I've often thought of doing some sort of regular 'roundup of the news' or the like, but my schedule is such that I'd never be able to keep it up. On the other hand, I hate for there to be anything happening in the world I don't chip in my hopelessly devalued two cents on. So in the spirit of compromise (Definition:Taking a barrel of fine wine, a barrel of sewage, mixing them together, and calling it even) I decided to toss up this, basically a scratch page where I can spew forth random commentary on any issues of the day/week/month, without going through all the work of composing an actual essay. I'm a pathetically lazy creature, you must understand.
So then...without further ado (or a don't....yeah, I stole that from the Muppets, but dead men file no claims -- and I stole that from Bob Kanefsky, who isn't dead...oh, bother. (But AA Milne is dead, so I can get away with that one.)) here's my take on the burning, lukewarm, and thorougly extinguished issues of the day. (And the past couple of weeks, actually, as there's been a few microrants I've been wanting to get out for a while.)
Too many essays, not enough rants. Months go by while this page languishes. Sigh. Shows I'll never be a columnist, that's for sure. But anyway...on to the rants!
08/23/2000 Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness dept:I make it a habit to prowl around right-wing sites. It's important to watch the enemy. So while I was checking out the latest idiocy on www.afa.net, I came across a link entitled "Spark plugs for your sex life!" To get to it, I had to get through several "Warning! Not for children!" pages. (Of course, just such 'honor system' warnings are the object of scorn by the AFA and their ilk!)
What awaited me? Kinky Christian Sex Tips? Porno stories from the Bible? Authentic scented massage oils from the time of Pontius Pilate?
Nope. Just this boring drivel. Man, I haven't felt so ripped off since the first time I went into Virgin Megastore!
12/19/1999 Another Critical Rant:I really, really, really, hate the media. I have just read a dozen or so reviews of the (apparently vile) adaption of Isaac Asimovs (wonderful) short story, "The Bicentennial Man". Nearly all of them felt obliged to prove their science fiction bona fides by dropping some line to the effect of 'The whole robot-wants-to-be-a-man shtick was done so much better on Star Trek:The Next Generation. Why, this robot even has a 'positronic brain', just like Data!"
Is it so hard, is it really, really, so very, very, hard for movie reviewers to find out the most basic facts before writing a review? First off, the novella upon which the movie is based was written in 1976. (Hence the title) Secondly, Asimov invented the term 'positronic brain' in the smegging NINETEEN FORTIES. ST:TNG used the term as an homage/in-joke.
I hate the media.
11/27/1999 Pokemon and Parents:I have been scanning reviews of Pokemon:The First Movie while looking for reviews of Princess Mononoke, and something has been distrubing me. Many times, far too many times, the reviewer begins with something like, "My kids are really into this pokey-man stuff, so I took them to the movie, and I just don't understand what's going on, because I'm a really cool adult type and don't bother with this kiddie crap, so I'm going to slam the movie because I don't understand it." Now, hold on there -- this is something important to your children, something they spend a lot of time, money, and enthusiasm on, and you want to impress on us how little you understand it? Wait ten years, until your kids are out shooting up schools, and then start sobbing about how "They just won't talk to me about things! How was I to know how upset they were?" Here's a clue, shmendricks:If you express profound disinterest in them when they want to talk about Pikachu and Bulbasaur, they will assume you don't want to hear them talk about their fears, depressions, and confusions as childhood gives way to adolescence. You want to know why we have troubled teens shooting themselves and each other, read the opening paragraph of any review of Pokemon:The First Movie, and you'll have your answer.
I wonder why parents don't show interest in their childrens hobbies. Very often, when I'm in a game store or comic book store around the 'holiday seasons', I hear confused parents trying desperately to remember if their son liked 'What was it? Dungeons and Masters? Or that game with the cards? Dragons:The Collecting? And there are these weird dice, oh, I don't know, how am I expected to pay attention to all this stuff?' You're the one who chose to have kids, lady -- if you weren't up for the job, you shouldn't have bred. Before the age of 13 or so, children are eager, nay, desperate, to share their hobbies, interests, joys with their parents -- and if they can bond then, on the cusp of adolescence, they might -- just might -- make it through that transition with fewer than average scars on their souls. So why don't parents leap at the chance to have this kind of bond? I suspect it's fear. They are entering a world where their child is the expert, the teacher -- and they can't deal with that fact. The opportunity to turn the parent-child relationship into one of exchange, rather than control, terrifies them. So they adopt a stance of deliberate, even prideful, ignorance -- and watch their children drift away from them. Then, when the bodies are being counted, they turn and state "It was the videogames! It was the TV shows! It was the movies! It was the comic books! It was the Internet! It was anything and everything but me!"
Kipling, 'Natural Theology'
6/12/1999 He's dead, Jim: You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? DeForest Kelley, aka Dr. McCoy, aka that guy in 'Night Of The Lepus', has beamed up to that big sickbay in the sky. The first of many, I'm afraid. The rest of the cast aren't exactly spring chickens. More like spring mayflies, and here it is, summer.
So why care? It's a reminder that, even in our permacultured society, where images play forever in video valhalla, the source of those captured photons remains transient. It's hard to be too sad, though, since his career was behind him. When Jim Henson died, it depressed me tremendously, because he still had decades worth of stories to tell.
Nonetheless, I intend to have cell-repairing nanobots scurrying around my cells, keeping me around long enough to hear people whine about the Y10K problem.('Lazy programmers only used 4 digits for a date!')
1/1/1999:More Y2K:Why do so many people -- many of whome should know better -- really believe, or want to believe, that Western Civilization, such as it is, will die precisely 365 days from now? I think it's because the reality of changing society -- whatever your vision of what that change needs to be -- is slow, painful, full of compromise and misstep and error. So much nicer, so much cleaner, so much faster, if it could all be swept away, if the old order would just collapse in a single day of rage, a single night of fire. Then, with the detritus cleaned away, we could just build whatever utopia it is we imagine, without having to deal with the continuity of history and society, without having to build our new house out of the same human bricks and mortar which composed the old one.
Or maybe it's just the same reason people gawk at traffic accidents.
1/1/99:Great Headlines Department:From the New York Times:Microsoft Files Suit Against Texans . As it turns out, they're only suing two of them. Damn. I was figuring they'd sue the whole state, possibly for being Texan. (Which if it isn't a tort, should be!) Ah well.
1/1/99:I'm supposed to make predictions, right? Pfaugh. Everyone does it, the whole 'look back with disgust, look forward with hope' shtick. Shrug. I've made no pretense of originality. Predictions, ho!
