Wow! What a Mardi Gras that was!
Such a Mardi Gras, in fact, that, well, I only woke up again Friday morning*...and had a backlog of school...and suddenly realized that "I hadn't given anything up for Lent!"
So I gave up blogging, along with web-surfing and reading other people's blogs.
Anyhow, it was a pretty good week. I concentrated on my Spanish and Latin backlog, got those trimmed to manageable size, and kept slogging through An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations - which spends a gad-awful amount of time talking about corn. I have actually started to like the book a lot, but it's hard reading. This reading, however, was at the expense of necessary study for the FAITH AND HISTORY CONTEST, which occurs sometime after Lent and offers bragging rights and a gift certificate to whomever can identify the guy whose handmaiden was killed by the Benjaminites.
I also took a look at Beowulf, which after about 1400 years still is "relevant." The moral (so far) is:
If you have some 12-foot guy in your neighborhood who doesn't like your revelry in a great hall, get out of the hall before he comes along and starts scarfing you down like popcorn. And -whatever you do - don't offer sacrifices to pagan gods, 'cause that doesn't work.
Oh, and I applied for a summer program at a Certain College. I won't say where, 'cause they haven't approved me yet. However, I'm confident I'll be accepted.
And now some comments from Chez Histor:
H. L. Crawdad says "Hi, y'all." He would lik to voice his disagreements with me concerning a sociological matter on this blog, but I told him nyet. He's currently working on an essay, "The War That Wasn't: A Review of The Third World War by Gen. Hackett, et al." Expect it next Sunday.
The Church of Jumbuck is tootin' along just fine. 45 Parishoners, 6 of which are not livestock. "It's exciting that all these sheep and cows are coming together in jumbucky unity," says Rev. Ovis Aries. "Sure, we comprise 0.00006 percent of the livestock of Texas. But we are the vanguard of the new Herd Movement."
The Sucrose Inquisition was not expected, yet
[Here the post ends, Histor having somehow disappeared or ceased typing. I shall publish it, hoping that Histor (wherever he may be) may not mind my taking the liberty.
*Actually, no, I didn't get a hangover. My parents would never let me do that. I'm just pulling your leg. And I woke up Thursday morning like normal people. "Normal people" sleep in sleeping bags and wake at 5:30 when their alarm plays "Three is a Magic Number"
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Wow! What a Mardi Gras that was!
Monday, February 19, 2007
Growltiger's Last Stand
- T.S. Eliot
Growltiger was a Bravo Cat, who travelled on a barge:
In fact he was the roughest cat that ever roamed at large.
From Gravesend up to Oxford he pursued his evil aims,
Rejoicing in his title of `The Terror of the Thames'.
His manners and appearance did not calculate to please;
His coat was torn and seedy, he was baggy at the knees;
One ear was somewhat missing, no need to tell you why,
And he scowled upon a hostile world from one forbidding eye.
The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame;
At Hammersmith and Putney people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore:
GROWLTIGER'S ON THE LOOSE!
Woe to the weak canary, that fluttered from its cage;
Woe to the pampered Pekingese, that faced Growltiger's rage;
Woe to the bristly Bandicoot, that lurks on foreign ships,
And woe to any Cat with whom Growltiger came to grips!
But most to Cats of foreign race his hatred had been vowed;
To Cats of foreign name and race no quarter was allowed.
The Persian and the Siamese regarded him with fear -
Because it was a Siamese had mauled his missing ear.
Now on a peaceful summer night, all nature seemed at play,
The tender moon was shining bright, the barge at Molesey lay.
All in the balmy moonlight it lay rocking on the tide -
And Growltiger was disposed to show his sentimental side.
His bucko mate, GRUMBUSKIN, long since had disappeared,
For to the Bell at Hampton he had gone to wet his beard;
And his bosun, TUMBLEBRUTUS, he too had stol'n away -
In the yard behind the Lion he was prowling for his prey.
In the forepeak of the vessel Growltiger sate alone,
Concentrating his attention on the Lady GRIDDLEBONE.
And his raffish crew were sleeping in their barrels and their bunks -
As the Siamese came creeping in their sampans and their junks.
Growltiger had no eye for aught but Griddlebone,
And the Lady seemed enraptured by his manly baritone,
Disposed to relaxation, and awaiting no surprise -
But the moonlight shone reflected from a hundred bright blue eyes.
