``Haltingly connected, happy commodity; The glory of shopping and fucking;
This great freedom, good fortune to work and play, I think it's the end of the century.''
The beginning lyrics of ``Do I Know You?'' from Retreat from Memphis. No, this probably isn't a szine for children, but at least I haven't gotten into quoting from Pussy, King of the Pirates where the Rock and Roll band that blows Sonic Youth away teams up with Kathy Acker, yet. But I will, I will.... anyway, yes, you get a twofer Mekons quote this issue.
I could get used to this... And that reminds me of the sublime Mark Cutler song of that name. Mark is one of the house faves around here. His latest album is out on Potters Field Records (check out Mark's web page at http://www.mcutler.com), Skylolo and ``I Could Get Used To This" is an old song that he's recorded before (I think... can't recall when right now), but this version turns around the usual defiant bravery he previously exhibited of having ``no one to hold, no one to touch, no one to kiss'' back to poignant questioning. Mark and I are the same age, so recording it that way at 40 has clear meaning. Another deep record that probably won't be noticed any more than the last one.... I'm going to have to listen to it a lot more before I come to a conclusive opinion about whether it is a damned fine recording, or merely an inspired failure. Either way, you are encouraged to check it out.
Consider this the first issue back from the ``two issue'' lull following the big issue. It still doesn't have half the stuff on my writing plate in here, but you'd never want that plate to be empty. As you probably can tell, I've made an effort to make Page 1 a ``reading'' page. A little bit rock and roll first, then a little bit you and me and Diplomacy...
First, the bad news. I'm going to have to miss World DipCon. I'm not going to dwell on it, as most of you know, the problem with Cons in general for me is that I travel a lot for my job, so I'm away from home quite a bit. And unlike most business travelers, I can't earn frequent flyer miles so I always have to pay full fare for personal travel. It gets tough for me as well as my wife to schedule Con trips with all that. I also have responsibilities at my church on Sundays that fairly require I give lots of notice before disappearing. What made it worse this time was that I had the wrong date for World DipCon in my head and plans. One of you COULD have told me when you noticed it.... all things considered, I blew my big wad with the issue #200, now I have to find a way to make one of Brad Wilson's cons this year. Could we have details please, Brad?
While we're speaking about World DipCon, I'd like to comment on what has been the big Con news in Britain this year - the various events surrounding MasterCon. Two big issues have exploded into angry discussions of varying severity: use of bribes in Diplomacy tournaments and use of NFP letter material. I've seen some discussion in different places, but I am going to trust most of my facts on Stephen Agar's accounts and the accounts of others in his szine Spring Offensive. Apart from the fact that they have the ring of truth, I am not going to focus at all on the personalities themselves but on the issues.
First, the basic facts of one of the key games at MasterCon: John Boocock(Italy), Mark Wightman(France), Steve Jones(Turkey) were the relevant players on the board involved. Shaun Derrick was the tournament director at MasterCon and he actually was informed about the following situation as it was happening. When Mark Wightman approaches John Boocock about a formal IF DMZ, John tells Mark that Mark must give John a 5 pound security deposit before he will even talk to Mark, which John will keep if Mark breaks the DMZ. While Mark is talking to Toby Harris (who clearly knows what John is doing) about John's request, Mark notices John approaching Austria and Turkey. Steve Jones appears to accede to John's request, and ``something'' changes hands. Mark decides he had better accept the offer too and gives John the $5 security deposit. The standard IF DMZ held until Fall 1905 (or '06, but it doesn't matter, with varying degrees of difficulty between Mark and John), when John asks Mark for support to Munich while John's Italian fleet moves to Western Med. Mark says OK, but says the fleet has to stay in Tunis. They agree, but both are lying - Mark stabs by convincing the crippled Germany to support HIM to Munich instead while John moves F Tun-Wes. Mark tacitly agrees that this breaks the agreement and doesn't bring up the return of the five pounds from John. In the final season in the game, Steve Jones takes four Italian centers (using no supports with three of the centers potentially defended by Italian units), so that Mark and Steve ``tie'' with 13 centers each.
Every ``fact'' here is cited by at least two participants in the exchanges (I've left out some other speculations or statements by only one party about the behavior of others). After tournament director Shaun Derrick was informed, but with no direct complaints from players (it's not entirely clear how much detail Shaun knew and which players talked to him though), the scores stood. If there were to be any type of sanctions or anything like that anyway, it needed to take place on site, immediately. Especially so since the general details were known to the tournament director at the time. Sanctions issued after the fact are unfair and pointless. It reminds me of the way, in the US, where NCAA basketball removes teams from the Final Four record book when the break rules, such as with Marcus Camby and UMass. It's basically a joke. Once Mark and Steve were permitted to go forward with their scores intact, that game was over and the next one had begun.
Strangely enough, both Steve Jones and Mark Wightman ended up on the ``Top Board'' table and would have done so even if all of those final centers had not changed hands. I agree with what Shaun and many others say about what the tournament directors can do in such situations. If you ban particular behaviors outright, then you drive them underground. It may be ``better'' for them not to be illegal so that they are openly admitted and discussed, so that they can be dealt with ``within the game'' where (in my opinion) they belong. These sorts of incidents have been escalating in the Brit hobby over the last few years as the tournaments have become more and more competitive, with some international debates between players of different nationalities - especially in the explicitly international tournaments.
In 1994, at World DipCon IV, I admit to being a bit surprised at how many people carefully ``played the tournament'' by grabbing centers at the end from players who were just ``playing the games''. As most of you know, there also were criticisms about players assisting fellow countrymen at their own expense. Much of these difficulties arise from the three types of players one finds at major tournament conventions. First are the players who play in these Cons often, they are serious, and they are there to win. Second are the players who are just there to play and know they have no chance of winning the tournament. They may be naive about how tournaments are played, or like John Boocock, they may see an ``opportunity''. Indeed, John played in JUST this one game. Third are the very good players who might get psyched into the pitch of the tournament by a good showing in their first game, but would never ``give away their place'' in any game for money or other bribes, nor would they be extorted by an offer like John made. Most probably they would finish back in the pack. Most tournaments deal with this by having a ``Top Board'' in the final game to avert the problems that are even more likely in the final game in a tournament otherwise. At MasterCon, Toby Harris ended up winning the tournament as a whole, Mark Wightman finished third, and Steve Jones finished seventh after each made the final board. As you can imagine, much of the British talk about this centers on the personalities and issues with these particular individuals. That is not my point. You can see some of Mark Wightman's comments on this in the letter column below as I verified some facts with him.
This is worth commenting on as many of you prepare to go and play in World DipCon at Chapel Hill. I talk a lot about ``levels'' of the game as a shorthand way of analyzing what is going on in any particular game. To me, this is a natural way of expanding the simple ``tit-for-tat'' idea in standard game theory where otherwise language fails. As a simple example, consider first a gunboat game with no negotiation allowed and no one knows who is playing which power. The only ``level'' of the game is the tactical moves themselves and the negotiation that those moves can communicate. Then move to ``at the table'' open negotiation. Everyone knows who each other are, but the level of those interactions is limited because nothing can be said away from the table. Some prior experience with particular players can be important here. That's another level. Then allow the standard FTF private negotiations where personality and prior experiences between players can influence what they do even more. Another level. Now things start to get subtle. Having bribes or side payments going on is certainly another level of the game. So is the mere fact that the game is part of a larger tournament with implications beyond that particular game. Most importantly, so are a whole host of psychological and personality oriented strategies that play to particular personality quirks in the players in any particular game. Most of these levels are added onto a game by the choices of the players involved, as opposed to where I began with ``big picture'' levels that everyone can see clearly. But it is not always with full and open disclosure and permission where the level of the game changes on this basis.
I cannot say this more clearly: It is the magic and the challenge of the game of Diplomacy that permits and occasionally demands that the game be played on so many levels within the same game. To me, you play Diplomacy, you do it with the maturity and knowledge that ALL THINGS are potentially in play. You can take steps WITHIN THE GAME to try to keep particular levels out of play. For example, Mark Wightman could have stood at the table with all players present and made the side payments completely public (either before or after he himself ``paid'') in an effort to change the level of the interactions, or perhaps to shame John Boocock into altering his strategy. But, at the end of the day, the infinite combinations of decisions by seven players determine what levels are in play and how they sort out on the board.
The other issue, that was a natural outgrowth of concerns expressed on the aforementioned side payment issue, was the role of Not For Print (NFP) letters in the hobby. I want to take the opportunity in mentioning it that the official policy of this editor and this szine is that there are no such thing as NFP letters. If you would put an NFP label on a letter and send it to me, be assured that I will treat the letter just as if the label wasn't there. If you're uncomfortable with that, don't send it to me. This policy always serves me well in keeping me out of feuding loops I'd rather not be in. Some of you are thinking, but I've written Jim NFP letters and he hasn't published them.... well, yes, let me explain further.
Stephen Agar also presents a very useful taxonomy (Luke, that's your word for this issue... c.f. typology) of NFP letters. First, there are the personal revelations of family, illnesses, or other personal problems which people make. As many of you know who have sent me such letters, I have gone to great lengths to protect the details and nature of such personal revelations from being items of debate in the hobby as a whole. That's probably why I continue to receive these letters on a fairly regular basis. To me, though, my dealing with these letters is a matter of individual trust between me and the letter writer. If you're near the border on an issue (you write me an NFP letter that you're having financial problems and you're thinking of folding and keeping all of your sub money while publicly you are ``pushing'' new subs), see the policy above.
Second, there are the letters that make unfavorable comments about the character or behavior of a third party that someone would put NFP on so that the subject of the letter would not see the allegations. Generally, I find these letters low, especially when they are conducting MegaDiplomacy and I do not acknowledge the NFP labels on these letters. I don't want to hear them. In an interesting link back to the levels of the game, the exception to this, perversely enough, is the ``game letter'' where the third party is another player in the game. Printing or publicizing game negotiation letters is, of course, letter passing at its most shameful. Letter passing is another ``level'' in a game, and must be dealt with within the game as all such behavior must in my eyes. But, if it's not in a game, where you accept assignment with a particular group of seven players for a specific game, it's an NFP letter but I'll consider it published if you send it to me. So if you don't want it published, don't send it to me. The incentive and result should be clear - it has always worked for me.
Third, someone can put NFP on a letter to me specifically attacking ME! Ordinarily, this is done as an explicit feuding tactic to get the letter's receiver to look bad in public. No matter how one responds they are likely to have difficulty living with themselves and can have lost ``tempo'' with the original sender..... unless you have my NFP policy. I print it, I laugh at how you are attacking me, and in fact I require it in the press for my games if you are going to attack anyone else. This tends to keep all abuse on the ``fun'' level. It works for me, and I recommend it to Stephen Agar who is struggling with the issue at present. I apologize (a little bit) for going on at length about such difficult issues, which may not be affecting the US hobby at all at the present time. I've always argued that one of the ways that we keep out of trouble is by putting these issues on the table in public... gee, that NFP policy isn't a coincidence, is it? I hope and pray that the more dynamic and active Brit hobby isn't torn apart by feuding over these issues, and indeed, it is just a natural extension of debates I've been watching at least since 1994 in the UK. Let's have some fun and play some games!!
Now, I get to the ``boring stuff''. The postal sub price is a flat $1.00 per issue in the US and Canada, a bargain at twice the price.... but you can double that for other foreign subbers (or $2.00 per issue sent airmail). Players in current games and standbys will continue to get the issues for free, and new game starts (except for Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire Diplomacy, which is free) cost $15.00 ($10.00 for a life of the game subscription and $5 for the NMR Insurance). Remember that music comments and reviews are scattered through the game press at times.
Check out the connections in the Diplomatic Pouch with all of the information you need to play Diplomacy on the Internet at: http://diplom.org/DipPouch
Through Jamie McQuinn's Postal portion of the Pouch:
the szine resides in html format. Presently, issues from #190 to the current issue are there, and I will be updating the back issues gradually in the near future.
