Just call it Beta I
by Gilles d'Aymery

May 01, 1996

The shortest way from A to B is a straight line, so we were taught back then, when the earth was flat. Now that, following the apple and NASA, we know otherwise, we have also found that it's often faster to travel from, let's say Palo Alto to San Francisco in California -- that's 35 miles -- through Sydney, Australia, or Paris, Texas (or Paris, France, for those geography nerds out there), than directly from A to B. Go figure.

Then the next morning you wake up, still flabbergasted by your latest discovery -- the more you know the more you know you don't -- and you read in "All the News That's Fit to Print" (must be (TM) or ®) that a stool valued at $200 was sold for about $35,000 at the latest Jackie corner garage sale. Now, just think for a minute. What would you do if you were the proud new owner of this stool, or if you were this Midwestern woman who bought a $2,000 Miller piano for $150,000? What name would you have engraved on the plaque commemorating your acquisition? Bouvier? Kennedy? Onassis? Tough choices, indeed.

Next question is, should you spend your money on insuring your latest treasure or on increasing the minimum wage? Fortunately, to spare you any obscene answer that could trigger the CDA, you learn that, in spite of the slight marital difficulties encountered by the Royal family, the Queen remains the bastion of British moral values. Don't you breathe better?

Did someone utter the word "values" here? Can't be. We have lost them all, lost them all, proclaim the wizards of conservatism such as our national potato"e" -- or was it tomato"e"? -- former VP. Yes, let's turn the clock back. This is value time. The earth is flat again. We can drive from A to B ad infinitum, on a straight line, into fumigated and heavenly oblivion. Driving is an inalienable right after all. Let the Chinese ride bicycles! And, by the same token, let's send all those blood-sucking foreigners, this writer included, back there, anywhere, to China or Africa, or wherever we can't see them. Value is back, God Almighty.

For lack of inspiration, morality is to be tackled another day.

So, from A to B we go and shall. But a straight line it won't be. We'll muse our way through irreverence and sarcasm, music and paintings, communities and people, books and movies, plants and wilderness, a sunset here, a moon there, a poem occasionally; in a word, we'll write about life, which we expect to continue for the foreseeable future.

And we will always place substance over form, and form over beliefs. So we believe! And since form is not our priority you'll understand that all our pages are not fully developed yet, that our counter is coming and our comments form -- darned CGI scripts -- will be on soon. Thank you, but no, we do not accept advertising. There is no money to be made here. No banners, no IPO's, no egos. Only a desire for quality on a daily basis, from a flock of swans and its future contributors.

No doubt, just call it beta I.
Beta II is on the horizon.
The full product will be.
And as the French would say: "Petit poisson deviendra grand pourvu que Dieu lui prête vie."

Go translate.

Published May 01, 1996
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