The Chaz Awards are given annually to those people, places, events and ideas that motivated me sufficiently to start writing down stuff like this.

Best argument for adjusting one's dosage:
Mickey Hill (no known relation), mother of convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, says her son's victims really just ought to get over it. "This happened 4½ years ago. Let's get it out of our minds." Even I know better than that.
Best new TV series:
Fox's Action, the tale of an utterly amoral Hollywood producer (played with relish by Jay Mohr), is an absolutely scorching satire of Tinseltown today. The downside is that viewers who aren't steeped in Industry lore - which means, roughly, anyone who doesn't subscribe to Variety, or at least Entertainment Weekly - would have no idea what all the fuss is about, so the show's cancellation was inevitable.
Updated from last year:
Best backhanded tribute to Douglas R. Hofstadter:
The Noble Clay pottery operation on the coast of Maine has a sign bearing the following URL:, which inspired a site (maintained by Keith Dawson's Technology Front) to collect similar bits of self-referential whimsy.

Related: Fans of Los Angeles radio station KROQ, which has no Web site, had put up a Web site at - which, when KROQ finally did put up a Web site, might have died - but didn't. (And thanks to Keith Dawson for taking note of all this.)

Top-rated collector's item of 1999:
Pokémon. Pass the ipecac.
Most elusive Christmas present:
We still don't have peace on earth yet, but getting past Y2k will, one hopes, relax a lot of people.
Most appalling quasi-educational development:
The demand that creationism be allowed as an alternative explanation of the earth's origins in public schools. What's next, equal time for the Tooth Fairy in schools of dentistry?
Best career move:
Hillary Rodham Clinton announced her intention, or her intention to announce her intention, or some damn thing, to run for the Senate from the state of New York. This will have two salutary effects: it will force the reopening of all those old Whitewater wounds, and it will give residents of New York City the delightful prospect of getting both Mrs Clinton and Mayor Rudolph Giuliani out of town.
Strangest celebrity photo of 1999:
Melissa Joan Hart's seminude spread for Maxim, which pushed lots of scream buttons, especially with the publisher of Archie Comics, which owns the character of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, played by Hart in a manner more squeaky-clean - so far.
Most-welcome sign of sanity on Usenet:
Every other posting contains an email address designed to foil spammers.
Special commendation to: James A. Vipond, who gives his real address and a single-line puzzle from one of those cryptic crosswords; he announces up front that he will delete any incoming mail that doesn't contain the solution to said puzzle. (And I am not giving his address here.)

Posted 20 December 1999

Join us next year, same time, same URL (probably), for the next edition of the Chaz Awards.

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Copyright © 1997-1999 by Charles G. Hill