By electronic mail, through the Internet, subs are free and can be obtained automatically by sending the message: subscribe tap
to majordomo of diplom.org and messages can be sent to the entire electronic mailing list by mailing them to tap of diplom.org which will forward your message to all of the people currently on the list. The message:
sent to majordomo of diplom.org gets you off the list. Please make careful note of that as well since you generally can get yourself off the list a lot easier than I can, and NOBODY likes to see unsubscribe messages sent to the entire list. A big, big thank you for David Kovar for setting this all up!! The Cal Tech ftp site is being mirrored on the diplom.org machine as well. Issues of The Abyssinian Prince #131 to #186 are available via anonymous FTP from ftp.ugcs.caltech.edu in the pub/diplomacy/Zines/TAP directory in compressed postscript format. I will be putting all of these issues up in html format at the aforementioned site and more. We'll get all that straightened out soon. The gracious assistance of Kevin Roust is most appreciated in keeping up this site. The files begin ap131.ps.Z and go sequentially from there. The Caltech site is at:
Mike Barno (5/2/98)
Hi, Jim, No, you apparently didn't send me issue 202 twice. One hardcopy is the optimum number. ((Agreed.)) I finally got to view a current issue on-line yesterday.
If I remember while visiting my mother, I'll look through old issues of Dan Stafford's United league. That was the Sleaze's main positive contribution to the hobby: When Bill Becker, who had pioneered United in the USA, gave up running the K-League, Dan volunteered to take it over. He did a good job GMing and publishing for a couple of years before folding. Both before and after K-League was rehoused, it featured a large and active group of team managers writing plenty of press and discussion of rule proposals. So keeping it going was in the public interest, and I'm not just saying that because my Team Grand National won the league championship both years Stafford ran it.
His sarcastic wit only occasionally appeared in that 'zine; mainly he stuck to administrative notes. ((Dan was the quintessential non-MegaDipper. Most of his best writing was in private negotiation letters.))
Another place to look would be the Diplomacy By Moonlight issue where Eric Ozog, Dan, and I exposed one of Bernie ``Oaklyn's'' (Tretick's) pseudonyms. ((I remember it well, I don't have my DipSzines especially well organized though...))
(Later:) I looked through a few issues of Stafford's Angst United but didn't get any particularly noteworthy quotes. Mostly explanations of why Kevin Brown would never learn to play or GM well.
((Yup, the same thing I found when I looked over all the North Sealth, West George's where his subszine was.))
This is now going to be a regular continuing feature of the szine and I will be introducing a new ``search for'' every five issues. Moreover, you can win a $25 prize for finding some previous target who went unfound in the original $50 period. That means that if Kevin Tighe or Garret Schenck or Jerry Lucas is ``found'' from now on it is worth $25. Plus, Steve Emmert will throw in another ten spot for Garret Schenck if you can get Garret to write to him.
Winners will receive credit for Dip hobby activities that I will pay out as requested by the winner. Bid on PDORA items, subscribe to szines here or abroad, run your own contests, publish a szine, or whatever. Spend it all right away or use me as a bank to cover hobby activities for years. What must you do to win? Get me a letter to the editor for TAP from the person we're searching for. This is very important, just finding them doesn't do it. They have to write me a letter. The final judge as to the winner of any contest will be the target himself and I reserve the right to investigate the winning entry. When you find someone I'm looking for, you should ask him to send me a letter for print that includes a verification of who ``found'' him.
The British representative is the editor of Mission From God, John Harrington. John may be contacted at 30 Poynter Road, Bush Hill Park, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 1DL, UK (johnh of fiendishgames.demon.co.uk). The representives in Australia (John Cain, PO Box 4317, Melbourne University 3052, AUSTRALIA) or Belgium and some other European countries (Jef Bryant, Rue Jean Pauly, 121, B-4430 ANS, BELGIUM) also will forward your subscription on to the editor in either Australian dollars or continental European currencies respectively. Please include the full name and address of the foreign publisher with your order, if possible, as well as the szine title. Make your check in US dollars out to me personally. I will conduct business for Canadians as well, if I can, but prefer to deal in US dollars with them if possible, or Canadian dollars cash. To subscribe to American szines, the system works in reverse.
Remind me to talk about Keith Thomasson's szine a little bit next time.... and that will have to be next time again....
Obscure and not-so-obscure ramblings on the state of the hobby and its publications, custodians, events, and individuals with no guarantee of relevance from the fertile keyboard of Jim-Bob, the E-Mail Dip world, and the rest of the postal hobby. My comments are in italics and ((double quotation marks)) like this. Bold face is used to set off each individual speaker. I should also make a note that I do edit for syntax and spelling on occasion.
I couldn't resist printing this first one....
Larry Peery (Fri, 08 May 1998 18:58:07 -0700)
Greetings From Peery in San Diego!
I am in the process of updating my address book; which now includes some 3,000 names in nearly 35 countries. Some of you have addresses that are hard to check (e.g. a compuserve number); since I am in a hurry. So, I am sending this to all of you.
THIS MESSAGE IS ONLY FOR DIPLOMACY HOBBYISTS.
The rest of you will get other messages during the course of this weekend.
IF YOU ARE A DIPLOMACY HOBBYIST OR PLAYER, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:
1) I have created a web page devoted to Diplomacy at the following address:
This page now includes a ``shrine" to WORLD DIPLOMACY CON, complete with information about this year's event, past events, photographs, and even some music!
It also includes what may be the first ``chat room" in a Diplomacy magazine. You are welcome to use that until we establish a formal program for using the room. I am hosting the room for the time being on behalf of THE DIPLOMATIC POUCH.
If you visit my Diplomacy page, please sign my guest book (at the end of the page), so I'll know you've been there. I plan to update the rest of the page soon.
2) I will be attending WDC in Chapel Hill in the next few weeks. I hope Dan Barnes and Borger Borgersen will also be attending to help me defend the WDC Team event championship. If they don't, and you'd be interested in being on that team, please let me know.
We will be arriving on Thursday and staying over until Tuesday, if any of you intend to make a holiday of it.
I have made no commitments or promises to support any WDC event after next year's event in Namur, Belgium.
If you are a foreigner planning on visiting this years event and need last minute travel advice, please email me SOON!
3) I plan to resume operation of the WWPDC very shortly. With luck I may have the results out before WDC.
That's it for now. If your email address is incorrect, or you know of anyone who should be on my emai list (which hasn't been updated since last fall); please have them contact me.
Mark Wightman (Tue, 12 May 1998 12:13:34 -0400 (EDT)) Good point about the three types of players. I think that at the European Championships you should be able to `expect' a certain standard of play. I've covered this further in my article in the Sprout #26. But what it boils down to is I think that you should be able to expect that everybody is playing with the same `game' goal in mind. John Boocock played simply to have a laugh (at the expense of the serious players) and to make some money. Both reasons are pretty naff, but neither is against the rules. ((Yup, and pretty much unavoidable. It's an unfortunate part of the game and why I support the idea of forming ``Top Board" games to finish a tournament. On the other hand, though, I think it should be dealt with within the game. For example, you could have gotten together with Austria and Turkey to put Boocock out of the game with an even center split. I know that is difficult to manage within the game, but ``who the players are" must always be considered in one's play.))
John's request was for my A(Bur) to support A(Tyr) - Mun in a spring season. This suited my purpose in that it helped me secure the low-countries from Gihan who was playing Germany. Gihan wasn't impressed that John had done this as it completely ruined any hope Gihan had of recovering and made his survival to the end of the game unlikely. It was fairly straightforward then to persuade Gihan to play a `Pascal's Triangle' and support me into Munich.
What annoys me, in retrospect, was that John could effectively spoil a game for six serious competitors (Austria - ManorCon champ 96, England - London Champ (then rated UK No 1), Germany - Gihan - Very experienced international player, Russia - Per Westling who had travelled from Sweden where he has probably won numerous competitions, Turkey - Steve is the No 2 rated UK postal player and was 5th in the tournament overnight (don't know his ftf record though), France was me - ManorCon 97 champ and joint 2nd overnight). He was hopelessly out classed and knew it, but decided to turn the situation to his financial advantage, although he does this too in every postal game he plays. ((That's too bad. He is raising himself quite a stink. Eventually, people will refuse to play with him. Responding to my comment on what he COULD have done to try to defuse the situation on the spot...))
I could have indeed done that. Some people believe I should have, whilst several believe I should have walked out. Walking out never crossed my mind, whilst when John made his demand the first thing I thought was `why would I do that?'; because I knew if he had offered to pay me a fiver if I didn't attack him - then I'd have taken it and laughed in his face when I did get around to stabbing him.
((I did notice that John VERY carefully chose the nature of his ``bet" to maximize the chances that he was ``paid off". You did about what one can do in that kind of situation. I certainly don't think you should take any heat for your actions, either here or at future tournaments. Then, commenting on letter passing....))
OK, I wasn't going to comment, but I simply have to! I agree wholeheartedly, passing letters on is beyond the pale. The first time I came across it was when I received a photocopy of a letter I had written to one player from a third player. One rather key phrase had been blacked out changing the emphasis. After that I didn't trust either of them. It confused me though. The first player had his reasons for passing the letter on, whilst the second wished to show the first was an untrustworthy snitch, by being an untrustworthy snitch! ((Interesting how letter passing changes the whole nature of a game, isn't it? Then, responding to my `Let's have some fun and play some games!!'...))
So do I, but I think we are probably safe. I can only speak for myself, but none of what has been said or written about the event has upset me in the least, with one exception. I'll confess, that I am worried that myself and Steve will receive some sort of backlash at the next convention, which for me will be WorldDipCon. Perhaps I should play under an alias? ((I don't think you need to do that. You didn't start the business and are EXTREMELY unlikely to start something like that in the future. In Britain, it may be another story, though, I don't have the perspective. In any case, most of the top US players are reading this now and will undoubtedly judge for themselves. I expect they would react about how I am reacting.))
Well, that's it. I'm looking forward to meeting you at WDC (if you are going). ((Unfortunately, I'm not going. After all this, I'll probably regret it and I hope you have a great time.))
I'd planned to e-mail you some more about Mellisa Ferrick (I'll be looking to pick up a copy of +1 whilst I'm over) but haven't the time now and this is long enough as it is. ((I'm really sorry you don't have +1 already! You should have told me, I would have mailed it to you. Michael Lowrey of the conference organizers is the musical expert and he will be able to assist you in finding the record stores! Thank YOU for turning me on to her!))
Rick Desper (Sat, 25 Apr 1998 20:16:58 -0400 (EDT))
These are all available at the Modern homepage:
It has results from 47 email games.
Thus far there have been 17 solo victories, three each for Spain, Ukraine, and Russia, 2 for Turkey, Germany, and Italy, and one each for Egypt and Poland. The overall ranking is Spain, Ukraine, Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Poland, Britain, France.
Which is totally skewed by the fact that all of the Spanish victories are very recent. A year ago, the leaders were Turkey, Egypt, and Italy. Egypt is a good power for getting into a draw, but very difficult to win with, as getting good penetration into the continent is difficult. I initially thought Turkey was weak, but she holds her own in the stats. Russia is a nice huggy bear, Ukraine tends to get trapped in the Balkans, Italy is a cool power to play, and Germany can be fun too. Britain has growth problems, as does Spain. Poland starts very small, and cannot grow quickly, but has a nice set of home SCs which support each other. But my fave power is France. Ports on both sides of Gibraltar, little vulnerability to England, and a reasonable set of accessible SCs. I still can't believe it's in last place in the HoF!
Incidentally, there are optional air force rules, which I'm using in the hand-adjudicated game Air Force One. You can read about them at the homepage also. But if people aren't used to the variant at all, it's probably better that you're not using the air forces.
I'm glad to see you running a Modern game. I was tempted to join, but I figure Show Me the Money is enough for now. Modern is my fav variant.
My leadoff comments in this section for the rest of the year will feature some impressions of the great party singles of all time, from my perspective, of course. You'll get a definite sense of quirky before we're done. I'll assume that I'll also get some comments from some of you. Then, I'm going to set a slate of 10-20 or so and DEMAND votes from you out there. I may get a bit obnoxious on that score as the great freedom to work and play will generate a responsibility to offer some opinions as we near the end of the century. ``Do I Know You?'' won't make the list, but its message gets us started.
