February 19th, 2009

rex the wonder dog on skis

APED: "the swiss song of conquest"

(Note: For context, see here.)

They say our land's just good for cheese,
And secret bank deposits,
And suits you wear in pieces three.
But we keep guns in our closets!
And truth be told, we're warriors bold,
We're just polite about it.
In whispers our brave tales are told,
But now it's time to shout it.

(cho.) So warriors bold, bring down your steins
And gather round, you maidens fine.
We'll sing our tale about the time
the Swiss invaded Liechtenstein!

Our army company went on
A training exercise.
Self-improvement bent on,
Beneath the alpine skies.
But when we stopped a little time
to sort our marching order,
We found we were in Liechtenstein --
We'd marched across their border!


No army could defeat us!
They don't have one, the cowards.
So Liechtenstein lay meek beneath us,
For about an hour!
We turned right round with faces pale
And made it home for dinner,
There hasn't been a braver tale
Since the British took La Linea.


We called them the next morning,
Or else they wouldn't know.
Consider it a warning,
We said -- we'll let it go.
But we've tasted conquest and enjoyed!
So now we'll take a chance:
Load these veterans, my boys,
And let's be bound for France!


the Michael Jackson yard sale!

If you haven't heard, Michael Jackson is having some financial problems. Namely, he's broke and everybody from a wealthy sheikh to director John Landis has been suing him. So what do you do when you need money? You have a yard sale. They have two catalogs up now, with more to come; you owe yourself to take some time and flip through 'em, because they're AMAAAAAAAAAZING. -ly horrifying. If Michael Jackson does not have the worst taste of anyone in the world, I do not want to know who does. Check out the home furnishings. Astounding.

I missed buying something from boy band developer/sexual predator/financial scam artist Lou Pearlman's "well, folks, I'm off to jail" auction, and I've been mildly regretting it ever since. I might have to place some lowball bids on this one. Maybe on one of Michael Jackson's fifteen million horrifying figurines of small children. Because really, you can't get any more disturbing than that.
cass groovy

5 things about me

petronelle hipped me to this meme: "Comment on this post and I'll tell you five subjects/things I associate with you. Then you post them in your lj and elaborate."

Here is my elaboration of the five things Petra associates with me:


No surprise. I love guns, deeply and unapologetically. If you're not a gun person, you may not realize how many facets they have. There's the mechanical. In a world where so many things are electronicized or miniaturized or put together on a scale we cannot see, guns stand out -- they're like old clocks. You can take them apart, figure out what makes them tick, put them back together, using only your eyes and hand tools. Unusual for a lot of consumer products these days, where you even need a computerized code reader to figure out what's wrong with your car. There's the historical -- guns have a very long lifespan, and you can get one that's been around the world in all kinds of places, been held by all kinds of people. A Lee-Enfield rifle made in Britain, sent to Nepal, used by Nepalese soldiers, then stored and sold off so Nepal's soldiers could have more modern guns; a Garand used in WW2; a hand-forged handgun from the Kyber Pass; a Swiss K-31, with the folded paper bearing its soldier's name still beneath the buttplate. There's the practical, the political, the social -- and yeah, you can shoot 'em, too.

Critiquing stupid-macho fiction

Yeah, I think my lasting contribution to fandom is turning out to be "OH JOHN RINGO NO." It's funny; I thought it would have a brief shelf life, but it turns out that the catchphrase has found a utility of its own far beyond my original post, particularly as a label for things that make feminists' jaws drop in shock and horror. That's not something I ever counted on, but it gives me a strange feeling of pride. LOOK! I AM USEFUL! So I got to contribute something to fandom, which is good enough for me. (Although I think Hugo noms close tomorrow; if anybody still has their ballot around, and a "Best Fan Writer" slot open --)

Incidentally, I owe you guys my reaction to the first TNT book. I will just say this: it was simultaneously worse and much better than I'd expected. The thing that freaked me out the most was *not,* in fact, Checkers for Poontang.

Old school sci-fi

Not as much these days as I used to be, but yeah. These days, I'm among those who think the genre is dying -- or not so much dying as being assimilated by the larger culture. In large part because we officially *live* in science fiction now. We carry our phones in our pockets, with maps in them so we'll never get lost, and cameras so we can take pictures of everything we see; sometime next week I'm getting a device that can hold a bazillion books and buy more, as well as newspapers, anytime I want. And a good friend of mine will soon be getting a new set of lungs.

But you will pry my H. Beam Piper from my cold dead fingers.

Cass Cain

CASS. I hate what DC has done to her. She was always the hardest character to write, so DC dumbed her down to make her less of a challenge. But characters get fucked over all the time; way of the world. And boy, is she glorious: hardest childhood of any of the Batfolks, years spent knocking around the world in poverty; a keen insight into people and great difficulty expressing it; enough fighting ability to kill pretty much anybody at the drop of a hat -- and a sweetness and adorableness that is incredibly hard to describe, but a delight to see. In a sense, Cass never had a childhood, so her childhood is her now. It's that love of life that really makes her stand out among the Bats.

Persistent lapcats

I have not owned a cat myself in years, but when I went to visit Te and Jack, their cat camped out on my lap and refused to leave. I referred to this as "defending my virtue."