Thursday, November 26, 2020

Here's a Thanksgifting. You're Welcome!

First published in 1970, The Eye of Argon may be the worst fantasy novella ever written. For decades, reading it out loud was a convention ritual across the United States - a ritual so cherished, there are even rules for it. It is what Dino de Laurentiis would have used to make barbarian movies if Conan hadn't been available.

Read, and enjoy, and never say I don't get you anything...

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


I never liked the Pilgrim stuff for Thanksgiving. It puts a pretty glaze on a dark portrait: Tisquantum [Squanto] was one of the few survivors of a plague unknowingly introduced by the Spanish; the Pilgrims adhered to a brand of Protestantism that implied the wealthy and powerful were favored by God; and there was a lot of starvation going on. 

Meanwhile, 250 miles to the south, New Amsterdam was already a going concern and they could have landed there, prepared, and headed north...but nooooo, the Dutch weren't pure enough for the Pilgrims. Neither were the English. Neither was anyone, really. So half of them died in the first year, and they created a government so restrictive it forced people to pilgrimage away from that community and invent stuffies and coffee milk.

However, there's no reason in the world not to have a holiday just dedicated to being thankful and hanging out with friends and family. That's a pretty darned good holiday, in my opinion. So that's my Thanksgiving, and it can be yours, too.

Also, after you've cooked the turkey, dip a cheesecloth into the drippings and drape it over the bird while it stays warm in the oven. Keeps it moist.

Friday, November 6, 2020

Election Thoughts on Friday, November 6, 2020

I had a friend in Los Angeles. Long time friend. I was there when his mom passed away. And somewhere, somehow, he got Fox-washed and then Trumpified. Looking back, I can trace the process, but that's for another post, maybe. 

He is one of those "I will still be your friend whether you vote for Trump or Biden" people. But I haven't spoken to him since December 2015...because, well, don't do me any favors, buddy. When you say that, you imply that Biden and Trump are both just politicians. That they're equal somehow. 

But they're not. Biden is a politician. Trump is a grifter, a liar, a rapist, and a sociopath. None of that is my opinion; all of it is fact, either admitted by Trump himself, proven in a court of law, or widely diagnosed by America's medical community.

So I will not accept that "difference of opinion" trivializing okey-doke. And once more, I go to Lord of Light:

"So they play that on their fascist banjos, eh?"

"You choose the wrong adjective."

"You've already used up all the others."

"It appears that our minds will never meet on this subject."

 "If someone asks you why you're oppressing a world and you reply with a lot of poetic crap, no. I guess there can't be a meeting of minds."

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Election Thoughts on Wednesday, November 3, 2020

Whenever an important outcome is unclear, I'm reminded of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light. On a theocratic colony world, a revolutionary named Sam has taken on the identity of the Buddha Siddhartha to oppose the rulers who have styled themselves on the Hindu pantheon. At one point there is a battle that seems to be a climactic defeat...but it ends with this passage:

"The Buddha has gone to nirvana," said Brahma. "Preach it in the Temples! Sing it in the streets! Glorious was his passing! He has reformed the old religion, and we are now better than ever before! Let all who think otherwise remember Keenset!"

This thing was done also.

But they never found Lord Kubera.

The demons were free.

Nirriti was strong.

And elsewhere in the world there were those who remembered bifocal glassees and toilets that flushed, petroleum chemistry and internal combustion engines, and the day the sun had hidden its face from the justice of Heaven.

Vishnu was heard to say that the wilderness had come into the City at last.
As Berra, the great yogi, once said - "It ain't over till it's over."