I could write about many things, and I've been meaning to. I could write about the imbecelic CDA II, which looks like a shoe-in to be signed into law by a man who has probably succeeded in marketing cigars to non-smokers. I could write about 'The Divine Right Of Stagnation', currently being enforced in San Francisco in order to 'protect' neighborhoods from 'undesireables' (which in SF, are not blacks, jews, gays, or hispanics, but Starbucks). I could write about how the problem with kids today is that they aren't selfish enough. And I may yet write essays on any or all of those topics, but for now...
For now I shall mourn the passing of yet another part of my childhood, and I don't mean my pet goldfish Mr. Spock. (Who died many many years (20? More?) ago by suicide. We found him behind the TV, having leapt from the tedium of his bowl-bound existence like a piscine Heaven's Gate cultist.) No, today I learned that Sir Tech software has died.
Those of you looking up from fragging your ten thousandth zombie in Quake, scratching your shaved head and getting your hand caught in your multiple nose-piercings can leave now. Those of you looking at those words in stunned and disbelieving silence, though...join me for a moment of silence at the loss of one of the greatest companies the world has known.
Sir-Tech didn't produce medicines, or housing, or provide food to the hungry. They did something far more important. They made wonders. They turned the stone-knives and bearskins technology of the Apple II computer (for the aforementioned multiply pierced Quake player, that was a computer built by both Apple Steves. Yes, there used to be two of them. The current one is the lesser of the two.) into a world of magic, monsters, and heart-stopping terror (when you realized your character disk had been sitting on the TV). They created....Wizardry.
Wizardry, for you simpering weakling who think VGA graphics are 'pretty lame, d00d', was a marvel. It ran in 48K of RAM (K. Not M. K.) and used the full, glorious specturm of Apple II Hi-Res graphics -- all four colors. (Six, if you consider 'black' and 'white' to be 'colors') The dungeon was a wireframe of white lines filling perhaps a quarter of the screen, and the monster were small, static images which bore, to be blunt, only a slight resemblance to what the text claimed them to be. You mapped with pencil and graph paper, and were often lost. You had no save-game while in the dungeon;if you died while exploring, your entire party, which might represent weeks of work, was lost forever. (Which is why you had to be quick on the 'reset' button and know the 'recover party' trick). No onscreen help, no hint books, no cheat codes (unless you count the infamous 'Bishop Bug'), no overly-stacked bimbettes leaping from chasm to chasm, not even a single NPC to talk to.
It was wonderful. And spawned the Wizardry series which, unlike a certain Britannian competitor, has not had one dud. And Wizardry Eight was, after six long years, approaching shipping...now, no more.
Another gone. Byte. Infocom. Sir-Tech. Origin? The real Origin died long ago, to be replaced by a soulless parody of itself.
It's odd. Before coming in to my computer room, logging on, and reading the news, I was pondering how little I felt like I was 33. Now, though, I wonder if I will ever be able to feel that I'm not.
9/05/98:Some Advice For Females Posting Personals On The Net:
I have, for the usual reason, begun perusing Internet personals. I will now offer some advice to females posting them. (I am not being sexist, I just haven't read personals posted by males, so I don't know how bad those are. Pretty horrid, I'd expect.)
9/05/98:Oh, gods, more Monica....I suppose I am know a true commentator/pundit;I've devoted three headings to something I absolutely do not care about, just so I can tell you all how little I care about it. I will say that I am now sympathetic to Clinton, solely because Senator Lieberman is opposed to him. If Senator Lieberman announced his support for unrestrained wild sex at all hours of the day, I'd commit celibacy. (Commit? Declare? Certainly not 'practice'. It's not being celibate that takes effort. Unless, of course, you're Clinton.)
In any event, we have so many spectacles going on that it's hard to decide which is more repugnant. We have the Democrats, such as "my" Congresscritters, Boxer and Feinstein, talking about how 'disappointed' and 'shocked' they are. Do they expect us to believe that they believed that Slick Willie wasn't sticking his...er...willie...anywhere he could? If they did in fact believe his transparent denials, doesn't that mean they are too stupid to be allowed to hold elected office? There is a 'too stupid' clause in the Constitution, isn't there?
And then, on the opposite side of the "Dumb-o-crats" (Hey, now that Rush Limbaugh is fading from the scene, there is a niche open for overopinionated commentators who make up stupid and obvious terms like that and think they're clever for doing so), we have the "Repugnantcans", who are doing their patented "Where's The Outrage?" dance. We have William "I Am The Moral Judge Of America, Buy My Book" Bennett claiming that Clintons behavior sets a bad example for our children. What behavior, precisely? Monica is an adult. Clinton is an adult. They had consensual sex. Two adults mutually consenting to give each other pleasure is a 'bad example'? (I could use some of those examples in my own life!) Yes, he lied about it on TV. Find me a politician who hasn't lied about something. I'd much rather have them lying about who they're screwing literally than about who (whom?) they're screwing metaphorically. As the saying goes, at least Monica got kissed first...
7/20/98:Teen Virgins and Journalistic Idiots
I got that moronic 'teen virgins' thing in my mail some two weeks ago, claiming to be from some right-wing nuts urging opposition to this 'filth'. It was soooooo transparently a hoax that I didn't even bother looking at the site -- the old "This is sinful, we must shut this down!" type of spam for porn sites is a ludicrous farce. I figured it was a banner farm page, and every imbecile who checked it out would get a screen full of pop-up windows and the owners of the page would get twenty cents. Then I saw apparently serious AP articles covering it. What the smeg is WRONG with the media? Do you have to have your brains surgically removed to get a job as a reporter?
And, of course, it has now been 'officially' declared a hoax. In other shocking news, tensions flare in the Mideast, a rock star is involved in a drug bust, and the Pope denounces sin.
And reporters hold conferences and conduct Serious Meetings wondering why people don't trust the press any more. Here's why:
Boy. That felt good.
6/24/98:Lizard Shocks The World
This is a bit long for a Rant, but it's too short and too topical for an essay. Shrug.
I'm about to do something shocking. I'm about to not blame the government for something.
As anyone who has browsed my site is aware, I will happily blame anything I can on the government --war, poverty, famine, the heartbreak of psoriasis, teletubbies, what have you. But, contrary to popular reports, I do not do this out of knee-jerk anti-government reflexes, but out of honesty -- the government is to blame for all those things,and many more.
