ZIP Beep #58
by Chuck Strinz

With the approaching 20th anniversary of Woodstock, our counter-culture past will soon be a valued item in our over-the-counter-culture present. The 25th anniversary of the Great Society came and went without a sound. But Woodstock is different. Woodstock is peace, love and happiness. Woodstock is mobilized instant gratification. In short, Woodstock is profit potential with a mythos.

Now, far be it from us to cast stones. If a guy can make a buck selling trinkets, that's okay, as long as he doesn't say they're emeralds. In fact, when you get right down to it, it's time we take another look at many of the 60s institutions we risk losing if we don't take the time to put them to work in today's world.

When was the last time you went to a good old street festival? I don't mean some dinky little one-block party in a residential neighborhood. Those things are nice. They're just not the same as the gatherings put on by groups like The Altered Rock Drop-In Center with the support of the good people at Happy Cow Yogurt.

Street festivals survive. But they aren't as healthy as those of 20 years ago. Maybe it's our preoccupation with other things. Or glasnost. Or the fact that beads and long hair looked better on bright-eyed 19-year-olds than they do on fat members of the pushing-fiftysomething set.

It's time to save the street festival. This year, during the Summer of '89, let's remember the past, and maybe even bring it into the future, by encouraging our local neighborhood organizations to sponsor and support street festivals based upon the events and concerns of our lives today.

The first thing a street festival needs is a parade. Back in the 50s every parade was lead by a baton-twirling majorette prancing and weaving around four or five veterans carrying flags, followed by at least one marching band. In the 60s, the baton became a bubble wand in the hand of a freak wearing a dayglo flagshirt that replaced the honor guard. The band was there, often made up of something like 40 kazoos and two drums accompanied by a sitar. Nobody can relate to any of that in today's rapidly-changing world. So let's start off with something relevant, like several thousand chanting Chinese waving democracy banners and portraits of Chairman Mao, all marching behind a giant replica of the Statue of Liberty. While this might confuse some of the patriots who remember the days of Ike, the effect would be offset by the equally confused contingent of aging American cultural revolutionists who fought the Battle of Berkeley.

It's hip to be square. Everything old is new again. But Huey has replaced Jerry. With that in mind, let's take a walk past the booths that line the street.

The Pieceniks have a prominent spot, where they sell all sorts of buttons and bumper stickers espousing their cause. Their chant of "Piece Now!" can be heard periodically above the crowd as we approach. A bearded youth in scruffy overalls is handing out literature. It tells of the group's efforts to keep handguns in the hands of law-abiding citizens everywhere. "Throughout all of history, Man, war has been the only answer," the youth tells us. "We need to change that. Please, help us spread the use of handguns so everybody will be well armed and we can all fight to avoid war. Give your piece a chance, Man."

We pass the usual assortment of hot dogs, tacos and other munchy goodies. But there's no yogurt truck. Instead, we see the Oat Bran Grazery owned and operated by a national breakfast cereal corporation. Oat bran muffins baked with coconut oil, pulverized oat bran shakes made with real buttermilk, oat bran cake topped with a heavy cream sauce...never mind the price, it's all so hard to resist when you know it's officially good for you.

C. Everett Koop has retired from the post of Surgeon General. How is he spending his time these days? He's doing his part to save the street festival, and raising money for his favorite cause. The sign over his booth shows a pair of huge ruby-red lips behind a beard next to three large dollar signs. But Koop isn't selling kisses. In fact, Koop isn't even there. He's wandering the street, looking for people who aren't wearing the special "I practice safe sex" buttons sold at his booth. Yup, Koop's place is doing great business, as people line up to pay three dollars each. A safe sex button is the one thing that will guarantee Koop won't sneak up on you and smack on a big wet one. What a great way to drive home his message that protection really is worth it!

The Kids Korner of the street festival is a hub of activity. On stage, the Manuel Noriega Beast Of The Heart Puppet Theater fascinates some youngsters. Another part of the Korner is filled with kids enjoying the fun of greasepaint at the hands of the Morton Downey Junior Facepainters Guild. And down the street we can see the older children and teens competing in a sand sculpture contest. This year's competition centers on Ronald Reagan and Mount Rushmore.

