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#23457 - 09/23/04 03:19 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

Yup... we discussed that some time ago, and I think of "Tunnel" (unfortunate acronym) every time I strap one on.

I'm a bit subversive in that way. I've been known to buy Heinlein "juvenile" paperbacks and drop them in the "books for kids" donation boxes. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> In these PC days, though, probably nothing less mainstream than Harry Potter ever makes it to the kids. Unfortuunately, the current edition of "Tunnel" has a stupid cover illustration that guarantees that it will end up in a dumpster the first time a "responsible adult" in this culture catches sight of it.

I had a High School teacher who pointedly sneered at Heinlein for his insistance on "competent" main characters. He seemed to think that striving for competence was somehow pathological, and that it was much more healthy to learn to adjust to, and live with, your incompetence instead. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Come to think of it, maybe Baden-Powell's recently-reprinted orignal "Scouting for Boys" would be equally subversive in this culture, but harder to justify censoring. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#23458 - 09/24/04 06:11 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

(kinda off topic)
to make the 'resealable' meat packets easier, use cling wrap. when you finally open the container, put a peice of cling-wrap over the opening and replace the stupid yellow lid. Gives you a little more to grab onto...


#23459 - 09/24/04 07:27 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

Hienlin is one of my faves, and not just becuase of the survival/competence aspects...
When I recieved my first knife at the age of 5, I took it to school for show and tell. My parents fought to get it back from the Principal for a month. I still have it!
I went on my first alone camping outing when I was 10. It was a great time - and I found out later that my parents were two camping sitea over... just in case.
The first time I was taken to a deer hunt as a participant, I didn't get to shoot at anything. But then again, no one did. That was a cold, yet not snowy 16th winter for me.
My beautiful Sleeper was a birthday present when I was 17. She is a bastaard sword hand made by a gentleman in Utah. She hangs on my wall and is in several photoshoot spreads I have done. And I only used her on the honeysuckle bushes once... I have a machete for that!
I had a SAK given to me when I moved out of the 'Stead. I was only 22, what did I know about living on my own? <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> (I came running back after a year...)

It is a sorry day that more people do not know what it is like to have a blade as a tool. Anything can be used to kill someone, or maim them so badly that they want to be dead. It takes a good blade to cut a stick for roasting marshmallows. I wouldn't go anywhere without my SAK with the torx driver in it for feild repairs. Only a good machete will go through the underbrush that grows in the back yard at the 'Stead. And only idiots don't know what it is like to live without a blade available. Like in Disney!

Just a little rambling...


#23460 - 09/25/04 10:28 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

Hmm... does that gentleman in Utah have the initials LS? Might have dealt with him myself. I have about 5 years of fencing in my background.

Kinves and blades are a pretty constant theme in Heinlein. Oscar Gordon in Glory Road springs to mind, with the Lady Vivamus, but I remember, offhand, references in The Star Beast and a lot in... was it "Orphans of the Sky"? The multi-generational starship book, where they had lost the knowledge that they were on a ship...

Still, "Tunnel" remains my favorite for all the "knife talk" as well.

See here infant, on this tour you are the rabbit, trying to escape the fox. You aren't the fox. One time in a hundred a gun might save your life; the other 99 it will just tempt you into folly. No doubt Matson or I would, but we are salted; we know when not to use one. That test area is going to be crawling with trigger-happy young squirts. If one shoots you, it won't matter that you have a gun too, because you will be dead.

I know how good a gun feels. It makes you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, three meters tall and covered with hair. You're ready for anything and kind of hoping you'll find it. Which is exactly what's dangerous about it-- because you aren't anything of the sort. You are a feeble, hairless embryo, remarkably easy to kill. You could have an assault gun with two thousand meters precision range and isotope charges that could blow up a hill but you still wouldn't have eyes in the back of your head like a Janus bird or be able to see in the dark like the Thetis pygmies. Death can cuddle up on you from behind while you are drawing a bead on something in front.

Buddy, sometimes I send a girl out on an infiltration patrol, object" information--go out, find out, come back alive. How do you suppose I equip her?

In the first place I don't pick an eager young recruit; I send some unkillable old-timer. she peels down to her underwear, darkens her skin if it is not dark, and goes out bare-handed and bare-footed, without so much as a fly swatter. I have yet to lose a scout. Helpless and unprotected you do grow eyes in the back of your head and your nerve ends reach out and feel everything around you."

