Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Montag, 29 September
Green Day, "Nice Guys Finish Last" from Nimrod (T.L.A.M.)

Sonntag, 28 September
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "I'll Drink to That" from More Noise and Other Disturbances (T.L.A.M.)

Samstag, 27 September
Johnny Socko, "Boraborinski Brothers" from Full Trucker Effect (T.L.A.M.)

Freitag, 26 September
Reel Big Fish, "Boyfriend" from Everything Sucks (T.L.A.M.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Victors: Halftime - Wisconsin 19-0 Michigan
In my worst nightmare, I never anticipated that the most dangerous play of any game would be when Michigan was receiving a kickoff. I want to have faith in Rich Rodriguez and our eventual success, but these endemic turnovers are forcing me to question the basic competence of him and his entire staff, and the fundamental soundness of his coaching philosophy.

Go Blue!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "The Flag" from Gordon (T.L.A.M.)


"They're complicated people
Leading complicated lives
And he complicates their problems
Telling complicated lies."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Sandfleas, "My Baby's Got a Poopy Diaper" from Rice Capades (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: How to say this without breaking my oath not to mention here at The Secret Base several members of my family? *snap* Got it! I'm going to be an uncle.

In a spooky coincidence, Gmail's "funny quote of the day" is from Bill Cosby: "Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell the name will carry." Not really funny, and Cosby didn't follow this "advice" with his own children, but the timing? Today of all days? Spooky.

The Sandfleas, for those who do not know, are among the myriad foes of The Aquabats!, and are our heroes' collective evil twin.

I bet global warming is to blame for this: Accursed Sunlink. The United States, and the United States only, has to switch to 100% "clean" electricity in the next ten years, bugger the cost, or the solar wind will keep weakening in sympathy with Mother Earth.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Mike Park, "From Korea" from For the Love of Music (T.L.A.M.)


"Screw this, I'm leaving.
Well, I don't need a racist friend.
And I'm not like you,
And I'm from Korea.
My eyes are small,
But your eyes are closed."

Fight racism. Fight sexism. Fight religious bigotry. Fight homophobia. Discriminate against the intolerant.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lengthy trek under the stars for our intrepid Mars rover Opportunity: Endeavourlink. Will Opportunity endure the two-year journey to the crater Endeavour? No man can say, but the very fact that a two-year trek is being planned for a four and a half-year-old rover, a rover with an intended operational life of ninety days, is a tribute to the technical prowess and operational acumen of American engineering. And let us not overlook Opportunity's plucky counterpart, Spirit, that can now only ambulate in reverse, and yet soldiers on steadily. Talk about spirit!

M2K4... 5... 6... 7... 8.... Absolutely amazing what those rovers have accomplished. Oh, I cannot wait until our next robot minion, the Mars Science Laboratory, starts rolling across the Red Planet: N.A.S.A.link. And for an idea of the behemoth size of the M.S.L., behold (and use the items in the background for scale, and click on the picture for a much larger view):

The Explorers Club
No. XCV - William Patrick Hitler (1911-87)

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Catch 22, "Wreck of the Sloop John B." from Alone in a Crowd (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I don't care if the actual title is "Wreck of the Sloop John B." or "Wreck of the Sloop John B.," the names of nautical vessels are italicized, curse ye!

Sonntag, 21 September
Cherish the Ladies, "The Cameronian Set" from Green Linnet Records: The Twentieth Anniversary Collection (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Finally free of the Barenaked Ladies, but not entirely free of all Ladies.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The King is Dead. Love Live the King!
Farewell and Godspeed to Thabo Mbeki, President of the Republic of South Africa; Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of the State of Israel; and, belatedly, Yasuo Fukuda, Prime Minister of Japan.

