Daftwager Fan Mail Male

June 28, 2009

Dear Lord Fitzwilly Daftwager, Doctor Von Quatloo, The Third,

I love your twitter, your adventures, you.

Very, very much.

How can I grow up to be like you? Just like you? Like I was wearing your skin?

Yours in perpetuity,

Bryann Slaughturblud.

Dear Pre-Op Ann, Good question, to which there are four basic answers.

(a) You would have to be born into the aristocracy. I was born in the typical fashion – evicted from my mother’s womb without even my security desposit. I wanted to leave anyway; she played a lot of loud, bad classical music, and life in her uterus was subject to invasion when she and her husband were drunk. Therefore, I left without a cry – until the doctor slapped me. I slapped him back of course, and ten days later my pudgy fingers seized the duelling revolver and shot him in the shin, or some other insignificant place.

Mostly the preserve of my mother for the first four years, I did those childish things tots do. At one, I had just begun, I was christened with fox’s blood, dripping onto the lace red hood. At two, I had much to do, I hunted the foxes myself, doing terrible detriment to their health. At three, I was set free, hunted by the hounds, barely escaping into the out-of-bounds. Then I was four, and did toddler things no more. It was time for school, to learn the ways of really being cruel.

I attended the nearby children’s primary, the Greystoke School For Boys. Built within Lord Greystoke’s personal menagrie, we learned the ways of all of God’s creatures. We also learned how they were only like stuffed animals in that, if we weren’t fast enough, they would be stuffed with us. Taught by the Sisters of the Doomed Spider God (a contemplative order), we learned our numbers, letters and how to turn common garden animals and pets into our unholy army of the night.

(b) You would have to attend an aristocratic boarding school.

At age twelve, I progressed to secondary school. The school was run by the Brotherhood of the Soul-Eating Squid-Monarchy, a charitable order. Set in a somewhat bleak set of moor-bound moribund buildings, previously a plague hospital, the Gormenghast School For Young Men had a death rate statistics reminiscent of a major metropolitan cities. I was educated by a combination of war veterans, propagandising pedants and institutionalised sadists. Happy days. They made me the man I am today out of the boy I was then, presumably out of the spare parts of other, less-deserving boys.

My journals at the end of my time there as Head Prefect resembled the following:

04:00; Wake, and dress in Senior uniform of black tie on black shirt on black coat on black pants etc. Vaguely curse prohibition on candles, as uniform is impossible to find in early morning wardrobe. Shady.

05:00; Wake juniors, with a stick, to dress in junior uniform: aquamarine frockcoat & knee breeches, worn with cream waistcoat & ruffled shirt and straw hat with red ribbon. Love my senior uniform again.

06:00; Vespyres involved the usual hymns, prayer, announcements, burning of our enemy’s books, enemy’s possessions, effigies of our enemies. This, a special occasion, we burned with some of our enemies.

07:00; Breakfast; pickled coelecanth, white rhino chunks, pygmy elephant steaks, thylacine liver, dodo eggs, dino eggs, and dragon eggs (deep-fried). One day I’ll eat better than this, but that day is not today.

08:00; Juniors finally allowed in again after running, in the rain, for an hour after vespyres. What remains is meatloaf of an unnamed parts of an unnamed animal and a porridge composed of grain and firecoke. 09:00; Science! Test – Dissect misbehaving juniors sufficiently to extract tonsils, addenoids or appendixes. I take a kidney, when the teacher isn’t looking, & caution the still-conscious junior not to tell. 90%

10:00; Fencing! Final Exam – Against rapier, I was offered a pistol, pen or furled umbrella. Umbrella – caught blade in umbrella spokes, locked it at both ends, twisted rapier out of opponents hands. 90%.

11:00; Literature! Act out last scene of Hamlet with real swords and real poison. Cross-curricular with fencing and science; my blade dodging & mountebank immunities are sorely tested. 10%, 10%, 100%.

12:00; Lunch!

13:00; Mathematics! Final equation – with a set of actuarial tables, work out indemnity if everyone in the world died except for oneself and the insurer. Wrote ‘1’, once and then ‘0’ for an hour. A solid 100%.

14:00; Geography! With a map of Norway, its GNP, budget, city distribution, population centres and energy sources, plan an invasion. Mine has my troops drinking Darjeeling in Oslo by 20:00 hours. 100%.

