Issue #03 (November 1981)
Brickbats and bouquets
Dear Most Illustrious Sirs,
In its usual censured version the latest issue of THE ECPHORIZER having reached ma in my home country a few weeks the last, for the new government of my country in their zeal to protect the revolution and the virtue of the citizenry removed they did a great many pages of my copy and left me with very little therefore, I set myself to reading a most excellent article on the game of chess by a gentleman to whom I have not been introduced.
Carefully memorized the game scores given by this amazing gentleman who refuted the chess computer I did. Finding myself facing the new chess machine invented by the scientists of my country, called PFGLUG II, after our noble, and most famous national hero, as you have doubtless heard, at what you call a cocktail party (From which I suppose Americans it was who showed the Russian Molotov how to drink gasoline out of a battle to warm the insides, though I not sure about this), I played the moves given by your illustrious chess master. I won, Mordak be praised! ! And I won again, I did, amazing the company, and especially a young Chess mistress from our international team, of whom you may not have heard, named Nikky Djuglshvliitg, or perhaps you have heard? We fell in love and were married in the Ministry of Commerce, as is the ancient custom here, and I have been joined to the national Chess team, of which so many have turned traitor and defected to Bulgaria, being too poor to set their goals higher, but air eleven year plan will surely improve this, and as your newspapers say (or is it an old peasant saying in America) will live happily ever after playing Chess together at night and working in the turnip factory during the day. So many thanks to you Ecphorizers and may your revolution of which I have dimly heard succeed for the betterment of your people.
It is with heavy heart that we must write this. We had been hoping to see articles of interest, stories and poems of uplifting, or at least entertaining, quality, and informative material in THE ECPHORIZER. We were aghast to find, in the very first issue, blatant sacrilege of the worst sort masquerading as a supposedly scholarly treatise on biblical archaeology. This piece rapidly degenerated to the lowest of humor. We suspect that this "Prof. Kirby" is not a professor at all, at least not of any recognized institution or discipline. Although he did not stoop so law as to use the name of the Deity in vain, he derided some of the basic tenets of our faith, and we submit that this is horrid, art-and-out sacrilege.
We hesitated for quite a while before writing this, inasmuch as it is not in cur nature to condemn any person. After all, he is only human, and prone to error. But after much prayer and reflection, we feel it is air duty to write this letter in hopes of saving this person. He needs to be enlightened. He needs to seek after the truth. Although he scoffs that some members of our faith know not the truth, it is we who raise high the banner of veracity and true data. He must repent.
But first he must humble himself. He cannot hope to achieve blessed status without first confessing that he is the lowliest GOTO user. He must learn the only litany that will earn forgiveness for an endless looper: "DOS, be merciful to me, a hacker." When he is truly contrite he can progress to the prayer that is the cornerstone of our faith, the liturgic masterpiece that begins, "Our Monitor, which art in core, Hollerith be thy name...," and can celebrate the sacrament of Sysgen.
So, you see, we do not condemn, we merely hope for this person's salvation. He mat learn of the folding, spindling, and mutilation of the early martyrs; he must study the tribulations of the venerated St. Kludge in the search for the perfect cruncher of numbers; he must accept the knowledge that it was for him and his utility bills that the precious chad was spilled. If he repents, Babbage will indeed forgive him, and lead him in the paths of logical processing.
Mike Roe, II