We're almost out of street and we haven't seen any Boy Scouts yet. The people from the local non-profit community radio station seem to be missing, too. But down at the end of the block is a park where we can see a few tents behind an area roped off for the Dan Quayle troop of Happy Campers. They're busy in an exhibitionary typing competition. Sharing the park is another, much larger tent. Inside are electronics galore. Several HDTV screens show transmissions from the LPTV transmitting equipment strapped to the back of a roving reporter at the street festival. People are forking over their credit cards right and left. The young MBA candidate that came up with the idea stands in the corner, smiling as he contemplates the franchise opportunities.

Civic pride is what America is all about. Do your part. Join with your friends and neighbors in reviving the almost-forgotten art of putting on a real street festival. But do it with today in mind. Turn a profit if you can.

Don't put it off. Just as tomorrow never comes, there's really no time like the present to dredge up the past.

ZIP Beep #58
by Dennis Wallaker

Old Quote - "I'm sure not buying anymore disposable razors until they start thinking quality, size and design!" Jack the Ripper

This is a love story. Unlike Chuck Strinz and Fitzwater, over the past two days I've managed to fall in love with someone other than myself. This is not to knock Chuck, who is a nice guy and consummate professional even when he is out of town for no reason at all, or Fitzwater, who has the weirdest collection of summer clothing I've ever seen except for that Haitian guy with the bleeding mole that was trying to sell that pair of ice blue socks, but this again is a different story.

* * *

I was sitting outside two nights ago. On my shoulder was Little Pete (my black cat). I can't remember exactly what we were thinking about except I was thinking about a better way to deal with the problem of standard vs phillips screwdrivers and Little Pete, as always, was not interested.

Then She came.

Often when I'm concentrating on something, I close my eyes and I'm kind of indifferent to what's going on around me.

Little Pete is a great help in these situations. He can rap ya on the side real fast about ten times and then point you in the direction of whatever is going on.

It was She.

And then She was there.

She was very pretty but she also looked very progressive. I got the feeling that she was probably meeting with a women's group on Tuesday nights about issues that concern all of us.

Then we saw what she had in her bag.

It was bacon. Ever since we've been single over here, we kind of worry about women carrying bacon around.

Happily married people eat this stuff in the morning while the other 85% of us eat it at night. The woman was hungry for a situation.

Then we noticed what she had paid for it.

Little Pete and I looked at each other and no word need be said.

No matter how pretty or progressive or nice she was, she had paid $3.00 for a pound of bacon. She was out of our league.

This came as no surprise. Most of the women out there are out of our league.

She stood right there on front of me looking up to the fifth floor while I inadvertently crossed my legs and she asked, "Is there anyway I can get in there?"

I thought this was a pretty personal question since I had already made a point of crossing my legs, so I looked over at Little Pete and he gave me his "The bitch is crazy" look.

In spite of his age and size, Little Pete is a good judge of character.

I, on the other hand, was concerned because it had been such a very long time since I had broken off a thirty second relationship.

We're not only talking about the pain that both she and I are going through at the time but also the emotional baggage that we are taking out of the entire deal.

Sure, it was only thirty seconds, but that's exactly how my last marriage ended.

Little Pete gave me the ten paws of the side of the head again and I looked at the woman and I said, "I gotta leave...If Little Pete doesn't get at least eight hours of T.V. a day he turns into a total..."

She said, "I know who you are. You're the Cat Man, the Poet--I've heard your music."

Well, you know if you are me, things got confusing real fast. Little Pete gave me that "Stage Left" look but I disagreed because I thought we could get away with a standard apology though I was also thinking to get away with some bacon. That's there.

I apologized about the music maybe being too loud.

She said, "Sometimes when you play, it sounds like the gates of heaven and hell are opening simultaneously."

Little Pete gave me another "The Bitch is crazy" look but, I'll gotta tell ya -- there ain't a musician in the world that doesn't appreciate hearing something like that.

But, in the interest of being self-deprecating (which is a genius turn of phrase) I said, "Sometimes it's louder when I put it through the big speakers instead of the two smaller ones."

I'm a master of taking some of your more important work of the 20th Century and putting it into perspective.

Let's digress and take my mother's singing.

I know I've mentioned this before but while I was growing up, I thought my mother did the best version of "Pistol Packin' Mama" that I'd ever heard.

