Thursday, September 25, 2003

Never Enough Lucid Explanations Department

Yesterday I was asking why the press was making such a big fuss over Wesley Clark. Thanks to this article on, I now understand why. In short, there is a small clique of Beltway insiders whose loyalties are not to reporting truth, but to reporting what the Democratic Leadership Caucus wants them to report. This also explains why there was so little coverage of Howard Dean until recently, and more, why they are so dismissive of Dean now.

Makes me want to scream, the DLC does. FEH.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Never Enough Realistic Expectations Department

There seems to be a large number of political cartoons and news stories that imply that Gen. Wesley Clark would be the ideal candidate to beat Dubya in 2004.

Perhaps this makes sense, with the media's "all style and no substance" point of view, but I'm just not seeing Presidential material in Clark, not just yet. He needs to be far beefier--ready to talk about issues in depth and with a vision that he can sell to the American people. Right now, he's a charismatic, good looking retired military officer with a number of comfortable homilies and no real direction. Vice President, sure. President? Doubtful.

So who's up for a Dean/Clark ticket?

Never Enough Long March Reports Department

For the three or four people who read this blog and yet do not know about my involvement in the Church of the SubGenius, amongst my other activities is hosting a modest local campout and retreat called Dobbs' Long March. You can find out about other activities by visiting the Yahoo! Group for the Seattle SubGenius Union of Clenches & Crackpots.

I was worried this Long March would be a wash, since I knew a lot of folks wouldn't be able to make it, due to finances, new jobs, "natural" disasters, RULES, and various creative excuses.

It WAS a wash--a wash of slackfulness that could soothe the most hideous iron spike of a headache. For, while there were only eight people there, those eight happened to slide right into a perfect balance of leisure that proved therapeutic despite the chilly nights.

(Note to self: I will have boots to wear next year.)

Special kudos must go to Rev. ElectriKali, her spousal unit Chuck, and her sister the great AuntiKrist. I've never seen anyone bring a microwave oven to a campout before! But more impressively, they brought a wonderful propane assembly that allowed plenty of grilling, boiling, white-lighted awe that kept us all well fed and made me covet with an intensive geekiness I never thought I'd feel for Coleman products.

(Another note to self: I will have propane appliances next year.)

I've also never seen one of those grilling machines at a campout before, praise "Carl", but I must admit I was duly impressed with how fast they can cook a nice, juicy burger or a tender cut of steak. Truly, this was the Cookout March. We got slack AND we got food, and yet nobody was killed, except symbolically, using thin pieces of cardboard with scary monsters. I'm proud to report that Rev. Dr. Big Boy claimed first blood--and LAST blood too! With enough guidance and encouragement, he may well yet become a scheming fiend capable of pulling all wool over all eyes. Or maybe we'll all just blow it off and see Big Boy choose slack over all else.

Oh, I should also mention that Mount Phloighd is no longer being isolated from the rest of the campground. Its defenses have been ripped away, and now anybody can climb up to the top and have a generous sniper's view of the whole campground. No longer will this assemblage of rocks serve as a place of exile, but must now be thrust deeply into our very subconscious as a literal high point of any Long March.

We may slightly adjust the date for next year, but one thing is for certain: The Long March is here for the long haul, and next year's can only be better than the last.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Never Enough Old-School Geekery Department

Computer music? You don't know computer music until you can hear it created with the IBM 1403 Printer.


Friday, September 12, 2003

Never Enough Fond Farewells Department

I got to work this morning to find out that Johnny Cash was dead.

I don't know if people realize how profoundly Johnny Cash has changed our culture and reached out to millions. Back when country music was well on its way to becoming just a commodity of the recording industry, there were only a few rebels who insisted on creating music that could express the beauty and agony of life without compromise. Johnny Cash was one of those rebels, donning black garb while most of his contemporaries were dressed in rhinestones. While he was never really a rock musician, his brash, hellraising attitude--as well as his early Sun Records releases--proved formidable in the shaping of rock and roll. His music was always aimed at the outlaws and the outcasts, the poor of money and the poor of spirit, eager to lift us all up through the power of his songs.

Old legends die so that new ones may be born. I don't know who'll be the next one, or when we'll know, but this loss will fade as a new generation, emboldened by Cash's contributions to the world, rise up and carries off a bit of the darkness on their own backs.

Tonight, I'm buring a candle for Johnny, and then I'm going to play Mojo Nixon's "Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down". If Johnny Cash is still around in some form, I think he'd appreciate it, and cast one last defiant middle finger at the soul-stripping machine before ascending to glory.

Never Enough Space Exploration Department

If you're still unclear about why we bother exploring space in the first place, make sure to read COMMENTARY: this article very carefully. It's not just a matter of getting neat pictures of planets, or even one of national pride. It's a matter of ensuring that humanity has a future. Until this is understood, NASA will not get the money they truly need, and our space program will be whittled down until it is a pitiful joke. Read closely.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Never Enough Unconventional Tributes Department

Most American media seem focused on the 9/11 anniversary. The foreign press are criticizing how Dubya squandered much goodwill by insisting on unilateralism and using military might more than diplomatic nuance. People are on alert for Al-Qaeda or Internet trojans. But in a large sense, today is business as usual.

But I want a nap. Is it so wrong to commemorate this tragedy by curling up under blankets and snoozing for a couple hours? I don't think so! Especially if I feel refreshed and ready to handle all the evils of the world afterwards.

I promise I will vote for the leading Democratic contender, no matter how odious he is to me, if I can just have a nap.


FINE. I'll just drink caffeine and be a hellion for the rest of the day. That'll larn ya. HMMPH.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Never Enough Space Crap-Cutting Department

Ever since the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) released its report, there's been a number of pundits on all sides of the political debate who act as if there is no compelling reason for human beings to be in space. It's as if all was said and done by the end of the Apollo program, and everything else has been a pure waste of tax dollars.

Never mind the myriad numbers of technological wonders that have been possible because of NASA.

Never mind the fact that life on Earth will not last forever, and that we need to start making the first steps off the planet now.

Never mind the urge to explore and discover which has driven Western Civilization for 600 years.

Well, fuck the doubters and their lowered expectations. This is the 21st Century, and implicit in Kennedy's announcement that the US would put a man on the moon within a decade was a firm commitment to space exploration--by humans!--that would outlive the moon program.

If only NASA could have a percent of the budget that the Pentagon enjoys! We'd have permanent bases on Mars and on the Moon, and ships around Jupiter, if only Congress would stop cutting NASA's budget and start adding some true support, rather than pointing fingers every time something goes wrong. Shit, if people were as truly concerned about the potential of losing life when exploring space, then we wouldn't have tolerated a war with Iraq since the potential for lost life would be far greater--not measured as odds or percentages, but as body bags.

It's from that point of view that I really appreciate this essay on the fact that NASA has a well established vision for space exploration, one that is worthy of being backed, and that the nay-sayers should go find something truly worth denigrating as worthless. Like, say, their jobs.