Curiously, the nation-state of Japan has had no formal name since the defeat of the Empire of Japan in the Second World War. Though still ruled by the Emperor, the last throned emperor in the world, it is for the best that Japan no longer styles itself an empire. By contrast, the formal name of Canada remains the Dominion of Canada, though our friends and neighbors in the Great White North dislike being reminded of this and prefer the simple but meaningless "Canada." (The prevalence of the Chinese-derived proper noun "Japan" over the native Japanese name "Nihon," and the adjective form Japanese instead of Nihonese, is a topic for another day.)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Under the Rhodesian Sun
There is a great tendency to give in to frustration and give up on negotiation, and I admit that in all too many situations I am such a hotspur. But in this case, despite the maddening delays, I agree that the best hope is in continued talks, even if temporarily fruitless: deadlocklink. At least if the M.D.C. and the Z.A.N.U.-P.F. are talking, then Z.A.N.U.-P.F. thugs aren't beating and killing M.D.C. supporters in the streets. The people of Zimbabwe are so close to talking a huge step toward the government they deserve, please let us not lose heart now.

The Cape of Good Hope
Still in southern Africa: resignationlink. I am just about the last person who would stand up and defend Thabo Mbeki, and if he indeed improperly and illegally used his office against his political rival and probable successor Jacob Zuma, then Mr. Mbeki's resignation is the least of the punishments that should await him, yet I spy in this piece something I find troubling. Which is the true government of the Republic of South Africa, the President and the Parliament or the executive of the African National Congress? The A.N.C. is by leaps and bounds the biggest political party in South Africa, but that should not be confused with being itself the governing body of South Africa. I can find no specific fault with the A.N.C.'s actions here, especially if the allegations about President Mbeki's misconduct are borne out, but there is something here that makes me very uneasy.

Perhaps the A.N.C. should change its name from the African National Congress to the African National Colossus?

All the Russias
I remember back to the innocent days of early 2001, when President Bush had won a bitter election over Vice President Gore and appointed Dr. Condoleezza Rice as his National Security Advisor. Some of the snarkier members of the liberally leaning Fourth Estate mocked W. for choosing an expert on Russia and the Soviet Union as his chief foreign policy aid. "Why would anyone need to know anything about Russia in the 21st century?" they scoffed. Wake up and smell the vodka in the coffee, jerkoffs, the double-headed eagle of the Romanovs has come home to roost! Now more than ever, we need public servants well versed in the oblique art-cum-science of Kremlinology. (Now more than ever? you ask. What about the Cold War? The Soviet Union was, for all its opaque complexity, a relatively straightforward, unsubtle adversary. The new Russia, however, is unpredictable, one suspects deliberately so. We need learned scholars to read the tea leaves and divine what the Devil the Russians' game is.)

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "Upside Down" from Everything to Everyone (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "And I will not turn my whole life upside down."

Also, I am by turns haunted and fascinated by this image, the aesthetics of the word "Mordred," and the very notion of Mordred, a man both able and only too willing to mortally wound the perfect king, the exemplar of all that is good and virtuous. Know the name of Mordred, and despair.

"Let the universe howl in despair, for I have returned."
--Darkseid, Justice League Unlimited

"Let the living room howl in despair, for I have returned."
--The Guy, in reply

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "Have You Seen My Love?" from Everything to Everyone (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: As I mowed, as late afternoon gave way to early evening, I sang quietly, over and over, "Have You Seen My Love?," or at least the iconic part of the chorus I have memorized.

"Have you seen my love?
Have you seen my love?
Have you seen my little girl?
Oh, have you seen my love?"

'Twas a rare happy kind of sad afternoon. Not happy/kind of sad, but the kind of sad that is somehow happy. You've experienced this and you're nodding, or you haven't experienced this and in all likelihood never will. One isn't better than the other, just different. The happy kind of sad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Girls of September '79
Foxes all and twenty-nine years hot, today happiest of birthday wishes go out to our ultimate Girl of September '79, The Watergirl! She is the only member of this sisterhood to be neither married nor engaged, though by virtue of cohabitation she has given up her membership in Team Bachelor. Happy birthday, Katie!