#23461 - 10/11/04 03:50 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
I've tried to resist commenting on this post, in case you might think I'm poking fun at you, but - you do realize "Tunnel in the Sky" (I'm assuming that's the work you're referring to) is a work of fiction? And that it was written, moreover, by a writer who liked putting his female characters in situations where they had to go naked or semi-naked, probably because it helped sell his books?

I doubt there are many elite commando units in the world that send their scouts out half-naked and unarmed, and I'm inclined to doubt that Heinlein had any real combat experience. (He was a naval officer from 1929 to 1934, between the wars, and he worked as a scientific researcher for the Naval Experimental Air Station during the Second World War.)

He was a good writer but I wouldn't consider him an authoritative reference. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#23462 - 10/11/04 05:38 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA

Heinlein may not have been an authority or a tactician for todays world, but those passages quoted speak volumes of truth.

I"ve had guns and knives as a young man, and I have guns and knives today as a middle aged man (I am however, better looking today then when I was younger.). As a young man, we used to engage in open hand slap fights for practice in the event a fistfight would ever become necessary. We played "chicken" and "stretch" with knives, and we even fought each other with real knives for practice (The rules for practice were no stabbing, no cuts above the throat or below the belly button, light cutting only and the one to draw first blood won.) I learned a very important technique from a cousin for prolonged knife fights that cost me a more than usual amount of blood which I keep in the back of my head to this day and will not tell anyone else about. We used to dress all in black and play hide n seek at night within a designated area using neighborhood yards, garages, gardens, and whatever else would conceal us. Those boyhood experiences, although never lifethreatening have taught me that it is better to be passive and wait for the advantage than it is to be openly powerful and always worrying about your back.

I remember an old "Hawiai Five-0" episode where one of the villans said, "Remember that behind every smile there are teeth".

Given a choice, I would prefer weapons up the wazo at my current age and life's experiences, but if I could go back and talk to myself as a young man, I would tell him to play the weak fool and learn before trying to assert yourself.


#23463 - 10/11/04 05:40 PM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

>>I've tried to resist commenting on this post, in case you might think I'm poking fun at you, but - you do realize "Tunnel in the Sky" (I'm assuming that's the work you're referring to) is a work of fiction?<<

Hmm. Ok.. how, exactly, am I supposed to take that otherwise, again? I mean, poking fun at me is fine, but you seem to indicate that instead of taking it that way, I'm supposed to take your question seriously.

Ok.. well, lessee here... teleportation to distant planets, alien creatures, future society pretty different from our own. Yup, I'd hazard a guess that it's fiction, all right.

Is that better?

Now, I've met some folks who discount any ideas that come from fiction, and one or two that refused to read it at all. Their prerogative, of course, but personally, I think that it leads to a narrow viewpoint. Fiction, especially Science Fiction, is where society brainstorms new ideas, where it tries them out for size and sees which ones it might want to adopt. The novel "Kings of the High Frontier", about a private space effort, seemed like pretty wild speculation just a few years ago... and was ridiculed.

But, to each their own.

As for him being an "authoritative reference"- of course not, at least by background.. but perhaps you're familiar with the "ad hominum" fallacy? It's really not valid to attack a line of reasoning by attacking the person who puts it forth, at least where it may be judged independently. In an extreme example, it is not valid to state that a mathematical equation must be false because the person who came up with it lacks an advanced degree in a related field. The equation, like an author's ideas, can be judged on it's own merit, and should be. I doubt there's an interesting author in the history of literature who's background is immune to criticism. Mark Twain was apparently a deserter, Mary Shelly was hardly a qualified science writer, somehow or other they've both managed to have some influence anyway. More, I'd dare to guess, than "qualified" writers of their times.

Generations of readers have now found much of value in Heinlein's work as well... but you're free not to.

As for scantily-clad women, that was so much a feature of SF in the 40's and 50's as to be a common cliche. It was certainly an artifact of it's time. I don't find it an indictment of the genre, or a particular author's work per se, though it seems that you're trying to frame it that way... but if it offends your moral or religious principles, then, by all means- be offended, I don't mind a bit. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

#23464 - 10/12/04 12:45 AM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

No joke? Really...? Some of the most thought provoking volumes ever written are fiction. A point often missed about higher math classes is that half the reason of sitting through them isn't to learn the math, but to teach one to THINK!!!

#23465 - 10/12/04 12:50 AM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

Once again, very wise words...

#23466 - 10/12/04 12:56 AM Re: Knife possesion in the 21st century!

Equation...lack of degree...E=mc2...hmmm

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