But there's at least one looming quasicalamity which the government ought not to be blamed for, and that's the Y2K problem, at least as it impacts non-government computers.
The usual suspects -- the 'Republi' half of the Reublicrat party (the only party in our one-party system) -- are fixing to blame anything which might go wrong, computer-wise, on 1/1/2000 on Al 'Coffee Table' Gore, being as he's said one or two pro-computer things in his day. This, naturally, make it his fault that bugs in code written in 1957 weren't fixed. According to the Republicans, you see, the government hasn't 'done enough' to fix the problem.
Eh? What the smeg were they supposed to do -- send in teams of Code Gestapo to check every line of code? Pass ten thousand regulations? Make us all program in ADA? I know that it seems less and less like it every day, but we still live in a free, capitalist society -- and that means that if a company screws up and doesn't keep its' systems working, it's the fault of the company, not the government! The government isn't supposed to try to run private businesses. It doesn't send in accountants to make sure there's no bookkeeping problems or marketing experts to help with sales. If a business fucks up, the business goes belly-up -- that's the free market, and it works, and that's that.
Trying to pin blame for corporate short-sightedness and irresponsibility on the government not interfering enough would be hilarious, if they were kidding. They aren't. The allegedly 'pro business' Republicans are planning on blaming the allegedly socialist Democracts for not being socialist enough!
At last, I understand why my career as a writer of fantasy and science fiction has never actually happened. My visions of unaging cursed warriors, cities built on the backs of gargantuation floating sky-fish, and the Earth encased in hundreds of concentric spheres, each housing a unique ecosystem, are far too mundane and pedestrian next to the unrealities of life in the waning days of the 20th century.
One of the great ones is dead, and, no, I don't mean Frank Sinatra. BYTE magazine, probably the first home-computer magazine, is no more. Its last issue will be in July, and there is some mumbling of 'revitalizing' it later on -- which means tearing out its soul. I guarantee you, the 'revitalization' will not have Jerry Pournelle failing to reconfigure his computer every issue, nor will it have covers featuring Viking longships with floppy-disk sails. (OK, they dropped those cool covers over a decade ago. They still resonate.)
I remember reading BYTE sometime in the early 80s, before I even owned my first computer. I admit to being fascinated by it even though I didn't understand everything in it. It was akin to reading a magazine from the future -- the words were mostly in English, but the things discussed were alien. This was the days of 16K, tape-drive, green-screen machines, but Byte was always looking one step ahead, and reading it was a view to a future that might or might not materialise, but was sure fun to think about. Even the current issue discusses quantum computing, chips in which bits are not on or off, but both concurrently.
So another one bites the dust. (Note I didn't say 'bytes'. You owe me.) I've often maintained that print will die, and the current great extinction in computer magazines is just the first step. There is no way for print to match the immediacy and power of the net, just as there was no way for wandering bards to compete with the daily press. Once there's a computer you can comfortably take to the bathroom with you, print wll be no more.
Warren "Pinko" Beatty(sp) has a new movie out, which critics are praising for its 'daring' and 'controversy'. In it, he states that politicians pretty much do the bidding of the people who fund their campaigns and don't care about the 'little people'. This, apparently, is 'daring' and 'controversial'. (Oh yeah -- he also 'raps'. Get it? A 60 year old white guy doing rap! Ha ha! It's funny, you see, 'cause, like, most rappers are, well, young and not white. So it's funny. Get it?)
(Prediction:Godzilla will stomp all over this movie at the box office, leading to a predictable round of teeth-gnashing about how 'serious' and 'important' movies are 'censored' by a lot of Hollywood special-effects gimmickry.)
Perhaps next year, he will make a 'daring' and 'controversial' film in which he states that puppy dogs and kittens are cute, water is wet, and that Alaska, overall, is colder than Texas.
Is there a single person left in American who DOESN'T know the entire political system is a sham? Why is it considered 'controversial' to state what is common knowledge to every American old enough to grasp the concept of 'politics' at all?
5/25/98:Go go, Godzilla!
I've said lots of controversial things. I've said that babies aren't all that precious. I've said we should let people starve in the gutters if that's what they deserve. I've said we should legalise all drugs, all sex, and most rock-n-roll. But what I'm about to say might stretch the boundaries of even my outlandish ouvre. (Isn't that French for eggs?)
I liked 'Godzilla'.
Directed by those Independance Day and Stargate dudes, and starring Matt Broderick as Jeff Goldblum, 'Godzilla' delivers precisely what it promised to deliver:A great big lizard stomping all over New York. (I ought to sue them for filiming my life story) Anyone who expected more from this, including, oh, plot of characterization, is simply going to the wrong movie.
The special effects are astonishing. We've seen some amazing things in recent years -- mile-wide spaceships hovering over Manhattan, genetically engineered dinosaurs come to life, tidal waves, cows caught up in twisters, entire worlds blown to bits -- but Godzilla features a triumph of the imagineers art, a creation which looks totally real on-screen but which could never exist in reality.
A likeable Frenchman.
Oh yeah, the big lizard is pretty well done, too.
5/20/98:Why do I bother?
From ABCs new fall lineup...
Wouldn't it be interesting to live in a world in which, having fought endless battles for the right to be daring, to be shocking, to be controversial, to say something *worth* *saying*, without fear of being imprisoned, tortured, or executed, people actually USED that right?
I think it's the final one which really got to me. I can just see the executives, wearing suits that cost more than I make in a month, huddled over drinks with little umbrellas in them, talking. "You see, JR, there's these twins, see, but get this -- get this -- They have different personalities!!!" "My God, BD, that's just so brilliant! How do you do it?"
There are times when I think the best thing that could happen to America, in the long run, is for it to be invaded. Unfortunately, there's no one up to the task.
2/5/98:Karla Faye Tucker:For once, someone other than I has the ultimate statement on an issue. You can blame my friend Ken for this one:"One less axe-murderer and one-less Born Again Christian. Two for the price of one!" I wish I'd said it first, but I didn't. Credit where credit is due.
2/5/98:More on ZippergateNo one cares. And this is a good thing.
Back in the days of the Dole campaign, Dole kept saying "Where is the outrage?" Being a doddering and out of step old fool, he couldn't understand why there wasn't more of a public outcry over Clinton's philandering and money-laundering. He grew up in an age when kissing the wrong man would get you run out of town on a rail, when the slightest hint of impropriety was a social and sometimes legal death sentence. What he failed to grasp was that modern society is not less moral than the paleolithic culture he came of age in, but rather, more moral. The collective yawn over whether Clinton did or did not bonk Lewinsky is evidence of a welcome, positive change in the moral code of our society.