Recently, I've heard the original, by Al Dexter and His Texas Rangers, and also Boxcar Willie's version, and also listened to an old tape of myself.

Bad news -- I can't quite be sure if she ever did the best version of "Pistol Packin' Mama" but I know for sure that she doesn't any longer and the first guy that tells her that is going to get my Texas Steer boot up their bum.

As far as the piece itself is concerned, my Ma has the style and the grace but somehow she has managed to avoid the nuance.

She also does some horrible things with "Liebestraub" by Franz Lizst.

She tries to play it so people can dance to it. Either that or she just couldn't figure out how to use that sustain pedal.

I can remember as a baby listening to her play the piano (and saying to myself because I did not have the advantage of language at the time), "What a personality!--Not to mention good looks and you'll never find a better bosom than this but how can she blow the tempo on such a regular basis."

But she does everything else real neat. She even swears neat.

My family... right into the intellectual stuff.

It just goes to show ya that if you need an interesting character, do a "Dorothy " and don't look any further than yer own backyard.

Although, I suggest that you meet a lot of orthodox Jews because my godson is an orthodox Jew and I can't remember the last time he's given me a call on the phone.

So if you run into a kid named Malcolm who doesn't even take his yarmulke off except for a shower, you can tell him that if he's got a problem with his Kvater (Godfather) or Gentiles, in general, he can basically forget about getting anything for Christmas.

I mean it this time.

This is not much of a love story but then this is also 1989.

When Little Pete and I walked out of her place the next morning, she had stolen my socks then I had to steal one of her shirts because she had ripped up one of the shirts I was wearing the night before.

This was all done while watching a rerun of "The Walton's" on cable TV.

I hope it was cable TV. When a woman is ripping your clothes off, I noticed that the mind will tend to wander.

Though there have been nights, and Little Pete will attest to this since he was in the same room, that nothing happened and it happened real quick.

Someone usually walks into a kitchen and does something with tea, coffee, milk, cocoa or sometimes just an elbow, wrist and forehead combination on the dangerously slick surface of a his/or/her mother's kitchen table.

What I've learned about love is that we can't depend on other people to do that for us.

We can depend on ourselves sometimes and we can often depend on things around us. Little Grey (the squirrel) jumped out of his hole in the ceiling while I was brushing my teeth, it's a very pleasant, nice "Grizzly Adams" sort of thing but if you go over east a bit, you'll notice that Little Grey eats garbage on a regular basis out of the dumpster out back and I'm letting him lick the toothpaste off my cheeks.

But he likes me.

And I like him!

As much as you can ever like a squirrel, I like Little Grey.

He's nervous. Granted. There are times when someone lights a cigarette in Baltimore and he figures it's time we call Washington just to make sure it's not the start of something big.

But, at the same time, he's not alone. Little Pete does it, Big Pete does it, Spike (Little Pete's mother) sure does it and I'd be a liar if I said I never did it.

It's so easy to get nervous if you don't smoke cheap Mexican cigarettes.

Even Mexicans don't smoke cheap Mexican cigarettes but they yell about everything else especially if they're working in a kitchen that's working for some Jewish guy who's probably related to my Godson who still hasn't called me.

It would be better if we were all the same or at least assumed we were. Too much variety bugs me deeply.

Back to love, I'm not going to do it anymore.

Now I have created great weapon made out of pop cans. 86 of 'em and what was left of this shirt.

But whilst I fly it, I have no idea whether I should be on the top or the bottom.

As I read this, I realize there is so much stuff that I haven't had the time and space to tell ya.

First of all and going back to the beginning, I don't know Chuck Strinz all that well because he doesn't like me and I don't blame him.

It may because of that weirdly didactic ending two paragraphs ago.

As far as Fitzwater...

A couple of years ago, he and I were doing a comedy gig in a Chinese restaurant.

I walked into the hallway after closing and found him eating a dead man's shoes.

I can no longer keep it a secret.

The weight is just too heavy.

As far as those of you who have been coming over here for medical or legal advice

I am a piano player.

I don't know anything about cracked sternums and especially estate law. I'm glad I was able to help ya in the past but I think the powers that be can arrest me for some of the stuff I've been doing.