And closer still and closer the sampans circled round,
And yet from all the enemy there was not heard a sound.
The lovers sang their last duet, in danger of their lives -
For the foe was armed with toasting forks and cruel carving knives.
Then GILBERT gave the signal to his fierce Mongolian horde;
With a frightful burst of fireworks the Chinks they swarmed aboard.
Abandoning their sampans, and their pullaways and junks,
They battened down the hatches on the crew within their bunks.
Then Griddlebone she gave a screech, for she was badly skeered;
I am sorry to admit it, but she quickly disappeared.
She probably escaped with ease, I'm sure she was not drowned -
But a serried ring of flashing steel Growltiger did surround.
The ruthless foe pressed forward, in stubborn rank on rank;
Growltiger to his vast surprise was forced to walk the plank.
He who a hundred victims had driven to that drop,
At the end of all his crimes was forced to go ker-flip, ker-flop.
Oh there was joy in Wapping when the news flew through the land;
At Maidenhead and Henley there was dancing on the strand.
Rats were roasted whole at Brentford, and at Victoria Dock,
And a day of celebration was commanded in Bangkok.
I memorized this way back when. It hasn't stayed in my mind (unlike, say, "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell), but it still is the best poem about cats I ever heard.
Plus, with a little modification, you can sing it to "Music Box Dancer." Remove one syllable from each line, by hook or by crook, and voila! it fits the tune!
I read The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature, which is far better than it sounds. 5 stars, and I'm going to take Literature classes a good deal more seriously.
Personally, I think "political correctness" is a practical joke the world has decided to play on me.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
I just cracked the 1000-visit barrier! As of today, I have had 1,001 people visit my blog.
Even though 10 percent of them were probably visits by me or my blood relatives...
So far, I have had folks from Italy, France, England, Brazil, Australia, China, New Jersey, Nevada, and, of course, the US of A. Many of whom are both from the Great State of Texas and not related to me.
Some folks were lured in by those who maliciously entice web-surfers into blogs like mine. (Raulito? Cosmos-Liturgy-Sex? Are you listening?) Others were searching for stuff:
stamps geese - Dude, stamps are so yesterday. Does "e-mail" mean anything to you. But I love geese. Man, how I loooooooove geese, roasted!
chesterton was a bigot - Probably not, if you except his crass views on cheese and crackers.
Diogenes "off the record" - That's an uberblog, far above me. I am not worthy to undo the RSS...aw shucks, I am too!
militaria - Well, yeah, I like military stuff and all that, as agonized readers can tell...
Others have randomly gotten to my site, occasionally from blogs which (to judge from the names) I should be glad I don't know about.
And, of course, there are those who wondered about some guy named Delta who commented on their blog.
To all y'all: Thanks! And come back, by the bolts of Zeus!
On a different note:
It's almost Lent, and (other than an overinflated ego from my breaking the 1000 barrier) I am all ready for it, complete with family-mandated sacrifices and a resolution to read "Divine Intimacy." (Hey, it can't hurt.) It occurs to me that, even though Lent is not fun, those who practice it have an edge over those who don't.
It would be healthy to, every now and then, sit around and meditate on your death and sinfulness and deliver Hamletesque speeches on the subject. But, it's not healthy to do that continually. (Besides, it would get annoying to your relatives.) However, refusing to have any dark moods at all means you will go crazy. Lent is a period designed specifically for these dark moods, meditation on how everything in this world will pass away, all earthly happiness is straw, your soul is in eternal danger of hell, etc. However, it has a specific end, where Jesus (figuratively speaking) announces: "Snap out of it! I'm alive, I'm commanding the winning army, and My recruiting office is open!" (That's why we baptize RCIA candidates on Easter.) We get a healthy dose of gloom and doom (and fasting), in which we contemplate how bad everything really is. Then we get reminding how good everything really is, on account of the Resurrection.
If you don't have Lent, you have no specific time for gloomy pessimism. So, either you continually think about the evil of mankind (pessimism) or you completely ignore it (optimism). If you choose the first, you will eventually want to kill yourself. Choose the second, and you will kill yourself, once you realize how many lies you've told yourself. Either way, you will be monstrously wrong. All because you weren't moderate in your gloomy pessimism!
