Monday, December 22, 2008

Okay, I've re-written the first post in the Guffin War, and I may re-do the second. I've remved some bits, added the odd important word and also fixed the HTML link errors, so everything should be orange instead of blue. I can't get the font size right for some reason, but that doesn't really bother me.

Guffin War: Program Pt. 1

There was a war. The greatest war ever seen before or since. At a confluence, a tesseract of space and time of the multi-verse, in a land suddenly populated with nostalgic, beloved characters, there was a war for power, a war for dominance.... a war for a ring. The MacGuffin ring.

The ring was forged by the master smiths Freddie and Eddie, its face was engraved by Eggo the Waffle stack. Its making consumed all three, and they vanished from the world sometime around 1880. The ring was lost when General Mills was raided by The Honeycomb Kid and his gang of Trix Brats in 1903, but was found again when the ruins were excavated by a team of forensic scientists. The team's leader, George Dixon, was slain by his second, Gus Grissom, who went into hiding and attempted to form an army comprised entirely of extras used in CSI and Law and Order.

The army was easily crushed the valiant efforts of Speed Racer and Goku, but Fifth Juror fled the carnage, taking with him the ring. From here things grow murky.

The ring was definitely in the hands of the celestial wanderer Little Star, who passed it off to persons unknown before she returned to space sometime in 1993. It shows up again in the hands of the only still living Triplet, Anna, who donates it to the Guggenheim museum in 1996 upon her death. A Cartel of world criminals comprising of Lex Luthor, Snidley Whiplash, Angelica Pickles and Queen Beryl meet up in Queen Beryl's lair inside the Puzzle Place in Petrograd. There they retain the services of espionage master Boris Badenov who, with the help of Pruneface, steal the ring from the Guggenheim. However, Boris betrays the cartel, and feels to Chicago, where he tries to receive the protection of retired Crime Lord Bluto. Bluto rejects Badenov’s entreaties and Badenov, along with Pruneface, are brutally executed by ex-Mafia hit-man Luigi, who now serves Queen Beryl.

The stage is set for a global conflict when Dick Tracy reveals to International Rescue of what has occurred. When John Tracy confirms for his brother Virgil about what has occurred, Virgil has no other choice. He contacts Billy Blazes, now riddled by lung cancer, that he tells him that he must recall the Rescue Heroes to active duty. While Billy begins his laborious task, everything is thrown for a loop when a team up between Carmen Sandiago and Ghostwriter successfully steal the ring from the cartel, and everyone on both sides scramble to figure out where in the world they are. But when Darkwing Duck finds Carmen dead, having been killed in an assassination attempt by Wishbone and Zoboomafoo, fear strikes the hearts of all! From deep within Groundling Marsh, an insignificant region of a Louisianan bayou, a heroine who cast her back on the world will here the cries of the world and return to civilization to find the ring and save the world.

An old dame named Molly.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Guffin War: Overture Pt. 2

The Ministry of State Security in Beijing is one of any number of oddly stylized partially concrete buildings that populate modern Beijing. It posses that singular ugliness so common to government ministries built after 1950 as to go almost unnoticeable, were it not for organization's sinister reputation. So the building loomed and lurked along the busy roadway, while inside people... worked. They did the kind of work that is peculiar to intelligence agencies the world over, which is to sift enormous quantities of data and reach conclusions. None of this concerned Ruxpin as he broke in through a rear window, except that he was more cautious than usual about security cameras and pressure pads. It was really only for show, anyways. The Chinese had kept tabs on him since '75, and Ruxpin knew he had been followed since he landed. But Ruxpin was nothing if not a traditionalist, and breaking into intelligence agencies had once been a hobby for him. T his relief, the building was not half as sterile as the FBI headquarters had been. At least it looked like people worked here. As he moved through the corridors, he considered what he should say. His father had always liked to be disarmingly charming, but Ruxpin had always gone for the more dramatic, bombastic charge, and it was this in mind that he side-stepped a secretary and threw open a door, where it hit the wall with a satisfying, drywall denting "thunk".

