Ben Parzybok

Said so

Five Years: This War is Older than Coen

Update: The Oregonian wrote about Coen

Among Saturday’s more poignant images was a tiny 4-year-old boy who held a sign that said, “This war’s older than me.”

Link to article: Five years of duty, dissent and war

Go Coen!

And thus the sign we made him, This War is Older than Me! He also thought ‘Poop on the war’ would be a good one.

I shipped my family off to the protest in downtown Portland today (still editing), and was awfully proud watching them go.

This war is older than me.

It’s very depressing to think that he has never known a time where we aren’t at war. Since we listen to a fair bit of radio, he has often inquired about such-and-such market bombing, and we’ve taken care with the language and have begun to censor the radio a little. At any rate, at just over four, he’s well aware of the war going on on the other side of the world and how we feel about it – and of course he’s also quite familiar with Adel Hamad/Project Hamad and thus Guantanamo. Not that each age doesn’t have its craziness, but these are strange times to grow up in.

At any rate, just for fun we did a search on Flickr tonight to see if he turned up anywhere, as Laura said quite a few people took his photo.

What do you know, he’s here:[email protected]/2336481760/

and here:

side note: I’m sort of mixed about posting photos of Coen – I probably won’t do this a lot. There are various opinions from other blogs I respect – Tim Bray’s ongoing makes a point of not naming children’s names or posting photos, and the Granades are very open about this sort of thing. I like the idea of being open about it, but I’m naturally secretive and again I think this is a strange time to be growing up. But since this seems like an exceptional case and many others took his photo, and, I admit, I’m proud to think of him carrying a protest sign, I’m going for it.

Author: Benjamin Parzybok

My name is Ben Parzybok and I'm a novelist and programmer living in Portland, OR. @sparkwatson



  1. Nice to see Coen out there. And what a great sign. I remember being in the first really big protest parade back in 2002. It seems like forever.

  2. Ha. Yeah, we’re all out there for the world to see, huh? Just stumbled onto your blog from the link you left today. Coen looks great with that sign!

  3. Hey Misty! Thanks for dropping by – yeah you guys are great. Laura and I have been following the sleep regimens err regimentally, among everything else. (we have a 1 & 4 yo too)

    I’ve got that: What if I say/do something stupid and it’s on the internets for ever hesitancy, mixed with some introverted tendencies. Judging from your following, I think you two have hit your stride.

  4. Thanks! Also, interested in your book. Is there a blurb some place I can read?

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