Desperado -- The Wild Heart
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 95 13:13:53 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Desperado -- The Wild Heart
[Tom's Desperado posts are among my favorite sources of Fun_People material.
Here's one in its entirety... -psl]
From: email@example.com (Tom Parmenter)
Subject: The Wild Heart
Mail firstname.lastname@example.org with [un]subscribe desperado in message body
488 lines, find the OJ items
DESPERADO, Piranha, genetically engineered, headed for resort
I was silenced by Windows.
The last straw was when Windows 3.1 actually managed to crash itself
without human intervention, just sitting there in the idle loop,
minding its own, when some catastrophe sent the PM reeling into DOS
oblivion. And you can't do a damn thing without the PM,
not even get into Windows, where I gladly left the PM
behind for the more reliable and clever services of WizManager Pro
that turns the File Manager into a world you can live in comfortably.
So I didn't even need the the PM, but I couldn't boot without it.
Even to upgrade to the new '95 model I had to get my old Windows
running (or so I thought). After endless twiddling of .ini files
under the coaching of Number One Son we discovered that simply
opening and closing the PM's own .ini file, we could solve the whole
So I decided I was sick of hearing me bitch about Windows 3.1, OS/2
an empty pipe dream, Linux a snare, I bought W95 along with two $30
books plus CD-ROMs of secret power shareware. I took it home. Then
I took it back to get the CD version of W95.
I finally figured out I didn't have to have 3.1 to load W95, that I
could in fact do a "clean" install, I merrily removed every single
application and deleted all of Windows without a backward glance (or
a successful tape backup). All blasted away. Clean. No dirt.
The install of W95 went beautifully, but somehow out of 4 years of
development, 40,000 beta testers who paid for the privilege, and
skinteen skillion sales to the general public, I am the only man,
woman, child, Christian, Jew, or Turk in all of Cyberia who has a 5
1/4 inch floppy on drive A and the 3.5 floppy on drive B, and neither
the CD nor the installed system supports making a bootable floppy on
drive B. Only on A. There is no switch, no popup, radio button,
help file, shortcut, key accelerator, applet, wizard, toolbar, dialog
box, animated icon, or even, so far as I know, DDOS command or .ini
file anywhere in this vast array of software that supports writing
the bootable disk on drive B and booting from same. (I know, it can
be fixed, either by assigning A to B and vice versa, or by switching
the jumpers, whereupon I can but ask, is this really a tool that will
free the millions?)
W95 began putting me in my place right away though. The Hover game
can't find room to run in a tiny 8 meg of memory and all the
multimedia advertisements self-destructed, except for the Baseball
demo, which siezed a window and wouldn't relinquish it under any
click I could devise. I'll obviously be buying a bigger everything.
I had sorta hoped the bigger everything would go for apps, not ops.
Preliminary analysis indicates that saving a phone number takes 17.7k
bytes. Presumably, two phone numbers would not be 35.4k bytes, but
Nonetheless, W95 is smooth, more like the Mac than before, but the
blood and bones are a lot closer to the surface. jo suggests the
slogan, "Doesn't crash as much as 3.1." I'm looking forward to a lot
of fun playing with it. Maybe someday I'll figure out the right .ini
file for making a bootable disk on drive B.
Capt. Scott O'Grady, the Air Force pilot rescued after being downed
six days while flying over Bosnia: "A dozen ants doesn't make a
meal, but it does entertain you."
I was stunned by the verdict, but it happened in this down time and I
didn't have that much to say about it, except that while the police
very rarely frame innocent people, it is certainly not uncommon for
them to frame guilty people. And that no one saw what the jury saw
except the members of the jury.
I bought something over the Internet, gave 'em my credit card number
with the NetScape security key broken in five pieces, and it came
promptly in the mail.
It is "the T-shirt that is a munition", a T-shirt bearing on the
front an RSA encryption program in both perl and bar-code and on the
back a notification that the shirt is a munition under the
International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and US Code, with
citations. The fine is $1 million.
Sales benefit the legal defense of Phil Zimmerman, inventor of Pretty
Good Privacy (and the new Pretty Good Phone Privacy), who is being
harrassed for something he not only did not do, but should not be
harrassed for doing if he had done it, namely, implementing
encryption that's not controlled by the government.
Available at http://colossus.net/wepinsto/wsthome.html or send e-mail
to email@example.com with the subject 'SHIRT'.
This is a genuine geek item, guaranteed never to go into fashion.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Rosemary Simpson)
Subject: quote of the day
John Mann sent me this and somehow I thought of you:
"Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things:
One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell.
The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth.
And you should save it for someone you love."
- Butch Hancock
That's where Butch is from, of course, along with his buddy Joe Ely
and their avatar Buddy Holly.
IN WHICH CHARLA THREATENS TO COME BACK EAST
From: Charla Mustard-Foote <email@example.com>
Subject: random newslets from the land of the permanently befuddled...