"You know," Ruxpin said conversationally "they still burn you in effigy in Taipei." Across from him, sitting at a desk, was a wizened Pekingese. His fur, white to begin with, had simply faded into an unhealthy translucent yellow, not unlike a wall that has been covered with nicotine. In some places it was patchy, especially on the heart shaped ears, and the flesh bellow was dry and flaky. Behind glasses, small, highly ulcered black eyes had sunk deeper into the head over the years, and one was covered with the milky film of blindness. The teeth were seriously yellowed, and the gums cut and black. The creature did not look up from his writing. He remained bent towards his paper, his handwriting highly ornate and calligraphic. When he finally spoke, it was in an almost comically accented English.

"Is that so?" the dog said, in a tone suggesting absent curiosity. He continued to write.

"They mock your name, and the argument rages over all your betrayals."

"How quaint local customs are."

"The Manchu Mutt is popular. But they mostly call you Cixi's Last Eunuch." This actually got a rise out of the dog. His head rose slowly, and his eye burned with anger for a moment, before he returned to his placid state.

"Xiao Qin Xian was a great woman, Colonel. She only ever had the best interests of China at heart. As do I."

"Oh I'm sure you do. After Cixi dies, you betrayed her legacy to Chiang. And then Chiang to the Communists. Then the Communists to the Japanese, you played your games for poor Puyi and then you sold everything back to Mao. China's best interests, I'm sure."

"You inflate my importance greatly, Colonel. I am merely a humble comrade of this nation."

"How is it that you're still alive, Pong Ping? You must be, what, ninety? A hundred?"

"I have been gifted with long life so that I may serve, Colonel. That is all."

"What was it that she said, Ping? 'Thus shall it preserve its integrity and self-respect - but if it dies, remember thou too art mortal.'"

"A bastardization, Colonel. You should read such things more closely." Pong Ping carefully removed his glasses, setting them to one side. His frail frame leaned back in his chair. He regarded Ruxpin from behind his steepled fingers. "What is it that you want of me, N'Ruxpin?"

"You know, Ping, I remember the first time we met. Me, strapped to a table, you sorting lengths of bamboo in a rubber apron...."

"I can have you removed in seconds, Colonel, is there a point to all this?"

"von Possenreißer. Where is she?"

"The Living Doll? Whatever makes you think I know where to find her?"

"You kept tabs on every last member of the Fallen Angels. You couldn't stand not knowing where she is." At this, Ping chuckled to himself, a dry, husky relic of a laugh that came out from some where within the narrow frame.

"You know, N'Ruxpin, I once knew someone much like you. I met him in England when the Red Guard went wild and Mao went mad. I spent three years in exile, you know. Dreadful business. Rupert was quite young, and an Illiopian in exile, again like you- well, like all of you, really. Full of passion and ability, with a desire for adventure. Unlike you, though, he didn't ruin his life with drink and petty scandal. He's a mercenary leader in Magadan, trying to carve out a new Illiop. Now, you and I both know he is going to fail, but you know what? He's not breaking into buildings to exchange meaningless pleasantries with old men. Good-day to you, Colonel." Pong Ping returned to his writing. Ruxpin leaned up against a wall, lit up, and exhaled in a long breath.

"You know why you're going to tell me, you old mongrel? It's cause deep, deep down in that blackened little heart, you're a romantic. You like epics. And you've got your grubby paws on the pulse of the world. You know it's getting quicker. And every side in a epic needs it's champion, doesn't it. To make it watchable. To make it... fun. What does my side have right now? International Rescue, Rescue Heroes and the like... bureaucrats and organisations. You can't committee a hero. You got to have one take command." Pong Ping did not look up, but he stopped writing, and his ears twitched. "But your an old man, Ping. You're not out for some bildungsroman. You want a proven hero, like the ones of our youth. You want someone proven. So you're going to give me that location. Because even in the height of spring, you feel cold. Your a dying, evil old man, with so much on his conscience that ya gave up on sleep years ago. So here's an old enemy offering redemption. And you're too well read to pass up on it." There was a long silence. Then a drawer opened, and a slip of paper was removed. Pong Ping just sat there, face down and shaking, though whether with silent laughter or silent tears it was impossible to determine. Finally, he crumpled the paper into a ball and tossed it Ruxpin. With a silent nod, Ruxpin left, leaving Pong Ping alone.