We are much less hypocritical.
We all do it. What is it? Everything. Lie. Cheat. Steal. Hate. Envy. Gluttony. Having Other Gods Before Me, You name it, we do it, and we know everyone else does it too. So why start making a big fuss over it when it's done by someone else? Why condemn Clinton for doing what anyone else married to Hillary would also have done? Is it going to raise our taxes? Weaken our army? Do anything that will have any material impact on the nation as a whole? No. So what's the fuss? No one cares, except Republicans and the media, and the Republicans only care because it's payback for Packwood. (I think he was a Republican, honestly, I don't keep track of these things...)
I can't defend Clinton as a politician or as a human being. But there's far better things to condemn him for than who he's sleeping with. (Oh yeah, according to some of the more...amusing...people I'm in unfortunate email contact with, the entire Lewinsky scandal is a Jewish Plot TM to force Clinton to bomb Iraq. Uh-HUH. And the SWC is worried these people are too slick and convincing in their presentation?)
1/22/98:Roe v. Wade Anniversary:Let's not mince words here. A woman has as much right to remove an unwanted fetus from her body as she does a tapeworm. No one is ever obliged to support someone else against their will. Furthermore, of course, a fetus isn't 'someone else' -- at best, it's a potential human. The rights of an actual human trump the rights of a potential human, every time.
Proof? Simple. Let us begin with one undeniable fact -- a single cell is not a human being. It has no mind, no senses, no nothing -- it's a cell. Let us end with a questionable fact -- a newborn baby is a human being. Clearly, there is a transition between non-human and human. When does this occur? When the higher brain functions come 'on line', around the end of the 6th month of gestation. Prior to that, it is a non-human parasite.
1/22/98:"Clinton Probe Grows Larger"That was the headline on CNN. (g) The issue, to my mind, isn't that he bonked someone per se -- I mean, if you were married to Hilary, wouldn't you? What's wrong is his lack of self-control and his apparent ignorance that people watch what the President does very closely. It shows poor judgement, and that sort of poor judgement isn't what I want in a man who can launch nuclear missiles. It's not the sex, it's the irresponsibility which bothers me.
1/10/98:Kennedy, Bono, et al:Lizard proposes buying every politician a pair of skis. Nuff said.
12/16/97:Big Brother Is Back, And He's Wearing a Yamulke:Once again, it appears that the Jews have failed to learn from history. We are a people of scholars. Books are sacred to us. It was only our love of writing, our near-worship of the printed word, which enabled us to preserve our culture through two millenia of unceasing persecution. For a Jew to be a book-burner is as indecribably wrong as for a woman to be anti-abortion or a black to be pro-slavery. Yet, somehow, they keep cropping up.
The latest outrage -- and I do mean outrage, as in, "I want to go out and rage about it", comes from the Anti-Defamation League, as usual committing the sort of acts which are, in my opinion, grossly defamatory -- as bigots might think I agree with them. In this case, they've teamed up with the people who decided my site was unsuitable for children, namely, Cyberpatrol, to create a 'special' (as in "He's a special child") version of their Censorware product, one which incorporates the ADL's list of naughty sites. This in itself would not be sufficient to drive me into my usual frothing frenzy. However, they are going one step beyond the normal 'block' of sites featuring non-ADL approved ideas. If you dare to type in the address of a 'bad' site, you will be bounced to the ADL home page, in order that you may learn the 'correct' way to think. "You are guilty of thoughtcrime, citizen! You will be instructed in goodthink now!".
If this were a purely private matter, I'd shrug it off as a 'let the suckers put their own eyes out' phenomenon. But Cyberpatrol is increasingly being used by schools and libraries. So let me make this perfectly clear:Your tax dollars are being used to compel people to go to an 'approved' site when they seek out 'unapproved' information. Imagine if you went to the library, asked for a copy of 'Mein Kampf', and were instead given an ADL tract on the evils of racism? You would be grossly offended and outraged at the implication that you were incapable of judging for yourself the rightness or wrongness of the ideas you wished to explore, right? So why tolerate it when it's on the computer? The ADL is here, and Cyberpatrol is here. Contact them and let them know what you think about their twisted and censorious alliance.
12/16/97:That sow in Kansas, or Kentucky, or whatever:As if we didn't have enough inbred Midwestern goobers on the planet, she has to squeeze out, what was it? Seven of them? And no one has the courage to point out what a grotesque waste of resources that it. Look people, it's quite simple:The fewer people on the planet, the more there is for each of us! You don't have to be some birkenstock-wearing, Unabomber-quoting eco-freak to see the basic selfish logic of population control! Yeesh.
10/1/97:'Voluntary' TV Ratings:I find the current sordid mess over 'voluntary' ratings to be delightfully repulsive. During my many years on the net, I have been told, time and again, by those of a more 'compassionate' and 'socially conscious' bent than I, that the FCC was vitally necessary, not merely for the mundane task of assigning frequencies, but also for forcing Evil Corporate Media to 'serve the public interest'. Any government controls over station ownership, market saturation, etc, were all perfectly justified under this never-defined rubric. And how could it be defined? If one logically defined 'the public interest' as 'things the public was interested in', then, PBS and NPR would have been off the air decades ago. But, no, 'the public interest' is a beautifully meaningless term. It means whatever those in power say it means.
And now the liberals are out of power, the cultural conservatives are in, and THEY are defining 'the public interest' -- and that means ratings and censorship, all 'to serve the greater good'.
You built the regulatory monster, liberals -- don't whine now that he's turned on you. Brother, you asked for it.
9/5/95 Mother Theresa, BIH: While I had no great love for Diana, I also had no great hatred for her -- given that she was born into a life which offered very few choices, despite wealth I cannot imagine, she still tried to enjoy herself and didn't unduly harm others -- I cannot ask more from anyone, regardless of who they are. But Mother Theresa, on the other hand...
This was a woman who devoted her life to causing suffering. No, that's not a typo. I said 'causing', and I mean it. She worked endlessly and ceaselessly to keep the women of India pregnant and downtrodden. She fought every effort to teach birth control, every effort to offer abortion services to the poor and helpless. Thanks to her work, uncounted thousands of suffering, miserable, hopeless people are alive today who, had she not been around, would never have been conceived. Because of her, there are more mouths to feed, more downtrodden, ignorant, and oppressed women to breed more starving babies, with little end in site. She defined herself by her 'compassion', and so, devoted her existence to making sure there would be an endless stream of the suffering and the wretched for her to exercise that compassion upon.
