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I Can’t Believe I Wrote The Whole Thing

According to the old adage a trip of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That adage is pretty old. Nowadays a trip of a thousand miles begins with a call to your travel agent.

A modern version might be that a web site of a thousand pages begins with a single HTML tag. Now that I think on it, that’s passe too. Most people (but not yours truly) use a fancy web editor and never see the HTML.

Be that as it may, I see to have piled up a lot of crap, er, interesting reading in these here pages. It sort of gets out of hand, it does. As a consequence it needs a bit of reorganization from time to time.

My faithful readers might have noticed a bit of a face lift in the old site. What happened was that I decided that the new year was a good point to do some of that reorganization stuff. The most obvious change is that I am pretending that it is a monthly magazine. The olde home page has a table of contents for the month. I’ve reworked the table of contents in the hopes that finding your way around in this mess will be easier. Why you might want to do any such fool thing is a question that probably should not be asked. Why I’m putting all of this crap on the web is another question that is best not asked.

As I write the Clinton/Lewinsky brouhaha is the big do. I figure it’s an example of the Peter Principle.

That’s about as much politics as we do in these here parts. It’s not that politics isn’t a rich ripe source of humor. It is, with the emphasis on ripe. The trouble is that political discussions are like doing bad acid.

Not that I ever did acid. I’m a fringe person myself, the sort of chap that pokes his nose into cultural byways but doesn’t go whole hog. You know, the guy who goes to the druid ceremonies but doesn’t dye himself blue. The trouble with these extremists is that they like to sacrifice virgins. Terrible waste, that.

Let’s see, what else can I babble about for an editorial? The trick with editorials is to write an obnoxious opinion piece – that’s what they’re there for. John W. Cambell Jr., the late editor of ASF, had it down to a fine art. He would do little riffs like “Slavery is good.” Attend his reasoning:

Slavery is involuntary servitude
Compulsory education is involuntary servitude
Education is good.
Ergo slavery is good.

Can’t argue with that, now, can you? Of course you can. People did, loudly and indignantly. “Step right up folks! Only one thin dime, one tenth part of a dollar. See Campbell, the Weasel Man.” Worked like a charm. Brought the marks right in every time. Now that’s editorial panache.

Maybe next time I’ll do the Campbell trick. I’m pretty good at being obnoxious or at least that’s what people keep telling me. This time around I’ll close with the official slogan of the 1984 World Science Fiction Convention


Note: Likely enough that isn’t quite right but it’s close and that’s the way I remember it.

This page was last updated February 5, 1998.
It was reformatted and moved May 11, 2006.

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