Vote For Kodos: Lies, Damned Lies, and the News
My only problem with this otherwise above board piece of journalism is the headline "Top Republican says Palin unready": B.B.C.link. To call Senator Hagel, a tacit supporter of Senator Obama even as he lacks the moral fortitude to openly declare that support, a "top Republican" is as ridiculous as calling Senator Lieberman, who was unceremoniously tossed out of his own party, a top Democrat. Senator Hagel is a bitter, powerless misanthrope, a man who lacks the courage of former Senator Jeffords, who openly quit the Republican Party in '01, or the conviction of Senator Lieberman, who has publicly endorsed the presidential candidate of the other party (because, let's be frank, on all domestic matters, Lieberman is a repugnantly liberal Democrat).

Though I do not have handy a technical definition of what makes a politician "top," we can all agree that calling Chuck Hagel a "top Republican" is factually inaccurate.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Barenaked Ladies, "Maybe Katie" from Everything to Everyone (T.L.A.M.)


"What's the use in hesitating?
Can't you see that Katie's waiting?
Just because her youth is fading
Doesn't mean she's not worth dating.

What's so maybe about,
What's so maybe about,
What's so maybe about Katie?"

I tease, of course, since as mentioned above The Watergirl is a sprightly, sultry twenty-nine and an object of desire for everyone with a pulse.

Dienstag, 16 September
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, "Simmer Down" from the Ska-Core, the Devil, and More E.P. (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I really like "Simmer Down," but far and away my favorite part is the instrumental introduction, which if I had my druthers would be expanded into a six- or seven-minute piece of incidental music.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Less Than Jake, "Fall Apart" from In With the Out Crowd (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I tried several iterations of the same basic statement, but each sounded dreadfully trite. At least this way I maintain my air of mystery.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Girls of September '79
Foxes all and twenty-nine years hot, happiest of birthday wishes are hereby extended to our penultimate Girl of September '79, Skeeter (soon to be Mrs. Jimmy From Queens)! Happy birthday, Julie!

The Explorers Club
No. XCIV - The Great Zimbabwe

Protocol of absolute secrecy be damned, I have the nugget of an idea for a short story, set in the Project TROIKA world, titled either "The Great Zimbabwe" or "Fat Mouse and the Great Zimbabwe." Mike Migola wrote and drew a Hellboy tale called "The Iron Shoes" simply because he already had one called "The Corpse" and already had in mind a title for the resulting one-shot, Hellboy: The Corpse and the Iron Shoes. Not that I'm claiming Mike Wilson deserves the same liberties and privileges granted to Mike Mignola, I'm just saying there is precedent, that working from title-to-story rather than from story-to-title may not be as harebrained as it first appears.

The human brain, the finest computer in Creation, is a marvel, and capable of astonishing adaptation. A most glorious example set amongst extravagantly mundane circumstances, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present for your edification and illumination: The Knowledge.


Have I ever mentioned how much I adore the relatively new Discovery Channel(s) motto, "The world is just awesome"? I adore it beyond all reasoning; it reflects so perfectly, with such wit and charm, my own infatuation with the world entire. The world is a place of woe and wonder, of comedy and tragedy living side by side, and above all a place of incalculable majesty. Too often our popular cultural plays to our basest instincts, to our pessimism and fear. Such a bold declaration of optimism and courage as "The world is just awesome" is a most welcome sight to behold. And to my way of thinking, that optimism and courage are part and parcel of the truly scientific mind. So, once again...


The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "Hey Julie" from Welcome Interstate Managers (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I hope J.F.Q. knows his good fortune.

"Hey, Julie,
Look what they're doin' to me,
Trying to trip me up,
Trying to wear me down.
Julie, I swear,
It's so hard to bear it,
And I'd never make it through
Without you around.
No, I'd never make it through
Without you around."