Undoubtedly, some few dozen 'brilliant' editorialists will show a lot of pictures of 'Sainted' Mother Theresa grubbing in the filth, and a lot of pictures of Diana doing the jet-set thing, and whine about how come one is so much more worthy than the other, etc ad nauseum. But Diana, as near as I can tell, never caused anyone any misery. She was wealthy when others were not, she had millions while others starved, but she never went out of her way to increase the suffering of the world, and made at least some effort, however calculated it might have been, to alleviate it. The worst you can say about her, if you consider charity a virtue, is that she didn't help enough, given her power and influence, but how much you choose to help others, if you choose to help them at all, is wholly a matter of personal preference and not something to judge someone by. She never acted to harm others, and that's more than you can say about Mother Theresa.
8/31/98 Princess Diana, RIP:Where was I when I heard Princess Di was dead? Watching "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed Up Zombies". No special significance in that, but it's the truth of it. Some of you may wonder why I'm venturing so far out of my usual range of topics (which are:Why censorship is bad, why democracy is bad, and why greed is good) to cover this. I mean, it's a bit mainstream, eh?
Maybe, but, as with my Jurassic Park rant, it's an excuse to vent on an issue which has irked me for a long time. Currently, there's lot of screaming about the photographers who, it seems, literally hounded Di to her death. "Something must be done!", and, of course, 'something' means laws. But (assuming the early reports are true and the accident was the result of an attempt to avoid the photogs), who is really to blame here?
If you're one of the drooling goobers who reads "The National Enquirer" or "People" or who watches "Hard Copy", you are. (You're also really lost on the Information Superhighway, to have ended up here.)
As we ought to have learned from the futile and unncessary 'War On (some) Drugs', as we ought to have learned from Prohibition, if there is a demand for a thing, there are those who will supply it. The masses running out to lay flowers and wreathes in front of Buckingham Palace, who are wondering how this could have occured, who want to punish the papparazzi(sp), etc, have no one to blame but themselves. They are the ones who fed the jackals. The only reason a photo of Di is worth thousands to a photographer is that there are millions who will pay good money to see it. If you stop feeding the wolves, they'll starve, or go into some more reputable line of work like making porno movies. You are the ones who hired -- by your continual purchase of their wares -- the wolfpack to chase her down. They were your employees, your agents, your representatives. You hired them, and they did the job you hired them to do. You are as guilty, if not more guilty, than they.
And I want to know...why? Why do you even care about Diana, or Jackie, or Elizabeth Taylor, or Michael Jackson, or any of the others? What kind of hollow, pathetic, useless lives do you have, that it matters to you who people you will never meet -- people who are utterly and blissfully unaware you exist -- are sleeping with?
I mean, I'm a drooling fanboy goober myself. But I'm concerned with the aspects of things that are actually going to have some effect, however trivial, on my life, or, at the least, my entertainment budget. Ahr-nuld is going to star in a remake of 'Planet Of The Apes'? Cool! (Also, probably true. Gah.) Ahr-nuld gained 10 pounds last month? Who the hell cares? Apparently, a lot of people. WHY?
8/31/98 UPS Strike: This is one of those things I really should have written while it was still topical, because now it looks like I waited before tossing out an opinion. We would-be pundits need to be more on the ball. Anyway, my take on it is now, and was then:Everyone is/was within their rights. No one is obliged to work -- workers are not slaves. An individual employee has a right to quit a job and seek greener pastures, and a voluntarily formed union has a right to go on strike. And, likewise, employers have a right to seek to replace those workers, or to offer a new deal -- whichever is going to be more economically efficient. Often, dealing is the wisest course of action, from a purely bottom-line perspective, and that's how it should be.
What bothers me is the attempt to 'spin' the story by dicussing the effects of the strike on small business (who we are still allowed to care for, unlike Big Business, which is, of course, Evil Incarnate. Moral:If you are a good businessman and take your business from small to large, you're evil. If you're a lousy businessman and never expand, you're good. What a thing to teach the kiddies.). But such effects are irrelevant. No one got a job at UPS thinking, "Boy, I want to help small business." They took the jobs because they wanted to get paid, and this was the best price they could get for the worth of their labor (And the top end is 23 dollars an hour, which ain't hay.). The motive of the workers, properly, is their own enrichment, and if they calculated they could get more money by a strike, then, they ought to strike. No one works for the benefit of another, or rather, no one should. A worker in a factory, or a business, or UPS, is there for the paycheck he collects -- not to enrich his boss or provide a service to the public. You must do those things, of course, in order to earn your pay, but that's not what ought to motivate you. Bottom-line thinking isn't only for managers and stockholders -- everyone, from the top to the bottom, ought to think of their own interests (which are not always purely monetary) first, and I am not going to condemn workers for doing just that. (Certainly, there was some union sleaziness as a parallel to it, involving pension funds, but that's another issue.)
4/2/97:Heaven's Gate. Another classic non-story. Thrity nine dead more or less won't be a blip in the annual death toll in this country;hell, it's about average for LA. But there was an Internet angle (at this point in time, it would be news if there wasn't an Internet angle) so the predictable brouhaha went up about 'cyber cults preying on your CHILDREN!!!!'. The fact that none of the dead loons were even close to being children is not to be mentioned in polite company, of course. Ditto the fact that the dominant religion in this country (Christianity, that is. The dominant religion is not money, though of course I wish it was. Mammon is a far kinder god than Yahweh.) also holds that upon death, you shed your earthly vessel and join God in the heavens. But did one mainstream news source point this out? Even on Easter, the time when the Christians celebrate their Lord arising from the dead? Of course not. Spineless idiots. And, today, of course, we have the shocking news that the HG folks had an "arsenal". Five rifles and a few handguns. You call that an arsenal? For thirty-nine people? Sheesh, I've got a half dozen friends with more guns than that just for their own amusement.
The sooner the Old Media finally dies, the better. And speaking of media idiocies...
4/2/97 JonBenet (or whatever the hell her name is). Short take:I'd confess to the killing myself, if it meant I never had to see another insufferably cute picture of her again. Medium length take:Yes, it's tragic when a child dies, but given her upbringing, she only lost about ten years -- she'd likely have drugged or drunk herself to death long before her 18th birthday. Longer take:OK, people. I'm not one to drag out the race card, nor do I like to go off about 'institutional racism', but I'm willing to lay odds that in the umpteen weeks the deceased moppet has been hogging the tabloid headlines, at least a dozen other six year olds have been murdered -- and I'm also willing to lay odds they were poor, dark-skinned, had names with too many or too few vowels, and thanks to childhood malnourishment and just plain poverty, were not nearly as cute and photogenic. So they don't count, right?