He walked briskly down the hallway, his mind filled with calculations. How much fuel was needed, what supplies he should stock up on... he was suddenly aware of someone humming off tune and close by. He looked around. Leaning up against a pillar, humming to himself, was a baby blue dog, who looked at Ruxpin with a laconic smile.

"Good afternoon, there" the dog said in a languid Southern drawl. "The name's Hound. H. Hound. And I'll bet that you'd be Mr. Ruk Slim."

"Ruxpin" Ruxpin said irritably. "Can I help you?"

"Well, now that's a matter of opinion, MR. Slim."

"It's Ru- oh never mind."

"Ya see, I rep-er-a-sent a group of fine ladies and gents who, t' be frank, aren't all that pleased with what you're trying to do. I mean, I've been sending you mess-ages to that effect, but I don't think you've been listening. So I thought that perhaps something a little closer to home might get yer attention." Ruxpin began to reach into his vest. "Oh don't be alarmed, Colonel. I wouldn't want to insult out China-ese hosts by doing anything un-t-ward in one of their governmental buildings." The Hound's smile didn't change, but it suddenly looked harsh and vicious. "Say, Mr. Slim, didn't you come here with a friend or something? Beijing's a dangerous place. I'd hate fer something to happen to the poor fellow." Under his fur, Ruxpin went white. With a muffled yell, he tore off down he hallway, leaving a smiling dog in his wake.

It was later. Much later. It had been brutal, efficient work. Nothing in the cabin had been disturbed but the... body. Ruxpin had done what he could. He had cleaned it as best he could, but he was no mortician. He tried to sing a requiem, but only succeeded in half humming, half muttering the Dies Iræ and the Kyrie. He tried to remember the rituals of his youth, and chanted the Pyre Cant in Illopian, but he hadn't done it since his father's death, and he could not remember the words. The flight back across the ocean was uneventful. US air command tried to shoot him down, but he dropped Sam the Eagles name enough that the left him alone. Miraculously he had a machete on board from god knows where, and he trudged his way through a thick bayou biomass. Ruxpin was from a cold climate, and he found this sweltering Louisiana heat no more pleasant than he had found the sweltering heat of Vietnam, Laos or the Mushroom Kingdom or Rio. Ruxpin believed that he was simply fated to be in horrible heat. He grunted as something punched him in the stomach, through him to the ground and cocked a pistol at him. An annoyed, clipped voice snapped at him.

"Hände hoch oder ich schieße!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Guffin War: Overture

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
-Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson

When Regimental Colonel Theordoros "Teddy" Ap Mohiam N'Ruxpin (the only Illiopian to ever hold rank in the American armed forces) was charged with "conduct unbecoming in an officer", his legal fees become untenable, and he was forced to pawn off the majority of his possessions. Of special note was the airship he inherited from his father. Unwilling to sell it off permanently, he loaned instead to a museum of aeronautics. Their yearly rent went straight to his creditors, and he never saw a penny of it. It was not without some considerable effort that it was taken out of the museum and put in the air. Both the museum director and several local pilots had protested that the Airship was in no state to travel, and was completely un-airworthy. Ruxpin had simply kicked the engine a bit, sworn a lot in Illiopian and finally shoved a wrench in at an odd angle.

The flight over the Pacific Ocean had been uneventful. Ruxpin had spent the entire trip on deck, starring moodily into the clouds and making his cigarette last an improbably long time. Tweety chose to take refuge below decks. The place was sumptuously, decadently decorated, with intricately carved panelling, an ornate wardroom table, and wall hangings of improbable design. When questioned on his flying Rococo showcase, Ruxpin was as unresponsive as he'd been to questions about where they were going, how he was driving, what was keeping them in the air and where the head was. They had stopped in Taiwan for a layover. Ruxpin was out of Morleys. When he came back, his face was grim.

"When you came to see me, did you see anyone follow you? Anyone who looked out of place?"