Everybody in this ghetto figures I can fix certain things that I can't though I did deliver a great litter of kittens not long ago that I've unfortunately had to keep.

And if you run into a landlord that's giving you a bad time, tell him to "sit on this" 'cause chances are he was probably sitting on something like it that very morning.

Also and I hate to get serious again...

If you don't work with the police department, they can't do nothing about what's on the street.

It starts out with teenage kids, then it's gang people from L.A. or Gary, Indiana and it winds up with fat Italians, if you know what I mean.

When I see a drug deal going down, 'cause we got kids around here, I go out there and try to stop it.

Then my neighbors have to drag me back into the building, it's out of love, they're afraid to go out there themselves.

But also notice that they got the guts to come out and drag my tail back indoors.

But enuff.

My three year old nephew wound up seeing a movie he actually liked but since he has not been able to find work, my sister and brother-in-law wound up paying for the ticket.

I asked him why he didn't pay.

He said, "No money, no job."

So don't be fooled by his charm or his good looks, my nephew (and he's really not even three yet) will grab all your bread again.

Like everyone else, he ain't even started.

ZIP Beep #58
by Chuck Strinz


 When the very first man left the jungle and ran

 Out upon the savanna's broad plain

 Was his plan to escape from his ancestor ape

 Or be able to raise human Cain?

 Did he really intend to return soon again

 To the woods he had once called his home?

 Or was he set on keepin' the animal deep in

 His soul when he started to roam?


 As his children were granted the rule of the planet,

 Eventually even its space,

 They attempted to practice humanity, lack (as

 They did) more than one subtle grace.

 Yet a few feel it's better to be a go-getter,

 Reverting to animal root.

 And of these, one's found powers in ambitious glowers.

 The man with the heart of a Newt.


 We should hope there aren't many believing they can heave

 An institute onto its ear

 In the course of attacking their rivals, but lacking

 The grounds that would make it all clear

 That a sin was committed but just not admitted.

 And dozens are guilty until

 They can show they are not, that they weren't sold or bought,

 And deserve to remain on the hill.


 A political star that is rising and far

 Above all impropriety may

 Be allowed to complain that his colleagues are vain,

 Mercenary, or venal, or gay.

 But the book is still open on one who is hopin'

 For power and riches to boot.

 As the royalties pour in, the world's eyes should bore in

 The man with the heart of a Newt.


 For the Newt is a beast when suspected the least

 That will crawl from the shade of its rock

 And proceed on to climb higher up to leave slime

 On the path it has chose to embark.

 You can topple a Tower, send Bork to the shower,

 Examine the portrait of Gray,

 Think that wrong is in Wright, ask "Where was George?" all night

 And the Newt will continue to say,

 "I've a list of some guys.  To their ways I am wise,

 And I want you to know they are bad."

 He won't stop with a few, and if he gets his due

 We may learn that we all have been had.


 'Cause the aim of his quest, in the worst and the best

 Of the cause he insists he proclaims

 May be no more than status, control of the lattice

 Made up of the people he shames.

 To McCarthy we wised up, he soon was despised.  Yup,

 Old Joe finally lost his high place

 When we learned his ambitions.  We ended his missions,

 Retired him steeped in disgrace.

 Will we now repeat history?  (The contragate mystery

 Is more than political loot.)

 Or will ethics be banned since the fires were fanned

 By the man with the heart of a Newt?



ZIP Beep #58
by Billy Joe Baud

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Regular readers of ZIP Beep (you know who you are) will no doubt remember that a few issues back (ZIP Beep #55) we introduced you to a new writer here at ZIP Beep, Billy Joe Baud. Now, Billy Joe hails from down Texas way (why he ever decided to move up here to Minnesota I'll never know), and as everything in Texas is big, including the egos, it goes without saying that Billy Joe takes it upon himself to keep everybody informed on just what HIS opinions on the state of computing are. Those of you that read his first effort "SONS OF THE PIONEERS" know that Billy Joe will hold forth on etiquette, hardware, software and his fellow on-line travellers at the drop of a carrier. He likes to be direct (that's what he calls it...I call it just plain rude -- but never to his face, I have a wife and kid after all. Besides, until you've seen Billy Joe with a chainsaw in one hand and a bottle of Jack Daniels in the other, you really don't understand what fear IS). In this, his second foray into the wilds of on-line journalism, Billy Joe decides that global village ain't big enough for him and two-bit modemslingers.]