15:00; History! Using ‘Pewter’s True Peerage’, work out how many generations one must go back in any monarchy to find an animal. Found a horse in the Romanov line within eight generations. Neigh 100%. 16:00; Afternoon tea!

17:00; Phys Ed! Rugby – Led the school football team to Massacre Cup glory, beating Manchu Prep by six fouls (four broken legs, a compound fracture and a dismemberment) and a sundry number of goals.

18:00; Law! Final Deposition – Requested glass of whiskey, as allowed for in ancient test guidelines. Fined for not having rifle to fight off a bear, as required by ancient test guidelines. Actual bear is released.

18:30; Throw whiskey in bear’s eyes. Temporarily blinded, it mauls the invigilator. I liberate the examiner’s whiskey stock, and inebriate bear. Counts as extra credit Phys Ed in Bear Wrestling. 100% & 10%.

19:00; Home Economics! I get a double rosetta in sewing and first aid, fixing up the invigilator. ‘BLESS THIS HOUSE’ in pokerwork received high praise. I replace his kidneys with the junior’s spare. 100%.

19:30; Home Economics Extra credit when I turn the invigilator’s shredded kidneys into a lovely stir fry. Win coveted ‘Lecter Apron’ in resourced ingredients and aggressive cooking. Apron has tomato stains.

20:00; Dinner!

21:00; Evening Vespyres. Sacrifice single junior to the Blind Squid God. Last junior to die all year. Am aware that the new seniors will treat new juniors just as we did. Traditions continued. Much rejoicing.

22:00; Retiring for tobacco, gin and infirmary opiates, I consider possible careers. I’m a polymath, a jack of all trades, imparticular in my ingenuity and occassional good and bad turns towards others. Doctor?

23:00; Definitely not Lord. Allan survived Gormenghast School – assuredly the world won’t kill him. Doctor might be able to do something about Allan’s ability to breathe, or to breed. Dr. Daftwager indeed.

00:00; Hum the school song. I miss Robert Roberts and Pete Pequod, both having taken the Ninjatech Dark Scholarship in Japan. Their alternate ideas of assassination were useful in reprimanding the juniors.

(c) You would have to be born into the mad sciences.

The birth into the mad sciences is a second birth. My second was much like my first birth. Evicted from my mother’s home briefly after my return from Gormenghast. I wanted to leave anyway; I was an institutional man now, and school was somewhere I was on furlough from previously, now permanently paroled. Therefore, I left without a cry – until the doctor-lecturer slapped me. I slapped him back of course, and ten days later my surgeon’s fingers seized the duelling revolver and shot him in the shoulder, or some other insignificant place. The entrance exam was to close up the entrance wounds. 100%.

Attending Moreau’s College of Surgery and Vivisection, I excelled brain extraction on dead, undead, living, and unanaesthetised living. Studying alongside DNAdam, Nutriknow and the man who would later take the name Apocaleprosy, I learned the galvanic arts and natural philosophy from Krempe, Waldman and White Horse. I was tutored by the disembodied brains of Albertus Magnus, Hippocrates, Galen, Celsus, Paracelsus (Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim) and Brainstein himself.

I took my Masters in biological alchemy. I spent my hours distilling dread homunculi, creating sentient livers and beating back the tentacles of animate retinas with my brass microscope. I won the St. Germaine Prize for my Elixir of Life. It was based on the formula found in the notes of the police when they arrested ‘Long’ John Thirty-Silver for selling a false E of L as a repeat offender (convicted 1902, 1830, 1768, 1623, and 1525).

I graduated from MCSV with ‘Earnest’ Thesiger-Pretorius honours.

(d) You would have to attend a Mad Fellowship.

I received a Doctorate in Medicinal Madness and an offer of a Malpractice with Doctor Coprophile Wrothauser, on the continent. No small incentive was Wrothauser’s proximity to the Meinschaftworks; he handled, or rather delegated, the on-site medical care for the central weapon foundry. As the foundry’s fatality & injury rates were extremely low, due to extreme worker care that was a Meinschaft hallmark, I had a great deal of paid time (who would want free time?) to observe the greatest mechanical maestros of this mad science. Wrothauser had a lot of affluence and influence to spread to his apprentices and rarely engaged in practical surgery those days, except in operating on himself – his hobby.