Wouldn't it be nice to hear, say, Rupert Murdoch just come out and confess, "We only care about child murders if the victim is white, blonde, and there's an incest angle we can use. Otherwise, who gives?" Yeah. And wouldn't it be nice if I won 36 million in the lottery today. (I didn't buy a ticket. That only reduces my odds by a tiny amount.)
4/2/97 Cloning:I want to take a phone survey. I want to call up Joe Average, and ask him, "Do you oppose cloning?" And after he says yes, I want to ask him, "Do you think fertility drugs, which often cause twins or triplets to be born, should be banned?" And after he says no, I want to ask him if he has the slightest clue what a 'clone' is. And as long as I'm wishing, I'd like a pony. (Bill Watterson is alive, but retired. 50/50.)
Has anyone here ever seen such a feeding frenzy of media stupidity? (OK, yeah. Last week. And the week before that. And the week before that. And...) All of it carefully avoiding any background, context, or information that would enable people to understand that a clone is just a time-delayed identical twin, and that cloning Saddam Hussein, or Bill Clinton, or anyone else would simply give the planet one more human being with no more predisposition to be a tyrannical madman or a two-faced liar than anyone else. (Which, I suppose, is an argument not so much against cloning, but birth. But I digress.) And then we had Kirkpatrick Sale, the luddite who relies on the advanced technology needed to print and distribute the New York Times to get his views out, praising Clinton for signing an 'anti-cloning' bill, claiming this proved Americans were sick of scientists acting on their own without properly consulting the people, or some such drivel. No, Kirkie-baby. It proved Americans are braindead twits, which is probably the only reason you've managed to earn a living this long. (BTW, if it wasn't for the technology you despise, you'd have keeled over long ago, so do us all a favor and off yourself, 'kay? And take Jerry Rifkin with you.)
Cloning is a non-issue. It has no, nada, zero, zip, nil, zilch moral or ethical implications. Genetic engineering does have some, but that's not cloning. And in terms of impact on society, the announcement a few days ago of the creation of artificial chromosomes is lot more important than the announcement of a cloned sheep. But is that making screaming headlines? Of course not. You'd need to explain what a chromosome is first, and that takes too long.
I will confess, though, there is one argument against cloning which I hadn't considered, but which is quite valid -- nothing good can come of Scotsmen doing strange things with sheep.
4/20/97 Tobacco companies and lawsuits Well, the big news most of last week was that tobacco companies admitted that cigarettes are addictive and deadly. This is about as meaningful as the Catholic Church admitting, sometime only a few decades ago, that Galileo was right. In other words, when something is completely common knowledge, who cares?
But this is important for another reason -- it puts Uncle Scam in a bind. The idiotic 'war on drugs' is predicated on the 'harmful' nature of whatever drugs the Government decides are harmful. Tobacco is one of the most harmful drugs known, and now even the people that make it admit it. This means either tobacco becomes illegal, or the utter idiocy and hyopcrisy of the "War On Some Drugs" becomes obvious even to that borderline mental deficient known as the American Voter.
Really, people -- is there anyone out there who didn't know tobacco was bad for you? Why the smeg couldn't the tobacco companies have said all along, "Yeah, we're selling something that will kill you. So is McDonalds. So is Ford. You don't like it, don't buy it. Now, bugger off." It would be nice, wouldn't it? To see at least one major corporate executive with a spine?
So what is Uncle Sammy going to do? Continue to permit the legal sale of a drug which everyone, even the people who make it, admit is deadly, resulting in a rethinking of the expensive and ineffectual "War On Drugs"? Or criminalize it, resulting in skyrocketing crime rates, the transformation of millions of law-abiding citizens into instant lawbreakers, and the destruction of the few scraps of the Bill of Rights we have left intact?
Duh. Like that one's so hard to figure out.
5/2/97 -- Volunteerism I'm sure you've all seen the spectacle of our three surviving, more-or-less not senile ex-Presidents, one ex-not-quite-Presidential-candidate, and one sadly-not-ex-President blithering on about how Americans should go out and 'volunteer'. A lot of duck-billed platitudes about the joys of slavish devotion to duty were spewed forth, to be sucked up and regurgitated by a submissive press. And, of course, not one voice was raised in dissent.
Well, someone has to say it, then.
THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES!!!!
Can there be anything more nauseating that watching people prattle on about servitude, as if it were a thing to be embraced rather than a horror to be avoided? How can anyone who allegedly lives in a civilized society talk of 'duty' and 'service' as goals to be striven for? This country was built on selfishness and greed, not a lot of feel-good claptrap about 'service to society'.
Powell was just on the telly a few minutes ago. He was going on about the American Dream, and about how our poor, disaffected youth will not embrace same unless someone 'gives them a hand'. He then said something along the lines of "I'm here to tell you, America cares!"
I'm here to tell you, Colin -- I don't.
Of course, Slick Willie, a former resident of Airstrip One, knows his Newspeak well. He has championed 'mandatory volunteerism' for teens, forcing teenagers to do work deemed to make them 'socially responsible'. It's worth noting that the same people who would consider hiring someone to pick up trash in a McDonalds parking lot at minimum wage to be 'exploitation' consider making a teenager pick up trash by a roadside at no wage to be 'progressive'. The evil of this concept is almost beyond words.
Ask not what you can do for your country -- ask what you can do for yourself!
5/3/97 --UnSAFE at any speed (Sorry about the title, but I did avoid using 'Send in the Clones' above, so give me a break.)
Liberals are like victims of abusive spouses.
No matter how many times someone is beaten by their spouse, no matter how evil or abusive they are, the victim tends to continue to return, only to be beaten again. Very often, the cycle of abuse doesn't end until one of them is dead.
No matter how many times Uncle Sam tells them to drop their trousers, grab their ankles, and never mind the vaseline, liberals keep running back to him.
He's done it to them again. The 'Pro-SAFE' bill, allegedly designed to loosen antiquated encryption laws and guarantee the right to arbitrarily strong encyption without key escrow, actually tightens encrpytions laws, places limits on domestic use of encryption that never previously existed, and grants law enforcement the right to seize your keys. The numerous free-speech organizations which had packed the bill, such luminaries as the EFF,VTW, and CDT, have been royally and totally screwed, and are standing around in a dither trying to figure out whether to fish or cut bait. A few of them are still in a state of denial, saying "It's not that bad" and "We don't think this will be abused." Yeah, and the CDA will only be used to go after people who try to pick up ten year old girls in chat rooms.