Howdy folks!

Well, I'm back, chompin' at the bit and a rarin' to go. Ya may remember that last time I was talkin' 'bout BBSing being the on-line equivalent of draggin' main on a Saturday night. I got to thinkin' 'bout that a bit more and some other similarities came to mind. On a Saturday night in a small town, ya basically have three types of folks out draggin' main...the first is the cops, they're there to guard us all from our own stupidity, at least that's what they tell us. Then ya have the kids that are out for a good time. And then ya have the kids out there lookin' for nuthin' but trouble.

BBSing is much the same. Ya got those folks that are interested in getting or sharing information, those folks that are there to make sure the first group can get and share that information (Sysops, System Administrators, on-line services and their staffs...they're the highway and the cops in the on-line community), and lastly, ya got the kind of varmint that seems to take delight in messin' it up for everybody else.

I like to call these folks TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA HACKERS. TMNHs are users who think cracking games and causing telecomm mayhem are good uses of their time and computers. By and large, the TMNHs happen to run on Apple // computers, though lately there seems to be some migration to the Amiga (really cheap, Doodz, and great games dontcha know) and cheap DOS clones. A few scions of wealthy families have even managed to score Macintoshes!

Regardless of the type of machine, their behavior remains the same.


Totally obnoxious.

And at times...actually dangerous.

But lest I give y'all the wrong idea...TMNHs are not necessarily ONLY from the ranks of the teenaged population. Being a TMNH is more a state of mind and less a feature of age. To my way of thinkin', there seem to be an awful lot of they-are-old-enough-to-know-better adult users out there that exhibit classic TMNH symptoms, like Robert Morris Jr. (who an internal investigative commission at Cornell University says working alone, created and spread the worm computer program that infected computers nationwide last November. The act was termed "a juvenile act that ignored the clear potential consequences."). Robert, old buddy, you're a TMNH regardless of your age.

And I must add that not all teens are TMNHs. In fact, most of them are pretty danged good citizens of the on-line community.

Citizenship, hmmmnn. More on that later...

Bein' a Texan, I can't help but to compare the TMNHs with the rough and wooly days of the old wild west. And why not? These guys (the TMNHs) with their continual quest for "cracked" software, cheap thrills and tough talk would have made great gunslingers.

Gunslingers, contrary to the cinema's romantic portrayal of them, were as a rule, vicious, gun totin' thugs who judged their status and advancement in the world by how many people they had killed. With special kudos to the victor when they managed to bump off one of their own acknowledged top dogs.

Sounds a lot like the TMNH mentality to me...just substitute modems for guns and there ya go! In fact, let's call 'em modemslingers from now on.

Can't ya just imagine a digital "HIGH NOON" type of scenario?

Net administrator for Mega Corp., Will Kane, sits in his office. The clock on the wall shows that it's darned near quittin' time. If nothing too exciting happens he's just moments away from starting the commute home to wife and family.

Modemslinger's bedroom. It looks like any other teen's bedroom except that the desk is covered with computer and telecomm equipment. We see the modemslinger fire up his trusty Apple // and launch his favorite war games type dialer. Visions of Wozniak's and Job's blackbox days dance through his head. To him, Cyber Punk isn't a sub-genere of SF, it's a way of life.

[In fact, the hackers in the Cyber Punk stories are often called "Cowboys" so maybe Billy Joe is on to something here. - Ed.]

Will Kane's office. His terminal is flashing an unauthorized access alert.

"Damn!" He says and starts tracing the intruder.

It is WAY past quittin' time now!

Modemslinger's room. We see our hacker has been stopped by an access code he can't crack. With a curse and a typed "I'll be back, !" message, he breaks the connection. Metallica tunes scream in the background. High on the heady mix of high tech and heavy metal, our modemslinger then dials one of the pirate boards he knows to see if he can scrounge up the codes he needs.

Will Kane's office. After a thorough once over and changing all the system passwords, Will finally heads for home assured that all is as it should be.