Sonntag, 14 September
They Might Be Giants, "Stomp Box" from John Henry (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Such is the diversity and eclecticism of They Might Be Giants that on John Henry the frenzied "Stomp Box" immediately precedes the bittersweet "The End of the Tour." And, will wonders never cease, the pairing works splendidly.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Proclaimers, "Hate My Love" from Born Innocent (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I love college football. Sometimes I also hate college football, and upon occasion, usually after I have screamed at my T.V. like an unhinged lunatic, I hate that I love college football. But I always love college football.
The Victors: Notre Dame 35-17 Michigan
My congratulations to my dear friend Alistair and the vile Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame. Today, they were far and away the superior team and thoroughly deserved the victory. We, the valiant Wolverines of the University of Michigan, go back to Ann Arbor defeated but unbowed, and there is naught for us to do but try and correct the myriad mistakes that doomed this afternoon's effort. Most of what we can take away from today is what not to do, but for the nonce that shall have to be enough. Even in these darkest of days, it is still great to be a Michigan Wolverine.

Go Blue!
The Victors: Halftime - Notre Dame 28-17 Michigan
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,"
--Rudyard Kipling, "If-"

Whatever wounds have been inflicted upon the valiant Wolverines by the vile Fighting Irish or the intermittent, infuriating ineptitude of the capricious zebras are as nothing compared to the wounds we have inflicted upon ourselves. And yet for all that, we are still in the game; at a decided disadvantage, but still in the hunt.

Go Blue!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Under the Rhodesian Sun
Casting an eye toward the South African-negotiated agreement between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tvangirai, I cannot help but look askance: power-sharinglink. And in this I am far from alone: skepticallink. To foster the hope that there is hope, I believe I shall prevail upon the wisdom of President Reagan: "Trust, but verify." (Though he was not the first to use the phrase, I was introduced to it through his oratory.) Chalk the post-electoral chaos in Zimbabwe up as yet another issue on which I have been shamefully silent, making no mention of it since April of this year: Wayback Machinelink. (Again, to my shame, this was also the last time I commented on our ally Georgia's troubles with the Russian bear.)

And please do not misconstrue the title "Under the Rhodesian Sun" as a fondness for the white-minority government that ruled Rhodesia under the U.D.I. I am caught between an appreciation for the word "Zimbabwe" (note to self: the Great Zimbabwe is tailor-made for "The Explorers Club") and a fascination with both the etymology of the word "Rhodesia" and the history of European, and later white African*, settlement of southern Africa. I use Rhodesian in the title as that is likely the only time many of you will encounter the word, whereas Zimbabwe and Zimbabwean justifiably have more widespread currency**.

*The Boers and Cape Dutch have as good a claim on being African as my countrymen and I have on being American.

**An inadvertent pun about Zimbabwe's hyperinflation.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Reel Big Fish, "Hate You" from Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free (T.L.A.M.)


"I'm not really bitter,
I'm not really mad,
I love to see other people get
Everything I ever wanted to have."

Of the thirteen songs I own with "hate" in the title, six of them belong to Reel Big Fish, with no other band having more than one. Though, to be fair, even R.B.F. only has five, as two are renditions of the same song, today's R.B.D.S.O.T.D. "Hate You."

Donnerstag, 11 September
Aaron Tippin, "Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly" from Where the Stars and Stripes and the Eagle Fly (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: By my silence yesterday and the resulting failure to mark the anniversary of the horror of 9/11, I meant disrespect to neither those who perished on that day that shall live in infamy nor to those who have died in the intervening years as we and our allies have sought to eliminate the root causes of jihadist terrorism, a blasphemy against the name of Islam. I was simply so fatigued that I had gone to bed and fallen asleep by 9:30 P.M.

Too little is done to remember 9/11, too easily have we set aside the memory of the terror, trauma, and tragedy. And yet in this seeming failure lies the great strength of the Americans: we cannot help but look to the future, to the bright and shining world of tomorrow. A people of such missionary zeal, who so confidently and relentlessly pursue the dawn, can be distracted and disheartened but can never be defeated.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Girls of September '79
Foxes all and twenty-nine years hot, happiest of birthday wishes go our to our second (in chronology only, never affection) Girl of September '79, Mrs. Sacramento (née Never Girl)! Happy birthday, Lindsay!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Fountains of Wayne, "I've Got a Flair" from Fountains of Wayne (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: I remember the first time I was in California, cruising through the Bay Area in her car on our way to the Pacific Coast Highway, and she only ever drives stick, listening to "I've Got a Flair." We didn't talk, we both just sang along all the way to Marin County. And when I first saw the Pacific Ocean, really saw it, not just a fringe of blue on the horizon beyond San Francisco, it was beautiful in a way only a handful of other things I've seen have ever been beautiful. If there was no other benefit than that moment alone, I'd still be a fan of Manifest Destiny.

"I've got a flair
For getting in your hair,
For making you crazy."
Pluto Restoration Front
Well, that's it, I can never read xkcd again: Plutolink. An overreaction, you ask? Mayhap, but a man's got to stand for something, and I stand with Pluto. And a stand for Pluto is a stand for science and against the I.A.U.'s mushy, unscientific definitions and assorted gibberish. According to the definition by which Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet, Earth is not a planet. The Pluto-bashers of the I.A.U., and the rat fink who writes and "draws" xkcd (which has been deleted from my bookmarks), ought to be exiled to Pluto, sans spacesuits. Pluto is a planet, by Jove!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Girls of September '79
Foxes all and twenty-nine years hot, let me extend wishes for a happiest of birthdays to our premiere Girl of September '79, Mrs. Blinky (née Ham 'n' Eggs)! Happy birthday, Emma!

Happy Belated Birthday!
Let me also extend a sincere apology to our favorite sawbones, Doctor Hee Haw, who celebrated his birthday five days hence, Thursday, 4 September. I'm a callous boor, Doc, and you deserve better. I hope one day to find a way to make this up to you. In the meantime, I hope you are a believer that dreadfully late is better than never. Happy birthday, Seth!

The Victors
I know, I know, I am a full two games behind now, but I am up to my eyeballs in reading, and that's without even considering Project TROIKA or "The Irrevocable Shackles of Matrimony: The Wedding Album," the precipitating event for which occurred an entire year ago. I'm trying to get caught up, loyal and saintly patient readers, I really am.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
The Ninjas, "Emma" from Platypus (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: A song about lost love; so, not really appropriate for another man's wife's birthday, but a thousand years ago in high school, when she was Saturday Night's main squeeze, I did have quite the crush on the erstwhile Ham 'n' Eggs. That, and "Emma" is the only song I own making any reference whatsoever to the word Emma.

Montag, 8 September
Green Day, "Platypus (I Hate You)" from Nimrod (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Because, really, how many opportunities do you get for a platypus theme day?

Monday, September 8, 2008

"A little more than kin, and less than kind!"
--Wm. Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Act I, Scene II

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Explorers Club
No. XCIII - The Palace of Soviets, proposed and commenced, but never completed.

Let's use this as a measuring stick: if your political ideology is well-served by architecture designed to highlight the inconsequence of an individual human being compared to the might of the State - I'm looking at you, Marxist-Leninists and National Socialists - then, well, this will probably all end in tears.

Project TROIKA
The third telephone confab spent a lot of time off-topic, but even then we remained in the realm of Blue Tree Whacking, discussing last weekend's great strides toward the completion of CODENAME: Koala. And we did cover a goodly portion of Project TROIKA, confirming that we are both on the same page regarding the antagonist and brainstorming ways to make The Professor's task, turning our "Bible" into a salable novel, easier, or at least less daunting. We are hammering out a game plan for the rest of the year, ever mindful of the looming deadline for the Bible's completion: midnight on 1 January '09. Steeze has taken upon himself a specific assignment, and grateful as I am for all his long, lonely work on Koala, I am glad to have him working rather exclusively on TROIKA.

For those of you who are Blue Tree Whackers, keep an eye on the Forums for updates and random snippets of information. For the majority, denied admittance into B.T.W.'s holy of holies, please know that I look forward with great anticipation to the day when you have fattened my pockets by buying the Project TROIKA novel, or at least borrowed it from your local lending library which fattened my pockets to stock the book, and we may discuss its characters, plot, strengths, and inevitable weaknesses (my comrades and I are skilled, but we are hardly infallible) at some length.

