Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Dick Tufeld with The Robot
I remember rushing home from school in the late 60's so that I could catch "Lost in Space" on the local UHF TV station. The early episodes were in black & white and the later ones were in the gaudy, over-saturated colors of the 1960's.

The special effects were pretty bad, the acting was even worse. But it was the only afternoon science fiction I could get; Star Trek was shown in the evening when I had to share the TV with my sisters or my parents (none of whom were fans of the show). Nevertheless, I loved the spaceship, the Jupiter II and - most of all - the Robot.

Mostly he was just called "Robot," but in the scripts and (I think) the original pilot he was technically designated B9 (benign). Whatever you called him, I loved the concept of a helpful and friendly robot.

That was the long way to get to the point that I just found out that the voice of the robot, Dick Tufeld died last week. His voice was distinctive and could be heard on many shows created in the 60's and 70's. He even reprised his voice-over role for the (horrible) 1998 remake of "Lost in Space." Audiences cheered when they heard his voice again after so long.

Now that voice is silenced as is the Robot. Never again will Dick - in the guise of B9 - utter that famous phrase: "Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!" Farewell, Dick Tufeld. Farewell, Robot.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Life Aint Fair

Conservatives are upset at the number of references to "fair" in the SOTU speech. "Life's not fair!" they claim. On that very narrow point, I agree with them.

But here's where their argument falls apart.

Life is not fair. In a strictly Darwinian sense, life in the jungle, life in the caves, life on the African savannah was not fair. But one of the reasons that we are all here, able to have this conversation, is that our ancestors worked to make life a little more fair. They banded together for protection; they worked together at hunting and gathering - and later at agriculture. They helped the old, the young and the sick not just because it was the "right thing" to do, but also because those who might have been seen as a burden in the days of roaming the savannah were now able to help on the home front.

Just about every societal advancement our ancestors worked so hard to create was in an effort to make life more fair. A conservative commenter on one of my Facebook friend's posts about the SOTU - in reference to fairness - stated "when YOU feed a poor child that's [good], when government does it that is... evil."Really? When only the government has the resources to reach all of those in need, even then their feeding of a hungry child is evil?

I want to live in a fair society. When conservatives can look around the ideological blinders even they want to live in a fair society. Can anyone really imagine that they want to live in a truly Darwinian society where only the strong survive?

Let's Try This Again...

News of my demise is greatly exaggerated.

The last time I wrote an "I'm back!" post, I really thought I'd be able to keep up with The Fulcrum again. The job I found, and worked at for nearly a year and a half, wound up taking almost literally all of my time. Working 10 hour days was common; weekends too. Even holidays were not safe from it's reach.

Now I'm back on the job-hunt. And there's an election coming up. And there's so much to discuss.

This time I really do mean to post here - and keep posting. I'm working on my blog roll; if I've left off someone important, I apologize. The new Blogger templates and editing tools are taking some adjustment. 

Let's see how it goes!