Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cue Theme Music! Also, Presidential Candidate Shortage

'Cos yesterdaze thrillin' episode of Whatever It Is We Do Here resulted in partial success! At least, it had as of the time I skedaddked last evening. Handsome Dave[1] and I had all three RF finals in the stardrive array running, albeit the one with which we have most recently been frobbing [2] was sitting at about 50% when we left. Today's effort should allow us to get it back to full power. We hope.

Last evening, I was reading the novel Hope, from Aaron Zellman and L. Neil Smith, which features a libbytarian Hero of the sort we never see (Barry Goldwater notwithstanding) and it occurred to me to wonder why not. The answer's simple: freedom types tend to be self-actualized and internally validated. We don't respond well to Great Leaders and rarely become them ourselves. Political candidates, on the other hand, crave external validation. It's part of what drives them.

...That explains why Fred dropped out and why he never seemed all that interested in the race: he would have liked the job but he didn't need it and all the attention and stroking that comes with running for it in the way that his competitors in both parties do. And it explains why the LP struggles election cycle after cycle to come up with a Presidential candidate and gives birth instead to mice and/or engaging fringe types.

Of course, it also explains why it is I have driven several bosses into boiling rages when they have asked me what time I plan to end my day and I have innocently replied, "When I'm done." It was a surprise to me yesterday to look at my big ol' starship-engineer wristwatch and realize it was the 30th already!

1. Don't be jealous, o admiring (hah!) minions (hahah!). I'm not his type; he likes 'em blonde, smallish and highly decorative in addition to not being stupid.

2. Or frobnosticating. It's old technoid slang and highly self-deprecating in this context, bein' the lowest form of technological manipulation, beneath "tweak" and "twiddle"


Carteach said...

I bet you would be fun to work with.... :)

I used to work for a man... he was Ok, a bit weird.
He would ask how late I was staying, and I told him one minute longer than him. He would tell me about what needed to be done.... and I would just smile and nod, and tell him to get comfortable!

After a while, he'd ask if it was Ok for him to go, and I always said sure! He'd look at me a moment, and say "You are leaving right after I do, aren't you?"
I replied "Yup!", still smiling.

He spent many long evenings at work, doing nothing but watching me smile at him while I worked.

phlegmfatale said...

Great description of the vast gulf between someone like Fred and all those other asshats. And it's amazing how many people fall for the used-car salesman or the televangelist.

Tam said...

Fred's problem (and, by extension, ours) was that he had too much of the Cincinnatus streak in him.

He was pretty sure he saw what needed to be done, he felt he could do a reasonably good job of it, but he didn't particularly want the gig.

Rather than saying whatever he thought we wanted to hear to make us like him, he told us what he thought was wrong, what he'd do about it, and if we thought that sounded like a good idea, we could vote for him.

Unfortunately, while most people want to be led, they obviously don't want to elect anyone with leadership skills.

Roberta X said...

Amen, Phlegmmy and Tam. The dashin Man (or Woman) On Horseback is ever so much more telegenic. Blargh.

I finished Hope last night. An excellent read; it's pretty much pure "If El Neil were El Presidente..." wish-fulfillment but if that happens to be one one's wish-list, it's pure-dee fun. No ox goes ungored and every political "sacred cow" ends up as barbeque.

In the real world, they've scared off every candidate with a spine, the imagination to have useful ideas and the wit to read and comprehend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights except Ron Paul. While Dr. Paul doesn't read those documents quite the same way as I do -- or if he does, he draws different conclusions -- he's close enough. I'm votin' for him in the GOP beauty pageant and in the unlikely event of his nomination, I'll vote for him in the general election.

But my advice is, better buy a gun now, expexially if you were hankerin' after an eeeeevil black rifle; and if you can buy it from a private seller, so much the better. Barring a miracle, we're gonna end up with a President from the Left (Evil) wing of the Party of Treason and it's all gonna stink on ice for four years.