The Broadband Teat

(with a tip of the hat to Harlan Ellison)

AustinCynic

AustinCynic
Location
Austin, Texas, USA
Birthday
January 13
Bio
I'm a husband and proud papa. I have a B.A. in history from Middlebury College and an M.A. in Screenwriting from The University of Texas. And now I work at a kennel--which I enjoy a great deal. I'm also writing a lot of short fiction these days, which I enjoy even more. Catch my story "Trials" in the anthology Ring of Fire 2, currently available from Baen Books.

MY RECENT POSTS

We seem to be in an era where there are exactly two solutions to every problem facing this country: tax cuts and privatization. With the pall of area fires hanging in the air, the stench befouling an otherwise beautiful day, I can't help but think of Marcus Licinius Crassus.

Crassus

Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 19, 2010 8:35PM

Memories of East Berlin

Me at 17, at Checkpoint Charlie

(All images are my own)

 

I pride myself on being slow to take offense. I go to church on a regular basis (not as regularly as I should lately, but that's another post), but irreverence doesn't bother me much, for instance. I have a pretty low sense of humor… Read full post »

OCTOBER 3, 2010 1:45PM

My Favorite British T.V. Pilots

Salon TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz has given us his "Ten Best" lists for American t.v. comedies and dramas over the last couple weeks. He mentioned he'd do non-U.S. shows. Well Matt, consider this one vote of interest, and a list of shows to consider should you decide to tackle it.… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 7, 2010 2:29PM

One Person's Boondoggle...

Let me say at the outset, I love where I work: DogBoy's Dog Ranch in Pflugerville, Texas. My employer does boarding, day care and training for dogs (and much more), so even though I sit at the desk and answer phones and emails I get to meet many great dogs and… Read full post »

AUGUST 28, 2010 2:09PM

The Real Legacy of This Day

Most of you reading this won't know who Fr. Jim Williams is, which is truly a shame. At St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, my church home in Austin, he is one of the "retired" clergy. I put retired in quotes because Jim's been a pretty busy fellow. He's also one of myRead full post »

My yearly ritual every Memorial Day weekend is to watch the Indianapolis 500, and I've done it every year since 1982--missing only the '94 race, when I was getting my college diploma. I don't follow racing the way I used to, but Indy is a part of my childhood, imprinted onto… Read full post »

As huge scandals tend to do when they're ignored/covered up, the shameful history of abusive priests in the Roman Catholic Church has finally reached the Vatican itself. When they're not doubling-down on the crazy by comparing criticism of the Pope with anti-semitism and other outrageous statements,… Read full post »

In the column currently front-paged on Salon, Joan Walsh wonders if the sole victim of Joe Stack's suicide attack on Austin's Echelon Building, Vernon Hunter, would be receiving more attention nationwide if he were white. It's a good question and discussion. However, maybe we should be look… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 18, 2010 7:55PM

But I Had to Get Some Groceries

I got my first glimpse of the Echelon Building in north Austin about about 12:30 pm central time. The building was still smoldering, though the fire was just about out by then. For people not familiar with Austin, this building sits at the intersection of U.S. Highway 183 and the Mopac… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 10, 2010 7:23PM

Sarah Palin, Queen of the Weevils

Weevil

Sometimes, things take a little longer than usual to get up my left nostril, but when they do... Sarah Palin's keynote address to the Tea Party convention is one of those things. In fact, it has gone up my nostril, through my ethmoid bone, and burrowed into my brain. And… Read full post »

Torchwood Cast

 

I'm a relative latecomer to Torchwood and I really can't say why. It's a spinoff, the first successful one as far as I know, of the venerable Doctor Who featuring John Barrowman (center) as the immortal--not to mention highly heteroflexible--Captain Jack Harkness. Thanks to t… Read full post »

A common complaint when a religious fundamentalist--of any faith--opens their gob and says something stupid is: "Where are the moderate voices?"

 Well, this lefty Texas Episcopalian can't keep his mouth shut about what might be the most horrible, insensitive, over-the-top moronic thing Pat Rober… Read full post »

Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 21, 2009 8:03PM

The Best SF Show You May Not Be Watching

I've already posted once before on my long-time love of Doctor Who, particularly my personal pleasure in seeing a whole new generation of fans get ready to mourn the loss of current Doctor David Tennant and welcome Matt Smith to the role soon. And Tennant will certainly be missed. Being the… Read full post »

I was never a huge fan of Michael Jackson, but on the other hand it would be foolish of me to deny that he was a force of nature for much of my lifetime, defining musical pop culture in much the same way Elvis Presley did for my parents' generation.

What… Read full post »

MAY 24, 2009 11:45AM

Why I Love the Indianapolis 500

Every year, on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, I have a tradition: I watch the Indianapolis 500. I have done so for at least a quarter-century that I can recall; the first clear memory I have is of listening to the 1982 race on radio at my godparents' house in… Read full post »

I've been stewing on the controversy swirling around Carrie Prejean for some time now. More than I usually would with such a story, and I think it has to do with the fundamental disconnect between the actions Carrie Prejean and those like her take in the name of the same figure,… Read full post »

(There will no doubt be some minor spoilers here. Proceed at your own risk.) 

Nichelle Nichols' initial dissatisfaction with Lt. Uhura's lack of development and visible duties on the original Star Trek series has become something of a legend, albeit one that is perfectly true. According to… Read full post »

A continuation of where I left off. 

5. The Hudson & AMC Hornet

The Fabulous Hudson Hornet

 AMC Hornet

Hudson Hornet produced 1951-54

AMC Hornet produced 1970-1977

Okay, so I'm cheating a little here. The Hudson Hornet is a bona fide classic, its AMC successor...not so much. Hudson's iteration was a grandfat… Read full post »

As the discussion of the future of the American auto industry has waxed and waned since late last year, I have wondered...at what point did cars, and American cars in particular, become bland boxes? Chrysler did a good job combatting this in the 90s with the PT Cruiser and to a… Read full post »

APRIL 12, 2009 1:10PM

A True Role Model--Kal Penn

The word "role model" gets tossed around and debated so much, it's become meaningless. Charles Barkley once famously caused controversy when he said he shouldn't be a role model just because he could play basketball. That controversy always puzzled me because Barkley was absolutely correct; at the he… Read full post »

MARCH 23, 2009 6:44PM

Facts vs. Truth--A Metamusing

It started when I posted a diary at DailyKos, basically a rant at a "gotcha" article that made the rounds of the AP wire knocking President Obama for stating that a 1908 Ford Model-T was more fuel efficient than many current SUV models. (You can read the article here.)

I got about… Read full post »

MARCH 15, 2009 9:59PM

Go Galt? Go Ahead!

First of all, I'll let Stephen Colbert have his say. 

 I believe it was Charles de Gaulle who said that graveyards were full of indispensable men. Having read Atlas Shrugged (well, most of it--I made it all the way till about halfway through John Galt's interminable mono… Read full post »

In my most recent OS post, I talked about my dream of converting a classic Studebaker into an electric vehicle. Just the fact that that is a remotely realistic possibility, and something that can be done at less than the price of even a low-end new car, is something I find… Read full post »

We all have our dream cars. It shouldn't surprise anyone who reads my brain droppings here on OS that I'm particularly fascinated with Studebakers. Since at least my college days, I've wanted to get the 1951 Commander Fozzie Bear drives in The Muppet Movie and have it painted the same way Dr.… Read full post »

"We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president." 

Ah, Rush Limbaugh. It's so tempting to call you names, like "porcine windbag waste… Read full post »