"No... I don't believe so." Tweety replied, a little puzzled. "Why?" At first, Ruxpin did not respond, he simply busied himself with whatever it was that got the Airship from the ground to the air. Finally he responded.

"Two days ago, they fished the body of suspected killer Luigi Fratelli out of Lake Erie. Over twelve bullet holes in his back." Tweety went pale.

"Wh... what?"

"Forty hours ago, they're was a prison riot in the woman's ward of Sing-Sing prison. Only one casualty, an inmate by the name of Slaghoople."


"Twenty-nine hours ago, they're was a a huge gang shootout between rival gangs in Bangkok. Among the dead was local merchant and Indian ex-pat P. Panther."


"Twelve hours ago, a military asylum in Illinois caught fire and burned to the ground, killing most of the patients. And three hours ago your house was also burned."

"My house.... wait, the asylum! Bunny, is he?" At this, Ruxpin actually smiled.

"Oh, it would take more than being surrounded b burning slag to take out Bunny. You know, I once saw him him win an arm wrestling contest by ripping off another man's arm?" Ruxpin became reflective. "They're out to get us, Bird." They sat in silence for a while. "I had hoped I'd never have to say this, Corporal, but... welcome back to China."


Despite his radio threats to do so, Ruxpin did not land in Tiananmen Square. He landed in the Back Sea in Shichahai, where he proceeded to irritate the ducks and argue with the Beijing municipal police. Tweety, feeling more useless than ever, spent his time sitting on top of the wheelhouse, trying to read a book of Quin dynasty poetry, without much success. His Chineese had been picked up during his years in a prison camp, and it was idiosyncratic, at best. Eventually, a courier made his way through the mod of cops and bureaucrats and handed Ruxpin a note, which he brought to Tweety.

"Here" he said gruffly. "It's in Cǎoshū. I don't read Cǎoshū." Tweety glanced at the note.

"It's an address" he said, copying it out into English. Ruxpin read it over.

"Did your wife teach you how to haggle over a parking ticket?"

"Oddly enough...."

"Good. Stay here and argue with the nice mob. I've got to go see a Pekingese about people skills."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Guffin War: B Flat Concert Pitch

"It's pretty cold up here."

"It's the sky. It does that." There was silence.

"This thing got a name?"


"Yes." There was some more silence. "I meant did the airship have a name?"


".... you named your airship Airship? What kind of name is that?

"A practical one."

"Was it your first choice, then?"

"Well, it used to be named after Arin."

"And what happened?"

"It wasn't named Arin anymore."

"No, I mean what happened with Arin?"

"I stopped naming my airship after her."

"..... are we there yet?"

"Does this look like China?"

".... no."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Guffin War: Vox Vorspiel, or, The Bear and Bird.

Present Day
A favela in Rio.
Sfx: The Overture to Tannhauser plays over the credits.

The knock on what could politely be described as a door at first elicited nothing but silence. Then, after a few more patient knocks, a rumble was heard from within the squalid, filth-ridden excuse for an apartment. Eventually, bolts were unlocked from within, and the door was opened a crack. The beady black eye affixed itself on the occupant below. The voice that issued from behind it muttered something in broken Portuguese. The visitor replied, apologetically in English:

"I'm sorry, sir, but I don't speak..." The voice cut him off.

"I said: you're a little short for my usual clientele."
On hearing this, the petite Cpl. Bird smiled.

"Oh, I'm not here for any services, Colonel. I'm here on business."

At the word "Colonel", the eye narrowed and pulled away. The chain was removed from the door, and Tweety was allowed to enter. It was also his first chance to get a look at the bear, though the light from the room's sole, bare bulb was undoubtedly not doing him any favours. Ruxpin's once proud, tall figure had become hunched and weathered. Excessive nicotine use had yellowed his fur, and the smell was one of soured gin. The fur around his mouth and paws was severely singed from cigarette burns, as was, for that matter, the apartment. A single room, it contained a squat, dormant fridge with it's door ajar, a few sagging cupboards that were mostly empty, a husk of a table with two rough stools between them, and in the corner, a stained, lumpy bed. It was not a room to inspire confidence. Ruxpin rested his massive frame on one of the stools, and issued for Tweety to do the same. Hampered by his small stature, Tweety was obligated to alight himself on the table instead. He watch in silence for a time, as Ruxpin methodically, expertly disassembled a handful of filter less cigarette butts, transferring their meagre contents to a fresh piece of rolling paper. This task completed, he rolled it up and lit it, shuddering visibly with relief as the tobacco hit his system. After a while, he appeared to notice Tweety, and shifted his attention to him.

