chan.

  • And now, every time someone rightly says that 4chan is nothing but a batch of juvenile asshats, they'll trot out this one story as a counterexample.

    • by Abstrackt (609015) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:36PM (#33485090)

      And now, every time someone rightly says that 4chan is nothing but a batch of juvenile asshats, they'll trot out this one story as a counterexample.

      Well, this one and the ones where they tracked down animal abusers from Youtube videos. Further reading [pcworld.com] if you're interested.

    • by jack2000 (1178961)
      Because all of 4chan is just /b/ right? Get off my fucking lawn.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by DurendalMac (736637)
      One counterexample. Just about everything else Anon has done says otherwise. Someone mentioned animal abusers, such as Dusty. This is while people post Zippocat, a series of images of a cat getting doused in lighter fluid and torched. Chanology started out as lulz and evolved further into the bigger protests, but you can bet that their primary motivation on that one wasn't to get the bad guys.
  • Pictures (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:18PM (#33484974)

    The event happened yesterday, there are pictures from it. You should have included a link to them: http://imgur.com/a/3Jc87/MP8VI

    • by arielCo (995647)

      Does anyone recognize the tattoo [imgur.com]?

      This guy had the distinct luxury of knowing that he was fighting the good fight to stop Crazy Adolph, even if he didn't know all the horror he was up to. He's also something of an internet hero; these guys went to bloody WAR and now we're able to troll/shock/godwin to our gallbladder's content ;)

  • uhm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by neuro88 (674248)
    So like... what? Has 4chan become the Internet Love Machine now?
    • No (Score:2, Interesting)

      by justinlee37 (993373)

      4chan is just an Internet Amusement Machine. Anonymous does whatever amuses it.

      Sometimes that involves posting pictures of dead cats or trolling 11-year old internet girls who show their boobs on tinychat (see Jessica Slaughter), sometimes that involves wishing an old man a happy birthday or organizing anti-Scientology protests.

      I have personally seen Anonymous engage in some unusual behavior. For example, someone recently was asking Anonymous on /b/ to troll a high school kid because his Mom had just died a

  • Some 4channers may have their tails between their legs, or wishing to bolster the reputation of the board as a whole.

    While references are difficult given the nature of the 4chan board structure, my understanding is that from the recent "Puppy Thrower" video(the east european girl, not the US soldier of some time ago), several innocent people were outed wrongly, including a 13 yo german girl.

    The dynamics from this sort of thing, would be similar to a political party rift. You get those that need to, in g
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by horza (87255)

      Yeah you're wrong. If you are looking any deeper than "because they can" then you are over-analysing.

      Phillip.

  • Question is, does he understand what just happened?
  • by flimflammer (956759) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @09:51PM (#33485142)

    I know a most of the news stories that mention 4chan are generally in the negative, but people in that community do tend to do a lot of good, and much of it is rarely publicized. People attribute Anonymous to this large collection of like-minded individuals doing whatever they please but it's really couldn't be further from the truth. "Anonymous" is a loose many-minded collection of individuals who don't agree with each other. You'll get those trying to harass others and many stepping in to stop it, and you'll get those trying to do good and many stepping in trying to stop it.

  • Gatecrashers (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sc4Freak (1479423) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @10:45PM (#33485400)

    It only seems nice until you realise that William J Lashua's family specifically asked [reddit.com] that random strangers do NOT show up. It was an event reserved for family and friends, and the internets basically gatecrashed what was supposed to be an old man's birthday party.

  • by voss (52565) on Sunday September 05, 2010 @11:31PM (#33485616)

    Ferengi rule of acquisition #76 Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.

  • summary is wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by crgrace (220738) on Monday September 06, 2010 @12:46AM (#33485972)

    The summary is wrong. No one is a member of /b/.

  • misled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shird (566377) on Monday September 06, 2010 @01:02AM (#33486040) Homepage Journal

    This guy did not need the handout, the poster was more or less a joke/notice to let the many people that do know him they should come to his party. The very fact he knows so many people was the reason for the notice, it was the most practical way to notify the large number of people he knows.

    If the guy was a "lonely old man with no friends left", do you think he would book out a town hall to hold his party?

    http://www.reddit.com/r/reddit.com/comments/d9zmp/dear_internet_on_behalf_of_the_lashua_family_i/ [reddit.com]

    "He has 7 children, many grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. In his younger years he was a foster parent to dozens of foster children."

    I can't help but think these donations and effort could have been directed to people more in need.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 06, 2010 @11:45AM (#33488900)

    Offering praise to 4chan for this is like cheering for a 14 year old kid who just figured out how to not shit in his pants.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

Working...