I worked in the village clinic adjacent to Castle Wrothauser. By right, the villagers received top treatment in exchange for vegetables – their elderly. The rest of the world had to pay an arm and a leg. They did too, the celebrities and the politicians, for the miraculous cures administered by apprentices. We got the coolest toys.

A daily medical log:

06:00; Wake. Dress in white medical smock & gloves, with magnificatory goggles. Suggests to patients that I am clean, careful, and never cause a bloodbath. Actually means Wrothauser buys these in bulk.

07:00; Morning rounds. Bed 1 has been up all night, seeing ghosts of former patients and hearing one-sided reviews. Bed 2 has been asleep all day, entering the dreams of other patients and comparing notes.

08:00; I advise a sedative shot for Bed 1, stimulant shot for Bed 2, and a lead headshot for Bed 3, ‘Mined Over Mater’, the German dwarf psychic with mommy issues, who literally projects his problems.

09:00; Wrothauser wheels in on that monstrous trolley of his. Asks after the celebrities, and the newer treatments, then gets to the point – he wants a new heart, lungs and liver. And something for his dinner.

10:00; I get him a new all-of-the-above from the recently deceased dwarf, dinner included. Macabre, but the man is Resident on my fellowship. Plus he has five hearts. Its like trying to floor a brachiosaurus.

11:00; I snag a quick lunch while I dissect the dwarf. I lay aside the organs for surgery and the intestines (Coprophile indeed!) for dinner. The brain I lay aside for study – a psychic, and putty in my hands.

12:00; Wrothauser doesn’t have surgery scars; he has a neck-to-nape zipper running down his chest. I squeeze in a sixth heart, third liver. The lungs I leave on the outside, like gently inflating floats/fairy wings.

13:00; Close up just in time for Wrothauser’s ghast repast. Having observed his operation entirely conscious, he approves of my technique. I ask for the Schaftworks shift. I have him by the balls, so to speak.

14:00; Schaftworks; little medical happens. Nobody smokes so nothing will explode. Nobody lets their mind wander so they won’t lose an arm. Nobody checks a loaded rifle by peering down the barrel …

15:00; But inside my head thoughts explode. Inside my head a hundred reaching arms rise in the air. Inside my head the inquisitorial eye sees light at the end of gun barrel, the spark of an oncoming idea …

16:00; I ‘familiarise’ myself with the steamtank’s torque ratios, the stairship’s thundergun batteries, the supermarine’s depthcharge releases, ‘in case of emergencies’. It is like seeing an organ cutaway diagram.

17:00; I could have been born to all of this. Perhaps. The immense wealth, the scientific knowledge, the laboratories, the foundries & factories. But being born to it is no insurance of keeping it, especially here.

18:00; My aunt Quatloo invites me to eat in the dining hall up above the Schaftworks main floor. Mixed ranks at the dinnertable of my aunt, her Quatloo kids, Meinschaft orphans and Herr Meinschaft himself.

19:00; We discuss biological warfare and calculated pandemic – the only dinnertable where one might do so politely. I’ve no stake here, and I hear not secrets, but everything else turns steamgears in my head.

20:00; I bid them goodbye. Return for clinic night shift. Fellow intern DNAdams is running around with an empty box, asking if I’ve seen his guinea pigs. Yes – they are creating clinic customers as we speak.

20:30; Local woman mauled by flying guinea warthog – treatment expensive. I note she has a non-responsive grandma in our elderly care unit. If she could just sign here … Being of sound mind is overrated.

21:00; Use most of braindead grandma’s organs to help tissue-matching granddaughter, who now has finally found the strength to ‘let go’ in the midst of her pain. Heroic. Grandma’s intestines, thats different …

21:30; Post-op supper for Wrothauser butters him up sufficiently to give me the Schaftworks shift tomorrow. He does his ‘tine tasting trick; ‘She was an eighty-year old woman, three children, two affairs …’

22:00; ‘… and she enjoyed being “looked in the back of the head” by both her lovers’. According to the medical family history, Coprophile is spot on. I just love asking embarassing questions on those things.

22:15; The psychic projectionist’s brain sits in a jar in my study. A special jar, with a standing electrical charge and amniotic fluid. His file says he knows Morse code. I tap until he projects an answer: ‘Damn’.