So, memento mori and pass the meatless sandwiches!
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Congratulations to the folks who voted for Scorpion Stalking Duck (all six of y'all), and the other folks who got nominated AND didn't kill their blogs when Jimmy Akin, Open Book, et al steamrolled their respective ways to victory.
Read here for the 2007 stuff.
Er, did anyone notice that Jeff Miller (of Curt Jester fame) helps with the Catholic Blog Awards, and won the funniest blog award?
COLLUSION! COLLUSION! COLLUSION!
(Seriously, he probably isn't tampering with the votes. He is funny, and popular, enough to win without vote-tampering. And I don't suspect him of dishonest practices, either. It's a joke.)
Well, now it's time to make like all those wonderful folks in Washington and whip up a publicity campaign for myself, so next year I'll have 2000 hits a day and a cult following. (Excuse me while I smack my chops). Blog awards will drop into my hand come Feb. '08.
So remember this:
UP DA BLOG!
Come 2008, you will have to vote for "Best Blogs" in a multitude of categories. Just remember to vote for Est Puzzlementem, the Wise Choice.
UP DA BLOG!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Then again, I shouldn't be happy at the dissolution of the Anglican Communion.
They are Christians, after all.*
*With the exception of those that aren't, such as Bishop Sponnnnnnng ;-)
...and if not...: A Joint Statement
I'm a Dallas-area blogger, and henceforth I'm signing on to it.
I also urge y'all to fast and pray on First Fridays (c'mon, there's only 12 of them, isn't there?) for the end of abortion.
Think of it - it's your opportunity to thwart the continuance of a civilizational curse!
(By "fasting" I assume you mean the current Church standard on fasting, and by "praying" I assume a decade of the Rosary at least.)
Pretty old, but worth reading. I like the line,
"The outback, I'll concede, may be where you find community; but sometimes it's not more than a neighbor walking uninvited through your back screen door to borrow a few shotgun shells to dust back yet another coyote."
Now, I don't know why the "â€™" symbols took the place of the " " " and the " ' ", so don't ask.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
An Episcopalian weighs the Marine funeral rites against an Episcopal funeral mass and finds the latter wanting.
Makes me glad our pastor is quite, ahem, ritualistic about the mass.
Being a male American citizen near the age of majority, I get stuff from the various military branches, containing variants on "Join Us and Risk Getting Your Internal Organs Rearranged in Iraq (or Basic Training)!"
Well, one came along from the Marine Corps...and it had a cool poster...and a card you could send for an information packet and a free bag...and it was free...and I had a pen...so...
Anyhow, a package from the Marines arrived just now. Here's the little letter they sent me.
Dear [Histor's real name],
They spelled it right. My name tends to be misspelled. Kudos to the Marines for not misspelling it!
Good News! You'll soon be eligible to apply for enlistment in the Marine Corps.
That just gives me warm fuzzies all over, thinking of the day I leave dadwithnoisykids and set off into the real world, burglars, IRS agents, credit cards, and all.
The fact is, if you have the fortitude, confidence, and will to improve yourself,
Fortitude? Check. Confidence? Seems to be missing. Will to improve myself? Just between you and me, I can't even keep my room clean.
then the Marine Corps may be right for you.
"May be right for you" is one of my least favorite phrases, which include "self-improvement," "lifestyles," and "the problem with your essay, Histor, is..."
Of course, it will not come to you easily.
Probably not. See my comment about my room.
You will work harder than you ever thought possible.
I believe that with my whole heart.
To help you with this decision, I have enclosed a brochure that highlights what it really means to be a Marine.
Haven't looked at it yet, so I can't say.
The best thing you can do right now is stay focused, remain determined and finish school.
Hmmm...who has told me that before?
Becoming a Marine will be the challenge of a lifetime, why not dedicate this next year to making sure that you're ready.
How d'y'all know I've decided to become one?
On the other hand, be assured I did not apply in order to get that bag. Although it's a nice nifty bag indeed.
So, look through this package and consider what it really means to be a Marine.
No doubt the cool bag helps tell me what being a Marine is about. No doubt the package will help me in my decision. However, anything binding will come after I consult a former Marine on the subject.
Then if you think you could be one of us, contact your local Marine Recruiting Substation, which I've listed below for your convenience.
