Monthly Archives: June 2009
I didn’t have enough on my mind on any single subject to do anything in depth, but I did want to at least post something this week. Here are some random thoughts on subjects that had occured to me this week.
Celebrity Deaths. I was saddened to hear about Farrah Fawcet’s death. Part of me knew it was inevitable, due to her condition, and yet it was still incredibly disheartening when it happened. Michael Jackson’s death, however, was just the opposite – strange and out of nowhere. It got me thinking, though, about celebrities, and especially music artists, who die early. Many of them are venerated far above where they had been in life, like Kurt Cobain, as if their death gave them the ability to be less suseptible to criticisms like how overrated their bands and sound were. With Jackson, I had the feeling that, if he could have known in advance how and when he would die, he might have chosen to die younger, before the child molestation scandals, before the pure-drenched weirdness that his life became. It’s a shame really, to fly so high and yet fall so low. But like someone said about Icarus, “at least he flew.”
Somehow, this blog about a homeless family in a game I don’t play is absolutely fascinating and gripping. I think both of my readers (my wife, and a very confused Peruvian farmer who thinks this site is for gardening tips) will find it highly enjoyable.
Oh shining can
Holding life’s sweet nectar
From first crackling crinkle
To last farewell slurps
You live merely to please
And that you do so well
There are many things in the world that piss me off (stamps required on government documents, for example). Here, I will illustrate some of the things that make me hurl obscenities like Zeus chucks thunderbolts. What I hate comes after the jump. What you hate, you can put in the comments.
An interesting article from Scientific American about the reason why God, ghosts, and conspiracy theories exist.
“The problem is that we did not evolve a baloney-detection device in our brains to discriminate between true and false patterns.”
And thus we are saddled with religion, making the sane world under the control of idiotic crackpots who actually seem to believe the bullshit they spew. The sane people of course realize that you can’t reason with the insane, but instead of drowning them in the tub, we allow them to run things in the vain hope that they will leave us alone.
The soft rustle of fabric behind him brought Merrus back to the present. Turning quickly, he saw the tall slender form of Maedwyn approaching him slowly, her white dress and fair skin softly glowing in the magical illumination. The only Eldehil member of the Dreaming Tower, it was fitting that she should be the last visitor to the Elder Patrician; the pair of them represented the oldest of all of the mages who called the Tower home. She had been the first to give homage to him half a century ago when he was chosen as Elder, and now she was the last of them to say goodbye to him.
Merrus stood in the vast Chamber of the Circle, occupying the place where Troius had faced his accusers three years ago. The seats that surrounded him were as empty as the shadowed void that existed beyond the reach of the chamber’s steady glow of magical lighting. The Elder Patrician rubbed his grainy eyes with a slightly trembling hand, shoulders slumping. The right arm of his embroidered tunic was stained by his morning’s tea. A simple spell could have removed it, but even such a small display of power felt utterly beyond him. His mind felt stretched, pulled apart by events beyond his control but ultimately his responsibility.
The moment felt right. Everyone’s eyes were on the stonelayer’s wife and the dead apprentice. At moments like these, the right words, the perfect combination of sentiment and reason (false or otherwise), could turn a spark into an ember, the ember to an inferno. Words were to Orus as tools to a craftsman. With a better gift for singing, he would have been a court bard of renown; instead, he was itinerant, lucky to obtain grudging patronage from lesser nobility, occasionally and humiliatingly used as little more than a herald. His nimble and crafty mind was used for little else besides finagling a free mug from a reluctant innkeeper.
The tavern was still as she entered. The faces of the men who a scant hour ago had been contorted in fury and aggression were now sullen and downcast. Most of them were studying their boots or frowning into half-drunk mugs. No one spared more than a glance at the far end of the room, where a row of six blanket-covered bodies lay in neglectful honor. Her own gaze fixed on the largest of the six, and she moved stiffly towards them, as if the muscles of her legs were wooden. She knelt gracelessly beside the body of her husband. One of the men at the bar hurried over, placing a hand on her shoulder. In low words he begged the woman not to pull back the blanket, that it would be for the best. Her head slowly turned to look at the man and he shrank back, flinching at the cold grey of her eyes and the unmoving mask of her face.
The gout of flame that shot from Loccan’s upraised hand obscured the entire top half of the bear-man. The flame-shrouded figure bellowed as he staggered backwards in a stunning reversal of the prior minute. The searing fire lasted just a handful of seconds before vanishing. The big man’s screams lasted longer. Flames flickered and died on the scant remains of his shirt, exposing the blackened flesh that was already splitting with crimson fissures as the man’s arms moved to cover his face. Derud was assaulted by the combined smells of rank burnt hair and cloth with the sweet smell of cooked fat and flesh.