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Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:01 PM

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, à 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

36 replies, 1210 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply For my 10,000th post (Original post)
Pinback Mar 2021 OP
Zoonart Mar 2021 #1
Pinback Mar 2021 #10
Karadeniz Mar 2021 #2
Pinback Mar 2021 #9
Kali Mar 2021 #3
Pinback Mar 2021 #12
secondwind Mar 2021 #4
Pinback Mar 2021 #13
Nevilledog Mar 2021 #5
Pinback Mar 2021 #14
Nevilledog Mar 2021 #19
Clash City Rocker Mar 2021 #6
Pinback Mar 2021 #15
Clash City Rocker Mar 2021 #17
Pinback Mar 2021 #18
Dustlawyer Mar 2021 #7
Pinback Mar 2021 #8
PatSeg Mar 2021 #11
Pinback Mar 2021 #16
PatSeg Mar 2021 #28
grantcart Mar 2021 #20
Pinback Mar 2021 #24
panader0 Mar 2021 #21
Pinback Mar 2021 #23
PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2021 #22
Pinback Mar 2021 #25
PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2021 #26
Pinback Mar 2021 #30
canetoad Mar 2021 #27
Pinback Mar 2021 #29
littlemissmartypants Mar 2021 #31
Pinback Mar 2021 #33
littlemissmartypants Mar 2021 #34
MustLoveBeagles Mar 2021 #32
Pinback Mar 2021 #35
MustLoveBeagles Mar 2021 #36

Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:06 PM

1. Congrats!

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Response to Zoonart (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:47 PM

10. Thanks much, Zoonart!

Good to see you.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:08 PM

2. Hey! Pleased to meet you!

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Response to Karadeniz (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:44 PM

9. Hiya, Karadeniz!

Thanks -- same here.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:09 PM

3. one of the greatest films EVER

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Response to Kali (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:53 PM

12. Ain't it, though?

I actually saw it on the big screen with my oldest son (who was a little kid at the time). He loved all the scenes with the "alien." He also got a huge kick out of the scene where all the crew members start spontaneously rocking out to some music. Such an inspired bit of lunacy!

I loved many things about Dark Star, particularly Pinback's frustrated complaints in his video log -- "I do not like the men on this ship" -- and that scene where he's explaining (for probably the thousandth time) how he ended up on board, while the other guys completely ignore his story.

Other bits I remember fondly are the scenes with Commander Powell toward the end: "How are the Dodgers doing?" and "Teach it phenomenology." Genius.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:23 PM

4. I enjoyed reading about you...it always warms my heart to read from another DUer... we are all


basically the same in so many ways, and that is why I feel at home when I come on the Page.

Congrats on your 10,000th!!!!

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Response to secondwind (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:54 PM

13. Thanks a bunch, secondwind!

Your username is a good descriptor for how I'm feeling as I embark on the next 10,000 posts.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:24 PM

5. I know you!



I like the new look.

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Response to Nevilledog (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:56 PM

14. Hey, thanks, Neveilledog!

I think you got to 10,000 posts in about three weeks, didn't you?

You have started many good discussions here. Glad to be a compadre.

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Response to Pinback (Reply #14)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 08:41 PM

19. Maybe 4 weeks.....lol

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:34 PM

6. Wow, what a list

Dark Star was also an inspiration for the classic British sci-fi comedy series Red Dwarf, which alone would be enough to make it a big deal in my book.

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Response to Clash City Rocker (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:58 PM

15. Cool, I love Red Dwarf!

"Smeg off!"

I hadn't realized it was inspired by Dark Star, but that makes perfect sense.

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Response to Pinback (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:21 PM

17. Doug Naylor himself said so

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Response to Clash City Rocker (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 07:28 PM

18. Nice - thanks!

That was a fun read.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:42 PM

7. Congrats! I am right behind you in the quest for 10,000!

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:43 PM

8. Well, git on up here then!

Plenty of laurels to go around.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:50 PM

11. Happy 10,000th!

Wonderful milestone.

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Response to PatSeg (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 06:59 PM

16. Thanks, old-timer!

I see you've been around here almost as long as I have.

So much to like about DU -- we're a lucky bunch.

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Response to Pinback (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 10:41 PM

28. You're welcome!

I was here reading and lurking a year or two before I actually signed up. Of all the forums I visited back then, it was DU that endured for me.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 08:44 PM

20. Interesting post

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Response to grantcart (Reply #20)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 09:07 PM

24. Thanks GC

I always enjoy your posts.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 08:58 PM

21. Great and hilarious post. Congrats on the milestone.

By the way, Ferlin Husky's brother is named Feelin Frisky.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #21)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 09:06 PM

23. Lol!

I thought “Feelin’ Frisky” was a song by Paul Simon.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 08:59 PM

22. The best part is you read science fiction!

I may be falling in love with you.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #22)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 09:11 PM

25. I've been known to dabble in the stuff. I'm a slow reader so I have a lot of gaps.

I’ve renewed an interest in the field lately — so much amazing SF that’s new to me.

See ya in the future!

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Response to Pinback (Reply #25)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 09:26 PM

26. It's an amazing field, and I have zero patience for the jerks

who simply dismiss it. Okay, I get that it may not be interesting to you, just as westerns are not interesting to me, but it's not a crap genre.

In recent years, before the pandemic shut everything down, I was in the habit of attending several science fiction cons each year. Specifically, Mile Hi in Denver, Bubonicon in Albuquerque, and several other smaller ones. Oh. In 2019 I attended SoonerCon in Norman, OK, and it may well become my favorite con once things start back up again.

Even if you haven't read a lot, I will strongly urge you to find out what cons are near you, and start attending. I'm not much for the on-line versions, but if you are good with those, then go for it. (I'm old and I prefer the in-person things.) In person you get to meet and talk to all sorts of amazing people, starting with the writers, and including artists and other fans.

I have honestly become friends with a number of writers, some of whom are very well known in the field. I can sometimes walk around in a bit of a daze when I remember that I am friends with certain specific writers.

Recently I read an s-f book, and about halfway through I looked at the dedication page, and realized I know the person it was dedicated to! How cool is that?

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #26)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:24 PM

30. Neat!

I hit a couple of cons in my younger days — saw Robert Bloch speak and met Ray Bradbury at DragonCon in Atlanta (though that con is more about cosplay and Trekkie fandom than books).

Maybe some day I’ll check out some of the regional conventions again. I guess those are on hiatus for the most part these days.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 10:04 PM

27. Congrats Pinback

10k is a real milestone. Remember the 'rush' to 1,000 posts in the very old days? All to earn the tag 1,000+posts. It seemed to take forever.

Here's to 10,000 more buddy.

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Response to canetoad (Reply #27)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:19 PM

29. Aha, I see from your profile you are from Oz.

Say hi to Unc Nunkie, Dr. Pipt, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the rest of the gang from me.

Been here since 2004 and fewer than 13,000 posts? Slacker!


Yes, for us slowpokes, every thousand posts are like another Mt. Everest.

Thanks for the well wishes, canetoad.

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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:41 PM

31. Congratulations, Pinback. Wonderful post!

As for me, folks think I'm a smarty, but it's really only all about the pants.

Many happy returns.

❤ miss pants

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Response to littlemissmartypants (Reply #31)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:50 PM

33. Thank you so much, littlemissmartypants!

Pants are severely under-rated, while smarties get all the (permanent) press. Let's hear it for slacks, pedal pushers, britches, and dungarees!

I've enjoyed many of your posts, LMSP, so it's nice to hear from you.

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Response to Pinback (Reply #33)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:57 PM

34. HaHaHa...on the permanent press.

Thanks for the compliment, too.

And here's to klook. May he rest in peace.




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Response to Pinback (Original post)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:45 PM

32. Congratulations to reaching 10,000 posts

I recently watched Dark Star and it was interesting to say the least. Parts of it reminded me of a Looney Tunes cartoon and had me laughing. I told a friend about the film and she watched out of curiosity and loved it.

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Response to MustLoveBeagles (Reply #32)

Tue Mar 16, 2021, 11:59 PM

35. Fantastic. Your friend's a keeper. ;)

The movie is uneven in places, but overall super entertaining. I haven't seen it in years, but I see it's on YouTube and also available as a cheap rental from Amazon Prime, so I'm going to have to check it out again.

I think when my time comes, surfing into the Perseids would not be a bad way to go. (Or was it the Leonids? I forget. Anyway, either would do.)

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Response to Pinback (Reply #35)

Wed Mar 17, 2021, 12:07 AM

36. I saw it for free on Roku

I was less impressed than my friend but it had it's moments. It was uneven like you said and some of the satire went over my head but I wasn't bored. I'll try watching it again someday.

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