Arrogant Bastard

Occasionally, I review things in this journal. Movies, theater, fine wine, restaurants…

Well, okay, I hardly ever do. And when I do, it’s an informal thing. But I’ve decided that my duty to the public good requires that once in awhile I actually write a review of an important product. Tonight, that important product is going to be:

Arrogant Bastard Ale

Arrogant Bastard Ale

I’m not quite the beer snob that I used to be. Back in The Day, my buddy Oog and I would actually go out of our way to find unique and strange microbrews, then traipse back to our apartment complex and then quaff them and actually compare notes: "This one is rather mild on the malt, but the hops make up for it," that sort of thing. When my friend Dilano moved in with me, he and Oog and I brewed some beers of our own. By far our most successful was something called Fools’ Brew (why? because we were all fools, fools a-brewin’). I got to the point where I could almost — but not quite — tell what kinds of hops went into a particular beer.

The point of all that was that Back in The Day, I knew a thing or two about beer. And even today, I still like to find odd or unique microbrews and, armed with the knowledge that a 12-oz. bottle of your typical beer is about 2 or 3 points (Weight Watchers, you know), I buy up some and quaff it and think of the good old days.

And yesterday I was listening to Talk of the Nation on National Public Radio; the topic was beer, and what makes good beer, and what makes bad beer. It was a blast from the past for me. So while I was at the pharmacy, picking up some of the medicine that keeps my lungs pumping away on a daily basis, I stopped by the beer cooler to see what they had.

How could I pass this one up? The copy on the label says it all: "You’re Not Worthy."

"Yes, I am!" I informed the label, and I grabbed the beer.

So how’s the beer? Is it worthy of proclaiming that the drinker is unworthy? The copy on the bottle reads that this is an aggressive beer, and it certainly is. It’s harsh on the palate and has a cloying maltiness that I don’t care for all that much. It’s nicely carbonated, though, and the hops are very aggressive — here the label doesn’t lie. I like the bitterness and the overall taste of this beer. It won’t displace Guinness or Old Nick or (drool) Samuel Adams Triple Bock as my favorite beer of all time, it probably won’t even make it to the top ten… but it’s not that bad.

That’s all about that.

I’m doing my best to become a threat to the American Way, apparently. While browsing through some news archives on the LUGOD website, I found this article, in which Microsoft claims that the open source model of programming — including Linux — is a threat to intellectual property and is un-American. Says Jim Allchin of Microsoft, "I’m an American, I believe in the American Way. I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat."

I love this. Linux and open-source — a community in which ideas are freely exchanged and developed on, and a person can rise to the top by virtue of their talent and skill, and ownership of code and proper credit is given a great deal of importance — is un-American, while the proprietary software model — which stifles the ability of the average guy to develop code and which guarantees that talent and skill are secondary to politicking and personality when it comes to advancement — is as American as apple pie.

I, personally, would argue exactly the opposite. The Linux and Open Source community is a democratic free for all, where ideas and innovation can explode and grow, where security is an extremely high priority and giving credit where credit is due is a high ideal.

Hence, my new slogan: "Linux — it’s not just for godless, anti-American, communist hippies anymore!"

Think it will fit on a bumper sticker?

The usual stuff is going on. Thanks to my friend Cearalaith, I’m feeling much less out of the loop than I was a week ago. I’ve decided to put Outer Darkness on hold for awhile because my heart wasn’t in it and I wanted to focus on other things for awhile. I’ve been grilling (cod with a neat tomato sauce tonight, undercooked salmon last week with Jennifer and her mother), biking (we went to the meeting of the local bike club earlier this week), and playing with my Linux box. I still work as a temp for UC Davis, and I’ve come to the conclusion that anyone who says that they know what their mission in life is is lying.

And that’s all for now. Have a good night.