Excuse me, but you seem to have stumbled into my little corner of the World Wide Web. Please wipe your feet.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Isn't it amazing how much we take the Internet for granted today? Hard to believe that something that has become so ubiquitous
in our culture has only been in existence for roughly 30 years. And yet with the Internet's rapid rise, I think many of us
have lost sight of its historical underpinnings. Let's take a look back at some of the pioneers, visionaries and trailblazers as well as the technological breakthroughs that have made the Internet
what it is today.
Item: Sunshine Biscuits introduced the Hydrox cookie in 1908.
Item: Nabisco introduced its vile imitation, Oreos, four years later in 1912.
Item: One day I woke up and all the Hydrox were gone, replaced by a generic creme sandwich cookie in an elf-ridden package
Item: They all taste pretty much the same. Any contention that one is better than the other is akin to a religious debate.
I just happened to be born into a Hydrox family and had hoped to be able to pass the rich Hydrox tradition on to my children
and grandchildren. But no, tradition means nothing to the ruthless cookie magnates of today. You may not be aware of this,
but the Hydrox wafers were of two kinds -- some bore the word "Sunshine" and others "Hydrox". My family held a belief (the
source of which is lost in the annals of time) that Hydrox cookies in the lucky Sunshine/Sunshine configuration conferred
a wish upon the recipient. Surprisingly, they didn't come up all that often. The Sunshine Biscuit Company did a creditable
job of mixing them up. No, the wishes seldom came true. But it added another dimension to dessert, one my grandchildren will
never know. Oreo/Oreo? A wish every time? I think not. I will not deign to examine a "Droxies" at close range, but I'll wager
they're equally repetitive.
And no, I don't know what Hydrox means. Yes, it sounds vaguely chemical. I don't care.
(Look here for more than you ever wanted to know about the late lamented Hydrox)
Here's a link to a site that I found unreasonably amusing. Maybe my inner art critic has been longing for similar release. Maybe it's
just the goring of sacred cows that I find so entertaining. Or quite possibly I'm overanalyzing this and I'm just plain twisted.
Spent the weekend up at the lake. You know, the lake. First time I'd been up this year, so
lots of work getting things opened up, getting water running, clearing downed branches in the yard, and so on and so on. I
don't really mind the work so much when I'm up at the lake, though. Sometimes the setting just makes it all worthwhile. Didn't
hurt that the weather was perfect and the springtime woods held surprises and delights at every turn.
I am more than a little disturbed at the lack of any real outrage on the part of the American people over the failure
of our armed forces to uncover the so-called "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that were the purported reason for our conquest
of Iraq. It seems to me that when you launch a war on another country, you should be pretty sure of your reasons. And if those
reasons don't ultimately hold up, what does that make you? A war criminal? I think there's a case to be made.
I'm afraid that many people rationalize that even if we didn't find the weapons that our government felt were a sufficient
threat to warrant an attack, we can take heart in the fact that we've freed a downtrodden people from a repressive
regime. All's well that ends well, eh?
I'm not ready to forget that the rationale for this war has so far been demonstrated to be a fallacy. And I'm certainly
not ready to advocate the role of global liberator for the United States. God knows, there are countless countries in which
human rights get the short shrift. Are we to liberate them all?
I'm not an isolationist. I believe that if the cause is just, our country should do what it can to right wrongs, to fight
injustices. But to attack and conquer another nation in the name of self-defense only to find that the threat was nonexistent
is the worst kind of hypocrisy I can imagine.
I'm also disturbed by the villification of those who, in good conscience, questioned the wisdom of our Iraq incursion.
The attitude "My Country, Right or Wrong" was ridiculed during the Vietnam war years by many of the same people who seem to
now espouse it. And don't get me started on the overwhelming numbers who believe that the events of 9/11 were somehow related
to Iraq and that recent events represent a justifiable "payback".
I am saddened that so many of us are so poorly informed and so unwilling to hold our elected officials accountable for
The dated links above are to previous week's posts. Take a look if you haven't been following along.
And just for the record, all words and pictures, except as noted, are mine and mine alone. I take full responsibility
for them (unless, of course, legal action is threatened).
Willie, here, is both the mascot and the arbiter of good taste for this site... So, as you might
expect, people will be offended. My apologies.
"There's nary an animal alive that can outrun a greased Scotsman!"