I'm not going to recommend you write your congresscritter or any other such twaddle -- why go begging Uncle Scam to not pass legislation he has no moral authority to pass in the first place?
5/15/97 -- Late Term Abortions
In the news today, the American Architects Association discussed neurosurgery procedures, the NBA Players League argued about the merits of C++ vs. Java in client/server environments, a group of Nobel Prize winning biochemists advised Detroit on the best way to build car engines -- and Congress argued over when a medical procedure was, and was not, necessary.
What the hell is wrong with those people?
Come on, Congresscritters -- you've got a cushy job guaranteed for at least 2/6 years, depending -- why continue to try to act like you need to do anything to keep it, and furthermore, why is it you always raise the most stink about issues you a)have no clue on, and, b)shouldn't even be involved with anyway?
As a moral issue, abortion is a wash. A fetus is a parasite growing inside a possibly unwilling host body. There is no more moral distinction between the removal of a fetus and the removal of a tapeworm. (Quick note to PETA-types -- how do you feel about removing tapeworms? Don't they have rights, too?) I've never grasped why people consider such a Big Question -- if they think a fetus is a human being, then, they can not have abortions. It's simple.
Conservatives and liberals alike are hyopcritical scum on this issue (and many others). Conservatives won't let a fetus be aborted -- but will let a baby starve or, even worse, grow up abused, unwanted, and unloved. Liberals think a woman has a choice to have the baby or not -- but if she chooses to have it, I have no choice but to be taxed to support it. My body, my bank account, my choice!
5/13/97 -- Unabomber hearings, and other bombs First off, as a programmer and wannabe Technocrat, I'd be quite happy to see the Unabomber (who may or may not be, but probably is, Ted KazIcan'tspellthat), die a slow and painful death, preferably by being forced to read his own manifesto and explain all the logical flaws in it. The real issue is, why does the government want the same thing? Let's face it, folks, as 'terrorists' go, the Unabomber is a wimp. Twenty years and only THREE deaths? He'd be kicked out of any street gang for gross underperformance. Three deaths? That's diddly-squat in this day of plane hijackings, car bombs, and nerve gas in subways. (Typical luddite, can't even kill right.)
So given that, as a threat to Life, Limb, And Property, the Unabomber is somewhat less dangerous than soap in bathtubs, why such a fuss? What else is there to this? Anyone have a clue why the government is making such a fuss over someone who is, really, a very minor criminal? Lock him up, throw away the key, and make appropriate clucking sounds when he dies in a 'tragic incident' a year or two from now.
Meanwhile, over in the Oklahoma City bombing trial, we have a somewhat different mess. Again, the evidence that McVeigh did the deed is pretty strong, though it's more than likely someone was pulling his string behind the scenes. Be that as it may, almost all the testimony thus far seems to be about establishing that a large building in Okalahoma City went 'boom' about two years ago, and that explosions are very unpleasant things to be caught in. Duh. The governments aim here is a lot clearer than it is in the Unabomber trial -- to get the jurors so emotionally distraught over the tragedy that they'll be desperate to convict anyone, just to get some illusion of justice, and not look too hard at the evidence.
As a final note, you'll note that because McVeigh attended one 'militia' meeting (from which he was booted for being such an obvious nutcase/agente provocateur) anyone who thinks that maybe the Federal Government has overreached its authority just a tad is smeared as a 'bomb throwing terrorist'. Meanwhile, the far closer ties between the Unabomber Suspect and ivory-tower luddites are ignored.
5/29/97 Flinn, Kelly, not Errol, though he did a lot of that sort of stuff too:Just one thing, quick and dirty -- if the Air Force (or any branch of the military) kicked out everyone who ever bonked anyone they didn't have a government liscence to bonk, the bloody Canadians could overrun the country in two days flat. 'Nuff said.
5/29/97 The Lost World, Greenwashing, and All That:Amusingly enough, "The Lost World" was less of a ripoff of the previous movie than Crichton's novel was of the previous novel, which is sort of akin to saying that death by firing squad beats death by breaking on the wheel. The FX, of course, are awesome, but that sort of goes without saying. What's interesting (well, not really, but it gives me an excuse to spew on a subject that's bothered me for a long while while claiming I'm writing about 'current events') is the marked ludditism in a movie which is only made possible by the most advanced technology humanity has yet produced. If it were someone other than Spielberg, I'd consider that maybe it was irony or deconstructionism or one of those other liberal arts major words, but in this case, I think Steven never grasped the contradiction. (Liberals aren't good at grasping contradictions, like the fact giving money to poor people won't make them less poor, but I digress.)
If this were an isolated case, I'd probably ignore it in favor of fresher meat, but it's not. Really, the trend started with Star Wars, which pushed the technology of 1977 to the limit to deliver the message, "Shut off your computer, Luke, and get in touch with the cosmic oneness." But it wasn't quite so annoying, then, because one could take it as a theme of strength coming from within, not without, etc, and besides, it's Star Wars, and while I'm quite willing to dis patriotism, motherhood, and apple pie, there are still some things which do approach the sacred. Nonetheless, it began the trend, continued in such films as "Terminator II", where the first film to make major use of CGI characters delivered the message "Computers are bad and science is evil", then the original "Jurassic Park", which was a multi-billion-dollar marketing machine with the message, "Marketing is evil", and, finally, we have "The Lost World", a soulless, spiritless, exploitive sequal whose message is that soulless, spiritless, exploiters will become dino-kibble.
What makes the irony, such as it is, more profound is that Spielberg is evidently a target of some publicity-hungry LA-area environmentalists who object to him building on what is, in essence, a vacant lot in the middle of a highly urbanized area. Spielberg makes a fortune showing a movie about how evil it is to want to actually do something with a wondrous and miraculous technology, as opposed to just leaving it to rot, whilst and at the same time being condemned for wanting to do something with a piece of unwondrous and unmiraculous land, as opposed to just leaving it to rot. Naturally, he will point to the film as proof of his green 'bona fides' -- as if preaching about something in accordance with the Saturday morning doctrine of the day and actually being willing to inconvenience yourself in the name of your ideals were one and the same thing.