John L. Estrada
Sergeant Major, United States Marine Corps
Sergeant Major of the United States
(Now, don't take that "sir" as being of any bearing on my opinion of the Marine Corps...it's actually a Southern thing.)
Now I have examined the package itself: one (1) letter, one (1) brochure on enlisting in the Marines, one (1) medium-sized bag of indeterminate purpose, and one (1) gargantuan poster with cool pictures on it.
The poster is probably not going to go on the wall. Too much up there already. Then again...
Apparently Chinese Catholics prefer the Real McCoy:
Although the Catholic Church is theoretically under the control of the Patriotic Association, in practice virtually all Chinese Catholics prefer to align themselves directly with the Holy See.
Gosh, wonder why? Could it be that all state-run churches are either Herodian tyrants or doctrinally mushy Gilbert and Sullivan characters?
Now, I know it's a bad thing. I know it's not a moral way of carrying out a war. I don't approve of it. But, when it happens in the same country which seems to be supplying weapons to Iraqi militias, well...
To quote McEwan:
Concerning John Edwards himself: I think Edwards can't be nominated anyway. What memorable thing has he ever done? Obama has at least made a media splash, and Hilary had HillaryCare and It Takes a Village, but John Edwards is most memorable for showing up at the DNC in 2004.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
DO NOT LET MATCHBOOKS ENTER THE FEED TRAYS OF YOUR LASER PRINTER.
DO NOT INTEND TO INSERT MATCHBOOKS INTO A LASER PRINTER.
IF A MATCHBOOK IS INSERTED INTO A LASER PRINTER, IT WILL CAUSE A PAPER JAM AND/OR BREAKAGE OF CRUCIAL DEVICES.
IF A MATCHBOOK CAUSES A PAPER JAM (AS IT JUST DID TODAY), OPEN THE PRINTER COVER AND PULL THE MATCHBOOK OUT.
HISTOR THE WISE, VICE-MANAGER OF MEDIA, SSD/MetaltrAch
EDITOR, THE YOUTH PAGE
Monday, February 12, 2007
Reports that Dallas was bragging about its "pythons" are unfounded.
A rather odd article on an Israeli historian who thinks the 'blood libel' has some validity.
On a related note: I read a claim that pogroms against Jews were often provoked by noblemen who owed money to Jewish lenders. A sort of anti-semitic bankruptcy declaration, I suppose. Does anyone know whether there's truth in that?
Just for the heck of it, I'll fisk this song from Gerald Augustinus.
Highway Patrolman - Bruce Springsteen
My name is Joe Roberts I work for the state
I'm a sergeant out of Perrineville barracks number 8
I always done an honest job as honest as I could
Now that's comforting, officer.
I got a brother named Franky and Franky ain't no good
Now ever since we was young kids it's been the same come down
I get a call over the radio Franky's in trouble downtown
Well if it was any other man, I'd put him straight away
But when it's your brother sometimes you look the other way
Aristocratic corruption in a nutshell. Except the patrolman doesn't have 10,000 acres and 43, 000 people to deal with. And the aristocrat usually gets something out of ignoring his brother (who has the best army this side of the Rhine) when he pillages or destroys things.
Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good
What with my 11 siblings and all, staying out of law enforcement might be a good idea for me.
Well Franky went in the army back in 1965
I got a farm deferment, settled down, took Maria for my wife
But them wheat prices kept on droppin' till it was like we were gettin' robbed
Franky came home in '68, and me, I took this job
Yea we're laughin' and drinkin' nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin', teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family he ain't no friend of mine
Well the night was like any other, I got a call 'bout quarter to nine
There was trouble in a roadhouse out on the Michigan line
I presume he's referring to the Michigan-Ohio border.
There was a kid lyin' on the floor lookin' bad bleedin' hard from his head
there was a girl cryin' at a table and it was Frank, they said
"Well, Sergeant, just because you've never arrested your brother despite having been sent for him 23 times doesn't mean you can't go 'arrest' him this time..."
Well I went out and I jumped in my car and I hit the lights
Well I must of done one hundred and ten through Michigan county that night
Anyone who enforces the rules will also break the rules. God, for instance.
It was out at the crossroads, down round Willow bank
Seen a Buick with Ohio plates behind the wheel was Frank
Well, with your superturbocharged Crown Victoria chasing it, that Buick should have no chance. Right, officer? Riiiiiight?
