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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: GA
Home country: USA
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 11,982

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For my 10,000th post

TL;DR: 1) New username; 2) Thanks, y'all.

I've retired my old user name, klook. I adopted that handle when I joined DU 19 years ago, as a tribute to the great jazz drummer Kenny Clarke. His nickname was the onomatopoeic "Klook," referring to Clarke's signature "klook-mop" sound on the drums.

I joined DU in the wee hours of the morning following George W. Bush's David Frum-authored "Axis of Evil" speech at the 2002 State of the Union. The details are lost in the mists of time, but I assume I was battling insomnia (again) as the nightmare of the W years continued to unfold. Something I entered into a search engine led me here maybe "WMD lies," "voting paper trail," "Cheney heart attacks," or "fried chicken with corn flakes" and after scanning a few threads I knew this was a community I wanted to join.

Many of you are doubtless aware of me only dimly if at all, given my sporadic posting history and generally low profile here. Mostly I lurk, relying on DU as a progressive information portal as well as emotional support network for perpetually nerve-wracked Democrats. Still, over the years I've poked my head up now and then and enjoyed many interactions with you folks and with others no longer among us. Occasionally tempers flare, but in the big picture we all know we're on the same side of the biggest issues that we care about.

All that is a round-about way of saying I'm grateful to be a DUer, and I find your contributions sustaining and often inspiring. It's great to feel at home with kindred spirits and to learn new things every time I visit this community.

Special thanks to the indefatigable EarlG and Elad (and Skinner, if you're still reading DU posts) for keeping this site going strong for so many years. You've made a positive difference in the lives of many people, and I hope you keep up the good work for a long, long time.

Now, about my new username, which I can't believe wasn't already taken!

Sergeant Pinback is the inadvertent spacecraft stowaway played by Dan O'Bannon in the 1974 movie Dark Star. Five years after Dark Star's release, O'Bannon would haunt us all forever with his screenplay for Alien. If you haven't seen the hilarious and imaginative Dark Star yet which started as a USC student project by O'Bannon and John Carpenter check it out. You're in for a treat.

Dan O'Bannon as Sgt. Pinback

The character Pinback has always appealed to me he's kind of an earnest bumbler, out of step with his shipmates and the mission that's been forced on him. I have to say, I've often felt a bit like that in my life. Maybe you can identify, too.
-- FYI, Pinback is (was?) also the name of an indie rock band. I'm not familiar with their music, but according to Wikipedia they used audio samples from Dark Star in some of their early recordings, so I'll have to check them out.

Before settling on "Pinback," I did consider quite a few other possibilities. If you're still with me, here's a rundown of the top contenders:
  • Joe Chip - protagonist of Philip K. Dick's novel Ubik. The scene early in the novel where Chip is disassembling his apartment door so he can leave without paying the exorbitant late fees he owes his creditors is a great example of Dick's dark humor.
    - Other Joe Chips: Boxer in early 20th century (http://www.harrygreb.com/joechipbiopage.html), and a YouTube gaming & technology reviewer

  • Ragle Gumm - protagonist of the novel Time Out of Joint by Philip K. Dick

  • Leppo - the Fifth Rutle (styled after early Beatle Stu Sutcliffe, the name "Leppo" referencing Zeppo Marx). In the classic comedy movie All You Need Is Cash, Leppo is seen only in a still photograph.

  • Howard Moon - the jazz-loving zookeeper played by Julian Barratt in the surreal sketch comedy series The Mighty Boosh

  • Kukla -- kind of a refraction of Klook, and a main character in the classic '50s puppet TV show Kukla, Fran & Ollie

  • Pontichos Provechi, real name of the character nicknamed "Mouse" protagonist of Samuel R. Delany's novel Nova who plays the unusual instrument called the sensory syrynx. (I had the good fortune of meeting Delany once and told him when the sensory syrynx is invented, I'll be among the first to buy one. He looked up, smiled, and said, "Me too." )

  • Ged - main character in the Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula K. Le Guin

  • Plumpick - Military pigeon wrangler played by Alan Bates in the movie King of Hearts

  • Dr. Pipt - "The Crooked Magician," creator of the Patchwork Girl of Oz in the L. Frank Baum novel (https://oz.fandom.com/wiki/Dr._Pipt)

  • Unc Nunkie - laconic character in Baum's The Patchwork Girl of Oz and Jack Pumpkinhead of Oz (https://oz.fandom.com/wiki/Unc_Nunkie)

  • P.K. Dubey - manic wedding planner in the brilliant and beautiful Mira Nair movie Monsoon Wedding

  • McWhinney - main character in the whimsical children's book McWhinney's Jaunt by Robert Lawson (better known as the illustrator for Munro Leaf's Ferdinand)

  • (Harry) Buttle - character wrongfully arrested in the beginning of the movie Brazil by Terry Gilliam

  • Booker - reference to musician Booker T. Jones, one of my heroes. Also related more obliquely to bibliophile (of which I are one) and to the idea of "booking" criminals, la "Book 'em, Danno" (for you old-timers who remember Hawaii Five-O). Of course, there's also Cory Booker, whom I like very much but don't necessarily want to reference in my username.

  • Major Ozone - star of Major Ozone's Fresh Air Crusade, an early comic by George Herriman, before Krazy Kat. As described by Don Markstein on toonopedia.com:
    The elderly major was a lover of all things natural and healthy especially fresh air almost to the point of pathology. His quest for the very freshest air that could possibly be breathed led him to travel to exotic climes, ascend to the stratosphere in hot-air ballons, scale tall mountains, and go to other extreme lengths tho sometimes a simple walk in the country would send him into raptures. And he was relentlessly cheerful about it, even when it led to disastrous consequences (which it usually did).

  • Giocoso - lively, humorous used chiefly as a direction in music, and an attitude to which I aspire

  • Bagatelle - Used as the title of a short light-hearted piece of music; employed most notably by Beethoven in a series of such compositions for piano

Joke names:
  • Lawrence Ferlinhusky -- mashup of poet/publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti and country & western singer Ferlin Husky (who I'm guessing never met, although if they did it would have been legendary!)

  • Ace Emetric - pun on asymmetric

  • Simply Red Sovine - mashup of pop-rock band Simply Red and Red Sovine, singer of many classic truck-drivin' songs

  • Natalie Attired - Bob & Ray reference, but now the name of a women's clothing subscription business -- so much for that one!

Names I might have snagged if somebody else hadn't beaten me to the punch:
  • Merkin - after the character Merkin Muffley, the U.S. President in Dr. Strangelove (played by Peter Sellers in the Stanley Kubrick movie). Triple meaning, since a merkin is also a pubic wig, and -- thirdly -- it's a homonym for "'murcan," a frequently used DU term of art referring to pseudo-patriotic freedumb-loving conservatives.

  • Ignatz - cartoon mouse who is the frenemy of George Herriman's Krazy Kat

OK, that's it for my milestone post! Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. See you soon!

- Pinback
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