5/29/97:Zaire,Congo, and all the rest.Here's a phrase to translate into a large number of African languages, one which is going to be sadly needed for the next decade or so:"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." The waves of coups and counter-coups are just beginning, and they aren't going to stop. The US was only interested in promoting stability (read:Our dictators) in Africa because the Soviets were doing the same thing with their dictators. Now there are no more Soviets, and the much loathed Uncle Sam no longer has any reason to interfere in the self-determination of native peoples on the African Continent -- so the native peoples of the African continent, like all peoples everywhere, have determined for themselves that they are all going to shoot each other. A lot of people will die, horribly. After the dust has settled and the blood has dried, though, a lot more people are going to be a lot better off than they were.
The 'countries' of Africa, aren't. They're arbitrary lines on a map, drawn by departing colonial powers who had finally discovered that slavery isn't economical in the industrial age and that you'll never recoup the infrastructure investment needed to make colonies profitable. So a dozen or two nations were created, with borders scrawled at random across tribal and cultural boundaries which had existed for centuries, suitable puppets and kleptocrats were put in office, and the game of 'chess with nations as pawns' the US and the USSR played in Asia and Central America continued in Africa. But the USSR kicked the board over, Uncle Sam can't be bothered to pick up the pieces, and people die by the thousands, probably, very soon, by the hundreds of thousands and then by the millions.
And what will emerge? National borders which make sense. Peoples sick and tired of war, sitting on a continent filled with mineral wealth, wanting to turn their energies to economic rather than political struggle. Social systems which evolved out of the needs of the people who live within them, not imposed from outside by people who didn't give a damn about the lives they were ruining.
And what can we do to help this process along? Absolutely nothing.
One thing history has shown is that the only thing to do with groups of people determined to kill each other off is let them keep shooting until the only people left alive are those with the good sense to not get involved in a pointless, futile, war, and the brains or luck to know when to duck. Trying to stop the war just gives them a new enemy -- you -- and they'll forget their millenia old conflicts just long enough to kick you out, then get back to their traditional pasttime of genocide.
It's difficult to read about the needless deaths of innocents, and then advocate a policy of "Let them die". But the past century has shown that every intervention, whether motivated by pretensions of nobility or honest imperialism, has ended up making life worse for those being intervened. The current mess in Africa is a result of assorted Western powers imposing their vision on people with visions of their own, thank you very much. Doing the same thing again just means we'll end up in the same mess in another twenty years.
5/30/97 Legoland located?Totally trivial micromicrorant...I recently saw a box of Lego "City People". One of the 'City People' was (I swear I am not making this up) a woman with a whip.
Clearly, the 'City' that the 'City People' live in is San Francisco.
5/30/97 'The Simpsons' -- Documentary?: On 'The Simpsons', cops are microbrained imbeciles who are more dangerous to the law-abiding citizens of Springfield than to the criminal element. While people like Charlton Heston might threaten to boycott over this, the creators of the program would no doubt insist they are simply engaging in harmless caricature. But then, there is this article from todays AP newsfeed...I've edited as much as I can to preserve 'fair use' while still including the facts:
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- A city that doesn't want police officers with ``too high an IQ'' has been sued by an applicant who was refused a job because of his high score on an intelligence test.
In a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Robert Jordan claims the city of New London discriminated against him based on his intelligence and violated his constitutional rights.
Jordan says Assistant City Manager Keith Harrigan, who oversees hiring for the city, told him: ``We don't like to hire people that have too high an IQ to be cops in this city.''
Jordan scored a 33 on the intelligence exam, described as a short-form IQ test that measures a person's ability to learn and solve problems. Following a policy in place for at least five years, New London police only interviewed candidates who scored from 20 to 27.
I really don't have anything to add to that.
6/28/97 Other Supreme Court decisions:In short, Lizards take on the other decisions the SC handed down.
7/11/97 Oklahoma Coalition of Absolute Fascists does it again!:As scum goes, the OCAF is pretty much bottom of the barrel. I mean, it's like the old joke -- you've got Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Bob Anderson (OCAF President) in a room, and a gun with two bullets. You shoot Anderson twice, just to make sure. In any event, the festering pieces of subhuman filth (apologies extended to subhuman filth everywhere for the comparison) have lately exceeded themselves. They've decided that the Oscar winning 1979 film, "The Tin Drum", is obscene. This would not be a problem in itself, since they think "Please Don't Squeeze The Charmin" is obscene. However, they've managed to convince a 'judge' that it was, and then sent out the cops to go round up every copy of the film...without a warrent or a court order, they got video rental records (a direct violation of Federal Law), and kicked in some doors. ('The Tin Drum' is a film about Nazi Germany, and the cops sent out to aquire it obviously got their training there. Will wonders never cease?) One of the doors they kicked down, however, belonged to a planning director of the ACLU, and while I've had my differences with them, they aren't folk you want to mess with -- not when they're a powerful national organization and you're a piss-ass bunch of Midwest goosesteppers. So the case goes to court. There's a lot of good info on the case at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, which demonstrates that not everyone in Oklahoma is an inbred, brain-damaged goober with a single-digit IQ and the enlightenment of Anthony Comstock. Just 99% of them.
This is expecially relevant because folks like the OCAF and their lower-than-moose-droppings allies were whining all through the CDA debate that everyone knew the difference between 'art' and 'porn', and the CDA would never ever in a million bazillion years be used to go after works of art and literature, just that nasty old dirty 'pornography' that everyone knows when they see it. We now have proof, if any were needed, that the OCAF doesn't know it when they see it, and the days when things like 'Lord Of The Flies' or 'Finnegans Wake' were banned are not at all a relic of the distant past. When the witchhunters are on the prowl, rest assured -- they will find a witch.
The real problem is, as far as I can tell, there's no way to haul the OCAF into court -- it's any citizens right to go whine to the local fuzz about what they see as a violation of the law. It's the fuzz's duty to tell the bluenoses to go fuck themselves. The cops, in this case, failed in that duty, and, while I'm going to enjoy seeing them hung out to dry, the odds are the fines will be minor and the penalties light. I think that censorship is as bad, or worse, than assault, and I'd like to see the cops who did this get smacked upside the head with Rodney King style civil suits. But they won't be, and I'd like to know why.
That's all for now.
Hmmm..."Bye bye, and buy bonds"? No. "Goodnight, and God bless"? Definitely no. "Smeg off and die!"? Nah. "This page will be updated as time, circumstances, and interest permit." Yeah. That'll do.
This page will be updated as time, circumstance, and interest permit.
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