22:30; I tap and take notes. Apparently he had to know Morse to qualify as a communications officer, where his projection powers put him far ahead of all others – until personal, psychological issues arose …

22:45; Mined Over Mater inherited his stature from his father and his powers from his mother. It seems MOM’s shortness compared to his mother and drill imagery from his father has left him feeling … small.

23:00; Counsel him for a time, then down wattage to allow him ‘sleep’. Not a telepath, obviously, or all those mental images of his mother being ‘drilled’ by his father (photo in file) would have sent him insane.

23:30; One day I will get my telepath. One day MOM will recover. One day Wrothauser will be surgically satiated. One day Ninja Bob Roberts will find his kidnapped shadowfellow, Pete Pequod. One day.

00:00: Letter: It seems Bill Eldritch, unseen by myself since our Gormenghast days, has taken holy orders in the Church of the Soul-Eating Squid-Monarchy. Souls? Typical – Bill was always overly optimistic.

 

So, ‘Bryann’, obviously code for ‘your parents actually wanted a girl’. It isn’t as if you haven’t tried to get in touch with your feminine side – you are all goosed up on estrogen hormones. You see, I ran the copious ‘genetic samples’ you left on your letter (and no, I’m not talking about the saliva kiss print under your name or the lock of hair you sent.

Seriously Bryann, one hand for the black pen, one hand for the ‘pink’ pen) through a few DNA tests. It seems you have a XXY chromosone. Yes, I didn’t know they existed either. You’re Special. You may be a physical woman by your early forties. I wouldn’t be surprised if this runs in the family – Slaughturblud seems like overcompensation. I prescribe rest, yoga and staying away from any and all situations mentioned in ‘All You Zombies’ by Robert Heinlein.

And that, my dear wo/man, is why you can never be me; my doctorishness detects the femininity in your family history, and my aristocralyptic view bans you from ever becoming Lord Daftwager.

So there. You should marry Amanda Hugenkiss. She is man enough for both of you.

Fondest regards, Lord Fitzwilly Daftwager, Doctor Von Quatloo, The Third, Esquire.

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Close a door?

June 19, 2009

Is it just me, or is the phrase ”God doesn’t close a door but he opens a window” oddly scary?

I understand the concept – opportunity ceases to knock, so, confined, you get a good view, and an unexpected way out.

But, doesn’t it sound, just a little bit, like one day, you are about to leave and the door slams shut – locks – of its own accord, then the window opens, with no obvious influence. Then the whole room tips toward the window and, whether you want to our not, you slide right out ….

Afterwards, they all wonder why you leapt out a window in an ordinary, unlocked room.

….

Of strange things:

Warren Ellis writes a webcomic. Yes, thats Warren Ellis of Planetary & Transmetropolitan. At FreakAngels.com. Essentially, its as if the Midwich Cuckoo kids survived, grew up, became angry, lusty youths and, apparently, caused a new ice age2007-07-27-promo3

The art is cool, seemingly steampunk. 

And now, the lol tree of animals:

zoolology-jwpost


Daftwager Fan Mail

June 19, 2009

Daftwager Email:

Dear Lord Fitzwilly Daftwager, Doctor Von Quatloo, The Third, Esquire,

What is the deal with your name? Seriously, who has a name that long? Why would anyone have a name that is longer than this sentence?

Yours faithfully, Amanda Hugenkiss.

 

Dear A-man-duh,

Good question, to which there are four basic answers:

(a) My first name, Fitzwilliam, comes from my uncle on my father’s side, William. Yes, Fitzwilliam usually means ‘son of William’, but I assure you, I was not illegitmately fathered in the fevered, rutting embrace of inbred-incompetent adulterers. Not that I’m naive enough trust my mother on this, but rather because Uncle William was famously impotent. Very famously so. He used to tell people at parties.

He had become so in the course of crushing a rebel insurgency in one of the Queen’s post-colonials, being subject to impromptu castration by an enemy mine. Uncle William would then ask people if, in the privacy of his study, they would like to see exactly where he received his wounds. Once the morbidly curious had been seated, Uncle would lay out a map of the world and point out the region in question (somewhere in North Africa during the 1960s I believe). Sharing a laugh to relieve their tension and a glass of whiskey to reward their courage, Uncle William would then gesture to his pickled meat and two bits, kept in a jar over the fireplace. William considered the vomiting that followed a sufficient caution for curiosity. A caution that William admitted he himself could have used when younger, against curiosity concerning foreign parts that might have caused him to keep his private parts.