What will get us started is some ``One Hit'' wonder party songs. As a representative from the 80's, I would nominate ``I Melt With You'' by Modern English. If any of you own the CD single of this song, like I do, you will agree that the ``Bass Mix'' crunches the stomach more than any number of curls could do, but any version is great. I don't know where Modern English came up with that killer bass line, but it might be one of the better ones ever plucked. When you add to that brilliant progressions and classic ``come fuck me'' lyrics, you have the makings of one of those songs that demand attention and put people together on the dance floor.
Brad Wilson (Thu, 30 Apr 1998 23:50:03 PDT)
Yes, I am on-line but only in a quasi-fashion. A co-worker showed me this Hotmail thingie and I have an account here. I find it useful, but I can only access it at work (no working modem at home) and then only at certain hours when the Internet machine isn't being used by people needing it for story research and the like. Thus, any email sent to me may not be seen for a day or two or three. Still, it's a useful thing. I have no plans to offer VERTIGO on-line and I do not wish to have zines sent to me via email. For now, it's just a communications tool. I will accept letters and orders for VERTIGO this way, though.
#200 was superb. Brilliant. I loved it. I really haven't looked at 201 yet, and here comes 202! My, my. I reserve the right to comment on #201, but here's a run through #202:
First, Eric Brosius' request. I am awed that he can play any Beethoven sonatas. They are formidable even without all the baggage of being a masterpiece, etc., and then there's the spiritual side of things as represented by, say, Op. 111. The ``Hammerklavier'' is a symphony for piano.
I will make three recommendations for Eric, based on price. First, at full price I recommend Richard Goode on Nonesuch. Powerhouse playing with plenty of emotion, but not frilly or overly romantic. Very direct, I think, and still spiritual, if not in the Kempffian vein. Goode has awesome sound and the best annotations. I think Tower sells his set for around $100.
Second, at mid-price, Kempff on DG. The sound's a little dated, but what I have heard from this set is pure spirit and atmosphere. Kempff cannot match Goode's technique and his playing isn't as direct and impactive, - slower tempos too - but Beethoven's spirit shines.
Third, at budget price, Alfred Brendel's Vox set. This, his first traversal of the cycle (I think he's done four) is not as cerebral or as formidably granitic as his later ones, and the sound isn't as clear, although it has oompph. But Brendel's unmannered, yet brilliant, playing was what introduced me to Beethoven's late piano music and it is still my touchstone. His Op. 111 is sublime.
Any of these should be available at Tower; Kempff sells for $60, Brendel for $40 or so.
((For the balance of playing, price, recording, etc. I think I would purchase the Brendel if I were Eric. I actually advised him of that fact as my very first impression when he sent me the letter, then tried to generate the discussion, which succeeded.))
My personal cycle would be Barenboim in the early sonatas, Goode in the middle and Brendel late with additions and complements from Novaes, Gilels, Russell Sherman, Kempff, Schnabel, and Charles Rosen.
Barenboim's pianism is just about perfect in the Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven-Schubert department. I like brainy Beethoven, as you might guess. Yves Nat's hyper-romanticism turns me off in Beethoven. Then again, any hyper-romanticism in Beethoven turns me off because I do not find him an especially romantic composer. I see him as the culmination of 100 years of trends from Bach to Haydn to Mozart. Then, since classicism obviously couldn't go much further - just what would follow Beethoven's late string quartets, say? - Berlioz and Schubert and Mendelssohn and others led us into the hot-house of romanticism from which Western music has still not quite recovered.
In re crossover and pop: Marsalis' classical discs are NOT crossover. They are straight classical, admittedly popular classics, and while I can get weary of his brilliantly vivid sound in Baroque music (I don't always find it appropriate) he is an accomplished classical artist who, also, plays jazz. Andre Previn is another; ditto Gunther Schuller. Marsalis could be principal trumpet in a major orchestra, or have a classical solo career, if he wanted to. The problem is that the repertoire for trumpet is much, much wider in jazz than in art music. Orchestras want only a few concertos - Haydn, Hummel, maybe Tomasi, Bach's Brandenburg #2 - from a trumpeter, and just try and name a solo sonata. Hindemith; Halsey Stevens; anybody else? As an artist, Marsalis' choice makes sense. ((I would agree. Marsalis is the absolute best I can think of at that type of crossover.))
Popular classics - Satie's Gymnopedies, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite, say - are not crossover. What is crossover is Yo-Yo Ma playing Appalachian waltzes. Opera singers performing Andrew Lloyd Webber. Vapid violinists arranging popular melodies in a ``Classical'' style. Michael Bolton - God help us all - singing (that's really not quite the word) Verdi and Puccini. That's crossover. ((Agreed!))
Now there is successful crossover. Rhapsody in Blue once was crossover; it's now part of the repertoire. I don't find crossover appalling per se; Ma's waltz disc is pretty and pleasant, nice background listening. Bolton's disc is an appalling mess. But I would rather listen to Ma perform Bach, Walton, or Beethoven than silly things such as folk waltzes. Still, Ma's disc is not an assault on music like Bolton's is and that's how I draw the line between crossover and classical. ((Yes, how do you see Richard Thompson's latest disc (which I will review in full next time) or something like Joel Cohen recording the Weill Johnny Johnson, also perhaps reviewed next time....))
I will even give David Helfgott credit for trying to be a real musician playing real music. He cannot, of course, and his discs are not so much crossover as horribly failed classical music.
In general, classical musicians should leave pop music - as opposed to popular classics - to pop musicians and vice versa. A few, such as Marsalis, can do both with no loss of artistry or integrity. Marsalis' disc, In Gabriel's Garden, of Baroque music is stunning if, as I said, a little tiring to the ear (all that virtuosity and brilliance).
You bring up opera singers. Bernstein's West Side Story is a perfect crossover work - not really an opera, yet more than a musical. Yet it works best with Broadway voices singing it, not Kiri Te Kanawa, whose recording (DG) is lovely but detached, and Jose Carraras isn't earthy enough. What I want in WSS is Broadway voices backed by a full orchestra (the NYPO would be perfect) conducted by (well, Bernstein, but RIP Lenny) someone like Skitch Henderson. I'd buy that disc! ``I Feel Pretty'' is one of my favorite songs. ((I may go hunt that one up!))
I will call you on Washington not being a great military leader. Even leaving Mike's points aside - and they are valid - I believe Washington was a brilliant, even visionary, strategist but an ordinary tactician. It's hard to fault the grand scheme of any of Washington's operations except perhaps the battles around New York in 1776, when he acted with a strange combination of rashness and lassitude. Boston in 1775 was a strategic success. Trenton-Princeton saved the American cause from defeatism in that bleak winter of 1776-77. His manuevers around Philadelphia in 1777 were at worst unlucky and at best inspired. The central Jersey campaign in 1778 should have destroyed Clinton's army. And Yorktown was Washington seizing an opportunity the only time it would be available to him, coordinating large sea and land forces and executing with perfection. You will note that the only outright American disasters on land - Charleston and Camden in 1779-1780 - happened with Washington a thousand miles away.
Now, what is true is that Washington's tactics were less than dazzling, especially at Long Island and Germantown (too simple at one, too complex at the latter). But I contend that his vision of what the American army had to do to win the war saved the cause and created America. I would argue that his strategy, generally counter to the 18th-century ideas of ``strategic places'', was years ahead of its time in that he understood that what kept the Revolution alive was the Army and it must be preserved, even at the cost of major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Charleston). I would argue that as a strategist Washington had no equal in the 18th-century except perhaps the elder Pitt.
Even Washington's tactics might have been successful if his subordinates had been equal to them. His operational commanders were competent, usually, but little more; generals such as Sullivan, Wayne, Lord Sterling, Lafayette, and Putnam fit that description. Only Knox, in charge of the artillery, and Greene were distinguished and Greene's great gifts were as a strategist, not a tactician, as well; Greene's ordinary handling of his brigade in the Northern campaigns in no way foreshadowed the brilliance he would show as a strategist in the South in 1780 and 1781. The best example of Washington being let down by his generals was Monmouth Court House in 1778, when his plan, if executed even moderately competently and quickly, would almost certainly have inflicted a sharp defeat on Clinton. But the (pick one) lazy/arrogant/traitorous General Charles Lee's insubordination and inepitude cost Washington dearly there.
If you want to charge Washington with not choosing the best generals he could have, that's perhaps legitimate, except that political realities not of his making tied his hands sometimes, and I admit that he, intimdated by Lee's ``professionalism'', gave Lee too much rope. But I insist that as a strategist Washington is unequaled in U.S. military history. Grant? He didn't operate on Washington's scale and he had material advantages far beyond Washington. R.E. Lee? The opposite of Washington - a dazzling tactician who didn't see the big picture all that well. George Marshall? I don't think so - Yalta and the Cold War were the result of misguided Allied strategy in World War II. MacArthur? No. Ernest King? See Marshall. Hyman Rickover? Close, but no cigar. It may have been true that Washington was fortunate in his foes, but none of the British generals in America were outright buffoons, and several - Howe, Clinton, Cornwallis - were above average.
By the way, I would also contend that the greatest American tactician of the war was, without any doubt, Benedict Arnold. Arnold was the real victor at Saratoga, and he saved Albany in 1776 as well. He never worked under Washington; too bad. Arnold at Germantown or Monmouth would have been a very different story than Sullivan and Charles Lee. Richard ``Light-Horse'' Harry Lee was a brilliant cavalryman, and Daniel Morgan second to none on the frontier, but Arnold's tactics and execution lacked very little except, frequently, enough men to win the battle (see Quebec).
Count me as a sModern Dip standby.
See ya, maybe more on #201 to come.....
((I think I'll let your argument stand and see if anyone else picks it up.))
Richard Weiss (Tue, 28 Apr 1998 19:15:55 -0700)
Jim: I received two TAPs. Congratulations on #200. CONGRATULATIONS. Thank you for all of the fun along the way.
David Wang published. Mike Barno is asking me if I'm going to again. Life begins at 201.
I have tickets for the Neville Brothers in a real small venue, and two nights of Keb Mo' opening for Bonnie Raitt in nearly as small venues. I saw Tommy Castro, Booker T. and some lesser and newer names already. I should have a music list for you next year that will have someone better than the band playing when the Atlanta Olympic park bomb went off. ((Glad to hear it! Have you commented on my comments on Skankin' Pickle yet? Please do...))
Lilith fair tickets going on sale. Even though a big venue, it could be fun. I have a date for swing lessons this week. How is work? How does Rhode Island now Harrick is honest now?
((Huh? I think there is a word missing there, but don't know what it is. The deal, as we hear it in Little Rhody, is that if Harrick takes the LA Clippers NBA job, then URI will hire back former coach Tom Penders, who was let go from Texas in a deal not altogether different from the Harrick deal at UCLA - the Athletic Director and the Basketball Coach didn't get along and when an excuse came along, BOOM - and otherwise, Penders is at the top of the list to take over for Fran Fraschilla at St. John's. Fraschilla is one of the hard working ``good guys'' in the coaching profession who paid all the dues. I hope he lands on his feet, St. John's is a DISASTER area right now. Work is busy as a travel respite is ending and I am back to being on the road for much of the time through mid-August. No trips to the West Coast in that at present, but perhaps a Seattle trip is in the cards soon.))
John Schultz (undated)
Hey Jim, Tell Mr. Duxon.... oh hell - I'll tell him myself! Hey, Pete - I knew you weren't one of those ``damned British prudes'' when I saw you signed your letters Pete. If you were, it would be Peter, right?
Okey - so America has a vein of ``Americs - love it or leave it - God's on our side'' types. So does every other country on earth - though the cause of the ``rightness'' of each may differ. But, it's long past Manifest Destiny and the Moral Majority ain't that major. The vast majority, I would venture, don't believe that way. There is much about America (much as I love her) which, quite frankly, sucks the big one. But, even I get defensive when it seems like my country is being unjustly criticized, not that this is what you were up to. It seems to me that America takes a lot of guff for the world's ills we don't deserve. Barring the political bent to any situation, our ``heart'' is generally in the right place.
It just seems to me that when someone begins a sentence with ``I don't see how you...'' or ``I just don't understand how you...'' etc., they should consider replacing the pronoun first. And, of course, I knew your comments were ``good-natured''. As are mine. Make a wish, Pete(r).
