When I first started reading blogs, Gilliard and Billmon were the first two stops on my daily reading list - Billmon for his studied analysis of the political and economic issues facing our beleaguered nation, expressed in exquisitely reasoned and constructed posts, and Gilliard for his inimitable ability to reach across the desk, grab you by the lapels and scream, "dude, WHAT THE FUCK!?!?"
That's not to say Gilliard wasn't smart. He was as beautifully brained as anyone on the Internet, and more than one of his detractors found that out the hard way when they mistook his brash, profanity-laden style as evidence of a lack of seriousness. To me, his ability to use the word "motherfucker" - and use it well - in an impeccably researched post on the French occupation of Algeria and its parallels to our current disastrous occupation of Iraq exemplified what this thing we Earth people call blogging is all about. Unlike some other military historians on the Internet, Steve's voracious intellect also encompassed a deep, practical knowledge of how real-world politics actually work, including the labyrinthine politics of New York City.
Steve Gilliard may not have invented the "street-fighting liberal" attitude, but for my money he worked it better than anybody and he was the writer most likely to get me fired up to get off skinny white ass and do something. When he first went into the hospital, I left a comment over at The News Blog saying he had to get well soon because there was no way I could face Rudolph Giuliani's presidential candidacy without knowing he would be there to play whack-a-mole with every bullshit talking point that popped out of Rudy's mouth. But Gilliard's gone now, so it's up to us to keep these fools from disfiguring America anymore than they already have and maiming the rest of planet while they're at it.
As in the classic stories, Rogers succumbs to mysterious fumes in the coal mine he's digging in; he awakes five hundred years later just in time to help Wilma Deering fight off some unsavory types. Also as in the classic stories, Earth is locked in a death struggle with the hordes of Killer Kane (who is now some type of alien or something not so blatantly racist and offensive to Asians; maybe he's a human cult leader), and things are not going well. When Wilma brings Buck back to headquarters, some of the eggheads there want to vivisect him to see if he's carrying any nasty viruses or somesuch that can be used as weapons against Kane's forces who are immune to most of the bugs crawling around 25th century Earth. Deering won't stand by to see that happen to the man who saved her life, so she enlists sympathetic egghead Dr. Huer to help Buck escape.
Buck goes underground, and Dr. Huer, concerned that Buck might actually be a health threat to the people of the 25th century, designs an encounter suit he should wear until Huer can determine that it's safe to do otherwise. Turns out the encounter suit makes Buck invisible to life form scans and radar/sonar/infrared, so Huer builds all kinds of neat gizmos into it so he and Deering can use Buck as a secret weapon/backup/scout on their missions against Killer Kane, all the while keeping his existence a secret from their superiors. Buck's eager to help out against Kane, since he knows a true villain from someone merely desperate, and he's convinced that sooner or later it will be revealed that he's not a biological weapon. High adventure and derring do ensues as Buck, Wilma, and Huer battle Khan and stay one step ahead of the Earth forces who have orders to bring Buck in. Romantic tension builds between Buck and Wilma, but they don't dare act on it just in case he is filled with nasty archaic viruses her immune system can't handle.
I figure the encounter suit storyline has six to twelve issues in it, then Buck is free to lead an entire corps of similarly attired stealth warriors into a final, climactic battle against Killer Kane...
Actually, he's quite tall. John Rennhack ran the campus humor magazine when I was in college about 2,000 years ago. It's a good thing he's got a sense of humor, because he's now set himself the unenviable task of tracking the footprints left behind by the biggest pair of clown shoes in the House of Representatives, Peter King (R-Seaford). See John document the atrocities at Peter King Watch. He's also got his eye on the people who managed to bankrupt one of the richest counties in the United States.
Rumor is he's also contemplating a run for the Nassau County legislature. I wish him the best - and if he gets in, he's really going to need that sense of humor.
Heywood J, of the impossibly brilliantly named Hammer of the Blogs, has dropped his first guest post over at Online Blogintegrity. It's exactly the kind of post I would write if I had the time and the brains. Go and read.
Over at The Crack Den, proud home of The Dumbest Trolls on The Internets™, there were a few mouth breathers claiming Rosie O'Donnell's departure from The View as conservatism's "revenge" for Don Imus - which is strange because just last week Imus was a liberal. Anyway, in the interest of clarity I'd just like to point out that we're not happy Imus is off the air because he was a conservative; we're happy he's off the air because he was a douchebag. That's an important distinction, albeit one that has become a bit blurry lately.
Going to be quiet around here for the next day or so...I just wrapped up post-production on this and this and now I have got to do some work for paying clients. Although Watertiger did promise me a pie, so there's that.
Regarding this, and this, and of course this: can we finally be done with these people? Can we finally agree that this time they've gone over the line and decent people will from now on recoil in loathing when they see their names in print or online? Please?