Regreting his genital disinheritance of genetic parental guidance, he asked my father if I might be named Fitzwilliam, son of William, so that he might have some sort of sword carrier into the future. My father agreed, because my Uncle also promised to take care of my inheritance, and because my father’s name was Muriel, which he kept like an STD – quietly, shamefully, with no urge to pass on.

(b) My title, Lord Daftwager, I inherit from my father. Technically it is the province of my still-living father, but as he resides entirely in the country all year round, I keep up upkeep on the family name in town during the fashionable seasons. On the event of Lord Muriel Daftwager’s death, the title passes to my elder brother and the chief inheritor, the then-Lord Allan Daftwager. However, as Allan is currently and constantly out in the countrysides of other countries, I still will be obliged to upkeep the family name in town, and all the pert-buttock & prod-bear perks that come with it.

Theoretically, I would become Lord Daftwager truly if Allan died, or if he was physically unfit to spawn an heir. As Allan and I have jovially been poisoning each other from childhood in our respective cots and cradles, I think the former option unlikely, no matter how many monkey cities he adventures in. Much more likely, due to his dangerous lifestyle, is the second option – as this is exactly what happened with the early-Lord William Daftwager and his younger brother, the later-Lord Muriel Daftwager. But that would be a below the belt move, which would not be below me, but one which revenge by my brother would be swift and unfortunately survivable, and leave us both equally frustrated financially, progenitively and sexually.

Therefore I usually just strangle, shoot, drown, poison, decapitate, disintegrate, burn, blow up or melt those insane, inbred and or indulged members on the outer edges of the family who suckle on a small percentage of the inheritance and are insufficiently Daftwager enough to expect any death at any second and defend themselves accordingly. Or if they haven’t sent my mother a Christmas card in ten years.

(b) My doctorate, Doctor Von Quatloo, I inherit from my mother. Not a technical inheritance – I did have to attend and complete evil college and evil medical school – but I do use her maiden name of Von Quatloo to associate myself with her own medical studies. True, I could just have pretended to be a doctor if all I wanted was to see women naked in social situations, but for that ambition I have found ‘almost Lord’ works a lot better than ‘amateur gynacologist’, so the only real reason was the mad science.

Also, as a younger son, I had to have a ‘trade’ to fall back on if the laser-wielding madman arts didn’t work out. Oh come now, the medical profession is a trade. It is practically an engineering-repair job on a particularly unintelligent design. The fuel intake valve on the same pipe as the oxygen intake? Dear hells below. Besides, those pansy doctors can’t operate on themselves, and I am the only one I know worth saving.

As for the Von Quatloo, my mother’s maiden name and the one she pursues in her own experiments with, it comes from the famed German Meinschaft engineering empire, as does my mother. I however have no claim to the Meinschaft fortune, no matter how many people I kill. By tradition, the present Herr Meinschaft may have as many biological children as he wants, all of whom take his wife’s maiden name, but his only inheritor can only be one of the foundlings, found at the front door of the Schaftworks. The tradition began with the very first Meinschaft forge-foundry, and adoption each subsequent generation doing for the Meinschaft’s business of weapons what such adoption did for Bonka’s business of chocolates. Becoming a force in the world weapon’s industry, the orphan heirs become entirely dedicated to the work which gives him his singular origin. This has made the Meinschafts, the ones who would sell to anyone, and could sell to anyone, unquantifiably rich.

As one would imagine, this causes a veritable army of orphans to be dropped on the Meinschaft doorstep. No matter. The boys, as they all are, are raised in the Schaftworks, each given a first name of a founder Meinschaft, each given equal training, opportunity and incentive to advance upwards in the Schaftworks, until the retirement of the current Herr Meinschaft, and all his properties are passed on indiscriminately to his chosen orphan.

When my maternal grandfather retired, my mother’s elder sister married the new Meinschaft. My mother bet on the wrong orphan, (as I do so often myself at the orphanage’s race night and knife fights) and remained Heimlich Von Quatloo, her mother’s having the maiden name Von Quatloo, and being a sadist. She was a fully qualified medical doctor, as all of the Von Quatloo children were aware of the day the money would move on. She met my father when he was taken with the gout during his Grand Tour of the continent. She told me ‘almost Meinschaft’ doesn’t work as well ‘amateur guy-nacologist’ to see young men naked in social situations. Thus the German mad scientist took the title of Lady Daftwager for public discretion, and remained Dr. Von Quatloo for private profession.

