(second block, fourth letter of the prisoners' quadratic tap code...)

...am here to tap through the walls.

Wed Jul, 26 2006

E-Mail Out

To John J. Miller --

Without question, the largest US foreign policy blunder in the 20th century was in not destroying the Soviet Union when there was a chance before 1949. It is utterly impossible to get away with a contradiction like that contained in trumpeting victories for "freedom" and "democracy", etc., while whole swathes of Europe lay under the Soviet boot and the thing was negotiated that way.

Churchill was right. Patton was right. And subsequent generations paid the direct price of ignoring them, for almost a half-century afterward. The wages of this folly are still being paid indirectly in myriad ways. One of the most important goes to all this "nation-building" rubbish -- a legacy of George Marshall and Dean Acheson, et. al. -- which consists in nothing more than the idea of attempting to bribe bloody savages into behaving themselves. "If we ship them boat-loads of our own productivity, sweat, and blood, then they won't hate or hurt us."

Bullshit. History proves it, and we're going around that sick mulberry-bush again in Iraq.


Various guitars I see floating by, mostly Gibson and mostly eBay.

Early Norlin ES-335 -- 1970, in Walnut ("ES-335TDW"). This is a period-piece look and feel, and arguably the sound as well but that's to cut things very finely. A "classic" 335 would be the original of 1958 in the Sunburst or Natural finish, or the Cherry Red of 1959; the Walnut of 1970 (second year of that finish offering) is not really a "classic" 335. In the history of the Gibson aesthetic, this is analogous to, say, vertically-striped polyester bell-bottoms or Bahama Blue shag carpeting. None of this is to say that they're not cool guitars, and this is a nice one. Excellent photographs.

Chrome hardware, featuring the trapeze tailpiece (like my L-47 and I've always liked it) and ABR-1 bridge with period-typical nylon saddles. Bound rosewood fretboard, with small block markers, and then the crown inlay at the machine head. These would be the T-top Humbuckers. Vintage Nazis would moan that the upper bouts are pointy (the body templates were wearing-out in the factory) and the fourteen-degree machine head with the volute signals a sometimes not-fun era of the line, but these things really do rock or moan or whatever you want a 335-type semi-hollow to do. ...which, of course, is because it really is a 335.

In the months since I've let AxeBites languish all to bleedin' hell, Gibson's Robot Guitar technology has sifted out to other models than the original Les Paul application. I don't know how it's going: I still haven't even seen one of these self-tuners. I don't see piles of them burning on the sides of the highway, nor reverent hangings in display cases over bars, so who knows? This 2008 Robot SG is ready to rock in the Metallic Red. Nickel hardware; it's the stoptail wired for data to send to the tuners, with dual Humbuckers. It's a bound rosewood fretboard, but I really like the single-bound machine head with the crown inlay. That's a real cool old-school look, right there, to set off that crazy-ass color. {nod}