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"I'm Sorry, Dave, I'm Afraid I Can't Do That."

By       Message Bob Patterson     Permalink
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Republicans will (speculation alert) probably want to give patriotism award to the electronic voting machines if those computerized gadgets can give an unexpected "upset" victory to the McCain Palin ticket for several reasons:  That will put up the old "invisible shield" to protect Dubya from out-of-control Democrats seeking to make a name for themselves with a new war crimes trial, it will insure that the U. S. doesn't surrender in Iraq or Afghanistan, it will help insure that the bailout is conducted "indictment free" and last (and for them certainly not least) it will mean that GWB's legacy won't be that he "caused" the election of America's first President of African-American heritage.
 
Republicans are casually dismissive of the possibility that there can be "2001" in the 2008 election.  Actually the award would most likely be given not to the machines themselves, but to the programmers who made such an outcome possible. 
 
From the Democratic point of view, such a turn of events would be a disaster.  It would mock justice and, effectively, dismantle democracy.  They would see it with the same amount of skepticism as Paris felt toward occupation by the German Army.
 
From the Republican point of view, it would be assessed as landing on the other end of the wonderful-terrible scale.  George W. Bush has come as close to achieving the dismantling of the "New Deal" as they could possibly wish.  He hasn't managed to gut the Social Security part, but with the deficits mushrooming, that shouldn't be a hard sell for a McCain administration. 
  
Speaking of Sci-fi, on Friday night the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive showed Alphaville and since we have never seen the 1965 Jean-Luc Godard futuristic film noir, we never realized that it would provide the basis for a column about the Bush era that, back then,  was far in the future.

The classic Russian novel “We,” which influenced both Aldus Huxley and George Orwell, is another sci-fi work that indicates that the future and fascism go together like (cliché alert) ham, eggs, coffee, and the New York Times, for breakfast.

Berkeley has a past tied to the future because Ursula K. LeGuin was born in the city and Philip K. Dick lived and worked there.  On Saturday morning at breakfast, in the Mediterraneum Café (home of the <I>caffeelatte</I>), we met a fellow who is putting the final edits on his about to be published sci-fi novel, tentatively titled "Terra."

The local citizen noted that his city is second only to Cambridge Massachusetts when it comes to best book buying <I>per capita</I> competition in the USA.

According to an article written by Joe Eaton for the Berkeley Daily Planet's special edition for August 20 - 26, 2004 about the city's literary heritage (regular readers know that this columnist wouldn't do that much work, so we have to give Eaton credit for all the research) that in the Sci-fi world, there has been talk of starting awards for up and coming writers (i.e. in their "starving artist" phase) and calling them the "Lucky Dog Awards" because Philip K. Dick used to buy horse meat from the Lucky Dog Pet Supply, which is still located at 2154 San Pablo St. in the east bay University town.
 
You will never be able to travel back in time and help Phillip K. Dick in his time of need, but you don't have to travel in time to help this web site with their need for a bit of financial aid.  Please give to the fund raising effort currently in progress.
 
Eaton also mentioned that Kerouac lived in Berkeley and it was there that he first saw a copy of "On the Road."
 
If the voting results are announced as a McCain win, the conservative talk shows will be unanimous in their proclamations that democracy works and the people have spoken.
 
The level of skepticism that the mainstream media will display after a McCain victory remains to be seen.
 
A victory by Senator Obama will cause scoffing from the Republicans about voter fraud. 
 
The only thing that seems certain is that the era of the Presidency of the man who was known as "the uniter" will be over and the conflicting assessments of the 2008 election will sound like a replay of a Monty Python comedy routine.
 
In "2001" Hal, the computer, said:  "Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over."

Now, the disk jockey will play Richard Strauss' "Also sprach Zorathustra" and we will teleport ourselves out of here.  Have a "warp speed" week.

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BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)
 

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