I can tell it's getting time for me to return permanently to the land of
the bright and the bleak when I have this itch to share californiana with
People Who Will Understand(TM). I realize Desperadi cross geographical
boundaries, but I refuse to believe any Real Californians are Real Fans
(or understand what they read). Flames to /dev/duh.
<Flash I> Smug San Franciscans have their own Mark Furman
Rogue cop, bad record, frequent lawsuits...shot and killed a guy running
away from a hit and run (cars, not people) accident. He said, "I thought
I saw a gun." You did, fool...at the end of your arm. This guy's name
last appeared in the news Tuesday when he was one of six cops named in a
multi million dollar law suit stemming from a police raid last year on an
Aids Benefit! That's right, you read it here...an Aids Benefit ran
longer than expected and the police, in helmets (and, of course, rubber
I don't like police violence, etc. but I also don't like smugness and you
can imagine the degree of smugness we, in the superior NoCal region,
displayed toward the Furmanites of Southern California. "We don't have
those problems and when we do, we deal with 'em." The guy's record goes
back to 1988. I guess sometimes it takes us longer to deal. Just
imagine if they shot every hit and run driver in Boston. It *would* help
some of the congestion.
<Flash B> Darden and Clark to Wed
Yup, the OJ prosecution bunker has decided to bunk together, for life.
Chris proposed, Marcia accepted. They both got a year off in recognition
for their hard work, yada yada. That's what I call comp time!
<Flash III> Winter Storms Batter Silicon Valley
Tuesday the temperature here dropped to 55 degrees and the sky spit tiny
misty rain drops. As a result, my normal 30 minute commute took an hour
and a half and my normal Boston driver urges returned with a vengeance.
You never lose it...sometimes it just goes on hold. Imagine the blizzard
of '78. Imagine the intrepid driver who kept going at low speed. Then
imagine the whole state of california, driving like that, peering through
the raindrops. (I think they were looking *for* the raindrops.)
Wednesday morning, all the local newsies featured stories on "How To
Drive Safely Under Winter's Hazardous Conditions." Just hope none of
these people ever move east.
That's all the news that's fit to print from here.
your intrepid reporter from the fringes of reality; pass the tarot,
please...you want mustard on that?
From: Jonathan Ostrowsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: The WWW Speedtrap Registry
I was impressed. A national speed trap registry. The speed trap at
the bottom of my street was in it. But when I tried to feed it the
speed trap in Twin Mountain, NH, the message didn't make it through.
Subject: Re: i don't like haiku
i had some stuff once
i wonder where it got to
oh well, it's gone now
From: Jonathan Ostrowsky <email@example.com>
Subject: [firstname.lastname@example.org: at last --- a term for my style of writing!!!]
From: email@example.com (Gerry Smith)
From: Wordsmith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 1995 02:12:55 -0400 (EDT)
Gon.go.rism n [Sp gongorismo, fr. Luis de Gongora y Argote d.
1627 Span. poet] (1813): a literary style characterized by
studied obscurity and by the use of various ornate devices
-- gon.go.ris.tic adj
WE CAN ALL SAFELY IGNORE THE GlobalPsych LIST
From: email@example.com (Charles E McElwain)
Date: Sun, 22 Oct 1995 16:58:53 CDT
From: Ian Pitchford <I.Pitchford@sheffield.ac.uk>
Subject: NEW: CHARTER - Organizing GlobalPsych
To: Multiple recipients of list NEW-LIST <NEW-LIST@VM1.NoDak.EDU>
CHARTER on LISTSERV@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU Virtual Human Nature
CHARTER is a closed unmoderated discussion list for volunteers
wishing to help to contruct GlobalPsych.
The GlobalPsych Institute was formed to employ the high-speed,
multimedia, global communications network known as the Internet to
address the perennial questions of supreme importance to all human
beings and societies, and to address those new questions that are
posed by the advent of the information age and of the Internet
Questions (in no particular order) such as:
* What is Human Nature?
That which produces both the Sistine Chapel and K-mart, the "Art of
the Fugue" and the Alka-seltzer jingle.
* What is the nature of psychophysical health?
* What is the nature of psychosocial health?
Knowing that you got off.
* What is the nature of the interaction between the psychophysical
The n-body problem of human bodies interacting on the MBTA has not yet
* Why should a multidisciplinary approach enhance our
Two wrongs don't make a right, but Sum(wrongs) n=Republican to
n=infinity may make a right, by a principle analogous to Buffon,
needles and the calculation of pi.
* What is culture?
* What can linguistics tell us about the nature of the human mind?
Wittgenstein: "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."
* What is the language of thought?
* Is philosophy the handmaiden of the sciences, or a redundant
Speaking as a university-trained philosopher, definitely the former:
I'll go out with anyone who can pay.
