Monday, February 18, 2008

Hams, 1950s. Hams, 1590s.

There's been a lot of campaigning going on recently, so we haven't been around to answer letters much. We have one from our comment bar:

Hey Sebastian! I'm Jenny Fischer from Reno, Nevada. What's the deal with this "Poochles Casane" nickname?

I don't know. That's Mister Sir's deal. Ask him

Mister Sir answers: It comes from a secondary character in Christopher Marlowe's plays Tamburlaine the Great and Tamburlaine the Great Part II. Tamburlaine begins the play as a shepherd and bandit in Scythia, and sets out to rule the world, helped out by his underling friends, Techelles and Usum-Casane. (Elizabethans were, in some ways, very simple people and the surest way to prove a character was from a far-away, exotic place was to give a ridiculous name, especially in the bombastic, heroic style of drama that Marlowe pretty much single-handedly created and which lasted well past the Restoration.)

Poochles has roughly 60 nicknames, most of which he's ashamed of, and mostly formed by association with whatever text I'm reading at the moment. Other Marlovian names include Mephipoocheles, Fido, Queen of Carthage, and The Troublesome Reign and Lamentable Stink of Poochles II, King Of England with the Rise and Fall of Proud Daisy Dawg.

Our other question came to us via email:

Poochles: are you nothin' but a hound-dog? Conner Maise Newark, NJ.

In Basset society, there is only one hound that receives that title. His name is Sherman, and when Elvis Presley appeared on the Steve Allen Show, Steve made Elvis (in white tie) sing to

Sherman, who was reasonably pissed off because they tied a little top hat to his head, and who preferred show tunes anyway, was not impressed. I haven't been able to find video footage replicable here, but on tape, you can see Sherman repeatedly turn his head away from Elvis, and Elvis wrench his head back around. If that we me, it would have been Prime Time Bite Time with Sebastian K. Poochles.

So no, Connor, I am not nothin' but a hound dog.

Hams of Classic Rock and Roll to you,
Sebastian K Poochles

Monday, February 4, 2008

Monday Mailbag, Part 2

Actually, we look more similar than I thought. And it turns out that the original Porthos, named Prada, was a male dog.

Our next question was a bit of a mess. It's from "Nest" and reads:

Q: ALiens? are you like Kushinish, dude and beieve in teh saucer pplz? ha ha ha

A: I was referring not to extraterrestrials, but to illegal aliens. I'm going to assume by your lack of mastery in English that you're not up enough on your Latin to know that alien comes from the word for "different", and so can refer to both ETs and immigrants.

That said, I think there are hounds from different worlds. Unfortunately, due to the incomprehensible distances of space, I feel it is unlikely we will meet them within my lifetime. I don't often watch much science fiction either, because it can be hard for me to tell the difference between it and what's real. (Although Windy is a compelling reason to watch Enterprise. I understand there are characters there for the human males for much the same reason.) Mister Sir recently watched an story called "Daleks in Manhattan", and I was very concerned. I can see the Empire State Building from home, and these Daleks seemed to be using it to take over. They do not seem to have succeeded yet, but know this: I am watching, sirs. I am watching.

We hear from Laurie Doniger, from Chapel Hill, NC

Q: Hi there Mr Poochles -- My name is Laurie Doniger, and I'm from Chapel Hill, NC. I see lots of Indie musician friends on your MySpace page, but I see elsewhere you like jazz. What do you really like?! Also: do you give kisses? I want one!

A: Currently, I've been listening to a lot of Rose Melberg and the Decemberists. My musical taste is pretty catholic, and I embrace many traditions. Alas, my lips are not made for smooching, per se, and I am hesitant to lick people to excess. Bassets have a lot of drool, and most people don't appreciate a puss-full of slobber. I am always up for a good belly-rub, though!

And lastly, from Andy Guitner, Kansas City, MO:

Q: Hey Pooch-man! I see that your campaign manager is called "Mister Sir." Is he like the guy Jon Voigt played in the movie Holes? And do you have a campaign slogan yet? I was thinking maybe you could use "I'm a Poochles Person". It seemed nifty to me. And I'm still waiting on one of those "Poochles is My President" t-shirts!

A: Mister Sir is real first off, and as much not Jon Voight-y as possible, though I am not familiar with the specifics of the character of which you speak.

And I very much like your suggestion for slogan. We will review here at PooCH and get back to you, offering you full restitution should it be used.