John Harrington (Tue, 12 May 1998 18:40)
Jim, There were a couple of things in the last TAP letter column that caught my eye but I can only remember one of them now - the other probably involved me wishing to hurl abuse at the whole pomp rock pantheon (ELP, Yes, et al) so it's probably best that I don't give in to something as futile and childish as trashing someone else's music tastes purely on the grounds that they disagree with my own.
The one issue I can remember was to do with Pete Duxon's comments about the insularity of Americans. This is often commented on by we Europeans, often in a sniffy manner. I think, however, that given that the USA is an enormous place, with a huge number of people and, as you say, with a very wide range of cultures and features, it is perfectly understandable that Americans don't pay much attention to what happens in the rest of the world, particularly when anything of any great import eventually makes its way to the States anyway.
Of course, what is less understandable is why some Americans are not even interested in what happens in the next town, never mind the next state or country, but that's another issue and I am sure there are lots of people in Britain with a similar mentality. In the county of Yorkshire, for instance, you are practically ostracised if you so much as suggest that the county is not just the centre of the universe but is the whole universe itself (Yorkshire people try to pass this off as self-mocking but deep down ....well, take Tony Dickinson, for example.) ((Yes, take Tony Dickinson please!! Just kidding, Tony....))
Without wishing to put words into Pete's mouth, I think what rankles ``foreigners" about the USA is the mentality of some of the people we come across on Internet newsgroups or news broadcasts who extend the concept of the USA's role as ``leader of the free world" to something more akin to ``the only hope of the free world" or the only country in the world that is truly free. Or truly democratic. The phrase ``only in America" is often guaranteed to get me reaching for a brick to hurl at the telly.
Of course, anyone who pays any attention to the nut-cases infesting Usenet groups or who appear on CNN vox-pops is a nut-case themself, particularly if they take the views of those people and extrapolate them to tarnish an entire nation. Nonetheless there is a bit of knee-jerk reaction in Europe and we have to be restrained from observing that the Greeks might have been tootling around with this concept of democracy a while before America declared independence, and that Britain's Houses of Parliament pre-date the creation of Congress by a few hundred years if memory serves. One might also feel inclined to argue that citizens in some countries - Holland and the Nordic countries spring to mind - have more basic freedoms than US citizens, but the whole argument might founder on the definition of ``freedoms". (By the way, is it OK to stand for election as a Communist in the post-Cold War USA or is that an invitation to get locked up PDQ?)
((Oh, there is a legal Communist party now and has been for quite some time. There also is no chance of victory for their candidates. Do you also have dozens of tiny parties who put up candidates who lose? As I recall, in the Presidential election of 1996, there were about 25 candidates who officially made the ballot in one or more states. The Communist party was one of them. Remember, also, the assertion I made at one point, that the REAL democratization of America that is different from the Greeks, the Brits, or anyone else of which I am aware is the democratization of religion and the extent of freedom of religion. The history has its unfortunate stories (the persecution and murder of Joseph Smith and forcing the Mormons to Utah), but by and large America is characterized by the democracy of its religious tradition. This really got going in the early 19th Century when the Baptists and Methodists started using ``uneducated'' ministers, which shocked the Anglicans and Congregationalists, but started us on a democratic populist track that still influences our culture today EVEN given the unreligious nature of the ``popular'' culture.))
In that respect, encouraging Americans to learn more about the history and activities of other countries would be no bad thing, but then I was reminded when reading other parts of TAP that I know bog-all about the War of Independence; oddly enough, British history, as taught in schools, concentrates more on those occasions when we trounced the French or defeated the Spanish than it does on those events when we got our arses kicked by a bunch of Dutch farmers in Africa or erstwhile colonists in the Americas. ((See more from Brad Wilson above...))
The piece about Washington in the last TAP where he refused to be made king brought home to me for the first time (guess I'm a bit slow or unthinking some times) what an amazing step it was to create a new country without royalty. Once this realisation clicked into place, I could then understand why the creation of this idealistic republic is equated by *some* Americans with ``the invention of democracy". In 1960's parlance, I think I now see where Americans are coming from when they make these extravagant claims. ((I think the lack of state religion is equally important, but perhaps some would disagree. Recall, this in a nation with the motto, ``In God We Trust''.))
OK, so that's me educated about the birth of the USA, can any of your readershp now educate me about what was so great about 1789 and the French revolution ....? Seems like just a bunch of people running round lopping heads off for no good reason. We in Britain have been lopping heads off for no good reason for centuries and needed no namby pamby excuses about liberty, equality and freedom to do so (writes Major Phipps-Partington-Smyth [retd.] of Tunbridge Wells).
You seem to have been disappointed not to have got more feedback from Britons on the Hong Kong issue last year. If you could not get Pete ``rent-an-opinion" Birks to write about it then clearly it is not an issue that has greatly troubled the chattering classes. I'm not anywhere nearly as well read as Birks so don't feel qualified to pass an intelligent comment on it, beyond a gut feeling that we treated the HK subjects shabbily. My view is only based on a few 10 minute discussions on news programs that I saw though - to get even a halfway decent understanding of the underlying issues one has to read the quality press and I must confess I zoomed past those articles to get to the football reports. ((Could it be that the British policy was *wrong*? ;-) Nah....))
I presume that if we ever do hand over the Falklands/Malvinas to Argentina that the mostly white islanders will be welcomed in the mother-land with open arms. There's always room for a few more sheep-shaggers in the Shetlands.
And on that crude note, I shall sling my hook.
Mark Fassio (Sat, 2 May 1998 09:21:13 -0400)
Hi Boob! Seems the only way I get mail from my French neighbor is to either pass German notes (ha!) or relate it to your AP pubbing effort (cackle). Of course, it doesn't help when the ``speedy advance e-mail results" will actually not arrive until I'm eligible for Social Security! (And that, by the way, is only 1.5 years ahead of you, Old Fart of Arsenic!)
So, with no further ado, here's my sorry attempt at listing the Ten ``Fassio Desert Island Classics." Two items of advance note, however:
1) I would much prefer to have 10 CDs on the island with me, i.e., the ten favorite Faz Bands, thus allowing me greater song flexibility. However, if 10 songs are the limit, then so be it. Must've recorded a pretty small 60-minute cassette, is all I can say!
2) Steve Emmert stole some of my good bands, which is natural, as we're really twin sons of different mothers (Dan Fogelberg/Tim Weisberg, 1981?). Unlike Steve and some of the other more, shall we say, educated artistes who grace your 'zine (sniff...), my selections will NOT contain lists from the following categories:
- Opera (fat white foreigners yelling in loud voices)
- Rap (fat black people with funny names, yelling in loud voices)
- Country (skinny white people with nasal inflections, singing about coon dogs and drinking beer when their girl leaves them) ((Except for Merle Haggard's ``Okie From Muskogee'', that's gonna make the `singles' list I start above. By the way, this was an album list, not a singles list, so you could have way more music, we'd even let you choose Greatest Hits collections.))
- Classical (dead white people who don't even sing, and title all their songs in Latin).
Ok, having got THAT out of the way, here's what you'd hear from my tape player if we were on an island.
- Enrico Snoop Latifah, Opus Fugue 61 (English title: ``I'm Pickin' My Nose, 'Cause You Picked Another"), played on oboe in C Flat Aggregato. Hey, WAIT A MINUTE; how'd THAT get in here?! Here's the real stuff!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- Blue Oyster Cult, ``Don't Fear the Reaper''. A Cult classic, and the defining song for the band. The first song I heard on the radio when I got discharged from the Army, and the one that hooked me on the band.
- Bruce Springsteen, ``Tunnel of Love''. Anyone who doesn't include at least one song from ``The Boss" or the ``Jersey Sound" (Eddie Money, Southside Johnny, etc) is a Communist, and should be put on an island with nothing but game press from Jim-Bob Burgess and Don Williams. ((But there is no such thing as game press from Don Williams any more.))
- Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, ``Suite, Judy Blue Eyes''. David Crosby's anthem to his then-girlfriend, Judy Collins. Great harmonies.
- Dave Mason (w/Steve Wonder), ``The Lonely One''. A personal Faz favorite from the ex-Traffic star.
- Joe Walsh, ``Indian Summer''. A slow tune from the ex-James Gang guy. Listen to the lyrics.; how one reminisces about simpler days.
- Allman Brothers Band, ``Dreams I'll Never See''. Legends of Southern Rock, with a long, dreamy blend of blues/jazz wailing, and some great guitar work.
- Todd Rundgren, ``Real Man''. A nice all-around tune I never tire of.
- Steve Stills & Manassas, ``Johnny's Garden''. Stills had a great band and this was one of their best tunes. Are you sure I can't take their debut album with me on the island, Jim?; there's too many songs to choose from with this group! ((Absolutely, you misread the rules!))
- Quicksilver Messenger Service, ``Fresh Air''. The 'Frisco sound was captured by these guys, and this was their ``capstone song," imo.
- Bad Company, ``Electric Land''. Captures the continuing Fassio obsession with slow, brooding songs alternating with high-energy tunes on this list.
((Interesting how a year and a half makes us in different generations.))
Had I had the option for 10 more tunes (I know, I know, I don't have the option), I'd include something from Foreigner, Journey, Ambrosia, Jefferson Airplane, James Taylor, Harry Chapin, Hall & Oates, the Outlaws, Traffic, and Carole King).
Rich Goranson (Sat, 25 Apr 1998 13:50:31 EDT)
Boob: I meant to send you this earlier. Sorry if it misses the szine.
On the night of Friday, April 5th, session drummer extrordinaire Cozy Powell was killed in a one car crash on the M4 near Bristol. He died of his injuries in hospital. He was 50. It is believed that bad weather contributed to the crash. He had recently recovered from a foot injury that took him out of the Malmsteen tour at the time of the crash.
Powell worked with Page & Plant, Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Keith Emerson & Greg Lake (under the name Emerson, Lake & Powell), Blue Murder, Beldam, Yngwie Malmsteen and many others.
The private funeral was held on the 18th of April. Condolences may be sent in care of: Thomas Free & Sons Funeral Directors, The Parade, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1NE, England. Further information can be found on his website:
He shall be missed by all fans of music.
``I have never learned ... to play the lyre, but I know how to make a small and obscure city rich and great." (Themistocles, in Plutarch's Lives.)
If you want to submit orders, press, or letters by E-Mail, you can find me through the Internet system at ``burgess of world.std.com''. If anyone has an interest in having an E-Mail address listed so people can negotiate with you by computer, just let me know. FAX orders to (401) 277-9904.
Standby lists: Mike Barno, John Breakwell, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Doug Kent, Paul Rauterberg, Doug Essinger-Hileman, Stan Johnson, Harry Andruschak, Dave Partridge, Andy York, Michael Pustilnik, and John Schultz stand by for regular Diplomacy. Mike Barno and Andy York stand by for the Colonial Diplomacy game. Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Paul Kenny, and John Schultz standby for the Modern Diplomacy game. Let me know if you want on or off these lists. Standbies get the szine for free and receive my personal thanks. I'd really appreciate it if anyone wanted to be added to the list.
Conrad von Metzke recently finished GMing a black hole game where you can freely jump over black holes instead of having them render spaces impassible. I played in this game and like the tactics of jumping over the black holes a great deal. Now there the black holes were random, but what would happen if you could plan them? The next NYEED game will feature this rule change and will be a 7x7 tourney format unless I am convinced otherwise. I am itching to get this game started, so it will start as soon as it is filled! You get a life of game sub, and the game itself is FREE!! Sandy Kenny, Mike Barno, and John Schultz are signed up. Off an offhanded suggestion in the NYEED press, we'll call it Nelson Mandela. Just four more and we'll get started! Come on, this one will be REALLY exciting!!
I also would really like to open a game of Breaking Away. Is there any interest at all?? Well, John Schultz and the game's designer John Harrington are interested. Others?? You don't need to own the game to play, I'm going to use Keith Thomasson's house rules that include the ``how to play the game.'' I printed Keith's rules a few issues back, but some of the shaded parts didn't reproduce properly. I'll print the rules properly if I get a bit more interest in the game. I thank John Harrington for encouraging me in this.
