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Monday, October 30, 2006

Going to St. Louis

Frequently, comic books miss out on the smaller interactions between heroes and their sidekicks. (Well, really, who has sidekicks any more? Just Batman, and that's only because it's practically a tradition. Jubilee grew out of being Wolverine's sidekick years ago, and Green Arrow, if I understand correctly, has finally come to the conclusion that his sidekicks all have dangerously short lifespans.) I think that's too bad, because, despite their smallness, they can inject a lot of character into a story. Not that a story should be overwhelmed with the smaller interactions, but they shouldn't be forgotten either. Just like how an illustration can be overwhelmed with detail, it can also seem cartoonishly spare without a few of those brick lines on the wall behind the hero.

Anyway, I just whipped off this dialogue, between a hero and his or her sidekick. I rather enjoy writing dialogue without anything to indicate names, gender, or other bits of situation, leaving the readers to fill in the details as they may. (To be honest, in my own personal super-verse -- well, the main one, anyway -- I only have one pair who could be considered hero/sidekick, although they're more like equal partners. Still, as I was writing this, I could definitely see the two of them in this conversation. Perhaps we'll see this snippet somewhere down the line in a fully formed Slingshot and Stickman story. Perhaps.)

"Wait, we're going where?"

"St. Louis."

"Missouri. Like, the home of the Cardinals? The one on the Mighty Missippi? That St. Louis?"


"Ummm, why? I understand, I mean, the music's good and all, and the Rams play some pretty good football, but still, why St. Louis?"

"We're needed there."

"What? Why? Is The Black Orchid extending her operations? Wait, no, I bet it's Captain Chaos, right? You've got word that he's planning on blowing up the arch? Is that it? That's it isn't it?"


"Is that no to-"

"And no."


"Pack you toothbrush. We'll be staying for a while."

"What? How long?"

"Six months. A year. However long it takes."

"How long it takes? Takes to do what?"

"St. Louis just got ranked as the most dangerous city in the U.S. to live in. And they just won the World Series. This-"

"World Series -- now there's a misnomer. With the Jays not making it out of the regular season, it's a one-country tournament. Lots of other countries play baseball. Japan, for example.... I just interrupted you, didn't I?"


"Sorry. What were you saying? St. Louis, dangerous city, took the Pennant..."

"Yes. This strikes me as wrong."

"Wrong? We're gonna go steal their World Series title? I thought they played well enough. Doesn't that make us the criminals? How would we even do that?"

"A city like that shouldn't be a dangerous place to live. No city should, but especially not one like St. Louis. We're going to go change that."

"Ah, I see. Hence the need to pack well."


"Cool. But don't think I'll be going to any Blues games with you, even if they play a good team. I can't stand watching bad hockey."


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Functional Illiteracy

Wow. Okay, so it would appear that people who do dumb things also have only the foggiest grasp of the English language. The Sympatico Site of the Day was this:


First of all, a couple of things were truly stupid, but most were just stupidly lame. However, I don't suggest you read the first page's worth of stories to see which of them are worth reading. Instead, read them as a study in fractured grammar. If this is how the average person comes out of High School in the English-speaking world, then maybe the Chinese really should take over the planet. Regardless, I can definitely see why so many American companies are outsourcing their Technical Support Services to India!

Gah! It gives me the shivers just thinking about how bad this is. What the heck is the world coming too? And hey, does this rant make me look old?


Friday, October 13, 2006

Good Quotes.txt

So, I came across a file today, called "Good Quotes.txt". The timestamp on the file shows that I haven't modified it in a year and a half. That probably explains why I only vaguely remember compiling it in the first place. However, the quotes are definitely worth compiling, so I've recompiled them here for you:

Never memorize anything you can look up in a book.
- Albert Einstein

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.
- Dwight D. Eisenhower, U.S. general and 34th president (1890-1969)

All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

We are all primary numbers, divisible only by ourselves.
- Jean Guitton

Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.
- Eric Hoffer, philosopher and author (1902-1983)

Talking about music is like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Are you supposed to?
- Bruce Springsteen

Looking at them, I'm sure they must say a lot about my personality, my ethos, and my inner self (as well as my sense of humour). I'm not sure which is my favourite. Are there any that stand out for you? Let me know.