The Dog That Roared

October 16, 2006 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized)

Is it possible to create a family on the internet? If so, then a brother passed away recently. Brian Converse, known as Klokdog to fans of the Firesign Theatre and CNI Radio, was an internet friend. Dare I say that I thought him a brother in our varied interests, and attitudes towards society. It feels like I lost a family member.

I stumbled upon the Firesign Chat a couple of years ago whilst perusing (lol) the Firesign Theatre web site. Immediately apparent were several people who used Firesign as a second language. One of them was Klok. He could speak Firesignese with the best of them, and Grid help the unsuspecting chatter who didn’t know Firesign albums by heart. If the Firesign Chat had 6-guns, he would have been the best in the west.

At CNI Radio, he was nothing less than astounding. The man’s command of information would make Star Trek’s Mr. Data envious. Always willing to research the most trivial question and return with the right answers, or expound a literal doctoral thesis on any chosen subject, Klok was our Mr. Science.

Tonight, I have tears in my eyes with anger and grief. Brian, like most of us old codgers, wouldn’t see a doctor unless there was blood rushing out of a gaping wound (and then we’d look around for a sewing kit first). The fact is, if the US had a national health care system (or he could have swallowed his pride and made it to an emergency room), he might be alive tonight. Maybe those of us around his age can heed the very hard lesson.

I never knew that the loss of an internet friend could cause me this kind of grief, but it has. He may have been an internet friend, but he was a local hero. We’ll miss you Brian…

Mark Kopfler’s “Going Home” (theme from the movie Local Hero) seems a fitting musical goodbye.

Never rest, Klok… may you always be in peace 🙂

Tweeny (aka Kurt)

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Fascism, American Style?

October 1, 2006 at 7:58 pm (Uncategorized)

Isn’t it more than mildly ironic that the country to which people ran in order to escape fascism during WWII is now showing signs of its own brand of fascism? Worth noting is that Hitler used the ruse of “a return to Christian values” as a pretext for the rise of the Nazi state. If you haven’t read Milton Mayer’s book “They Thought They Were Free”, you might well consider it. In the mid-1950’s he interviewed ten ordinary German citizens to try to discern how something like Nazi Germany could have come into being. An extremely educational (and scary) read. A siginifiant quote from the book is: “…when the Nazis attacked the Communists, he was a little uneasy, but, after all, he was not a Communist, and so he did nothing; and then they attacked the Socialists, and he was a little uneasier, but still, he was not a Socialist, and he did nothing; and then the schools, the press, the Jews, and so on, and he was always uneasier, but still he did nothing. And then they attacked the Church, and he was a Churchman, and he did something – but then it was too late.” As the man (Thomas Jefferson) said, “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. I truly believe that “honest, God-fearing people” in this country have been duped into supporting an American Imperialism which has very little indeed to do with Christian values.

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