We had an excellent set of nominees for this year’s Al. Greg and Matt each nominated two people. Greg nominated Nazar Mohammad Khasha and Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam. Matt nominated Christopher Lee and Ryan Peterson. I nominated Joseph Friedman. And Ron Spalter nominated John and Justine Glaser.
A compelling case could be made for selecting any of these very worth nominees. Nazar Mohammad Khasha stood up to tyrants with courage and humor, in the fine tradition of past Al nominees and winners. Fasi Zaka, Wim Nottroth, and Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds. Christopher Lee may really have been The Most Interesting Man in the World. Ryan Peterson is an excellent reminder that in the olde tymes there were these people called journbalists who actually went into the world to collect information and report it to you so that you might be better informed to take positive action rather than just folks who scan Twitter to bolster their partisan talking points. Joseph Friedman follows in the excellent tradition of Debrilla M. Ratchford, George P. Mitchell, and Al himself to demonstrate that people who invent things and build businesses may help themselves and profit, but they also can do much to improve the human condition. And John and Justine Glaser prove much of the same point.
But Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam is the most deserving among these very fine nominees because he gave us one of the most powerful ways of improving the human condition when faced with its awfulness — escape. Rather than thinking about how awful the container logjam at the port is or how evil the Taliban are, Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam allowed us to imagine a completely new world that is way cooler than the one we lived in. Secret rocket launchers inside of volcanos and a comic war room full of buffoons are not only cooler than the world, they are cooler than bendy straws, cookies, and the actors who work without those fantasy worlds.
I don’t get to ride a monorail that runs to the rocket launcher inside a volcano, but I can dream for days on end about being able to do so. The construction of compelling fantasy worlds, which Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam literally did, makes this world much more bearable and therefore significantly improves the human condition. Oh, and he also killed a bunch of Nazis. For these reasons, Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam is this year’s recipient of the Al.
Huzzah! And you have highlighted yet another contribution of Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam: by earning the honorific name of Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam, he allowed us all to enjoy both writing and reading the name Ken “Heinie the Tank Buster” Adam many times. And who doesn’t enjoy that?
Proud to have pulled off my fourth JPGB “bifecta,” having nominated both this year’s Higgy and Al winners. Next year I’m making my play to join the Five Timers’ Club!