"I'm not a colonel anymore." Ruxpin said at last, his low growl wistful and pained.

"But you used to be, sir" Tweety said demurely. Ruxpin again narrowed his eyes at the bird.

"I know you from somewhere?" Tweety nodded.

"I served with you, Colonel. I was there when the- when they flanked us in Land Four. At Wario's Landing. I was there when... when the world ended." Ruxpin stared off into cigarette smoke.

"Apt way at putting it." he said at last. There was another silence. "Bird. T. Bird, Corporal. I3324-12. 2nd Company. Putt-Putt's platoon." Tweety nodded in agreement. Another pause. "How'd you find me, Bird?"

"Panther. And I found him only 'cause Bunny was having a lucid moment. Panther may have been running guns for almost thirty years, but he wouldn't forget his old 2ic. He's the type that looks after his own. He sends a check to your account once a month, in lieu of your pension. Just enough to live on. Every so often you get desperate enough and make a withdrawal. I just traced the money flow."

"And how'd you do that, exactly?"

"My late wife, Elmyra, she was in finance. I learned some... techniques from her." Ruxpin nodded, and rubbed out his cigarette between his fingers. The smell of burnt fur hung in the air.

"Why? What'd you want me for?"

"Colonel Ruxpin... the MacGuffin ring is gone." Ruxpin's shadowed face betrayed not a single emotion. Tweety proceeded to tell him what he knew, adding in the visit from Luigi and what little he had gleaned from Bunny's inane rambling. Ruxpin's only response during the story was to bring out a bottle of foul smelling liquor and to drink from it heavily. It had no discernible effect.

"So what do you want me to do, Bird? I don't know where it is." At this Tweety grew quite grave.

"Sir... anyone with half a brain can see where this is leading. The great Wars, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Gulf War ... all these events because people only knew where the ring wasn't. And now it's gone again. Tensions are heating up. It doesn't matter why people are going to take sides about this- they just are. And then people are going to die. Colonel, we need someone who can rally people, inspire people. We need someone who can end this thing faster than anyone. Sir... we need the Old Lady."

"And you think I know where she is?"

"No. But I think you're the best person to find her. You know her better than any of us left. That's what Slaghoople said. I tried. She... doesn't use her bank account." Tweety finished weakly. Ruxpin gave him a stare. Then a long, bitter laugh emitted from his lips.

"Me? I'm the best person to find her? Look at me, boy! I'm in a fucking hovel, turning tricks for vacationing frat boys and and fearful bureaucrats who have the sort of fantasies no one must ever know about. Look at me, Bird. I'm your hero, off to find your fucking savior? I have to go out there every god damned day, with that fucking Redentor staring down at me, staring into my skull. What makes you think I have any will left? Wash-up, that's what I am. Go lay your geis on someone else." Ruxpin sank back on his bed, his face in what passed for a pillow. Tweety asked quietly:

"But your airship..."

"It's in hock." Ruxpin said in a muffled voice. "You think I'd be here if I could flee this hell hole? Cidade Maravilhosa my furry ass..."

"And if I could get it out?" Ruxpin's head snapped up angrily.

"Then I'd be a fucking wash up with a mothballed airship. What makes you think I can fin her then?"

"Colonel, you were trained by Smokey himself. You worked in Yogi's Rangers for three years before they bumped you up three pay grades to be the XO for the 2nd Irregulars. You were one of the best intel men they had. You must have contacts from here to Guam if you bothered to get out there. I thought I saw some worth is you after Sonic got his head blown all over you, and you still pulled us out of that rout. Christ, Ruxpin, we didn't loose four hundred men at the Landing just so you could curl up here and die." Ruxpin remained buried in his pillow for a while. Then he spoke.

