For a few days now, I’ve been puzzled by a spike in the number of visits to Mad Padre. Normally, this humble little blog gets 30-40 visits a day (no, not all from me, I don’t count those. Sheesh.) Yesterday, the utility told me that Mad Padre had 339 pageviews just on 23 September. Eighty two of those visits were to my post on the Grenadier Guards band visiting Suffield, which I could understand, since the Grenadier Guards is probably frequently googled by British Army buffs. However, 190 pageviews were to a very early post here, from 1 August, 2008, Peter Rabbit, Tank Killer. I was wracking my brains as to why a 4+ year old post was getting that much attention.

The answer lay in the fact, unknown to me, that Sven Hassel died in Denmark several days ago. If you don’t know who Sven Hassel was, I can explain by saying that in the mid 1970s, when I was a preadolescent, my older brother had two things that fascinated me and were forbidden to me. One was a collection of Playboy magazines, the other was a copy of Hassel’s book, Wheels of Terror. Both were pornography of a kind. Hassel, a Dane who may or may not have been soldier in the German army (details of his wartime life are debated)wrote a lurid series of novels on a group of misfits in a German penal regiment that somehow got lavished with state of the art German Tiger tanks. Comparing these books to All Quiet on the Western Front would be a gross insult to Remarque. My 2008 post, Peter Rabbit, Tank Killer, is a brilliant (not mine, I hasten to say) mash up of Beatrix Potter with Hassel’s grand guignol pornography of violence.

Google’s Blogger Dashboard also showed me that most of the visitors to my blog interested in Peter Rabbit Tank Killer were coming from a site called metafilter, where, lo and behold, someone had posted a link to the Potter/Hassel spoof on my blog. I was a little deflated to solve this mystery. Just seeing the increase in pageviews was encouraging me to think that people are being drawn to this blog’s eclectic miz of spirituality, erudition, dry humour, and kickass sermons. Well, some of you are, to be sure, and I am happy to note that in a few weeks or maybe a month, Mad Padre will reach 100,000 pageviews over four plus years. There are many times I think of wrapping this little vanity project up, and then I hear someone tell me how much they value this space, and I am encouraged. So thank you for your support. And hey, you, Sven Hassel fan guy, stick around. You might like it here.

0 Responses

  1. This is fun. A few days you mention Von Daniken and now Sven Hassel… both names important in my youth years…it seems that we have run parallel lives at two sides of the Pond

  2. "There's no such thing as bad publicity" although I think that may have been P.T. Barnum, not someone running for President.

    My daughter put a link to my blog post on the bunnies up on Tumblr and HOLY SPIKE what a jump! Too bad she didn't tell me beforehand so I could have added some ads for revenue.

  3. Mike, long may your fine blog continue! Like Benito, I also remember the Sven Hassel books: they went around the school playground and then the Sixth Form centre like illicit drugs. Parallel lives indeed!

  4. Yeeeaaaaahhh …. dry wit, erudition, et al. That's certainly why I visit your site, Mike. Mostly I drop by out of morbid fascination.

  5. Sven Hassel, now there is a blast from the past. The first book was quite interesting, and does compare to All Quiet…, even if it is not as well written. As for the rest, well Nazi super tank porn, though porn is really pictures of young women, hits the mark.

    Strangely enough, the movie with a cameo by Oliver Reed, is so bad it is actually quite good. Keeps to the spirit of war is hell and don't trust the Generals etc. meme.

    So good blog.

  6. Well,, I hadn't realised he was still around. Even down here in Oz, Sven Hassel's works were prized possessions in my early teens. I must have read 8 or so of them, many times each. And yes, like Anibal Invictus, I also read von Daniken at much the same time – though with a greater sense of disbelief.

  7. Benito, Sidneymand Fr. Pat: it is interesting that a Canadian, a Brit, an Australian and a all grew up reading the same weird stuff. I guess that shows that geeks and nerds really share the same culture, no matter where they live. 🙂

    James: I am sure that a few posts on Nazi bunnies would do wonders for your blog numbers!

    Howard: Oh Howard ….

    Ashely: Thanks A. Super Nazi tank porn is a great label. I was thinking of porn in the sense of explicit, gratuitous depictions of a subject designed to arouse and excite. Are you referring to the film Misfit Brigade? I've seen clips of it,on YouTube and it does look truly awful. Thanks for visiting!