Otherwise Conrad von Metzke is the editor and publisher of Pontevedria, the game openings listing, if you're interested in other game openings. Send Conrad a SASE for the latest issue to: Conrad von Metzke, 4374 Donald Avenue, San Diego, CA 92117.
THE DUE DATE FOR SPRING 1995 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
BRITAIN (Johnson): has f EDI, f GIB, f LIV, f LON.
EGYPT (J. O'Donnell): has f ALE, a ASW, f CAI.
FRANCE (Andruschak): has f BOR, a LYO, a MAR, a PAR.
GERMANY (Rauterberg): has f BER, a FRA, f HAM, a MUN.
ITALY (Ozog): has a MIL, f NAP, a ROM, f VEN.
POLAND (Sasseville): has f GDA, a KRA, a WAR.
RUSSIA (Goranson): has a GOR, a MOS, a MUR, f ROS, f STP.
SPAIN (S. O'Donnell): has f BAR, a MAD, a SVE.
TURKEY (Pollard): has a ADA, f ANK, f IZM, a IST.
UKRAINE (Partridge): has a KHA, a KIE, a ODE, f SEV.
Addresses of the Participants
BRITAIN: Jonas Johnson, 3649 SE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97202, (503) 238-4430 ($5)
EcidLor of aol.com
EGYPT: Jeff O'Donnell, 402 Middle Ave., Elyria, OH 44035-5728, (440) 322-2920 ($5)
FRANCE: Harry Andruschak, PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309, (310) 835-9202 ($5)
GERMANY: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 (E-Mail)
prosit of execpc.com
ITALY: Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138, (360) 691-4264 ($5)
elferic of lycosmail.com
POLAND: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($5)
Djrolandb of aol.com
RUSSIA: Rich Goranson, 10 Hertel Avenue #208, Buffalo, NY 14207-2532, (716) 876-9374 ($5)
ForlornH of aol.com
SPAIN: Sean O'Donnell, 126 S. Park, Oberlin, OH 44074, (440) 774-2928 ($5)
sean_o_donnell of hotmail.com
TURKEY: Kent Pollard, Box 491, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, ($5)
UKRAINE: Dave Partridge, 15 Elmer Drive, Nashua, NH 03062-1722, (603) 882-3523 ($9)
rebhuhn of rocketmail.com
1) It's time to get those orders in NOW! From everything I hear, there was lots of ``getting to know you'' communication getting this started. Great!! Now it's time to push the blocks.
2) Standbys for this game are the three who didn't get into the game: Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Paul Kenny, and John Schultz.
3) I'm glad the larger map helped out. I'll still take input on finding a better map. This issue, you get the map with the units placed on it.
4) Thanks to Lee Kendter, Jr. for the 1998Ers31 Miller Number! This is one of his last acts as Miller Number Custodian. He reports that he has found the MNC replacement, and will be announcing the person as soon as he gets a final Alpha and Omega out.
(THE MEKONS QUOTE OF THE MONTH): ``Well, the future is empty, as a dead girl's eyes...
The whole thing smells, but she can't even tell;
Another wide belly up, another name to forget;
We've been to Memphis, now let's see what we got left.''
Some assorted lyrics from ``Eve Future'' off of the Mekons 1994 ``Nashville'' record: Retreat from Memphis.
(KOKO THE GORILLA-AOL CHAT ROOM USERS): Hi, I'm typing this NAKED! Are you naked too?
(A DESERT HERMIT): The nations of the world are like sands in a Desert. Take heed! For when a storm arises they are scattered before the wind. Only then they settle to the Earth, and become dust....
(SPAIN to ITALY): Are you with me?
(ANDRUSCHAK-GM): Although you keep printing that there are about 50 SCs in this variant, my last attempt to count them came up with 63 SCs, so I assume that 32 are required for a win. ((I get 64, so I say that makes 33 required for a win.)) Next, are Jeff O'Donnell (Egypt) and Sean O'Donnell (Spain) related? ((I think so, but why don't you check out the next item...)) Finally, although you keep printing that Modern Diplomacy is very popular on the Judges, I am not exactly sure what you are writing about. Yet I can see that the PBM Diplomacy hobby is in an irreversible decline and that the future lies with PBEM. So sooner or later I will have to break down, buy a computer, and go internet. ((See Rick Desper's letter above. I actually don't believe the PBM hobby is as doomed as everyone else does. I think it will be different and smaller, but there is a place for the kinds of games that I run in the way I run them. I am absolutely positive of it. What we are missing is all the energy of the college kids who ``can't wait'' and are playing 24 hour (orders due every day) games on the Judges. Only a Judge can adjudicate that fast and keep up with games that move so quickly. Postal games will be those, like the ones here, with 3-6 week deadlines. And pure postal szines might disappear, but hybrids will not.)) But just what are we talking about in terms of computer power? To play PBEM, will I need one of those web thingies? ((Nope, people do VERY well with just free juno E-Mail accounts.)) How much modem power? ((Again, if you just do E-Mail, just about any modem will do.)) What is all this going to cost me? ((You can get a used computer set-up very cheap, or buy a cheap new one for a little over a thousand, I think.)) I'd like some feedback from TAP subbers so as to have some idea what I am getting into once I leave the world of the 32 cent stamp. And what exactly are ``The Judges''? ((Connected to the Internet are servers that support a series of programs that collectively are called ``judges''. They pass player communications between players in a game, collect orders, and adjudicate the games. GM's work with the Judge to do the extra `personal' stuff.))
(PLAYER MUSINGS): Two O'Donnell's, both from Ohio, and living only twenty or so minutes away. Uncle and Nephew meet on the field of battle, seeing each other most every day in the course of their daily lives. What is the lesson? Don't be Italy between them.
(MAP MUSINGS): What exactly is the point of BOS? It only boarders in two other areas, something that no other province does in any Dip variant this author has ever seen. Granted, Sakhalin in Colonial Diplomacy boarders only one, but there is a case to be made for that making sense. ((Hyork, hyork, hyork, I'm finally winning some converts on that point!!)) BOS seems to make no sense at all.
(ANDRUSCHAK-FTF DIPLOMACY PLAYERS): The Post Office has FINALLY come around with new work hours for me. I now work Tour II, which is 7AM-3:30PM. My new days off are Sunday and Monday. So, does anybody know of places in my area where I could play Diplomacy face-to-face? Any game conventions in my area? Clubs?
(A TURKISH ZEALOT to THE WEST): Ah! Infidels! You laugh at our flea bitten camels. You make jokes about our women. Worst of all, you despise the milk of our goats! Be forewarned. It is easier to thread the eye of a needle with a piece of rope than it is to fool a herder of our sheep...
(SPAIN to FRANCE): Are you being true?
(FRANCE-SPAIN): Thank you for your postcard of 16 April reading ``I would to establish a non-aggressions pact and how to keep it.'' By now you should have received my return letter packed with the data you requested. I do want to apologize for the lack of e-mail, and assure you that I am starting to think seriously about making The Great Leap Of faith To The Internet. ((I got that, I got that....)) See PRESS to Burgess above.
(SPAIN to BRITAIN): You need to let me know exactly whats going on. Or are you trying to pull a Russia trying to get my eyes pointed away I really must know.
(ANDRUSCHAK-MUSIC LOVERS): The Doctor Demento show is still being broadcast live in Los Angeles on Radio Station KLSX-FM, 97.1 on the dial, with a new schedule of Sunday Evening, 6-8PM. ((Have you heard the novelty single ``Cows With Guns'' yet?? It is said that Demento plays it often.))
(SPAIN to G.M.): Keep me posted on opening games for Diplomacy for I think my survival in this game is not going to last more then 1997 or 98.
(AMBASSADOR KENT MURAD ABDUL ATATURK POLLARD): Greetings Ambassadors! I have given my full name here, but if you like you may all address me as Ambassador Ataturk Pollard or simply Kent. I look forward to the coming months of negotiations. All of you have been written to, but some of you have as yet not written to me. My Government is anxious to know and learn your immediate intentions. Expansion is on everyone's mind. Let us be Diplomats first and foremost... ((And warriors second???))
(FRANCE-BRITAIN): Thank you for your letter of 24 April. By the way, I am quite embarrassed that I wrote you such a long letter under the impression that Russia starts with a Fleet in Murmansk. It would seem logical. But no, the unit in Murmansk is an Army, and the 2nd fleet is down south to annoy the Ukrainians. Hopefully, with the larger map I won't make such blunders in the future. ((What? It's the szine above that tells you what everyone starts with...))
(SPAIN to BRITAIN): HI HAVN'T TALKED TO YAH SO WIE GEHTS? WAS TUST DU? WO WHONST DU IN DIE STADT.
(ANDRUSCHAK-BURGESS): Speaking of which, thanks for the larger map. ((You're welcome.)) It arrived with TAP #202, which arrived on 28 April. I think I can actually work with this one. It makes clear such things as Switzerland bordering on FOUR home SCs. Fun.
(GERMANY to SPAIN): I hear Naples is beautiful in the spring, wouldn't you agree?
(SPAIN to GERMANY): LETS SEE IF THERE IS ANY GOOD MOVIES ON BUT WHERE SHOULD WE GO TO SEE IT RUHR PARIS THAT NEW PLACE LYO I HEAR THE GIRLS THERE ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD.
(FRANCE-GERMANY): Your letter of 8 April was the very first letter of this game to arrive at my PO Box. Alas, I must regretfully inform you that, at least the last time I checked, there are no German speakers in Belgium, but lots of French speakers. I hope you understand what I am hinting at.
(SPAIN to UNCLE JEFFY POOH): JEFF WHEN ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TAKE US TO CASCADE AGAIN OR AT THE VERY LEAST GO CLEAN A BUILDING THE LAST ONE IN CLEVELAND WAS FUN.
(FRANCE-BRITAIN): Your letter of 10 April was the second letter to arrive. Alas, I must regretfully inform you that, at least the last time I checked, there are no English speakers in Belgium, but lots of French speakers. I hope you understand what I am hinting at.
(GEN. MUSTAFA ``IMPALA'' KEMAL OF TURKEY to WORLD): Remember: when someone misinterprets the written word, that person may become confused, indecisive, or perhaps even a bit defensive toward the writer. But when unwilling to write to others, your actions become the words other nations read. And unlike written words, misinterpreted actions tend to be dealt with swiftly and deliberately, and sometimes result in dire consequences.
With that said, peace and good tidings to you all! And as the great Ataturk once said in his famous speech at Geneva, ``It would please me not to have to kill and maim all of you on my way to total world domination. Thank you, have a nice day.''
(SPAIN to THE ALL GREAT ONE): PLAY YOU IN POOL SOMETIME THAT JERRY MADE. ALSO HAVE YOU SEEN ANY SECRET SERVICE AROUND LATELY?
(NEWSFLASH!): This Just In!... in a sensational break in the Whitewater Savings And Loans investigation, Kenneth Starr has forced Hillary Rodham Clinton to admit, on the witness stand and under oath, to having had a sexual relationship with the President of the United States! Film at 11.
(UKRAINE-POLAND): You make your move, and I'll follow up.
(SPAIN to RUSSIA): ????????????????
(ELECTRONICALLY CHALLENGED FRANCE-VERBALLY CHALLENGED RUSSIA): I am typing this on saturday evening, 2 May. Time to send this PRESS in to the GM. Alas, I have yet to receive your promised letter, in spite of the fact that I wrote to you on 12 April. For that matter, neither have Poland, Ukraine, or Egypt responded to my initial letters. You realize, of course, that this means WAR? If I had a horse, I'd horsewhip you!
(SPAIN to ITALY): I WANT TUNIS CAN I PLEASE PRETTY PLEASE ERIC PRETTY PLEASE.
(FRANCE-TURKEY): Thank you for your letter that was received on 23 April, the alleged birthday of William Shakespeare. Can this be a coincidence? We Think Not! By the way, I have proof that the works alleged to be Shakespeare's were actually written by somebody else who just happened to have the exact same name.
(SPAIN to BOARD): WATCH YOURSELF ON THE ROAD I GOT MY TEMPS AND IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME ASKE MY UNCLE JEFFY POOH.. EGYPT.