"Airship money. Where's it from?"

"Bunny cut me a check. They gave him quite a pension, but he sure as hell ain't using it." There was another, thoughtful silence.


"I'm sorry?"

"Get me some real, filtered, honest to god Morley Lites."

"Does this mean you'll do it?" Tweety asked hopefully. Ruxpin gave a laugh.

"It means.... I'm sick of hand-rolled."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Guffin War: Program Pt. 3

The story of how Molly got involved in what would later be known as the Guffin War involves a tangent, but a tangent based upon the heroism of a forgotten few. The number of Molly's comrades from the wars still living during the opening gambits of the McGuffin war were few in number. Of the TET offensive, all her old friends were MIA or dead. From the Laos campaign, Specialist Pink Panther was working in an illegal hardware store in Bangkok and WO-3 Untalkative Bunny was in a military asylum in Illinois. The annexation of the Mushroom Kingdom, which had wiped out virtually the entire superhero community along with most of the 2nd Irregulars Regiment (The Fallen Angels), had unusually left the most comrades alive, but by far the most damaged. Master Sergent Luigi, of course, was driven half-mad by the death of his brother and after his years in the mob had ended up in service to Queen Beryl. Petty Officer 2nd Class Pearl Slaghoople was in Sing-Sing after murdering her son-in-law. Colonel Teddy Ruxpin was destitute and all but homeless in Rio de Janeiro, dishonorably discharged in '93. Only Corporal Tweety Bird remained sane and free in North America, a Wal-Mart greeter in Cleveland.

Tweety had a ritual. Every night at midnight or so he would make himself a strong drink and wait by the phone. One a week, without fail, Luigi would get horribly drunk, forget the time zone difference between the States and Russia and call Tweety, where he proceed to cry about his griefs for at least an hour and a half. But this time was different. Instead of a call, poor Tweety was forced to have Luigi come in through his front door, drunk as a skunk and covered in blood. Luigi ranted for hours about his execution of Badnove, let slip information about the Cartel, and then stole off into the night. Tweety, worried about the oncoming storm, vowed to find the one person he knew could help... but where to find her?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blue links.

The links are hard to read, by if you open what you want to read in a new tab, the colour becomes a readable orange, like it's supposed to.

Guffin War: Program Pt. 2

Molly’s history is one of enigma and heroics. Her partner Loonette, dying in the fall of ’35 left her a sizable inheritance, but Molly was never one for siting back in leisure. She was with the Allies when they landed and Italy, and managed to make it to the fall of Berlin, where she assisted the 3rd Shock army in taking the Reichstag. She left Berlin shortly thereafter on an ultimately fruitless manhunt to find Martin Bormann. She is documented as leaving Argentina in June of ’47 and is recorded by the Soviet Ministry of State Security as being in Belgrade at the time of the Tito-Stalin split in ’48, along with an undercover Johnny Bravo and Count von Count. She is reported as having encouraged Tito to involve himself with the Marshall plan, but she may have also been involved in a plot to restore the Serbian monarch Peter II. By all accounts she left the country by 1952, although Tito had a statue of her placed near what would later be his tomb, Кућа цвећа. This statue was removed following his death. Molly posed through out most of the fifties as opera singer Moliere De Lune, finding employment at the Teatro Argentino and then the Vienna State Opera, where she gave one of the most renowned performances of Brunhilde in the entire 20th century. She ran a dance academy in Star City from 1960-63 with the wife of scientist Benton Quest, Diana. Following Mrs. Benton’s death in childbirth, Molly left the States for the War in Asian, getting involved in the Tet offensive, fighting against the Pathet Lao in Laos and finally assisted in the resistance to the annexation of the Mushroom Kingdom by China in ’75. Highly disillusioned by what she saw as succession of failures, she withdrew from the world to a hermitage in Groundling Marsh, leaving it only to attend the funerals of Tito, Albert Speer and Christopher Vokes in the early eighties. Until Carmen Sandiego was found dead in St. Canard in ’06, Molly had not left her marsh for over twenty years.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I have edited my previous post. As mien editor suggested, the links are embedded in the text (I can;t find out a way to change the link colour yet...) The ring;s name was also left out in the original draft, it has been reinstated.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm not one for moralizing meaningless dribble about fascist hegemony in this post-modern age of capital new Prussian autocracy, but I'd like to post this picture of Walt Disney and Werner Von Braun. Draw your own conclusions to fit your preferred world view.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

In this year of grace.