Well I chased him through them county roads till a sign said Canadian border five miles from here
I pulled over the side of the highway and watched his taillights disappear
If I'm not mistaken, Frank, to avoid prosecution for assault and mattery, attempted manslaughter, and/or murder, has just driven out of Ohio, through Eastern Michigan, and has exited the United States south of Detroit. And only - only! - his brother was following him. What a ride.
Me and Franky laughin' and drinkin' Nothin' feels better than blood on blood
Takin' turns dancin' with Maria as the band played "Night of the Johnstown Flood"
I catch him when he's strayin' like any brother would
Man turns his back on his family well he just ain't no good
The moral? Blood is thicker than water, let alone badges. Personally, I would have caught my brother and whacked him hard upside the head. Still illegal, but just after a fashion.
All the same, this is the sort of music I like. Serious dealing with lowdown subjects.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
H. L. Crawdad shooting a World-War-II-era M1 carbine at
members of the Green Army of M-town, GWWFE (guys with weird facial expressions) division.
The crawdad got away, after putting multiple bullet holes in the jeep's transmission.
Supposedly a Humvee belonging to the Empire of Dallas got 'raptured':
Scoffers claim that it's not a humvee, it's a flashlight, a soldier, and a slice of cardboard. Furthermore, they object, if there had been a Rapture, Histor would have raptured too.
Speaking of which, Histor already knows what he wants for his birthday.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Six Political Heroes
From Mulier Fortis
- Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa: now, there's not much to recommend him. He intended to gain complete control of the Holy Roman Empire, which made the Pope nervous (the Holy Roman Empire had a claim to Italy, and 'caesaropapism' was a real threat in the Middle Ages). He sought political power more than religion, and at times warred with the Pope. However, he never promoted heresy or committed mass slaughters - unlike many German rulers - and died leading an army to the Third Crusade. Furthermore, he reputedly is in Kyffhauser Castle, growing hair, and waiting to return to life and rule Germany. I don't know why he's one of my political heroes, but he is.
- Abraham Lincoln: I certainly know why here. He prevented the utter destruction of the United States of America in the Civil War and banned slavery - the abortion of his day.
- Ronald Reagan: if it weren't for him, odds are I'd be worrying about the Cold War, not Islam.
- Benedict XVI (under the same exemption Mulier Fortis gave JP2): hey, it takes courage to face Islam nowadays...
- G. K. Chesterton: even though his economics were deathly flawed, he did take part in English politics, and fought against corruption and oppression of the poor. You can't denounce that.
- Charles Francis Adams: for his great one-liner of the Civil War. "It would be superfluous to remind your lordship [Lord Palmerstone, then Prime Minister] that this means war."
Another good quote:
"To God I speak Spanish, to women Italian, to men French, and to my horse - German."
- Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor 1519-1556.
Friday, February 9, 2007
JANUARY 1 2100
USA DETACHMENT AT FORT SEVENTYSEVEN
TENNANT CREEK DEFENSE SECTOR
AFTER ACTION REPORT ON MARK 43 BIS (BEAM IMPULSE SHIELD) "FIDDLER"
ICA FORCES LAUNCHED UNPROVOKED UVBW (ULTRA VIOLET BEAM WEAPON) ATTACK UPON USA DETACHMENT
THE MARK 102 UNIVERSAL RADIATION DETECTOR ACTIVATED "FIDDLER" 0.0012 SECONDS BEFORE UVBW STRUCK USA HQ
"FIDDLER" PROTECTED SECTIONS OF USA HQ RECEIVED DIRECT UV RADIATION
NO DAMAGE SUFFERED...
(excerpt from an after-action report released by the US Army.)
Australia, along with Chile and western China, is a global hotspot, for much the same reason the Middle East was 150 years ago. The laser weapons every science fiction writer praises have come into being. Nevertheless, 7 out of 8 soldiers are killed as they were in 2007: by hot lead and explosives. New technology allows one to know every inch of the Earth's surface without actually going there. Yet food, drink, houses, and business are essentially the same as they were in 2007.
The Table of Contents:
- And next?
Section 1: Religion
Despite being scheduled for elimination hundreds of years ago, it still bosses us around.