(c) The Third comes from being both the third Lord Fitzwilliam Daftwager (the second being my uncle, the first being my name-sadist paternal grandfather), and the third Doctor Von Quatloo (the second being my mother, the first being my name-sadist maternal grandmother). And, yes, I was the younger child of two evilly-named younger children, both of whom whose birth order decided their birthright. I received more hugs than was healthy.

Also, it is occassionally a signal to my membership of the Thirds, an organisation much headlined, in this dimension at least, by fellows such as Top Hat, Bill Eldritch, Hell Boyle, etc. I am nothing more than a lowest level brother, but its wide diversity allows a few simple signs and silly sayings to get oneself into nice situations and out of bad ones. Generally I consider this Illuminati-Mason mumbo jumbo to be nothing more than the mutual mastubatory impulse of those whose love of hidden hideouts and secret handshakes for the sake of secret handshakes. And it is.

Especially in the Third’s case. But should these conspiracy covens ever actually lose the love of ‘deftly affecting world events from behind the scenes’ and actually start shooting people for power like the rest of us, then something of a war will be on. Particularly with the Seconds and the Firsts. Essentially, the Thirds are the Third Estate. The Third Prince. The Third Planet. The Third Dimension. The First and Second Estates, be they Nobility and Church, Capitalists and Communists, Masons and Illuminati, Superheroes and Supervillains, Wizards and Mathemagicians, Martians and Venusians, Mad Library Scientists and Barbarian Librarians, Angels and Demons, Monad Kings of the First Dimension and the Anarchy Gods of the Fifth Dimension, etc., will always be locked in eternal struggle and will always produce a Third, innocent third party pawns through whom the war is acted out, or third-level enemy agents who find themselves to have more in common with their immediate opposite numbers than they do with their distant superiors. The Thirds are angels that never really fell, or rose. The Thirds are vigilantes who steal to fund their operations and mob bosses who protect and develop their neighbourhood territory. The Thirds are thaumaturges who were neither awful evil or lawful good, which is a roundabout way of saying they have a lot more fun shooting wildly into melees. An average Third has little alignment but to quietly make a fortune, and aren’t ideologically wedded to either order or chaos, good or evil, one-dimesional squares or five-dimesional tesseracts.

The Thirds call this a revelation. I call this merely Not Being One Of Five Main Characters In A Story, i.e., Almost Everyone Else. This is why they wage their war for Third control through everyday instances and obscure dimensions, and why I myself am nothing more than a lowest level member of the Thirds. And the Seconds. And the Firsts. I can’t actually do wrong. Its a liberating feeling from which one must step back, or I would simply start shooting shotgun shells into the street. Pirate Pete Pequod has had the same revelation, but does not subsequently see the need to rein back the shoot-up-the-street impulse.

(d) The fourth basic answer on the origins of my name is that your first name, Amanda, obviously is the code your parents used to imply that they actually wanted a boy. Your second name should release you from your grief of being unable to fulfil your parent’s baby-boy hopes, because it seems to be fake name given to your ancestors upon emmigration by some frustrated customs official, so your parents probably come from a history of murder.

However, its not as if you haven’t become a mannish murderer girl yourself. After all, I did hack the password to your email account (‘uglyduckling’) and tracked your usual IP address. A brief roadtrip and I was watching those hairy hands of yours stuff a dismembered body into a garbage bag after yet another unsuccessful pity-date. Did he tease you about your name too?

Also, your hair smells like poo.

Fondest regards, Lord Fitzwilly Daftwager, Doctor Von Quatloo, The Third, Esquire.


Kung Fu Panda

June 13, 2009

Saw Kung Fu Panda. Better than I thought.

1. Very pretty opening sequence art style – ergonomical as set up & dream sequence explanation.

2. Very interesting cast – Jack Black managed to act as Po rather than Jack Black, an achievement.

3. Art and fighting styles overall were used well – themes of gold and blue, and wuxia craft five-finger-heart explosion.

4. Comedy & drama managed not to undermine each other overmuch. Unexpected moments, once or twice.

5. I like that the anthropomorphised animals that have thick necks in reality had thick necks here. Motions were mapped well.

