National Security

Another weekend in Dallas, another round of massive used CD purchases. Everything from Frank Gambale to Sloan was part of the $1-3 haul. I also got some random things without cases – like Disc 1 of Prince’s Sign o the Times. Plus my office got an award! We’re an award-winning form now. Pictures should be here next week.

In other news, let’s talk about these box cutters that keep finding their way onto planes.

Are box cutters still dangerous? Prior to the morning of September 1, 2001, the purpose of a box cutter as a terrorist weapon was to keep the passengers at bay while the pilot changes course and takes the plane somewhere else to land it. But on 9/11 a new paradigm in warfare emerged: kamikaze terrorism. Using a commercial airliner as a giant missile had never really been done before, at least in the U.S. Previously, the standard counter-terrorism procedure in the case of a hijacking was to deal with the terrorist’s demands; but when a terrorist has no demands…all bets are off.

I’d be willing to wager that from now on any American passenger involved in a hijacking will automatically assume that their plane will be used as a suicide bomb and thus retaliate against any terrorist. With this assumption, they can be easily motivated to overtake their captors because the passengers will always outnumber the terrorists. No box cutter can stop a mob of passengers dedicated to survival. Plus that mob will always be angry at the murders of 9/11. I know I will. I’d much rather die fighting on a plane that crashes into a field in Pennsylvania than die crashing into a building.

Prior to 9/11 there was a measure of trust, however small, that a terrorist would eventually land a plane safely; otherwise why would he be on the plane? Terrorists used to have demands. Now there’s no guarantee. I honestly don’t think we’ll see another suicide hijacking after what we’ve learned. Those aboard United Flight 93 learned very quickly how to combat this new terrorist tactic, and they successfully avoided the greater horrors of Washington and New York by attacking their enemies and crashing their plane near Shanksville, PA. Humans adapt that quickly.

Not So Sharp Dressed a Man

I need to buy a new suit. I suppose I’ve taken for granted that my job doesn’t require any great measure of formal dress. I mostly wear khakis and something with a collar. I haven’t worn a tie in I don’t know how long. This weekend my office is going to Dallas for the Katie Awards (a website maintained by yours truly, by the way) and it’s a formal affair. I’ve outgrown my old suit (yes, I really only own one) and several of my Oxford shirts, which is a scary proposition for me. The belt doesn’t even go around my waist anymore…I guess that’s more a comment on how old the suit is rather than any unusual weight gain on me. I’m still only 160 pounds. So anyway, I’m going to this thing, and I invited Tara up from Austin to join me. It should be a fun weekend. Hopefully I can meet up with all my Dallas people.

Next weekend I hope to get up to Harrison to see the fall colors…November 1 is the day Heather and Ben are getting married, so I won’t be able to start the drive until about 3 or 4 p.m. I realize none of this information is at all useful or amusing to you, so I’ll try harder in the last paragraph.

I’m also working on a website for Ross Rice and trying to update Jan Cyrka’s site as well. And I still haven’t finished reorganizing this site. And I haven’t updated Little Rock Guitar in forever…so little time! I guess I’ve been slacking off on the web stuff in favor of books – I just recently finished Natalie Goldberg’s Long Quiet Highway and Steven Soderbergh’s Getting Away With It. Speaking of Soderbergh, I found another copy of Schizopolis on VHS at the junk store up the street. Price tag: $1.00. Rock on. Now I need to find somebody to give it to. Who would enjoy such a bizarre film…Barry? Heath? I may give away both copies I have now that I’ve just discovered that it comes out on DVD next week.

Exclamation of excitement! Hearty recommendation to others about film’s quality. Caveat to the less adventurous that the film is initially hard to understand. Reassurance of quality.

New Mexico

Click here to see an interesting scene from the sky via MSN’a Terraserver.

Other things you can find the American desert: Sky City. Acoma, New Mexico is a place that inspires Jamie Myerson’s Sky City albums, and it’s also place beloved by writer Natalie Goldberg. The connection between these two artists is that Bassgirl Natalie gave me a Goldberg book in which Sky City is mentioned and I gave her a CD featuring a track from Jamie Myerson’s Sky City.

Today’s word is "synchronicity."

Ugly People Shoot, Score

There’s a somewhat recent adage that says, “politics is Hollywood for ugly people.”

This would help explain Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ascent to the governorship of California. Now that Hollywood has fully plugged into politics, it’s all over for the ugly folks. Ronald Reagan and Jesse Ventura didn’t count because they were B and C-listers respectively. Now, we have a bona fide box office blockbuster in office. And whatever the sad state of politics in general might be, it will only get worse when the popular kids get involved. If you thought politicians were self-serving bastards, you can begin to imagine what a wealthy actor might become when given the power to run the largest state in the union.

In other news, Stephen King has a column in the back of Entertainment Weekly now. It’s fun, and this week there’s a contest. There are 15 movie quotations and the first letter of each movie will spell out the name of a sports landmark. OK, I’ve got massive amounts of useless movie information inside me – should be a cinch, right?

Nope. I only got one quotation. The obvious one – “mother, the blood!” from Psycho. So that left me with this:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ P _ _ _

Okay…sports landmarks….well I can’t think of any beyond stadiums. And “stadium” isn’t going to fit in there. Some stadiums are called “Parks.” Yeah, “Park” fits. How about Candlestick Park in San Francisco?


That was easy. I bet Arnold Schwarzenegger couldn’t do that.

The Passion of the Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic is a genius. He wrote a song in all palindromes. And it rhymes. It’s a tribute to Bob Dylan, sung in his vocal style. Fittingly, it’s called “Bob”:

I, man, am regal — a German am I
Never odd or even
If I had a hi-fi
Madam, I’m Adam
Too hot to hoot
No lemons, no melon
Too bad I hid a boot
Lisa Bonet ate no basil
Warsaw was raw
Was it a car or a cat I saw?

Rise to vote, sir
Do geese see God?
“Do nine men interpret?” “Nine men,” I nod
Rats live on no evil star
Won’t lovers revolt now?
Race fast, safe car
Pa’s a sap
Ma is as selfless as I am
May a moody baby doom a yam?

Ah Satan sees Natasha
No devil lived on
Lonely Tylenol Not a banna baton
No “x” in “Nixon”
O, stone, be not so
O Geronimo, no minor ego
“Naomi”, I moan
“A Toyota’s a Toyota”
A dog, a panic in a pagoda

Oh, no! Don Ho!
Nurse, I spy gypsies — run!
Senile felines
Now I see bees I won
UFO tofu
We panic in a pew
Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo
God! A red nugget! A fat egg under a dog!
Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog