Monday, August 31, 2009

Damn the Torpedoes

Though I should be out in the garage figuring out how to beat Dave Lister on the water, the urge to take up arms in defense of Blogdom is simply too enticing to resist. I feel like Obi-Wan by the Tractor Beam: "You can't win, Dave. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."

And so, proceding with reckless abandon, we put to the fullest test the canard that the pen is mightier than the foil. I am reminded of Rear Admiral David Farragut, who, if Wikipedia is to be believed, ran full throttle through a minefield with an entire fleet of warships to take victory in the battle of Mobile Bay. When one of the ships hit a mine (known as a "torpedo" at the time) and sank, causing the other ships to falter, Farragut yelled down from the rigging of his own ship "Damn the Torpedoes...four bells Captain - full speed ahead!"

This brings to mind my most recent lake foiling experience, during which I managed to foil through the lee of Greg's catamaran, only to discover that a) Carolyn, not Greg was driving the cat and b) she was headed straight into shallow water with billions of small dead trees sticking up from the surface. What to do - tack and risk coming off foils, or Damn the Torpedoes? I think you know the answer.

In trademark style, Tom Petty used Farragut's quote as the title of his groundbreaking 1979 album, Damn the Torpedoes. Living in Southern California always lends a bit of extra relevance to Mr. Petty's lyrics, given the freeway running through my yard...

And so my fellow bloggers, take heart. Lister may be fast, but he probably doesn't sail in your neighborhood, so you won't have to find out precisely how much faster he is than you for a good long time. In the interim, take up your pens, and answer the call. Losers may blog, and bloggers may lose, but no less an authority than Petty would be quick to point out that in Mothing, as in the rest of life, even the losers get lucky sometimes.

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