Friday, February 20, 2009

His Heart Was In Sweet Eleuthera: A Memory

RTL, 1919-2001.

There's a grave where an old man's body lies among strangers. Nobody visits it much. 

It's odd how people the old man lived with and loved and died among were strangers to him as well but it is so-save only one of his who was there at the last.

In the end, they turned out his pockets for spare change and forgot all about
who he was
and what he'd been 
and the place he came from
and the battles he fought
and the dreams he dreamed
and the dreams that died 
and what he thought about 
and what he stood for 
and who his people were 
and what he'd done in his life
and the things that angered him
and the children he'd held
and the women he'd loved

and the feel of sweet Eleuthera's soft sand under the bare feet of his boyhood
and the smell of sweet Eleuthera's blossoms
and the slap of sweet Eleuthera's ripples against the hull
and the cries of sweet Eleuthera's market women
and the heat of sweet Eleuthera's noonday sun and the shade of her plazas
and the silence of sweet Eleuthera's circling gulls
and the roar of sweet Eleuthera's long Atlantic combers

if they'd ever thought about it at all.

He lies on a snowy hillside in a sad and brooding northern place where winter's gray clouds press up against dark forests  far from sweet Eleuthera.

Sweet Eleuthera-in the blue southern ocean-is where his spirit rests.

*Eleuthera is Greek for "freedom".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Arrrrrrrrr, Ye Scurvy Dogs!

We're reliably informed by a gentleman in the country of unquestioned veracity....well, OK, it was a newspaper....that the folks behind Pirate Bay are going on trial in Sweden for wholesale copyright violation facilitation. 

Here's how it worked. The site does not actually store copyrighted material in its servers but merely provides a medium whereby members may exchange files among themselves-kinda like Napster, Kazaa, Grokster and a passel of others did, before they were shut down.

"B-b-but Sparky!" you say, "I-i-isn't it good for people to share?" 

Well, of course it is, little feller, but what we are asking the court to decide is whether providing a medium for people to evade copyright law and rip off the owners of the intellectual property therein is sufficient provocation to bring the law down on them.

The issue's been settled adversely in this country, and the Swedes tried to shut the operation down but it now seems that it's not going to be that easy because it's decentralized itself you see.

To add insult to injury, the fellows who are behind all this have an archive of correspondence from people who would like them to stop facilitating their being ripped off, and their....ahem....responses thereto.  It makes interesting, if somewhat juvenile, reading.

The takehome will be interesting.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Taliban Scores Incredible Victory

We're reliably informed by the Times that once again the Taliban have demonstrated that they sure know how to get things done in Pakistan. 

Why, in the quest to prove their point and to liberate the Ummah and drive the hated Crusaders into the sea and to show those furriners that they're not going to take any more crap  they.......a drum roll, maestro!

They beheaded a Polish geologist and made a snuff flick. That's right, folks. 

Piotr Stanczak, a Polish geologist working in the area adjacent to the northwest frontier territories was kidnaped four months ago. He was beheaded by Taliban operatives who of course memorialized it in film.

Great work, guys. You're sure to bring Judgment Day one step closer. Seventy two virgins are on the way, rush delivery, courtesy of the good people of Poland.


Monday, February 09, 2009

Doin' the Monkey

We're reliably informed by no less than the Washington Post that drugs have been found that will block HIV in monkeys.

Fellows, you've been warned about the company you keep.  And it also demonstrates that maybe on the simian scale we're not as advanced as we seem to think.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A rose by any other name

We're reliably informed that the great "What the hell's  that smell? It smells like maple syrup!" mystery has been unraveled by Hizzoner, Michael Bloomberg, mayor of the self styled "big apple".

Bloomberg also called a press conference to announce the joyous news.

Don't worry. It isn't. The big apple, that is. 

Now. Let's see, where was I?

Oh. I remember. The smells.

As it happens, nearly every time something smells in New York, the N'yaarkers find a way to blame it on people in New Jersey, and it looks like this is no different.

It seems that the olfactory malefactors have been identified as Frutarom,  a firm in Bergen County that processes fenugreek seeds, a spice that is used in mideastern and asian cooking.

Well. Let me serve notice on Hizzoner.

The prevailing winds blow from west to east, so nobody in Manhattan gets to breathe it before we're damn good and done with it. 

Next time it might not smell like maple syrup either.

So there, Mikey. Shut yer pie hole.