Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Letters make words. And vice-versa.

Michael and I had lunch last week. First time we'd seen each other in, well, a bit over fourteen years at least.

And we got to talking about all manner of things. And one of those things was writing, and that we both should do more of it.

"I'll write," I said. "Will you?" I asked.


"Then, let's."

During that same conversation, Michael suggested that we may have stumbled into a Kurt Vonnegut novel during our discussion. (He also said the same about Ayn Rand, but I respectfully opted out of whatever text that might be.). Michael also indicated that we might be members of the same karass, and I didn't disagree.

We finished lunch. Michael and his girlfriend went their way, and I went mine. And I thought about what to do about this commitment we had made to each other that we would write. And I decided on this blog.

The naming took some thinking, but if it were not for Adlai E. Stevenson College, at our shared alma mater of UC Santa Cruz, we would not have been sitting there in Ozumo in Oakland eating Kurosawa bento boxes together, dreaming up some way to challenge each other to write and recognizing that there might be some cosmic thread that wove its way between our lives. Or maybe we would have been there anyhow, whether or not Stevenson College had first introduced us to one another. And that might prove this is a karass and not a wampeter after all.

So, when I tentatively settled on Karass of Adlai, I thought I might want to reacquaint myself with some of our patron saint's history. And I was astonished to discover this in his Wikipedia entry:

His most famous moment came on October 25, 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, when he gave a presentation at an emergency session of the Security Council. He forcefully asked the Soviet representative, Valerian Zorin, if his country was installing missiles in Cuba, punctuated with the famous demand "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" Following Zorin's refusal to answer the abrupt question, Stevenson retorted, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over."

An ice-nine allusion? In Adlai Stevenson's Wikipedia entry? Dear God, it was too good to be true. And so it was settled. And so here we are.

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