Later that night at the modemslinger's room. Armed with the stolen access codes he got on the pirate board, and in conjunction with a gang of other modemslingin' buddies, our antagonist launches another assault on the Mega Corp. system.

We watch horrified as the modemslingers copy, delete and corrupt files on a system wide basis. They take great delight in leaving off-color e-mail to the system's users. And underneath it all we hear the savage pounding of heavy metal music.


Will Kane's office the next morning. A very harried Will is seen dealing with distraught user after user.

"They crashed the system, Will," says one of the weeping accountants.

"They stole all my data. Just what are you going to do about it?" says another.

"They left the absolutely most disgusting messages in my e-mail box," comments a strangely serene secretary.

His loyal side kick, the system operator, pleads, "Ya gotta do somethin', Will!"

After promising to set things right, he finally empties his office and sits down at his workstation. It tells him he has e-mail waiting. He does.

Msg#:50986 *MAILBOX*
06/06/89 01:04:37

Ok Dood, yer butt is ours. We can do whatever we want to yer system and there isn't a [expletive deleted] thing ya can do about it, wimp! Me and the rest of the Boyz will be back to kick some nerdy MIS rear at noon today.

Bite Me

Will shakes his head in disbelief.

It's two hours till noon.

Will. He is obviously agonizing over what course of action to take. They are probably just kids, and if he catches them they'll be in some serious trouble. And after all, didn't he used to do the same sort of things when he was younger? Those hacker skills are what helped him land this job in the first place! On the other hand, these kids could cost him that job, too! If only he could get some help...

Will in the office of the past network administrator (who's now VP in charge of Information Systems).

VP: I'm sorry, Will. You knew the job was dangerous when you took it. Unless you can stop these vandals once and for all, there's nothing I can do to help you. [He turns away with a guilty twinge on his face]

WILL: But Bob, you had this job before me, how did you handle it?

VP: I wasted their squirrelly little butts!

It's one hour till high noon!

[The action and the editing now picks up pace dramatically]

Will trying to enlist the aid of local sysops in tracking down the real identities of the ROOD BOYZ ELITE. Everybody turns him down saying they've got there own systems to protect.

Time is running out!

Scenes of the modemslingers getting ready for the showdown.

Will as he completes a total system backup.

Less than 10 minutes now!

Modemslingers' preparations...they're loading their term programs now.

Will as he calls the phone company to initiate a tap trace on all Mega Corp.'s lines.

It's just seconds to high noon!

Sequence of shots showing all the modemslingers getting connect messages.

High Noon!!!!

Will, who has set the hacked codes to trigger an alert, which they do as the modemslingers logon to the system. He has intruders! All over Mega Corp. employees cower cravenly behind their terminals as one lone man stands up for what he believes in...Network Integrity. The phone company has the culprits' numbers and addresses in a matter of seconds.

Will watches with a mixture of amusement and regret as the modemslingers see his prepared message flash across their screens...




Will knows that soon the FBI will be knocking on these kids' doors and confiscating their systems and software. If the FEDS lean on them hard enough, they might just take a few pirate systems with them when they fall.

Will sighs. He won this round, but he knows there always be other young, fast dialin' modemslingers in the future. All aiming to prove they can best the system.

And next time...

Well, next time he might not be so lucky.



Ok, so it ain't gonna ever win me no academy award.

But I think y'all catch my drift, dontcha?

There are a lot of important things about the on-line world.

Things like -- we are a community. An ever-growing community. A community with growing pains from time to time. And those of us that frequent the nets are citizens of that community.

That's what it's all about...citizenship.

With citizenship comes responsibility, to ourselves, to our fellow on-line citizens and to the systems that support the flow of information. Diminish any one of these and we all are diminished.

Remember that sense of community the next time y'all meet a modemslinger counting the notches carved on his modem. Each one of those notches counts as possible opportunity lost. Get angry. Do your part to divert these misguided fools into more constructive endeavors, and burn 'em if it fails. Y'all aren't doing anybody a favor if ya let a modemslinger go unreported.

If we don't clean up this on-line Dodge City ourselves soon...

...the Law will step in to do it for us.

Until next time remember that as y'all travel the highway of life, and everything seems to be comin' your way...WAKE UP! Y'all are on the wrong side of the road!

ZIP Beep! Table of Contents
Strinz Creative Home Page