The Liberty of a salty ham to you all,
Sebastian K Poochles

Mailbags, ahoy, Sirs

Questions have been pouring in here at Poochles Campaign Headquarters. Let's dive into some.

We hear from Randy Avernam of Los Angeles, CA:

Q: Hi Poochles! My name is Randy Avernam from LA. I'm a big Star Trek fan, and I noticed you look a little like Porthos from Enterprise. Are you related? Even if you're not, I'm totally voting for you in Nov.

A: Well, sir, the thing that pops most into my mind is this: Porthos isn't actually a male dog. All three versions of him were played by lady dogs (Breezy and Windy). Apparently, it's rude to see dog unmentionables on screen, so they always use females. Which means I am a-okay for your TV viewing pleasure. Secondly, Porthos is a beagle, not a basset hound.

So, no, Porthos is not related to me. Although she is pretty foxy. Although maybe fox-houndy is a better term.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Aliens. I Talk About Them, Sirs.

Last time, I left off about to discussion immigration. Of course, I had to trot down to Florida and do some campaigning -- and I'm gearing up for Super Tuesday. Does that make me a Super Hound? Or is that part of the noosphere taken up by Underdog?

Anyway, to questions. I'll start with a few simple ones. The most intriguing:

Lance Fedderreich of Orangeberg, SC writes in:

Q: Poochles, man, you haven't answered the question on the minds of so many: Pirates or Ninjas, dude?

A: Pfft. It is well known, "dude", that Pirates rock. Thanks to my excellent growl, I can "rrrrrrr" with the best of them. But that could also be down to genetics.
One of my more illustrious ancestors was Stede "Gentleman" Basset, the well-known Basset pirate. He would board ships all up and down the Spanish Main and the Coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia, bow politely and say "Sirs, Lady-Sirs, your valuables, your hams. There's no use in reacting with violence to poor fortune." He would then abscond with the plate, coin and jewelry of those aboard, give the ladies a smooch and a turn about the deck and return to his ship, The Black Peascod. Unlike most pirates, he lived to ripe old age, since when he removed his pirate hat, clothes and eyepatch, we was indistinguishable from a dog.

Allan Rego of Charlottesville, VA asks:

Q: Who do you want to win the Superbowl?

A: I do not follow sport, sir, so let's say: The Brooklyn Dodgers.

Cyrus MacDoodle of MacDoodlesville, Alberta says:

Q: I hate Mexicans. Will you keep 'em outta my property?

A: Uhhh. You're Canadian. I can't much help. However, since you bring up immigration:

Let me first say I'm a big supporter of legal immigration and the efforts of what used to be the INS -- and continues to operate under the titles of USCIS and CBP. But we do have illegal immigration problems.
I don't want to point to many fingers, but we do need to look closely at the business community. Most immigrants come here to make money. This isn't debatable. If all businesses ran completely according to law, there would be no jobs and consequently no money for people here without correct authorization. So the first order of business is to properly fund and man the above services to make sure they run at complete efficiency. In fact, this can be a self-fuelling process: if more fines are established and collected, they can be used to further fund the service.

Secondly, we need to be realistic about what jobs are getting done by the workers. Despite the fear-mongering claims of the Republicans, it is not the jobs of the middle class that are threatened. The jobs occupied are the lowest rungs of regulated (and un-regulated) labor. Consequently, these are often the most important jobs. An enlightened Guest Worker policy as advocated by Mr Bush Jr would seem to be ideal, and indeed, would work best under an invigorated USCIS. It may mean marginally larger costs for some consumers in the short term, but the ethical and fair treatment of all workers, I feel, will be worth it.

Hams and chorizo to you,
Sebastian K Poochles

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Canis Vehemens, Sirs

I had planned on today being a nice, quiet day. I found a nice picture of a basset hound with some pigs, and was wondering if the Lolrus would be a good cabinet member for me. Mister Sir had even stopped using my MySpace account to look up attractive or amusing people and was concentrating on finding me dog supporters.

But then somebody emailed me with a question about the current House Resolution 888. You can read it here.

This is terrible! This makes me put on my most serious face.

Apparently, the slew of Southern co-sponsors for this bill are not aware of the Constitution and how it separates church and state. Furthermore, it's clearly a pro-Christian piece a legislation masquerading (in a suitably hokey, "aw shucks" way) as one for all religion, and it seems to do nothing but congratulate Christians for being Christian and not dirty heathens. Which suggests people who aren't Christian aren't Americans.
Pschaw to that, sirs.