I brought three books of fiction with me when I came here to Humber. I brought Jonathan Strange because I was re-reading it at the time. I brought my three volumes of Peake's Ghormenghast, because it's passages of faded grandeur appealed to me greatly as an companion in misery. And I brought my well read copy of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mocking Bird. People say it's a book about growing up, but I've always felt it a much more melancholic book then that. Atticus is Quixote, not the deluded Quixote of Cervantes' beginning, a deluded madman who sees giants in flour mills. Atticus is a Quixote of Part Two, a man clinging to honour because no one else will, a man who charges out knowing that he is most likely doomed to failure, but he goes out anyways, because no one else will, because it's his duty to do so.

And he fails. Just like Quixote, Atticus fails. And he fights the best god damned fight he can, we cheer for him, are fueled by the passion of his argument, of his fight. And he fails because it was not possible to succeed.

There's... there's a line from the book. Atticus has lost, and exits the courtroom, and the entire upper balcony rises to mark his going, as a sign of respect, as a sign of gratitude. Reverend Sykes says to young Scout "Miss Jean-Louise, stand up. Your father's passing."

We don't do that anymore. We don't tilt lances with Knights of the White Moon, we don't go for lost causes. We don't stand for those who do. Maybe we never did.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quand j’étudie les mécanismes de pouvoir, j’essaie d’étudier leur spécificité

One of these days, I am going to remember that Michel Foucault and Léon Foucault are not the same person, but until that time I will remain a miserable individual.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ior mi,' dixit sollemniter, 'egomet, Winnie ille Pu, caudam tuam reperiam.

With my father re-publishing his older poetry, I have come to the realization that those reading it may read passages that refer to me. Those persons might know me, or know of me. Opinions about me are being formed by the written word at this VERY MOMENT. After the Second World War, Christopher Robin Milne grew to loathe his father and all his works, embittered by his portrayal as a young boy. I have no such feelings of vitriol, but I am left wondering: my childhood is set in print, it should last for eons, given the right conditions. If that is all that is left of my name and house in history, how am I to feel about it?

Isn't it funny
How a bear likes honey?

Quid est causae cur?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Eternal Waiting Room

Since it has been nearly a week since I last posted, I thought I owed it to my readership of two to update with something.

It's very late at night, and for the second night in a row, I have spent more hours than I wish to sitting in a chair, waiting for call to be over. Technically, it was cue-to-cue today, but they spent so much time on the actors that they might as well of called it rehersal. Fah. It was BORING, and they did not need us.

Okay, posterity placated.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm too tired to update. Argh!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sometimes It's hard.

It's hard to update frequently when you're computer breaks down for most of a week and then you have a twelve hour crew call. You get too tired to write. I shall try to finish a post of been writing soon, but the words only come out of my head when i am lying in bed at night, trying to fall asleep.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yeuh, Yeuh, Yeuh.

On any average day, I find our anthem to be a rather dull and tiresome piece of patriotism. Even on Dominion Day, which has since been converted into the generic, banal Canada Day it bores me, and I find dismissing the whole day as irrelevant. Only on Armistice Day does that change. On that day, I find pride in its song, I tear up at its tune. At today's ceremony at Humber, a brief ten minute affair held in one of the cafeterias, I was struck by how few people were wearing poppies. A remnant of remnant had them on, and there was only a few people who were even apologetic for not wearing one. When I inquired as to why the auditorium wasn't in use (It can seat many persons), I was informed that it was because the music department had a class in there.

I was disgusted, horrified to hear such a pathetic reason. Who cares about the music department? They can't practice elsewhere for one single day? Hell, why were they even having a class? All class should have been cancelled. This used to be important.

