Tag Archives | war

Ask General Kang: If my foreign policy is a failure, do I have to admit it?

Ask General KangHell no!

If you can’t blame the failures of your policy on some flunky (or opposition party, if you’re unlucky enough to be ruling in a “democracy”) then what kind of leader are you?

The best option is to say that your policy is a rousing success, in spite of all evidence. (That is, if you can’t suppress the evidence.)

Of course, as a intergalactic overlord, I’ve always felt that the best foreign policy comes from the “offer them a Stay-Fresh Snakin’ Cake … and carry a plasma weapon” school. Here on Earth you face the challenge of multiple opponents/allies who are impossible to defeat militarily, without destroying your biosphere, that is. (What is it with your human fascination with those quaint nuclear weapons? Don’t you realize they can wipe out everything?)

So no. Don’t ever take ownership of a mistake! I mean, if you admit to a mistake, then you might actually learn something, and do better the next time.

How the hell am I going to conquer you people if you start learning things?

Next time: Henri Bergson described time as something we experience as a duration, in a flow of consciousness, not as a series of events. So what gives with knock, knock jokes?

Alltop is the knock, knock joke of the Internet. Originally published in October, 2006. Does that depress you? It should.

Classics of Literature — Ender’s Game

Ender's GameThis is a fun and page-turning read about eugenics, institutionalized child abuse, and genocide.

Humanity is at war with a distance race of aliens (called “Buggers”) and for some reason, the adults are unable to discover the best way to fight this implacable ant-like enemy. (Apparently, Boric Acid doesn’t work.)

What it really requires is the sense of wonder and innocence that only a child can have, and so, the people in charge of Earth’s governments start a breeding program to turn out kids designed to be excellent space warriors.

The children are all tagged so the authorities can monitor all their thoughts and movements, while they are being evaluated for service in the International Fleet. (A device that is similar to an iPhone, but a little smaller, and you can’t download your own apps to it.) After he is un-tagged, a young Ender Wiggin is attacked by bullies, and he kills one of them, so that the bullies will no longer bother him. The IF realizes it has made a horrible mistake. This is just the kind of ruthless logic they need in their war.

The rest of the novel follows Ender’s rise through the ranks at Battle School and Command School, a marginally creepy shower scene, and eventually, the set up for an excellent sequel, The Speaker for the Dead.

It is worth noting that an anagram of Ender Wiggin is “Ending Grew I.”

Alltop is wiggy to the end. Originally published in December, 2010. And no, I haven’t seen the movie yet.

Rozie

Rozie the riveterRozie was a helluva’ dame.

She could sink those rivets faster than a two-dollar fancy-girl could peel the wrapping off a sailor on shore leave, after he’d been at sea for several months, writing bad poetry and extended metaphors that ended up just kind of petering out, the way that an old man with a pipe full of wet monkey fur did, trying to light the mangy stuff with a can full of lima beans instead of a match or a zippo, or the right technology for the job.

Then the propeller cut off her head.

More heroic attempts at comedy can be found at Alltop. Originally published, September 2008.

Inglorious Basterds II

Inglorious Basterds II
‘Allo my friend of Germany. So ze war is … how you say … getting you down? Come to Ze Follies Parisian Plus Grand — Huge Tomfooleries of Paris!

Don’t mind ze smell. Ve have just fumigated for rats.

Enjoy your champagne! Laugh! Laugh you fat German pig-rapist!

And now, here are ze chlorine dancers!

After the war, Alltop lived for many years in Brazil. Photo via Buzzfeed.