Out of Time?

Happy Birthday, Mr. Carlson!

So good to see you here, sir.

What can I do you for?

What about them Copperheads? They say that Mike Florak has created a nearly limitless potential for the 2009 team. Is that so, sir?

I heard there is a 30% chance of rain in Athens, Ohio, today.

How do you feel about the new President? That Barack Obama guy. What is it going to be, sir? Do you think he's got the right stuff? Can he do it? Can the rest of the world?

Or is it too little too late, already?


  1. It might be too late, but that isn't a good reason not to try.

  2. Oh how cute! A portrait of the Bartender! I was wondering what you looked like... you know, the light in here is dim, and I'm still a little cross-eyed from that PgGb. Athens, you say? I remember it well. Nice place to be from, it you catch my meaning.

  3. Yes bartender, and thank you for the topical references. I am a baseball fan---but tend to root for the teams as they were before the Dodgers left Brooklyn. Down the rabbit hole again...

    speaking of which: am I the only member who is crying out about something desperately wrong with the site? It can't be things have been rearranged so one only can see a single article or 2 as we splash in. Do we need Big Brother to come back and check us out?

  4. Hmm?

    What do you reckon Lockwood? Do you think jazzolog has had one PgGb too many?

    What's in that stuff anyway?

  5. Thanks for the fix, maintenance. We can see far and wide again now.

  6. I am glad you're doing better, sir.

  7. The Wulfshead's PgGb blend is a well guarded secret, sir. Let me just say that it has nothing in common with some of those watered-down so-called "Terran versions," some Bars do serve under that name. Not me, sir! Though I understand that some of the bartenders here do serve The Bartender's Best Friend's version of it.

    The original blend was created by...a Zaphod Beeblebrox, I think his name was. He is, allegedly, the only person able to drink more than three of them at one sitting.

  8. OK, you sold me on it! Bartender, mix me one of those PgGb of yours.

    Say, has anyone been Outside the Interzone, this week? Our friend Lockwood, here---or should I refer to him as "the Gentleman from Oregon"? (I am not sure what the proper etiquette is - or is that just for the Bartenders?)---raised this fascinating conundrum:

    "Suppose you went out for drinks and appetizers with a colleague. You say, "I want an iced tea and the jalepeno poppers." Your colleague says, "I want to cut the waitress's throat and drink her blood. I'll pass on the appetizers."

    Now, your task is to find the compromise position.

    Does this seem familiar to you, Richard?


    Yes, I thought it would.

    (My apologies to the other people at this table - just a private joke - you wouldn't understand.)

    In any case, Lockwood 's got a point: alternative viewpoints are a necessity, not just for any thriving Republic, but for any healthy kind of interaction between oneself and the world. The point is that "rational opposition" is good. And so is being challenged if one is to learn and expend.

    There was recently a rather amusing exchange between one fightsy patron of the Wulfshead who attempted to pick-up an argument with another patron, only to find out that they both agreed on the issue at stake and that, well, they had nothing to argue about.

    Now, I am not the kind who goes out to a bar to pick-up a fight with anyone. But I do enjoy the occasional discussion at the bar, now and then, and it has been my experience that conversations are usually more interesting when they involve a variety of perspectives. It doesn't mean that people necessarily disagree all the time on everything.

    When dealing with problem-solving a little bit of brainstorming can go a long way too---that is assuming that problem-solving is what one is genuinely interested in, which may or may not necessarily be the case where politics is involved.

    This brings me to another observation about the Wulfshead. Is it just my perception of things, or are most, if not all, of the patrons here politically leaning to the left or center-left? (That is, most of the patrons that I have had the pleasure of being acquainted with, thus far.)

    Not that it matters. There is a lot to be said about being able to just relax and enjoy a drink in the company of like-minded fellows without having to fend off the Trolls or having to worry about having one's head bitten-off by some rabid political zombie, like on some networks I know. But by Lockwood's excellent analysis, wouldn't you say that it'd be great time that the Wulfshead begun encouraging a "rational conservative" membership in addition to the seemingly more progressive-minded one currently in existence?

    I don't know... Like, say, has anyone given any thought about sending Jon Swift an invitation, for example?

  9. Ack! I messed up that link to Lockwood's essay.

    Here it is again: Outside the Interzone: Hear, Hear!

  10. David Brin had a very similar take on this - I quote:

    What does "majority rule" mean? Suppose your candidate wins by close to a 60/40 vote margin. You can call that a solid victory, in modern political terms. But it still means that four in ten voting citizens did not want your guy in office. To that forty percent, the word "mandate" translates as -- drop dead!

    Might there be some way to acknowledge the losing minority? One that both lessens their sense of humiliation and makes them more willing to accept that the winners really do mean well? Imagine our new President making the following pledge:

    "I now ask my honorable opponent in the recent election -- Senator McCain -- to help pick a panel of Americans who are well-outside my normal political or social circle. In this case, I'd like him to help fill it especially with many varied types of "conservatives." This panel will have one power. Except during periods of crisis, they will get control over my appointment calendar one afternoon per month. On that afternoon, I'll meet with -- and listen to -- individuals or delegations beyond my regular horizon. In this small way, I hope Americans of all persuasions will feel just a little more sure that I do not live in a tower of ideological isolation, but that I stand ready to hear diverse -- even dissenting -- points of view."

    ----- end quote -----

    This is, no doubt, well intended of David Brin, if perhaps a little naive on his part. Putting a stop to the so-called "culture war" and getting back to talking to one another again as grownups is all well and good, but it's not going to happen unless both the Democrats and the Republicans are willing to do so. As things stand now, with Rush Limbaugh as the self-anointed leader of the Republican Party, it's not bound to happen any time soon.

  11. I went to a conference on Saturday at which the moderator, a lovely Episcopalian activist from Cincinnati (try to conjure up that picture!), identified herself as somewhere between a progressive and a position more radical. How refreshing! I'm feeling we have some patrons in here like that.

    As to the compromise attempt Tom refers to up above, I'm not positive what he's talking about...but it may be a mediating I tried recently at another site. Since all this computer networking still is new to our species, such an effort is tremendous and maybe hopeless work. I don't know why I never learned at that other place, but what happened was I became the focal point...and soon all sides were piling on me. Heh, maybe Obama feels a bit like that now too.

    Anyway, as Lady Fizzlebottom would be sure to point out, nothing could be more spiritually appropriate as we approach Palm Sunday---and what follows. I hope I'm not beginning to feel too much at home here.

  12. "If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies"
    --Moshe Dayan