Grow or die.

In other news, I am regrowing my too long absent imperial, also known as a soul patch, gone since the summer of '06. Though at first I was surprised by the effect it absence had on my face, I have since become accustomed to this more natural look; I shall have to wait until the imperial is fully restored before I am capable of judging which version of my face I prefer. I do have to say, though, that just letting grow that small tuft of hair beneath my lower lip has kindled within me an excitement for the second installment of the Banzai Beard Bonanza, to be undertaken in January of '10 and to be followed directly by the Massive Mustache Mistake. As a general rule, I long for the day when facial hair is again fashionable on a widespread basis. Imperials! Van Dykes! Waxed mustaches! Burnsides! Muttonchops! Let your freak flag fly, gentlemen, and let your whiskers grow!

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Astropop 3, "So Happy" from Plea For Peace (T.L.A.M.)


"I'm so happy you got everything you wanted,
I'm so delighted for you.
What should I do,
With all my dreams that never came true?

I'm so happy you got everything you needed,
I'm so excited for you.
What should I do,
With all my dreams that never came true?


Should I fake it to everybody, until
It finally drives me insane?"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Victors: Halftime - Michigan 10-6 Miami of Ohio
Rich Rodriguez loves Nick "Suddenly I Miss John Navarre" Sheridan the way Lloyd Carr loved Drew Henson. And Rich Rod's man-love for the devil Sheridan will prove just as disastrous as Carr's hetero crush on Henson. By Lucifer's beard! So, what do we know about Rich Rodriguez? Two things: (a) his judgment is extremely questionable and (b) he possesses Lloyd Carr's single greatest weakness, but has thus far evidenced almost none of Lloyd's myriad and profound strengths. In the grandest tradition of Star Wars, I've got a bad feeling about this.

"George's man-love for a She-Jerry."

Go Blue!

6:48 P.M. - Addendum: This is exactly what I was talking about the other day. Never waste a moment's reflection on anything I write at halftime. I am completely worthless at halftime, utterly incapable of stepping back, removing myself from the heat of the moment, and viewing things with any scale or perspective. Arsehole. Sure, sure, occasionally my panicked halftime ranks contain nuggets of truth and, more rarely, genuine insight, but this is pure chance. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I am endeavouring to be a better, stronger man than I was this afternoon at halftime and I thank you humbly for your patience and tolerance between now and the achievement of that goal.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
MxPx, "The Next Big Thing" from The Ever Passing Moment (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Unlike Reel Big Fish's similarly themed "Sell Out," which is satire, in "The Next Big Thing" MxPx is in deadly earnest.

"How low can you go?
How low will you go,
To be the next big thing?"

Also of interest in any analysis is that MxPx has been far more commercially successful than either Johnny Socko or The Eyeliners.

Freitag, 5 September
The Eyeliners, "Next Big Thing" from No Apologies (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Gloriously angry girls, The Eyeliners:

"If you don't like me,
Well, I don't give a damn."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Vote For Kodos: Dominate in '08
Gird thyself for the fray. Steel thyself, for the next two months shall test the mettle of even the hardiest, and hardest, of men. Great Caesar's ghost, we're actually going to win this one. 'Twill be a damned close run thing, but doubt not that we will prevail. Forward, my fellows, forward to victory!

Sweet fancy Moses, I love politics!

The Victors: Project OSPREY
Truly, the leaders and best: student-athletelink.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Johnny Socko, "Next Big Thing" from Full Trucker Effect (T.L.A.M.)


"Dispell your fears,
And dry your tears,
We're bound to win
Or at least rul the cut-out bin.


Jump on the next big thing,
You'll be another Sting.
They'll love you, buy you, idolize you,
'Til it's time to despise you."