Christianity is still prominent in 2100 - not much of a surprise. Islam is also strong - more of a surprise. Paganism - despite loud cries of "it can't happen on this planet!" all over the place - is a dangerous force in what once were Christian and Muslim heartlands. New England, Ireland, and Mesopotamia are more than 60 percent pagan, and a Pagan elite leads resistance against Brazilian attempts to control the whole of South America. Hinduism has held out in Eastern India, despite its mid-century shift to Muslim/Christian religion. Judaism has (inexplicably) retained control of Palestine, but has a weird split-personality problem as certain aspects of its doctrine grow "Christianized."
Speaking of Christianizing, miraculous progress has been made in ecumenism, and 94 percent of Christians profess unity with the Roman Catholic Church. However, no less than 13 different rites occupy the United States alone, and the rest of the Christian world has a rather confusing multiplicity of practices, devotions, regulation, and Masses. For instance, the only things Sino-Oriental Rite masses have in common with New English (i.e. eastern USA) masses are the Eucharistic rite and the Kiss of Peace.
Eastern Orthodoxy attained union with Rome in 2039, but was exterminated in 2049 by the House of Islam in Europe (HIE) despite a rather quixotic attempt by the Louisianan National Guard to hold Constantinople for the Patriarch. The Guards' only victory is that "brave as a Cajun" is an international compliment.
Islam's great strength is owed to the Caliph Ali da'Qat, who in 2011 announced himself the Servant of Muhammad sent to reunite Islam and spread it across the world. Within twenty years his Caliphate of Muhammad ruled all the land between Galway, Johannesburg, Brisbane, and Vladivostok, and held the Pacific Northwest. Only Israel held out, a "pimple on Muhammad's nose" as Ali put it. He split the empire into three parts - the African Caliphate, the House of Islam in Europe, and the Islamic Caliphate of the Orient. After his death, however, Christians, Buddhists and Pagans rebelled, and Islam retreated from its major gains.
Paganism rose like the phoenix from the ashes of Christian, Muslim, and Chinese secularism. It helped bring down China's defenses against the Caliph Ali, and became the religion of the Latin American elite. The Pagan Revolution in New England and Texas (PRNET) attempted to conquer North America in the Second Civil War, but failed. Ireland became base for a Pagan Independence Movement which gave the HIE a serious run for its money in 2069-2080 (the Decade's War). And the Sumerian Liberators briefly controlled the world's oil supply until the discovery of GEE in 2050 made oil superfluous. Most American pagans have undergone "reconstruction" and are starting to grow lukewarm. In Europe, South America, China, and the Middle East, it urges rebellion against the powers over it - Christian, Jewish, and Muslim alike.
Religious map of world, 2100
Section 2: Politics
"Hey," [Professor Singums] said, "let's have two or three huge empires - simpler than 199 sovereign nations, isn't it?" - "The Wise Men Talk Politics," an essay by R. R. Mands (AD 2002-2091).
The USA - despite doing its best to destroy itself between 2020 and 2050 - remains a world power. No longer a superpower, it is nevertheless the most feared of the "Christian Powers" (the United African Republic, the USA, the State of China, and Brazil). It renders support to Israel (from sheer force of habit; the UAR gave decisive backing to the country in 2045-2060, when America could not help it), the Vatican, and the Australian Republic (fighting to regain the continent from the ICA) and does not notice occasional "goodwill visits" by de facto Crusaders to contested areas abroad. Mexico is now a part of America, having been made a United Commonwealth in 2080. Its border region of Chihuahua sent a crusade to Africa in 2088, but it hasn't come back yet.
Brazil was the first South American nation to eliminate its drug cartels in 2033, by using what became known, chauvinistically, as "Russian Diplomacy:" legalizing cartels, then mass assassination of their leaders. A continent-wide crime wave followed, in which Brazil gained control of most of the Pacific Coast and exterminated 90 percent of the drug trade. However, the Caribbean and Venezuela had an outbreak of Pagan rulers, who to this day seek to undermine Brazil. Brazil gained international prominence in the meantime, and is closely tied to the State of China.
The State of China was the first territory lost to the Muslim world. It controls the eastern third of China, while various Pagan, Christian, Hindu, and Muslim warlords fight for the rest. Americans, Africans, and Australians are strictly banned from dealing with these warlords. To the south of China, predominantly Christian populations are ruled by the Caliphate, while Hindus have a quasi-state granted them by Sultan Ali. However, North Africa, Western Asia, and Europe is still Muslim-ruled.
