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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hammer had an Uncle

Posted by: Hammer / 1:43 PM

Hammer had an Uncle, his momma named him Bob
Always was a good neighbor, kept his faith in God

Sorry. Too much KCMP.

I've been going off on the Agape folks for awhile. I thought it best to explain why: I'm a cold-hearted, mean-spirited Hammer, with little love for anyone, especially hypocrites of the first rank.

But wait, there's more.

The Hammer was around for the birth of the Internet. I had a 16-bit Interact computer. I had a 2400 baud modem. I used Kermit to dial long-distance to connect to a Bash shell. I used Pine for email and always forgot to uuencode my binary attachments. I subscribed to newsgroups before they were DejaNews or

Calm down, ladies. Hammer's married.

In the mid-90s, Uncle Bob, who lives about 30 miles from Walnut Grove, Minnesota, asked about the Internet. His first question was whether I had access to the Internet. I did. His second question was whether it was true you could get instructions for how to build a bomb on the Internet. I said, "yes". Uncle Bob had no more questions.

Uncle Bob is a good man. The kind of neighbor who would loan you his nails so you could finish your roof before the rains came; who would walk over to do the chores while Charles drove Pet and Patty on the four-day trip to Independence for supplies. Uncle Bob is a sincere man with a deep and abiding faith in God. An elder in his church. A man who apologized after joking "I guess not all prayers are answered" when a teammate missed a shot on the volleyball court.

Uncle Bob was smart, but not worldly. It pissed me off to no end that the only thing he had been told about the Internet was that you could learn to build bombs.

That's what offends me about the fear-mongering, direct-mailing right. When a technological revolution came around, someone stood up at his church or mailed him a letter not to say "One day computers will allow you to monitor your herd's milk production from the comfort of your home", but to say "One day computers will turn every child into a homosexual, meth-addicted bombmaker, unless you vote for Gil Gutknecht". Or someone like him.

I don't focus on Agape to criticize their beliefs (I do, however, focus on the freepers to criticize their beliefs. Them's folks is nuts.). I hope, in fact, to help. So that when your Uncle Bob asks about the latest way in which the secular left is destroying the fabric of American life you can say, "I heard that, too. But I read that it wasn't actually true" -- that the guy in question was fired immediately, or that Sponge Bob wasn't really gay, or that you can use the Internet to read the Bible.

Also, I sure do miss playing Earth Output 1 on the Interact.


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Prior posts

  • Smilin' Norm Loves that Nuclear Option
  • Agape round-up: on the courts
  • Heroes and lousy parents
  • Shame Based Nation
  • Hammer's curse
  • YARR
  • I like the Gadflyer
  • Agape round-up
  • Reading beyond the headline
  • Archives

    • Gone for now

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