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Having aged twenty-nine years, I now face the sobering prospect that a measly thirty-one years of life are left to me before I shuffle off this mortal coil. The passing years have shown me that time is a form of inertia; time alone will affect no reform. A man shan't strive to better himself, shan't undertake to change his stars, unless acted upon by some additional force, be it the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or the realization, upon the occasion of his personal Saturn's return, that half his life is gone and he is not the man he'd lazily assumed he'd somehow just become in the fullness of time. He, of course, being me, your humble narrator. Persisting as I am? Henceforth, not a viable option. I must recast myself. Reformation? Revolution!

Yet revolution is a dangerous business; why the prosperity and success of the American Revolution and the anarchy and failure of the French Revolution? The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. We had a plan, it kept us on the straight and narrow, and when it proved insufficient for the long haul we came up with a new plan, the nigh-sacred and eternal United States Constitution. What of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, you say? More akin to the Declaration of Independence than the Articles of Confederation, and just as unsuitable as a basis for just and orderly governance. No, the reinvention I propose requires a plan, a series of guiding principles and discrete goals. Rightly or wrongly, I choose a poem, "If-" by Rudyard Kipling:

Step One*:
"If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;"


Step Two:
"If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;"

The conundrum here is to avoid the repugnant emotionlessness of Stoicism. The work is incomplete, but progress has been made by leaps and bounds.

*Precedence determined by whim.

To be continued...

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
The Eyeliners, "Think of Me" from No Apologies (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: "I hope you think of me when you're burning in Hell."

Bare-bones punk band: guitar, bass guitar, drums. Three sisters. From Albuquerque. All hotties. What's not to like about The Eyeliners? Without question,
No Apologies is a weaker album than the previous two, Here Comes Trouble and Sealed With a Kiss, but "Think of Me" is a great song.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eye of the Tiger
Overtime, Tiger is becoming ever so slightly more like the late, great Sam. Only very slightly, as Tiger is not allowed outside and Sam would disappear for hours, only to return with offerings of slaughtered birds and shredded shrews. Tiger is playing with her toys more frequently, and even though Sam never played with a single toy, the ferocity Tiger is increasingly displaying echoes the old bastard's killer instinct. (Hell, Sam's killer instinct was from all appearances his only instinct.) What lies a the heart of this seeming transformation? Or is there no transformation, Tiger was simply never exposed to toys before a few months hence as is reacting to them as she always would've? An appropriately sphinx-like riddle.

The Rebel Black Dot Song of the Day
Slow Gherkin, "Sally Boulevard" from Run Screaming (T.L.A.M.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Explorers Club
No. XCII - The Great Northern War (1700-21) that spelled the doom of the Swedish Empire and marked the ascension of the Russian Empire, to the world's everlasting lament.

The Victors
I'm done grieving and though I can't say I understand why Saturday unfolded the way it did, I have in the mind's eye analyzed what happened and spotted a few reasons for optimism. Time is short and Saturday's debacle deserves the full treatment; so, I beg your indulgence and thank you for your patience.

Go Blue!

Also, scroll past Saturday's real time reactions to the game. There's some really good stuff from Friday.

The Rebel Black Dot Songs of the Day
Nicholas Ginbey, "Amanda Song" via iTunes (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary-cum-Perchance to Dream: The Sardine was in a dream I had last night. I picked her up for a date and then we drove around for a while in my convertible. I put my hand on her thigh, which we both seemed to enjoy, at which point the alarm clock woke me. I detailed the dream to her this evening over G-Chat and she replied:

"that is a little weird
"but you can't exactly control your dreams"

Why are people so averse to proper punctuation and capitalization in online communications?

Sonntag, 31 August
The Ataris, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" from End is Forever (T.L.A.M.)

Commentary: Bugger the calendar, we all know Labor Day is the end of summer. This was the only time in the whole of history that it would have been, was, and ever will be the Summer of 2008, and I hope you made the most of it. I didn't, but I did take some steps, and for the first time in a long, long time I both my reason and my gut tell me I'm moving in the right direction. I didn't make the most of the Summer of '08, but I did make something of it. And that's better than nothing.

"Got out of bed today,
I'm alive, what can I say?"

Think of those words in the most positive sense, folks. I'm alive, and that's no small thing.