The Three Muslim Powers are far richer combined than any other nation, but their armies are inferior in quality to South African and American soldiers, and they have received many humiliating defeats at their hands. Their disregard for casualties alone prevents the weakening of their military position. The ICA is the strongest, both due to its size (Jordan to Western Australia) and possession of GEE extractors in Australia. The African Caliphate is in a continual war with the United African Republic, limiting its wealth and opportunity for growth. The HIE has Pagan and Christian rebels and a border with Christian Siberians, but it still has the opportunity to grow filthy rich - something of which the ICA is not ignorant.
North Germany contains the only significant resistance to the HIE. A 'shadow state,' strong enough to thwart HIE attempts to ban religious practice in public, controls Hamburg and the north part of the land between the Rhine and Elbe. Britain, primarily Christian, is independent, owing to an American invasion in 2065. The British complained about "American Colonialism" loudly, but they preferred it to attacks from Irish pagans. Various Pagan gangs on the Continent make the life of HIE policemen and soldiers a headache, but have little ability to do otherwise.
Sub-Saharan Africa united to defend itself against Sultan Ali, and in 2040 destroyed Muslim power outside of Muslim-majority regions. Since then, it has exported GEE and fought the African Caliphate and not much else.
Section 3: Science
Or, why things are weirder nowadays
Geo-Electric Energy is now the chief energy source in the world, after Australian miners discovered a way to 'drain' naturally occurring electric currents in the earth's crust. Similar currents were discovered in South Africa, the Great Plains of America, western China, and Chile. The electric currents, cheaply drawn and seemingly incapable of depletion, are now used by the whole developed world, and are exported in huge storage-battery filled ships. Not all was smiles and eco-friendliness, however - Russia, the Middle East, and Venezuela all disintegrated, and still are a mess.
Other than computers having the ability to actually deal with people (i.e. efficiently check out your groceries, drive your car while you nap, and criticize your writing style), digital technology has paused.
Satellites have withstood 88 years of total neglect in space and are now being reused. However, the Universal Ground Locator, which stores information on every location on the Earth's surface, land and water, has replaced GPS. The great migration into space everyone has been expecting hasn't happened yet.
Tanks, ships, and cars now use luminophobic paneling, which naturally moves away from sunlight. LP on the bottom of the vehicles causes them to float above the ground, and UV/IR lights make them capable of nighttime operation. UV Beam Weapons (UVBW) now occupy the slot cruise missiles and rockets held, with the disadvantage that they cannot affect anything smaller than an ATV. As a result, infantry armed with grenade launchers (having small rifles mounted underneath them) still rule the battlefield. The ICA is desperately working to create lightwarp shields to makes its aircraft UVBW-proof. However, the US has beaten them to it, as the after action report quoted shows.
Section 4: What Next?
Many people in America claim that 2101 will mark the end of time (due to a prophecy by a Japanese translator around the turn of the century), but it doesn't change anyone's behavior. The Muslim Century, by Haourin al-Jakarta rather glumly predicts that "Islam has lost its opportunity for success, and the world will be abandoned to the desolation of the Christian religion." Parai Jana expects the same thing to happen to Christianity in her book, Until the End of Time? However, Pope Gregory XVIII evinced no despair as he announced on Christmas of 2099, "Our mission for the next century is to bring the Crescent in union with the Cross." The failure of the Council of Ali (the ICA's legislative body) to protest this surely has significance.
The end of Histor's Fantasy. No doubt everything above is unlikely. Then again, the fall of Rome, the rise of Muhammad, and the death of Communism were very unlikely in their time as well.
Did this prophecy scare you? Excite you? Bore you out of your skin? The comments box awaits.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Friday, February 2, 2007
This essay by Hilaire Belloc, The Free Press, describes accurately the nature of news sources, especially as concerns the "mainstream media vs. partisan media" side of things. It explains why someone who believes the news will inevitably get tricked someday.