6. Some scenes were just outstanding. A lot of Tai Lung stuff – the prison break, the bridge scene – was wonderfully conceived.

7. Voice actors overall – a lot of big stars who get relatively little talk time. It works to flesh out the five-man band well, making a magnificent seven of robin hoods, where it could have been distracting.

8. Musical themes work. Not as many pop tunes as I’d expect. Requisite ‘kung fu fighting’ with Jack Black vocals passable.

9. A couple of minutes approach a couple of seconds of Samurai Jack. Perhaps.

10.  Moral predictable but passable. The ‘there is no secret’ is cliched, but better than a magic sword. Po can’t beat everyone – he is simply the immovable object to Tai Lung’s unstoppable force (the tiger kung fu style having no defence). I wouldn’t mind an ‘after’ show of this.

Problems:

1. Po ‘figured out’ the Wushi finger-hold. It seemed random and pointless.

2. What happened to Tai Lung? Atomised? Imprisoned? Reconciled to Shifu after finally being stopped? He was a cool character – paralleled to the fury of Mistress Tigress and self-hero story of Po (‘Our battle shall be legendary!’) and he really just disappeared at the end.

3. The entire setup of the Four’s feelings of inadequancy towards Shifu went unresolved. Don’t need to be hit over the head with it, but a scene, a second, a glance would be nice.

4. The end titles featured stills drawn in the style of the opening – excellent – but it seemed clumsily plotted. A few funny parts – Monkey finding his cookies gone, Tigress doing a Shifu impression for Shifu, Po holding his own action figure, Po showing the Dragon scroll to all, Po training all, Po and the five on the edge of the demon valley – but these were gems in an apparent confusion of stock images – nothing like the still-storytelling of WALL-E end titles.

5. Last scene of the shoot growing good, but still – this was an ensemble piece, and seemed to forget it in the last few minutes. It has 88 minutes running time – 2 minutes of plot resolution would not a universe have destroyed.


Alternate Universe Daftwager – For the Want of a Train

June 13, 2009

Daftwager 28 Days Later, ‘What If’; Alt-World, Day 38:

07:00; For the first time in thirty-eight days, I mildly regret tying the helpless widow to a railroad track at 9:30, and and later robbing the orphanage at 10:15. Not the robbery-homicide, just the after effects.

08:00; I mean, there were benefits. In the short term, I seized the hidden theft-hoard of the orphan pickpockets and managed to skip town ahead of the constabularies concerned with the widow’s murder.

09:00; In the long-term, the pickpocket hoard afforded me the right type of lawyers to allow me to contest my inheritance, despite that it would be making money from murder. Used Pirate Pete’s legal team.

10:00; And now, residing on my multi-billion pound sterling private island, the edifice of my lordly tropical manor & underground science complex dominant in the landscape, it seems petty to detail-grumble.

11:00; Afterall, the news that the island of Britain has been overrun by a zombie army illicits mixed feelings. Death, murder, chaos, fear, terror; good things, all, but won’t someone please think of the libraries?

12:00; Plus: The death of my enemies (12 minute silence for Pirate Pete), the death of my creditors, the death of the aristocracy (which, technically puts me on the throne) and mass consumption of the Scots.

13:00; Minus: Many unique adventurers were lost that I would have liked to have invited to my new home. Particularly, ‘invited’ them to my new vivisection lab. Also, the loss of the Welsh as useful patsys.

14:00; News: “Britain is dominated by the Zombie Doctor Ingot Nation. Affirmed socialist and former medic in Her Majesty’s Regiments, Nation became king by wedding recent royal ressurect Queen Vic.”

14:30; “Nation quote, ‘Yes, not my first choice either, but a lot of queens either died old & whole or young & headless. Vic is smart, social, and wants her colonies back. I may youth-clone her later, though.'”

15:00; “Apparently, Queen Victoria was one of the first cryogenic celebrities in the Steam-Gear Ice House, and, compared to her descendants, was ‘the looker of the bunch’, post mortem, say witnesses”.

15:30; “Most of the remaining adventurers are in exile on the continent, particularly Paris, in a desperate attempt to contain Nation’s Zombie military from world infestation. Windsoar unavailable for quote.”

16:00; “King Nation of the Zombie Nation intends to institute a ‘socialist utopia’ run by a ‘post life’ elite; bare breasts off of Page 3, football off of Sundays & off with heads of Nation’s former bullies.” Nice.