(BOOB to SEAN): Generally, using ``all caps'' is considered shouting. If I have time, I'll ``take off'' the shouting, but I don't have time this issue. Many famous dippers of the past have gone to the opposite extreme, with NO caps. Thanks for all the press though! You know I love to get it!!
(ANDRUSCHAK-ERIC BROSIUS): I don't have a current catalog of all the current classical CDs, but I am quite sure there must be dozens of Complete Piano Sonatas of Beethoven. It all comes down to taste. You are just going to have to listen to a few on the radio and/or at the store before plunking down your money. And do listen carefully, because that will be a lot of money. Having written that disclaimer.... sample the recordings of Emil Gilels.
(PIRATE CAPTAIN ANDRUSCHAK-ABUSED GM): You're such a pathetic swab that I have decided NOT to make you walk the plank. ((Thank you, Jim O'Kelley is the Shark Chum around here....not me.)) I am quite a kind-hearted person, and would hate to give the sharks an upset stomach. ((Oh.)) Pay attention now! Schooners are fore-and-aft rigged sailing ships. You may have noted the triangular sails? The sails and masts on the S/V MANDALAY, starting at the bowsprit (that means the front of the ship to a lubber like you) are Flying Jib, Outer Jib, Inner Jib, Fore Stay Sail, Fore Mast, Fore Fisherman, Main Stay Sail, Main Mast, Main Fisherman, Mizzen Stay Sail, Mizzen Mast, and Spanker. On a schooner, ``fishermen'' are the sails that complement the stay sails. On the MANDALAY, they were only used for daytime sailing. At night, we ``shortened sail'' by bringing down the two fishermen, the spanker, and one or two jibs. ((Well, good that they let the fishermen sleep....)) Oh come now, you didn't really think that I was talking about hanging those human beings known as ``fishermen'', did you? Although come to think of it, it might not be a bad idea. Are You Now, Or Have You Ever Been, A Member Of The Fishermens Party?
The tax man cometh
The tax man taketh
He taketh my money away.
The tax man cometh The tax man taketh He tells me I must pay
The tax man cometh
The tax man taketh
And I fight for every time
The tax man cometh
The tax man taketh
He taketh even my time
The tax man cometh
The tax man taketh
He steals away from me
The tax man cometh
The tax man taketh
No time for Diplomacy
The tax man came
The tax man took
Now he's gone away
The tax man came
The tax man took
Now I've time to play.
THE DUE DATE FOR WINTER 1902 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
THE DUE DATE FOR SPRING 1903 IS JUNE 20TH, 1998
BRITAIN (Johnson): a PUN S a kam, a HYD S a ben, f gom-WIO, f HK S FRENCH a can, f SIN S f mal,
a KAM S RUSSIAN a afg-kag, f kar-PER, f CEY S f gom-wio, a BEN S FRENCH a ran-ubur,
f SCS S FRENCH a can, f MAL S f sin.
CHINA (Goranson): a sha-NAN, f nan-ECS, a TIB-pun, a URU-kag, a may-U.BUR, a ASS S a may-u.bur, a CHU-can, a MAC S RUSSIAN f p.art-seo(wc).
FRANCE (Sasseville): a ton-MAY, a CAN S ton-may, a RAN S a ton-may, f FOR h.
HOLLAND (Desper): f SIO S f js, f bor-CS, a SUM-sin, f JS C a sum-sin, f cs-DAV.
JAPAN (Dwyer): a kyo-FUS, f os-VLA, f YS C a kyo-fus, f SOJ S a kyo-fus, a vla-IRK.
RUSSIA (Williams): a baku-TAB, a akm-SEM, a kra-MON, a afg-KAG, a fus S f p.art-seo (d ann),
f p.art-SEO(wc), a kag-SIK, f bs-ANG.
TURKEY (Tallman): f pg-ARA.S, f MED-rs (see game note), a egy-SUD, f rs-GOA, f shi-PG.
Supply Center Chart
|BRITAIN (Johnson):||del,bom,aden,mad,hk,sin,kam,||(has 11, bld 1)|
|CHINA (Goranson):||pek,sha,mac,u.bur,chu,ass||(has 8, rem 2)|
|FRANCE (Sasseville):||ton,coc,ann,ban,can,may,ran,||(has 4, bld 3 (PLAYS ONE SHORT))|
|HOLLAND (Desper):||bor,sum,java,sar,new,dav||(has 5, bld 1)|
|JAPAN (Dwyer):||tok,kyu,ota,kyo,vla,fus||(has 5, bld 1)|
|RUSSIA (Williams):||mos,p.art,omsk,ode,tas,rum,sik,||(has 7, bld 5)|
|TURKEY (Tallman):||con,bag,egy,shi,sud||(has 5, even)|
Addresses of the Participants
BRITAIN: Jonas Johnson, 3649 SE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97202, (503) 238-4430 ($8)
EcidLor of aol.com
CHINA: Rich Goranson, 10 Hertel Avenue #208, Buffalo, NY 14207-2532, (716) 876-9374 ($5)
ForlornH of aol.com
FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($5)
Djrolandb of aol.com
HOLLAND: Rick Desper, 34 Woodbridge Avenue, Highland Park, NJ 08904, (908) 985-0654. (E-Mail)
desper of math.rutgers.edu
JAPAN: Luke Dwyer, 49 Middlesex Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159, (518) 439-5796 ($4)
RUSSIA: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (805) 297-3947 ($7)
wllmsfmly of earthlink.net
TURKEY: Terry Tallman, 3805 SW Lake Flora Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367, (360) 874-0386 ($0)
ttallman of linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
2) Terry's attempt to use the Suez Canal failed. The rule is quite explicit. f med-RS requires a unit to remain in Egypt for the entire turn, but the army moved to Sudan. Given the dastardly Duck's moves, Terry may be pleased he's on the ``right'' side of the canal.
(MULDER to SCULLY): Aliens have messed with your head, how could you even suggest that the world order was going to be threatnened by backstabbing conspirators supported by extraterrestrial beings.
(JAPAN-CHINA): I'm not blaming anyone for anything, I just hoped that you have not decided to side with the Russian against me.
(FRANCE to CHINA): Who is the gruesome twosome?
(BOOB to JAPAN): If I read Roland right, and I usually do, I think he has a better feel for what's up than you do.... I don't think speaking to the Chinese about the Russian is going to generate that reaction.... there's no wishin' and hopin' to be done.
(JAPAN-FRANCE): I hope that you do not plan on going any further north. I don't care if you have Formosa, but anything further north than that, I would not appreciate.
(RADIO FREE EUROPE WORLD REPORT): Russian, French and British Generals met to discuss world domination over Chinese food provided by the now deceased General Tso. Chinese troops were seen running for the border yelling, ``yo quiero Taco Bell." Japanese navies were seen wavering in their commitment to do anything of real substance. Meanwhile, Dutch navies were reported to be sailing to India. (TURKISH BARBARIAN'S LAIR): The Chinese was kneeling before his new love, ``I've never known anyone like you. Blonds are so uncommon where I live. I must know if you will return with me to my home land! I will have to smuggle you past the British and French barricades but when you see my land (except for the parts threatened by Japan and Russia) you'll fall in love anew. What do you say? Will you be returning to Beijing with me?" ``Bahhhhhh..." she replied.
(THE IMPERIAL CHINESE PALACE, PEKING): His muscles bulged and his face turned to red as he felt the soft skin between his fingers give. Saliva foamed on his lips as he slowly crushed the life out of this new western looking concubine. The Imperial Aides stood about watching with the rapt attention that all weak men display when witnessing a tragedy, or a death of an innocent, as their Emperor strangled the small woman brought to him for just this purpose. Carefully applied cosmetics accuentated her round eyes and pale skin while a silk dress, carefully and expensivelly dyed to resemble a Union Jack, that symbol the Emperor hated more than any other, hung provocatively about the dying woman's shoulders. The Imperial Aides had become accustomed to the sight. On even numbered days, a woman, always small so as to not pose much difficulty to the Emperor, was made up as a British Queen and brought before him. Occasionally the Emperor toyed with this poor retch, talking or pleading with her in a language she could not possibly understand, but this ended some months ago. Now, when the Emperor saw the woman he instantly descended upon her, beating her in his impotent fury as he would like his armies to beat the British. It always ended the same, with the small Emperor wraping his meaty hands about her small white neck and squeezing. He especially enjoyed those who fought back, feebly striking at him as he imagined the British striking at his great empire. ((Methinks the Emperor wastes his energy on the wrong target...))
On even numbered days, a woman, resembling a French whore was brought to him, with the same result. ((Ummm, perhaps that one too, but I still don't think he's quite got the right one....)) While the little Emperor released his fury on those he could, small defenseless women who had no idea what was happening to them or why, military setbacks continued to be counted about the Empire. The south was being lost one jungle at a time while the west was collapsing at a remarkable rate. The once great Chinese army was being defeated on every battlefield while the Emperor, the supreme military authority killed women made up to look like his enemies. The aides stood about as the helpless woman died in the little man's clutches. Those who dared began to wonder at the irony of this daily ritual.
(TURKEY to BOARD): Elderly house guests, first new horse of the summer (little slate gray filly-Silver Lining), work picking up, just want to tell you all to ignore Williams, he has NO Toady value what so ever.
(BOOB to TOADFATHER): Agreed, yet he seems to have gotten your attention. (TBl): The duck was shaking himself off after a few laps in the bidet and was running a towel in one ear and out the other. ``Ya know, big fella, if you don't find another house boy the rest of the board is going to catch on." At that moment the butler in all his finery entered and announced, ``Dinner is served, sir. Will his duckness be joing us or should I lay out the GOOD china and not the McDonald's happy meal boxes...?"
(JAPAN-RUSSIA): I do not want to fight you, but if you are not comfortable in striking a deal where I keep Vla, then war it is.
(ROLAND to WORLD): Besides me who else has read the Wheel of Time series from which I quoted last time? Best fantasy I've ever read.
(TO WHOEVER ASKED IN A REAL LETTER): You can get NoSeWeGe by offering to standby in the game, offering to standby gm, or writing press or other silliness, just like Don...doesn't... ((As Ghod and his handyman the Toadfather is my witness, ``I'll never rely on the Duck to write press again!'' Anyone, please, anyone, take over writing press in Arsenic and Old Farts for the Duck. We promise we'll wipe him out of the game as quickly as we can!!))
THE DUE DATE FOR SUMMER 1909 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1909 IS JUNE 20TH, 1998
AUSTRIA (Ellis): a TYO S FRENCH a ruh-mun, a ser S f ion-alb (d ann), a boh-sil (d ann),
a TRI S a ser, f ION-alb.
ENGLAND (Pollard): f TUN S AUSTRIAN f ion (otm).
FRANCE (Dwyer): a par-PIC, f NTH-den, a HOL-kie, f TYH S AUSTRIAN f ion (otm),
f NWG S f lon-nth, f LON-nth, a EDI h, f BAR-nwy, a ruh-MUN, a BUR S a ruh-mun.
GERMANY (Emmert): a VIE S AUSTRIAN a ser-bud (nso).
RUSSIA (Sherwood): f STP(NC) S a nwy, a war-GAL, a mos-UKR, a NWY h, a SIL S a gal-boh, a gal-BOH,
f SMY-aeg, a BUD-tri, f SWE S a nwy, a mun S a gal-boh (d ann), a rum-SER,
f GRE-alb, a KIE S a mun, f HEL-den, a BUL S a rum-ser, a BER S a mun, f AEG-gre.
Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Randy Ellis, General Delivery, Lake, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190 ($10)
ENGLAND: Kent Pollard, Box 491, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190, ($5)
FRANCE: Luke Dwyer, 49 Middlesex Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159, (518) 439-5796 ($4)
GERMANY: Steve Emmert, 1752 Grey Friars Chase, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (757) 471-1842
SEMMERT of city.virginia-beach.va.us ITALY: Mark Kinney, 3613 Coronado Drive, Louisville, KY 40241, (502) 426-8165
alberich of iglou.com
RUSSIA: Keith Sherwood, 8873 Pipestone Way, San Diego, CA 92129, (619) 484-8367 ($4)
ksher of cts.com or Keith_Sherwood of Intuit.com TURKEY: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 722-4029 ($3) GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
1) The DIAS FAGER draw is rejected as annihilations galore plague Central Europe. As the smoke clears, who came out ahead?