* Can creativity be taught?
Charles Mingus: "Creativity is more than just being different...
Anyone can play weird -- that's easy.
What's hard is to be so simple as Bach,
Making the simple complicated is commonplace...
Making the complicated simple,
-- awesomely simple,
* Do we need to understand the nature of self-organizing systems?
Does a program need to understand itself?
* Does quantum mechanics have anything to say about the nature of
Yes: dx * dp >= h / 2p.
* What can psychopathology tell us about human nature?
It is more profitable to collect the rent on a castle in the sky than
to live in it.
* Is psychoanalysis a crypto-religious orthodoxy or a discipline
with valid insights?
Is modern Protestantism a crypto-psychoanalytic orthodoxy or an
unmusical arhythmic travesty of the religious experience?
* How can an understanding of the scientific method help in the
organization of education?
One can determine which type of pencil to use to insure that the mark
sense forms are reliably read.
* What is the human condition in the Information Age?
T.S. Eliot, "Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"
* Can science really answer the perennial questions about human
nature and human society?
Science is concerned with meter readings, and so yes, it can tell you
that it's time to put another quarter in to park legally.
* Is it possible to combine high technology and a life in harmony
with the natural world?
I asked the feline Zen master Jacey who I live with this question
before I fed him this morning, and he laid my cheek open with his
* Is the Internet a sophisticated contribution to shared culture
and transindividual intelligence, or a over-hyped system for
gathering irrelevant information?
A quick survey of the state of the news groups indicates the answer is
* Is the postmodern disenchantment with metanarratives a realistic
evaluation of our fin-de-siecle scientific hubris or is it simple
I need a working copy on my system of the recently announced
paradigm-shift utility to produce an apropopomo response to this
MEANWHILE, AT THE MILLION MAN MARCH
From: Dan Parmenter <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: a coupla things
Apropos of nothing other than that I'm thinking of it now and won't
necessarily remember next time I see you or talk to you on the phone:
My primary memory of the Million Man March was watching the
sensational antics of the sign language gospel interpreter. The
gospel choir itself seemed kind of run of the mill, but the guy who
was interpeting it for deaf people - WOW! Basically, music and story
were directly interpreted as dance. The distinction between
"communication" and "adornment" was vague and meaningless. This guy
more or less interpeted each song and acted it out as a dance, all in
rhythm. Further proof that "black people" are just plain cooler than
us in every way. Please, someone make a documentary about this
phenomenon! You'll never think of "interpretive dance" as would be
Isadoras acting out their self-absorbed fantasies again. There is no
doubt that a deaf person who observed this would be as fully-engaged
in the process as a hearing person. I've always maintained that music
manifests itself as dance for some people. I can't dance, but I can
play and sing. Uncle Jim can't sing or play, but can dance
beautifully. It's the same. Modularity. If I'm not mistaken, there
were even hand movements to simulate the soaring pitch shifts of a
My other big impression is that Gus Savage is a real dork.
From: "Technology Exchange Program" <mermell@spezko.ENET.dec.com>
Subject: RE: stain and silence
by your use of the word "furshlugginer" can I infer that you have,
as I have likewise, been positively influenced during formative years
by MAD magazine? The most important influences for me being
- thorough understanding of, and contempt for, advertising, especially TV
- a very important lesson. My summer job before college required a security
clearance. The application demanded to know what magazines I read. I was
still too wet behind the ears to realize that a government that wanted to
know what I read put to lie everything I'd been taught about it for the
13 years. But the only magazine I subscribed to then was MAD, and from the
embarrassment I felt at having to report this came the realization that
serious, though idiotic, malevolence was afoot.
I was with Mad from the very beginning 10-cent comic book days and I
am with it to this day, though it isn't as piercing as it was and I
don't actually read it more than once a year. But even now Mad is
telling every twelve-year-old in America with the wit to hear it that
that formulas and foolishness rule. No matter how old or how
popular, Mad is still subversive. The same is true of The Simpsons.
What a civic service these perform.
-- E.C. Fan-Addict 21690
"Furshlugginer", accent on shlug, is Yiddish for the adjective
And, as for calling various places "Silicon This" and "Silicon That"
after "Silicon Valley", if you think you have an addition to the
list, see below.
From: email@example.com (Keith Dawson)
Subject: Need input for Siliconia
Mention <http://www.atria.com/~dawson/tbtf/siliconia/> on Desperado
and I'm sure your band of ragged old-timers (and I count myself
proudly among them) will rapidly help me to flesh out this histor-
There's more where that came from and I'm pretty much back in
business. Send all largish disk drives, CD-ROM jukeboxes, expansion
memory, and ISDN lines to
Digital technology is the universal solvent of intellectual property rights
Forward with daring and whimsy
Copyright 1995, Tom Parmenter
© 1995 Peter Langston