The money quote (in which he compares the press with word-of-mouth):
The Press eliminates three-quarters of all by which opinion may be judged. And yet it presents the opinion with the more force. The idea is presented in a sort of impersonal manner that impresses with peculiar power because it bears a sort of detachment, as though it came from some authority too secure and superior to be questioned. It is suddenly communicated to thousands. It goes unchallenged, unless by some accident another controller of such machines will contradict it and can get his contradiction read by the same men as have read the first statement. [emphasis mine]
Thursday, February 1, 2007
THE CHURCH OF JUMBUCK "A TRULY UNIQUE AND AFFIRMING RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE...IF ANY CHURCH IS NOT A WACKY CULT OF CHARISMA, IT’S REV. ARIES' CHURCH." - The New York Times Religious Supplement, January 11, 2007 Too many of us experience an emptiness in our lives, a lack of something. We seek to fill it with food, drink, money, hobbies, work, warfare, loving, service, philosophy, society...but we are not filled. What can fill it? Sheep. To be exact, Jumbucks. Indeed, jumbucks are the only means by which we can sate ourselves - and not by eating them. Herding them, trimming them for wool, keeping them as pets; all these things give true peace, true ontology. No moral affirmation is possible without a wholehearted dedication to jumbucks. Therefore, the Church of Jumbuck (Herded by the Rev. Ovis Aries) seeks freedom from Spanish-Inquisiton-stile doctrines, (unlike A CERTAIN CHURCH WE COULD NAME!), unconverted swagmen, and doctrinalism. We have only one interest: to ensure that the moral affirmation of jumbucks (Australian jumbucks, may we remind you) be embraced by all humankind. Endorsements: “I had some unfortunate experiences in my past life, but this Church has been a transformative, holistic religious experience, for which I am quite thankful.” - The Jolly Swagman “We are considering an intellectual-property rights suit.” - Chancery office, Transformation Church of Dallas, TX “This church is a necessary insight into grass and religion. If I weren’t an atheist, I’d join it.” - Richard Dawkins “Grass? What's this about grass?” - Anonymous goat “If you’ll pardon me saying, it’s a bit sinister...” - [real name of Histor the Wise] “It perfectly demonstrates the aphorism incorrectly attributed to me – which, by the by, I wish I had said.” - G. K. Chesterton “I should have stayed up in the Catskills...” - Rip van Winkle "Maybe I won't rack you guys yet." - Cardinal Ximenez of Spain “Transcendent!” - Rev. J. H. Hornblower, pastor of True Life Baptist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota
THE CHURCH OF JUMBUCK
"A TRULY UNIQUE AND AFFIRMING RELIGIOUS EXPERIENCE...IF ANY CHURCH IS NOT A WACKY CULT OF CHARISMA, IT’S REV. ARIES' CHURCH."
- The New York Times Religious Supplement, January 11, 2007
Too many of us experience an emptiness in our lives, a lack of something. We seek to fill it with food, drink, money, hobbies, work, warfare, loving, service, philosophy, society...but we are not filled. What can fill it?
Sheep. To be exact, Jumbucks.
Indeed, jumbucks are the only means by which we can sate ourselves - and not by eating them. Herding them, trimming them for wool, keeping them as pets; all these things give true peace, true ontology. No moral affirmation is possible without a wholehearted dedication to jumbucks.
Therefore, the Church of Jumbuck (Herded by the Rev. Ovis Aries) seeks freedom from Spanish-Inquisiton-stile doctrines, (unlike A CERTAIN CHURCH WE COULD NAME!), unconverted swagmen, and doctrinalism. We have only one interest: to ensure that the moral affirmation of jumbucks (Australian jumbucks, may we remind you) be embraced by all humankind.
“I had some unfortunate experiences in my past life, but this Church has been a transformative, holistic religious experience, for which I am quite thankful.”
- The Jolly Swagman
“We are considering an intellectual-property rights suit.”
- Chancery office, Transformation Church of Dallas, TX
“This church is a necessary insight into grass and religion. If I weren’t an atheist, I’d join it.”
- Richard Dawkins
“Grass? What's this about grass?”
- Anonymous goat
“If you’ll pardon me saying, it’s a bit sinister...”
- [real name of Histor the Wise]
“It perfectly demonstrates the aphorism incorrectly attributed to me – which, by the by, I wish I had said.”
- G. K. Chesterton
“I should have stayed up in the Catskills...”
- Rip van Winkle
"Maybe I won't rack you guys yet."
- Cardinal Ximenez of Spain
- Rev. J. H. Hornblower, pastor of True Life Baptist Church, St. Paul, Minnesota