the seventh month (before 12th century ce)
|guns or butter
there goes the neighborhood
i remember the first time i saw farenheit 451 while visiting my aunt in california. its depiction of oppressive society chilled me beyond my 10-year old vocabulary. although i have since read the book, bradbury's vision of a police state is one of the two movies i refuse to re-watch for fear of dissipating the emotions raised at first exposure.
today california governor pete wilson has signed legislation which equips los angeles police with six hundred M-16 machine guns, courtesy of the department of defense.
the motivation is to keep up with the joneses. apparently lapd is being outgunned by the criminal element in their fair city.
these are our tax dollars hard at work, folks. i consider whether this is a case of an ounce of prevention or all the king's horses.
i immediately envisioned a pastoral neighborhood, such as my own, split by the sounds and fury of two factions exchanging automatic gunfire. i imagined a friend of mine, who visits los angeles twice a month, cowering with his fiance behind his new car while nearby peace officers crouch behind their cruisers battling uzi-toting bad guys across the road.
take a moment to picture your own neighborhood, say for instance the place you park you car at night, as the arena of a gun battle straight out of kubrick's full metal jacket, or which ever war movie you found particularly vivid and traumatic.
now imagine yourself with no recourse, no protection, no governmental agency, no tax dollars preventing your proximity to such situations, because one of the warring factions consists of your own local peace officers in their sanctioned duty to protect and serve.
in the back of my mind there's an idea raising its hand timidly and asking permission to speak. yes, you there. go ahead.
isn't this straight out of science fiction? aren't there a number of 1960s sci-fi movies depicting los angeles as a city under siege before the end of the century? while on that thought, do you see those 1960s movie goers laughing uneasily at the absurdity of a society unleashing military weaponry to keep the peace within its own civillian population?
oh, wait. did i say 1960s? escape from l.a. was released this decade.
huh. and they say art imitates life . . .
|never again a busy signal
but now he'll never put that thing away
computer geek alert.
no wires were harmed in the composition, uploading, or testing of this web page.
ricochet removed my free will and forced me to get their new radio modem. now i surf the web and do my email anywhere in the bay area without a telephone jack (also washington dc, or seattle--read: ms redmond®, folks--). since the wireless service exists in scotts bluff, nebraska, i bet in the near future i'll visit omaha without plugging in.
i don't need the most toys to win. some toys score more points than others.
it had to happen. while historically i've named most of my computers after comp sci professors, now I've run out.
although my wife thinks of all of them as electronic girlfriends, and unlike my first laptop, my newest is male.
for now i'll love him and hug him and call him george.
george is a monster. george's hard disk has more storage capacity, he remembers with as much RAM, and he clocks in at only 10 mHz less than all my other computers combined! (insert tim allen saying, "uh uh uh.")
george cost me about what stribbley cost in 1989, when i aimed my dad's blank check and bagged me a state-of-the-art macintosh.
yes, it's true. for reasons outside the scope of this editorial, after nearly a decade of outspoken mac preference, i've spent my own money on an ibm thinkpad. previously, i daresay my friends have known me to be, well, ah, um, somewhat fanatical about the mac.
maybe i should name my new computer benedict.
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