If I may speak as a political pundit for a moment, it strikes me that this is nothing less than attempt to re-write our history in specifically Christian terms. Which is non-sense. To make such an allegation requires either total ignorance of the period, and the intentions and actions of the patriots who founded our country, or a willingness to lie and cover-up that history.

I say this to you, sponsors of this bill: a vote in favor of HR 888 is an admission that you are unfit for the job you hold.

Sebastian K Poochles has no specific religious leanings, and believes religion and politics each to be strong for the other's absence in its affairs. When I am president, I shall personally take to task the House of Representatives for such frivolous activities.

Hams of Enlightenment Thought to you,
Sebastian K. Poochles

Some Fun, Sirs

I work hard during the day, but sometimes people send me amusing things. This is one of them, from the fine people at I Has a

loldog, funny dog picture, pigs, hotdogs, oh hai
moar cute puppy pictures

Please, laugh and return to work.

Hams on the hoof to you,

Sebastian K Poochles

Friday, January 18, 2008

More Feedback

Today, Mister Sir and I logged on to to "generate more excitement for the movement". At least that was what Mister Sir said. I made contact with several interesting new dogs, many of which were my fellow Bassets. To these I say, Welcome, Sirs! Your support is appreciated. You will be known as the Shapers of History.

Over the past few days (probably in consonance with our online blitzes) we've received many questions. Several, we were delighted to see, were legitimate political questions. We'll come to those in due time, but we started out with a topical inquiry.

Miss Susannah Tinks, age 8, of Rural Hall, NC writes in [with a few editorial clarifications]

I love you, Poochles! You are sooooo [we're skipping some o's here] cute! I like your ears. They look floppy [We think. It might also be a word completely unsuitable for eight-year-olds, but we'll give her the benefit of the doubt.] Today was a Snow Day at our school. Do you like snow?
What do you do when it snows? Do you play outside like I do?

Answer: Well, Sir, I enjoy snow. However -- and I'm not sure if I can describe this in age-appropriate terms -- as a Little Dog, snow presents certain problems for me. Needless to say, I get cold pretty quickly if the snow is more than an inch or two high.

That said, yes, I do play in the snow when I can. I like to jump in it, especially since it can make walking hard if it's too deep. I also like to nose through it, where I run with my nose lowered. I enjoy eating snow, too. It also holds scents well, so I can track the Bunny even better on snow.

Mr Lester Jones, Kansas City, Kansas writes in with a chestnut:

Dogs can't talk. Or type. Explain yourself.

Answer: I can't say as I like your tone, sir. I must insist upon cordiality.

Let me put it like this: do you remember learning to to talk? I don't, and Mister Sir assures me this is normal. Typing is, of course, more difficult, but I have surprising limber paws.

Ms. Emma Breasdale of Williamsburg, Brookyn, NY asks:

I looked at your MySpace profile and it seems like there's a lot of musicians. What's up with that? Are you some kind of Clinton-esque musician poser? I mean, aren't musicians a little scummy?

Answer: Both Mister Sir and I feel like a campaign song is a very useful tool. We've solicited bands because we think they might be interested. Also, musicians aren't scummy. Sometimes they have to sleep in vans on tours, and vans don't have en suite showers, so you might have to forgive them if they "offend", like in 1940s soap ads.

[Mister Sir, hush. No one wants to hear about the time you met Rufus Wainwri... Gross! That *is* scummy. ]

Mister Sir and I are also supportive of Independent Labels that choose not to hamper creativity of the musicians or exploit them, and the bands that work within that purview. We also reckon they work cheaper than Springsteen, and Bowie still kind of freaks me out.

We get a similar question from Purvis Longman of Concord, NH:

You got a lot a foreigners as friends on the Facebook. What do you need foreigners for?

Answer: Well, better to have foreigners as friends than to have Foreigner as a friend. Am I right?
No? Not even after the musicians questions? Fine.

You know, some people call the President "the Leader of the Free World". I'm not sure how accurate that is any more, but the US is still a world superpower, and with our increasingly global economy, he (or she) needs to be in contact with people all around the world. Unfortunately, the current administration is happy to tread on the toes of others -- and that's not decent. When we alienate France -- our first ally, and the birthplace of the world's bassets -- we have done something seriously wrong.
Also, don't forget the Constitution defines the chief executive as the chief ambassador of the United States.
My friends in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, England and Canada help keep me in touch with the world at large.

Well, my time for today is up. Tomorrow, we'll discuss immigration.

Hams baked with honey to you,

Sebastian K. Poochles