No more, I guess. What have we become?

Monday, November 10, 2008

To show us where she stood there rests alone Tiber; and that too hastens to be gone.

It is far past time for me to accept the coming of the European Union. I have of late been reading Gwynne Dyer's book "With Every Mistake", and it has convinced me that, however much I desire to ignore it's existence, I have to come to terms with the EU. The Europe of my past, that hopelessly over-romanticized collection of warring states will not come again. There is too much desire for unity, too much need to forget the conflicts of old. And lets face it, modern European states have failed to emerge as decent places. France, for example, had to misfortune to be the home of Charles DuGalle, who left his people an inability to realize that their global empire failed with an almost insufferable arrogance. Great Britain, which could have recognized the potential of it's Commonwealth and created a world-wide federation the likes of which the world had never seen... chose instead to turn it's back on it's creation. It bred a bloated, ignorant middle class instead, and still clings to it's xenophic colonial racism. What a waste. I accepted long ago that Rome would never rise again. It's heirs were squabbling fools and the ponderous bulk of Byzantium did nothing more than grow small year by year for a mellenium. The EU is not Rome's succesor, it has no desire or comprehension of the necessary imperium, nor does it require it. Whether it suceeds or fails depends it's people. If they can accept that they are part of something larger, if they can learn to not to say " I am a German" or "I am Italian" but "Civis Europa Sum"; then sixteen centuries of bitter fighting will have been rocked to sleep. If they can achieve the unity that has so long been denied to them, then the lessons of the past will have been learned.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Shall we ever find that lovely land of Might-Have-Been

I loathe this city, and it's festering streets of noise. Toronto is slowly destroying my will to live. It's the location of my residence, a concrete monstrosity fit only for demolition. It's halls are filled with the noisy and the eager, and the arrogant and the forward and the vain, making their usual uproar. they drink to excess and stumble through the corridors shouting and ranting their drunken pleasures. The disease is not the residence, no, this is but a symptom of the disease that is Toronto. The impartial, uncaring nature of this city is reflected in the detached nature of the residence. Cold, heartless concrete, bored and useless staff, a total failure to provide anything for it's inhabitants. A hateful place.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Video Game Morality

There's an odd dichotomy when it comes to "ethical" decisions in a video game. Tot those in the know, we've all been extremely violent towards pixels that resemble our fellow humans. We've fought zombie hordes, we've assassinated merchants and guard captains and hit people in our vehicles, either accidentally or on purpose. And having done these things, we've felt about as guilty as if we had just stapled some papers together, or closed the blinds. And yet I have loudly denounced hunting games as evil, and would only ever play the clay pigeon levels of Duck Hunt. TV Tropes, a website which should be everyone's first reference for anything of value, has named the cliche of a villain proving his true evil nature by inuring an animal a "Kick The Dog" moment. There's something about injuring an animal in a game that is reprehensible, while recreating the battle of Themopyle if fun and exciting. I'd write more, but I've gotten addicted to TV Tropes again.

Trashing Motzart is classy

We tend, for whatever reason, to neglect other Requiems in favour of Mozart's overly bombastic last triumph. Keep in mind that Mozart completed barely a third of this piece before his passing, so the credits that go to him for it are empty.

For your musical delectation, I provide the Agnus Dei from Gabriel Fauré's Requiem, Opus 48.

Going among the mad.

It has been said that I should start a blog, merely because people are tired of having to listen to me in person. If I ramble incoherently to the endless abyss of cyberspace, then I can have the satisfaction of having said something without the virtue of affecting anyone by it. Now, normally I would be loathe to do something that all the kids are doing nowadays, but when your own father starts a blog, you realize that you may, in point of fact, be even further behind the times then you had previously assumed. Since Blogger helpfully points out I created this account last year, this idea had no doubt occurred to me previously.

Nietzsche warned of the perils of gazing into the abyss, but what if we shout into it? What if we fill it with words? Humans do abhor empty space. What if we try to fill the internet up? With something other than pornography, I mean. If that a worthy goal, in this secular age?