(BURGESS to BARNO): OK, you're gonna get what you're gonna get here. We'll see if it looks like you're just being a pain or what.
(BARNO to BURGESS): < it > Well < /it > now, buster, you may have stopped me < it > last < /it > time, but < em > this time < /em > you'll have to let me < it > control the italics < /it > , or else you'll have to type a < it > lot < /it > of codes for angle brackets to reproduce the way I wrote the HTML tags in this press item.
(VOCAB GUY to SD): Aaaaaaank! on the bitter end thing. It's nautical; old anchors on sailing ships were held by ropes, not chains. The end of the rope nearest the anchor was exposed to seawater every time the anchor was dropped, and so was generally in worse condition than was ``the better end," the one farthest from the anchor, which rarely got into the water. When a particularly violent storm came, mariners often dropped the anchor and rode out the storm ``to the better end" of the rope. This term eventually got corrupted into ``the bitter end." Sorry; no frequent flyer miles for you.
(BARNO to ELLIS): Common roadkill varieties in Tioga and Tompkins counties, where I commute 20 miles to work: Whitetail deer, raccoon, gray squirrel, woodchuck, dog, cat. A coworker hit a coyote last month, although they've been scarce here for generations.
(AMBASSADOR POLLARD to MY FELLOW AMBASSADORS): Greetings gentlemen. I have just returned from a wonderful vacation and I must say that a refreshing experience! I only recently went over the state of affairs with Admiral Langworthy and I have a few things to say. First, Ambassador Dwyer. Even though we still are technically in a state of war and the French are still Britain's enemy of choice, you are to be commended! Your actions are dispelling all doubt in my mind as to the efforts and directions of this Great World War. Please keep up the good work! Ambassador Emmert. Do be careful ole chap. We need you and your Army. By the way, I do agree with you concerning Mr. Barno, but remember a picture speaks a thousand words. Ambassador Ellis. You will be pleased to hear that Baron Von Steuben is here in New Carthage with me! Even now he undergoes an alcohol rehabilitation program which I'm sure will bring him back to Austria, fighting on. To Ambassador Sherwood. Your butler mentioned ``Prestige'', I would like to mention ``Respect''. I, for one, have this for all the men participating. As I have said, Britain is at war with France, yet I just received a letter from the man who has conquered my Nation. I respect that gesture....
(VB to SD): The on-line filing thing was fine. The pain in the butt was having to enter all that stuff from all those W-2's (Sondra has lots). That part took far longer than the old method (tear off and staple - which I had to do later, anyway!). Got the refund within about 2 weeks, which is certainly a new record. Grudging thanks; if I can ever do you a legal favor, let me know.
(SECRET PRESS FROM EMMERT to EVERYONE BUT SHERWOOD): Just wait 'til he takes me up on this offer. I'll fix his wagon big time. ``Ooops, sorry, Keith, I guess we missed the statute of limitations on this one. Well, maybe the next time you get hit by a bus, we can sue on time." Heh, heh, heh!)
(RUSSIA): Re my diplomatic efforts: Just trying to keep in the spirit of the game's name!
(A MAN FROM EDINBURGH): It was 'orrible, 'orrible! They was havin' a gay time of it. One hand on a bottle of vodka and the other stuffin' haggis down their throats and then the bombs fell! Men scattered like sheep to the slaughter. I jumped under the table just in time. The roof caved in and when I crawled out I could see the Frogs sailin' in and blowin' the bloody crap out of the Cossacks! Men were vomiting and heads were flyin'! I even saw a Russian sailor jump under an old woman, but she hit 'im hard with her shears and ran off to continue cuttin' the wool off of her sheep! It was over quick. Poor bastards. Didn't have a chance....
(PARIS): Reports came in early Monday that the mysterious Russian ``Lost Fleet,'' truly is lost and has perhaps vanished. Many sailors reported that she was floating along and they just lost sight of her. There are theories that the Loch Ness monster swallowed her up, but that is pure speculation. Nevertheless, strategizers in Paris were both elated and surprised to see that a once major problem was now off their hands. ((I'm not sure it helps you as much as you thought....)) One such person was quoted as saying, ``Now that we have eliminated that problem, we can concentrate on the Scandinavian Peninsula.'' ((Which is precisely what rebuilding the fleet on the north coast protects for him...))
(MIKE to KENT): Look! In Fall 1909 you could have a useful role to play! These clouding eyes have seen more novelties than a deckhand has crabs, yet such as this they have not peered upon since von Steuben was a virgin.
(SAN DIEGO): No to all draws. Concede or die.
THE DUE DATE FOR SPRING 1910 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
ENGLAND (Lowrey): bld f edi, a lon; has f EDI, a LON, a HOL, f IRI, f BAR, f DEN, f SWE, a STP.
FRANCE (Rauterberg): bld a par, a mar; has a PAR, a MAR, a BEL, a KIE, f SPA(SC), f WES, a TYO, a VEN.
GERMANY (Kent): rem a war, a mos; has a BOH, a SIL, f HEL, a MUN.
RUSSIA (Williams): has a SEV.
TURKEY (Sherwood): bld a con; has a CON, a SER, a BUL, a RUM, a UKR,
f BLA, a GAL, f ADR, f ROM, a VIE, f TUN, a TRI, f ION.
Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Terry Tallman, 3805 SW Lake Flora Road, Port Orchard, WA 98367, (360) 874-0386 ($7)
ttallman of linknet.kitsap.lib.wa.us
ENGLAND: Michael Lowrey, 4322 Water Oak Road, Charlotte, NC 28211
mlowrey of charlotte.infi.net
ENGLAND EMERITUS: Tom Nash, 202 Settlers Road, St. Simons Island, GA 31522, (912) 634-1753 ($4)
75763.707 of CompuServe.COM
FRANCE: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339 ($10)
prosit of execpc.com
GERMANY: Doug Kent, 10214 Black Hickory Rd., Dallas, TX 75243 (214) 234-8386 ($5)
73567.1414 of CompuServe.COM ITALY: Simon Billenness, 452 Park Drive, Apt. 7, Boston, MA 02215, (617) 423-6655 ($5)
sbillenness of frdc.com RUSSIA: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (805) 297-3947
wllmsfmly of earthlink.net
RUSSIA EMERITUS: Ken Peel, 12041 Eaglewood Court, Silver Spring, MD 20902, (301) 949-4055 ($5)
KEN_PEEL of hagel.senate.gov
TURKEY: Keith Sherwood, 8873 Pipestone Way, San Diego, CA 92129, (619) 484-8367
ksher of cts.com or Keith_Sherwood of Intuit.com
TURKEY EMERITUS: Pete Gaughan, 1236 Detroit Av. #7, Concord, CA 94520-3651, (510) 825-2165 ($4)
gaughan of ix.netcom.com
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
Game Notes (back from the tropopause): 1) The game specific standby list for this game includes Garret Schenck, Cathy Cunning Ozog, Mike Mills, Dick Martin, Vince Lutterbie, and Eric Brosius in reverse alphabetical order (note that Garret is STILL missing... someone find him!). Guest press from potential standbys would be a ``good thing'' if they wanted to be chosen.
2) Anyone failing to submit press for two consecutive turns will be dropped from the game! Although press in this szine is generally black, I will make the exception here that I will say who has NPRed and is ``at risk'' for being dropped. It's all Williams' fault. The Duck's army will not move in the Spring unless its orders are accompanied by press. Sending me ``cool cards'' with the play that shall not be named on it does not count!
3) That FET draw is proposed for your consideration. Please vote with your Spring orders. Failure to vote vetoes the proposal.
Press: (CON): now here's an earth-shattering build. (PARIS to MUNICH): In my life, I have a lot of hostility to vent too! Best that we use this game as an outlet, don't you think?
(CON-SEV): Hey puppet, that's not the tune I requested! ((Don's been positively feisty lately, though no press! Since you got press in this time, note what I did above...))
(RUS-GER): My sincere sympathy goes out to you for being so shamelessly abused by your supposed allies. PS: Is it time to talk suiciding out yet?
(MPL-BOOB): Jim just wondering if you've heard the new Kristin Hersh CD Strange Angles? I like it, though I thought Hips and Makers was better. ((From what I've heard, I agree. I didn't rush out to purchase the new one, though I'm sure I will eventually.))
I'm holding my write-up on Ghods too until I have more space and time. The game history AND all of the negotiating letters may be found in the Diplomatic Pouch showcase:
This is FASCINATING reading. I've not heard any comments on it yet, but I'm sure I will. I apologize for some of the formatting difficulties in the way the program edited the press.
AUSTRIA: Edi Birsan (edi of mgames.com);
ENGLAND: Jamie Dreier (James_Dreier of brown.edu);
FRANCE: John Barkdull (uejon of ttacs1.ttu.edu);
GERMANY: Pitt Crandlemire (pittc of syncon.com);
ITALY: Cal White (diplomat of idirect.com);
RUSSIA: Mark Fassio (jm2365 of exmail.usma.army.mil, fazfam of juno.com);
TURKEY: Hohn Cho (hohncho of kaiwan.com).
GM: Jim Burgess (burgess of world.std.com)
USIN judge: judge of kleiman.indianapolis.in.us
((The main point of this game was to take some successful E-Mail players, some successful FTF tournament players, and some successful PBM players, put them in a game together using the Judge E-Mail technology and see what happens. The game ended in a France/England/Turkey DIAS draw.))
THE DUE DATE FOR SUMMER 1916 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1916 IS JUNE 20TH, 1998
FRANCE (Rauterberg): f bre-ENG, f spa(sc)-WES, f nth-HEL, f DEN S f swe-bal, a BEL S a ruh,
a BUR-mun, a RUH S a hol-kie, f swe-BAL, a HOL-kie, a PIE S a ven-tyo, a EDI h,
f ADR-tri, a VEN-tyo, f ion-gre (d r:tyh,nap,otb), f APU-ven, f NWY-stp, f tyh-TUN.
GERMANY (Zarr): a MUN S a kie, a TYO S a mun, a BER S a kie, a KIE S a mun,
a VIE S a tyo, a STP h, f bal-den (d r:gob,pru,otb).
TURKEY (Johnson): f AEG S f eas-ion, a TRI-ven, a LVN S GERMAN a stp, f eas-ION,
a BUD-tri, a BOH S GERMAN a mun, a SER S a bud-tri, a rum-GAL, f ALB-adr, f GRE S f eas-ion.
Addresses of the Participants
FRANCE: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Drive, Greenfield, WI 53221, (414) 281-2339
prosit of execpc.com
GERMANY: Harold Zarr, 215 Glen Drive, Iowa Falls, IA 50126-1957, (515) 648-2821
RUSSIA: Eric Brosius, 53 Bird Street, Needham MA 02192 ($5)
72060.1540 of CompuServe.COM
TURKEY: Stan Johnson, 1254 East Broadway Road #56, Mesa, AZ 85204, (602) 668-1105
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
1) The GTF draw is rejected again.
(MON-SEWER to SULTAN): Mon cher Stanley, can't you see it? Is Kiel standing tall in the ranks of supply centers? Count em: Ruhr, Hol, Den, Hel, Bal. Looks like five on my side. Germany has Mun (cut) and Ber (cut). This one is wrapped up: a sure thing.
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1918 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
AUSTRIA (Davis): has a BUD.
FRANCE (Zarr): has a BUR, a GAS, f BRE, a MAR,
a POR, f SPA(NC), f MID, f ENG.
GERMANY (Jones): has a KIE, a GAL, a MOS, a VIE, a SIL,
a MUN, a TYO, a YOR, a RUH, a UKR, f NTH, f NWG.
TURKEY (Weiss): has a BUL, f ALB, f BLA, a RUM, a VEN,
a TRI, a SER, f GOL, a SEV, f WES, f NAF, f PIE, f ADR.
Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Rick Davis, 2009 Bodega Avenue, Petaluma, CA 94952, (707) 773-1044
redavis914 of aol.com FRANCE: Harold Zarr, 215 Glen Drive, Iowa Falls, IA 50126-1957, (515) 648-2821
GERMANY: Charles Jones, 1722 Quail Circle, Corona, CA 91720-4155, (909) 735-8981
RUSSIA: Eric Schlegel, 314 Fords Lane, Aberdeen, MD 21001, (410) 272-3314
TURKEY: Richard Weiss, 500 Beale St. # 104, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 512-7221 rcw of sirius.com
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
1) The GT, FG, FGT, and the DIAS FGAT all are rejected yet again.
2) Notice that Richard has moved back to the mainland! Hurray!!
(MIKE B to CHARLES J): Why, you ask, was I in a remote desert canyon? Well, I was leaving Yellowstone after nearly five years. Being in wilderness in my free time, and near wilderness the rest of the time, brought profound effects on me. I'd visited Arches and Natural Bridges back in '95 and knew I wanted to see them and other places I'd missed. I didn't know if I'd end up back East, and perhaps not get to see those wondrous places for years. So I spent three weeks hiking and driving, usually alone with my adopted dog. Met up with a friend (also leaving the Yellowstone area) for a few days in Canyonlands. Hardly anyone there in February. Soul-cleansing. (GERMANY-TURKEY): Okay, I appreciate your letter. I will continue to propose and vote for a 3-way draw and am glad that you have finally come to some senses and will vote for it also. (BLARNO-GERMANY): A bit paranoid, eh, or else a little short on the creative side - a secret mission, maybe I like camping?
(GERMANY >> > TURKEY): I still would like to see Austria die. Can it be arranged?
(BARNEY-TURKEY): Are you in?
(GERMANY >> > TURKEY AND AUSTRIA): I want a three way draw. I will insist that both I (Germany) and Harold (France) are part of that draw. This puts you both in a dilemma. Harold has said that he will let me eat his centers until this issue is forced. Time will tell. Harold has done exactly what he has told me that he will do in all the games that I've played with him (Which I believe has been three. I can't find my game notes since I moved and I can't remember if it's two or three.). Anyway, this is the deal. Austria, if you help me break the stalemate line that Turkey has now and move south you can have part. Turkey, if you let me kill Austria you can have it. (TURKEY-FRANCE): Why do you even play Dip if you don't like the intricacies of mid/end games? Do you believe in stabs? Do you believe in changing alliances? Do you believe in negotiating? Do you believe in fairy tales? Do you believe in altering strategy after Winter 00?
(GERMANY >> > FRANCE): It's clear to me that this game can last forever. ((It hasn't been going on ANYWHERE near forever yet. Once a game gets to the mid-1920's then you can start talking like that, but not yet. For all of everyone's ``discussion'' about nothing happening, there hasn't been ANY game year where nothing has happened so far.)) Jim isn't going to force the issue like it was always done in the Rebel at this point in a game. ((Nope, because those aren't my house rules on that issue.)) Austria is probably not voting, and Turkey is probably voting No in most cases. So this is my best move. Drop me a line if you want me to move back and I will. I will move slowly and allow you to keep the MED sealed. I will not kill you. I'll eat only one or two centers at a time until the turkey, playing Turkey, gets desperate and votes for a three way.
THE DUE DATE FOR SUMMER 1912 IS MAY 30TH, 1998
THE DUE DATE FOR FALL 1912 IS JUNE 20TH, 1998
AUSTRIA (Pustilnik): a ser-bud (d r:gre,alb,otb).
ENGLAND (Hoffman): a STP S a lvn-mos, a lvn-MOS, f LON h, f swe-DEN, f NAO-mid.
FRANCE (James): a PAR S a bre-pic, a MAR-bur, a bre-PIC, f eng S a bre-pic, a RUH-mun,
f MID S f eng, f iri-LVP, a lvp-EDI, a tri-SER, f BUL(SC) h, f SMY h, f rom-TYH, a BUD S a tri-ser,
a VIE S a bud, f CON S f bul(sc). GERMANY (Emmert): f hol-NTH, a MUN S a pic-bur, f BEL S f hol-nth, f bal-KIE,
a pic-bur (d ann), a war-SIL, a ukr-GAL, a gal-BOH, a SEV h, a RUM S a ukr-gal.
RUSSIA (Schultz): a ANK-con.
Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Michael Pustilnik, 140 Cadman Plaza West, #13J, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718) 625-0651 ($7)
ENGLAND: Karl Hoffman, 395 Imperial Way #220, Daly City, CA 94015, (650) 991-2394
KarlHoffmn of aol.com
FRANCE: Drew James, 8356 Radian Path, Baldwinsville, NY 13027-9357, (315) 652-1956
dkbn of msn.com
GERMANY: Steve Emmert, 1752 Grey Friars Chase, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, (757) 471-1842
SEMMERT of city.virginia-beach.va.us ITALY: Dan Gorham, PO Box 279, Belmopan, Belize, CENTRAL AMERICA
Danielg of btl.net RUSSIA: John Schultz, #19390, Marion County Jail II, 730 East Washington Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202 TURKEY: Harry Andruschak, PO Box 5309, Torrance, CA 90510-5309, (310) 835-9202
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, (401) 351-0287
GM EMERITUS: Garret Schenck, now lost, HELP!
GSchenck39 of aol.com - CANCELLED!
1) Note that Karl Hoffman changed his area code! My, my, aren't there an exploding number of area codes....
(JAMES to WORLD): My position is not as good as it might first appear. 18 is not assured yet (although it might be after this season). (GERMANY to FRANCE): You're in a very good position, but it seems a mite early to be counting chickens. We ain't dead yet. (JAMES to STEVIE GUESSER): I don't think so! I'm sending in my orders and builds by email, fax, phone, and pony express. You don't really think that I would NMR now. By the way, in my six years in the hobby I have never had a single NMR (or NBR). (FRANCE to GERMANY): How about I let you have another Army in the West and you let me have one in the East? Remember when your orders got messed up in Turkey and your file orders were used - it saved Turkey's neck and it just might save yours! (GERMANY to AMERICA): Okay, right about now would be a good time for you to intervene. Think you can land on the Normandy beaches?
(JAMES to BOOB): It looks like Stevie is starting to grasp at straws. I might hand deliver my orders for the Fall in person - if all goes well, they will be my last.
(ANK-SER): Hey - Mike - wreak a little havoc on that darned Frenchman, make things interesting for him, at least. (FRANCE to RUSSIA): It looks like you will survive. You are correct. I can't get you without an Army. Come to think of it I am sort of glad. What is amazing is that Austria will survive as well.
(JOHN BOY-BOOB): Everyone just sort of ignores ya when you're down to one. No biting jabs from a single soul. I'm feeling unappreciated.
(BOOB to JOHN BOY): I hope not from me! You're very appreciated from me. I can say that even though I've submitted moves to kick your butt in Ann Arckey!! We'll see if they work. Keep writing great press and letters and I'll abuse you, even if no one else will! How dare you turn down my support to Piedmont!!!???
(AUSTRIA-GERMANY): McGwire won't hit 62 home runs this year because of where he plays. NO ONE could break Maris' record while playing half of their games at Busch stadium. (GERMAN MUSINGS): Sondra and I went to see Les Miserables yesterday. I have always had some trepidation of seeing any screen adaptation of this, my favorite novel, since I've always feared resenting the unavoidable omission of this character or that event (the novel is 1200 pages, so there's no way to do it otherwise). But this is a wonderful presentation, beautifully photographed and well-acted. I think it compares favorably with my favorite film version, a made-for-television movie from about 20 years ago starring Richard Jordan and Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates does Inspector Javert - talk about an easy character to despise!). Now if I can only persuade the same people to remake The Count of Monte Cristo, I can be really happy.
Baseball is a mess. Accordingly, if the powers that be can see their way to making me commissioner for a while, I will make a few changes.
1. There will no longer be interleague play. The only times the Yankees should play the Dodgers are in March in Florida or in the World Series in October.
2. The leagues will be divided into two equally-sized divisions. At the end of the regular season, the winners of the eastern divisions of each league will play the winners of the western divisions. The teams with the second-best records in each division will each get early tee times. There should be no reward for finishing second in baseball.
3. I guess I'll need a drug policy. We'll publish and widely publicize a list of banned substances. For a first violation, a player will be suspended for three years, and sent to a mandatory drug treatment program. For a second violation, there will be no program; just a mandatory eight-year suspension. Okay, the players' union will scream at me. They want to go on strike for the right to use illegal drugs and get away with it? I'll take my chances in the court of public opinion on this one.
4. No designated hitter. What's next - a designated fielder for a guy who can't catch a cold?
5. At least four of the World Series games will be scheduled to begin no later than 3:00 pm eastern time. This midnight nonsense is insane.
6. Umpires will be directed to call the strike zone as it's written. Right now, it's like Eddie Gaedel is standing in for every hitter, and only Greg Maddux can find where the zone is actually called. I hear some people complain that most hitters will never be able to catch up with some chest-high fastballs. If those people would kindly explain to me how Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig could do it, but modern hitters can't, I'll be glad to listen.
7. Marge Schott will be sent to Sri Lanka with George Steinbrenner to do a comprehensive twelve-year study to see if baseball can catch on there. I'll expect a report on my desk at 9:00 am, June 15, 2010.
8. This is very, very hard for a Dodger fan to say, but the next Hall of Fame ballot will include the name Peter Rose, unless I get proof that he bet on games that he had the power to influence.
9. For all the crybaby whiners now in the bigs (and not yet in the bigs, including J. D. Drew), I will impose a tax of 85% of their lifetime earnings. The money will be used to go to the only sports figures who really deserve that kind of money: The hockey goalies.
There. Now I feel better. I figure I would last maybe thirty-six hours, tops, before the owners gathered up the votes to fire me, but it would be glorious while it lasts. I will take the game from the corporate barons and television moguls who run it now and give it back to the fans. Please call Bud and the boys and suggest my name for commissioner. I don't ask for a lot of money; the same as Giamatti got will be fine. But I do insist on the greatest perk of the office: Front row seats to any major league game you want to see. Now that will be living.
(MORE BASEBALL MUSINGS): Well, actually it's Aaron. Today's USA Today has a comparison chart of the ages at which Hank and McGwire reached various milestone HR's. McG just hit #400 at age 34. Not bad. But Hank got his FIVE hundredth at 34. McG is a lock (barring injury) to reach 500, and should finish his career with 600 (joining Hank, Babe and Willie). But Aaron is probably unreachable. If McG has five more good years left in him, he'll have to AVERAGE 71 a year to catch Aaron. No dice.
Junior Griffey has a far better shot than McGwire. I think he has 309 as of this writing (294 coming into the season, and I think he hit #15 of the year yesterday). Aaron got #300 at age 29. Junior will be 29 in November. If he hits 30 more this year, and, say, 45 more next season, he'll have over 380 (half Aaron's career total) before he reaches his thirties. If he does a little better than that, he could reach 400 by the time he's 29. Barring injury, we're looking at the next guy to hit 700.
As for hitting .400, well, I love Gwynn; I think he's the best student of hitting since Rod Carew. But I don't think even diluted pitching will carry him over .400 at this age. Now, when the AL eventually expands to 16 teams, to match the NL, THEN we might see some guy with 20-15 vision and quick wrists challenge Ted Williams. When there are over 350 ``major league" pitchers, some serious hitting records will fall. That'll help Junior, too.
I think all of the really unbreakable records in baseball are pitching records. Nobody will ever approach Cy Young's 511 wins, or Walter Johnson's 113 shutouts, unless they change the rules of the game in a way that drastically affects statistics. But eventually, somebody will hit a 756th homer, and the age of the .400 hitter will return, ushered in by a thinned pitching pool. Maybe somebody on the Rockies will drive in 191 runs, but for now, I think Hack Wilson is safe.
The record I want is shared by three guys at the turn of the century. (When I played, I was an outfielder. I was a fair hitter, not very quick, but I had the best arm on the team. So I got to play a lot of right field and threw out my share of guys going from first to third on singles.) Most assists in one game, outfield to home: Three. What I want to know is what happened to the three third-base coaches who each sent three guys to their deaths at the hands of the same guy. Man, I want that record.
Personal Note to You: