March 05, 2002
'You Take That Back!'

Thanks to Bjørn Stærk for the link to my previous post. That seems to have tripled my hits just for Monday. I will soon see what the later Instapundit link and Samizdata permalink have done to my numbers -- and to this month's Earthlink bill. They don't seem to have crashed my site, which is a good sign.

By the way, if many Americans have trouble with the Ø and the Æ in Bjørn's names, that's not entirely cultural insensitivity and intellectual arrogance on our part. As far as I know, English is the only European language that has no special accented characters, just the Latin alphabet with a few basic late-Latin additions (J, V, and W). No need for Ô or Ñ or Å in English, thank God. Or for Ð and Þ (eth and thorn) any time in the last several hundred years, for that matter.

However, I must respectfully disagree with Bjørn's comments, which I quote here not such much from vanity as because I don't know any other easy and convenient way to preserve them securely in my own archives to make sense of my reply. He writes:

Dear God! Why the blogosphere is like the Borg Collective. (Dr. Weevil obviously belongs to the Borg is Good camp of trekkies - yes, they do exist.)

For better or worse, I hardly qualify as a Trekkie. Yes, I've seen every episode of Star Trex: Next Generation more than once, except for the early one where they visit 'Primitive African Tribesmen in Lionskins' planet. (I've seen the first five minutes of that one several times, but have never been able to look any further.) However, that was not entirely by choice. Living in Tuscaloosa for seven years without Cable TV inevitably gave me more than the doctor-recommended maximum of STNG and In the Heat of the Night reruns. (There was one year when whoever was in charge of scheduling STNG reruns must have been drinking on the job: they would show the second half of a two-parter without the first, then show it again three nights later. Just grab one off the shelf, slap it in the machine, and pour another glass, I guess.) And I've seen a lot of episodes of the other Star Treks, though far from all of them. And I will never attend a Star Trek convention, start a Star Trek site, wear a Star Trek uniform or Klingon suit, or do any of the other things true Trekkies do.

In fact, none of the various Star Treks makes my top-ten list of favorite TV shows, though I do think that the various series come up with some powerful myths or symbols or archetypes that any literate westerner would and should be familiar with. Most of these involve creatures who are either hyperrational, or created (and know it), or both: Mr. Spock, the holographic doctor, Cmdr. Data and his evil brother. But the Borg are up there, too. One reason for my post was to tease Libertarian friends and bloggers by pointing out the many superficial similarities between Blogworld and the ultimate soul-crushing collective monolith.

Now that I've mentioned a top-ten list, I guess I'd better come up with one. Here goes.

Shows I never tire of:

  1. Frasier -- My header is quoted from it. Less Niles-and-Daphne, more Bulldog, Lilith, and Bebe would be nice.
  2. Beavis & Butt-Head -- We need the complete oeuvre on DVD, with the music review inserts, and we need it now! (They only discuss two songs that I have ever bought, or considered buying, but that's OK. I'd like to see what they would say about some Dwight Yoakam and Highway 101 videos, but I suppose now we'll never know.)
  3. The Simpsons -- What can I say? You knew this would be on the list.
  4. Duckman -- Shouldn't four years in the 'Great Books' course at St. John's College and a later career as a Latin teacher have saved me from liking this sort of thing? Or is Duckman the most Aristophanic show ever made, as a Canadian classics professor once told me?

Worth seeing more than once, but only if enough time has passed to half-way forget them (too bad I don't know enough HTML to renumber them 5-8):

  1. Daria -- And that was before I started teaching high school.
  2. Malcolm in the Middle -- And I don't even have any kids, though I do have six nephews and no nieces (pure chance, not ancient Greek methods of family planning, which were pretty much the same as Peter Singer's).
  3. News Radio.
  4. Red Dwarf.

Shows I always look forward to seeing, but seldom want to see again:

  1. Just Shoot Me. Not that great a show, but for some reason I like it
  2. Ally McBeal.

I have the feeling that I may be forgetting something important, but that should do for now. I do often watch Sci-Fi and read detective stories (mostly John Dickson Carr, Carter Dickson, and Kinky Friedman), but never the other way around. And I was unaware that anyone had ever suggested that the Borg could be any kind of heroes. They're kidding, right? I certainly was.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 05, 2002 10:00 PM