10 March 2011


Tonight I thought I might write about the likelihood of a lockout and a possible abbreviated National Football League season in 2011 due to a lack of a collective bargaining agreement. But I can't get myself too worked up over the squabbles between a clique of millionaire team owners and a few hundred lesser millionaire players. If they come up with a labor deal, great. If they don't, well, so be it.

I might have a bit more to say about major college athletics sometime, but it's kind of late and I don't want to get into the topic right now.

I'm heartily sick of Charlie Sheen. Isn't he fourteen minutes and thirty seconds into his fifteen minutes of fame? The only reason Two and a Half Men was watchable was that Charlie Sheen was playing a character which basically required him to be himself.

Same with Lindsay Lohan. She needs to go away.

I guess I'm not too interested in celebrities. They do provide an object lesson, though. Fame and fortune don't always bring happiness or contentment or, for that matter, normalcy.

I finished up Robert Conroy's 1901. The book was written in 1995, so anything I have to say about it has probably been said already, but I'll say it anyway.

The premise is based on a diplomatic row with Germany back in 1901 that really happened. Seems Germany wanted to acquire the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and a lot of other places that we'd just taken from Spain. President McKinley evidently told the Kaiser to get bent, and Germany went away to other adventures. In the novel, Germany planned and executed an incursion on the Greater New York City area and fought a war with the US.

Yeah, right. The German Navy was a short-legged force designed to fight the British in the North Sea. It was in no way a real oceangoing force ala the Royal Navy. To have the German fleet escorting a huge fleet of transports across the Atlantic, leaving the German coast relatively uncovered, is unrealistic.

Also, Kaiser Wilhelm was portrayed as more of a megalomaniac than I think he was. He was petulant and possibly no genius, but he wasn't a Hitler type.

A lot of flaws, but it was Conroy's first effort. I had read his book Red Inferno:1945, his latest. Not nearly as bad.

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, however, was an infinitely better read. This volume contains most of his short stories and novellas, and well worth purchasing. There are a lot of sci-fi writers out there these days, few of whom are close to Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, or Bradbury as far as writing talent goes.

And that. citizens, about wraps up my thoughts for this post. Later!

yankeedog out.


  1. YD ... Murph posted the same thoughts over at the Pondering Tree today regarding celebs. I agree wholeheartedly.

    As to the NFL thing ... one minor correction ... that would be BILLIONAIRES fighting with millionaires. Fuck em all I say.

  2. The problem with using the net is that the exposure to trash "news" is never ending. The vast majority use crap like that for escapism ... or something. Turns out, the bulk of people don't want to know about someone else's meltdown. Especially a junkie's one.

    I grew up with the Arthur C Clarke show being on tele every week. Loved it. Couldn't get enough.

    And the sport thing. They'll get on the field. They don't want to reach in their pockets to pay for it all. They let the punter do that.

  3. Big fan of A.C Clarke, always have been

  4. A. C. Clarke ftw. As for the footballers, they'll get their millions, but maybe not as many as they were wanting.

  5. Rhino-Obviously, they've gone to the lockout. I still don't think any games will be canceled-too much money on the line. Otherwise, I don't much care.

    Moko-I think you're right (see comments above) on the NFL. I remember the show Clarke hosted, but that was a while back.

    Barnesy, Therbs-Clarke wrote some excellent short stories. I don't think most of his novels were standout stuff, though. I think Clarke, Heinlein, and Asimov wrote so well because they actually had some background in real science and in explaining complex concepts to laymen.