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Friday, October 14, 2016

Big rock, little rock.

Going to Little Rock? But Big Green doesn't have any fans in Arkansas ... at least as far as I know. In fact, we don't have any fans south of the Mason Dixon line. Not since Cowboy Scat, anyway. What? Oh, okay .... never mind.

Cheese and crackers, I thought we were going way on down south, but apparently we're going in a very different direction. Out towards KIC 8462852 with a brief stop at the as yet undiscovered Dwarf Planet at the edge of our solar system, and perhaps the undiscovered mystery giant planet as well. So at least our destinations are clear. That's the easy part. The not-so-easy part? Finding an agent who books that far out in the sticks, so to speak. (Actually, it's beyond the sticks and into the rocks.) We usually book ourselves in instances such as these, but times being what they are, it's helpful to have your interstellar ducks in a row before striking out into deep space.

Speaking of ducks, we need to line up reliable transport as well. And yes, I did use the qualifier "reliable" by intention: we tried the other kind of transportation and it didn't work out so well. This time we're going with a professional vendor, like SpaceX. Of course, we can't AFFORD SpaceX because we're a band full of broke-ass mo-fo's, so we'll have to opt for the next best thing. And that, my friends, is a company called SpaceY. (Pronounced "space why?") It's the cheap seat version, by an order of magnitude.

Getting there is the issue.So whereas SpaceX has the famed "Falcon 9" rocket with the patented "Dragon" spacecraft, SpaceY offers the not-so-well-known "Plywood 9000" rocket powering its nearly designed (and no, that's not a typo: it hasn't been designed yet) "Malaysian Tapir 9000" spacecraft. (They seem to like the number 9000. That would explain their requested down payment.) I know what you're thinking .... this doesn't sound like it meets the reliability standard I set forward in the previous paragraph. My only rejoinder to that is, well ... that was more than a paragraph ago. Are you going to hold me to EVERYTHING I've said in the past? How about gurgling noises I made as an infant - do you plan to hit me with those, too?

Well anyway. Our mad science advisor Mitch Macaphee is going to take me and Marvin (my personal robot assistant) to the SpaceY showroom next week so that we can do a walk through and, perhaps, a test drive. He gave me a life insurance policy to sign as well. Such a thoughtful man!

Burning man.

Watching the Trump campaign this week, I am reminded of a collection of bad movie scenes my brother curated back in the 1990s under the title, Destination: Brain - we informally referred to it as "The Greatest Hits". As bad sci-fi movie aficionados, Matt and I loved to watch select passages from some of mankind's worst films but found it tiresome to sit through 90 minutes of boring dreck just to get to that "sweet spot" of bad acting, cheap specials, horrible dialog, etc. Matt cut together Destination: Brain so that we could enjoy those poetically bad movie moments extracted from context, and yet given new meaning by their juxtaposition with other poorly-wrought scenes.

Winning!In any case, one of our favorite scenes was from a cheap-ass Frankenstein knock-off with a bunch of no-name actors and the clumsiest monster you ever saw. There is a climactic laboratory scene in which the monster's arm catches on fire, and he runs around the lab, screaming, trashing the place from end to end. That's what I think of when I look at where Trump has gone over the last week or so - a crazy-ass Frankenstein's monster set on fire and spreading his conflagration to everything he touches. Better that he should do it during the campaign than in the oval office, am I right?

I am no fan of Ross Perot, but watching the news cover these serial sexual abuse allegations brings to mind the Texas billionaire's studied but folksy rejoinder, "This is just sad." Every minute spent covering this pissing match is another minute of not talking about the serious issues that face us. Not that the mainstream media and the dominant political culture need any excuses to avoid discussion of global climate change, or the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons, or the continuous state of war we've been embroiled in since 2001, or you name it. The notion that anyone should need more information about Trump's past in order to vote against him is ... well, it's just sad. (The idea that any of these allegations would surprise any sentient American over the age of 25 is in itself beyond absurd.)

Tomahawk Thursday. We're firing missiles into Yemen, nominally in response to missiles fired at our vessels in the Gulf. Of course, we are in so deep with the Saudis bombing Yemen into the stone age that the Houthi rebels (or as NBC calls them, the "Iranian-backed Houthi rebels") do not distinguish between the U.S. and Saudi. You can kind of see why. That war sucks, and we can do something about it. The fact that we don't is a crime.