17:00; If even the mighty Windsoar is having trouble beating back this plague, how can I relatively regret my minor actions? Because, for the want of a nail, I apparently could have stopped it all at the start.

18:00; One realisation in going from bachelor to billionaire is that other people might want to steal your stuff. One benefit in becoming a billionaire by theft is one knows all the tricks of the amateur trade.

18:15; Therefore when Shatterglass, gentlemen jewel thief and multi-dimensional master of mirrors, went for the merely-expensive but high-profile Eighth Ruby Eye of the Doomed Spider God, I was ready.

18:30; Shatterglass, previously a mere magical voyeur & villain spy known as Looking Glass, took a tearing of his Reflectour viewer from ultraviolent Vibright, after spying on her during an undressing session.

18:45; When sneak-peeking, ostensibly to learn her secret identity, the paranormal pervert received more than he bargained for when the Reflectour splintered into supernatural shards, into him, creating …

19:00; Shatterglass! Quantum Cat Burglar and general pain in the ass. The ‘magic mirror’ – disgustingly childish phrase – focused transient light waves and particles of ‘here’ from other relativities, other worlds.

19:15; Beautiful device, whether magic or scientific. Not only does this incompetent break it, he also uses the phenomenal phasing abilities it gives him to steal trinkets. My torturing of him is a public service.

19:30; Imprisoned by a laser grid that went up after he handled the Ruby, I trapped the troubadour and continually contricted the grid until he collapsed from the terror in his id. I love having money for toys.

19:45; Using Mr. Eidetic-based ‘Brain Overclocked : Recollection Eidetic’ serum I have keyed into the part of SG’s mind that controls his multi-dimensional movement. The electroshock is necessary & fun.

20:00; When I have topographied a telepath brain, I will do this so subtly as to leave my subject unaware. For now, I must surgically insert electrodes and up the wattage. Science’s moral sacrifice, not mine.

20:15; And there it is. I say ‘Where am I not rich?’, and a thousand realities stream past – dead, woman, crazy, charitable, magician, zombie, prisoner, idiot – and there I am in the arms of a beautiful woman.

20:30; I review his life. I can only see in realtime – relativity & such – but his writings and mine diverge increasingly from a point 38 days in the past. My Butler didn’t misdirect me, but I had him neutered also.

20:45; Least in divergence, most in my liking. He is me, all right, a variation rather than a failure. An U.N.D.E.A.D. serum in one hand, a bordello full of mad scientists in the other, he could go far. Very far …

21:00; So far in fact that I’ll keep canister of BORE logging this section of relativity. If my alter comes across cross-dimensional sneaking, or creeping, I might just have to show my alterbrother some ‘respect’.

21:15; I am entirely confident that he would do the same to me. All I must do now is manufacture a method to be invisible to my own sneaking, as my other earlier alternates almost certainly have done. Fools!

21:30; Still watching. I note the woman sleeping by his side. My hand hangs over the phone. Here she almost certainly died or was zombified. Almost certainly she never escaped my Whitby. Almost certainly.

21:45; The house mechanicals sweep security and I retire. No people; house was built, furnished and populated by mechs. They are much superior to my staff, who are no doubt gainfully employed & dead.

22:00; The mechs are the Ratman-model he advises every villain to use, but none ever do. Neither drone nor intelligent, they don’t get easily hacked, nor fall in love. I use them because I am just a bad man.

22:15; But Ratman still makes the super-stupid or super-intelligent models that lead to every villain’s downfall, because he wouldn’t sell any otherwise. He still sells them because he is just a businessman.

22:30; Balcony view. Ecology recovered from Dr. DNAdam’s giant warthogs well. DNAdam himself did not recover from the warthogs so well. Still, a private island. Best post-mortem police-auction ever.

22:45; Tagged warthogs with Atlas’ animal sidekick software. It neither suppressed their natural instincts nor overdeveloped them. They aren’t … friends, but they are quite friendly. Without calling me ‘father’.

23:00; The AnImprinter is the type Atlas recommends to every hero, and none ever use. Their sidekicks are either ‘comic’ uncanny mirrors of themselves or brutally tamed monsters – both for self-superiority.

23:15; I use the type that makes me understood to the warthogs. I have no interest in hurting them. They should not cause me to develop such an interest. I have no interest in helping them. I’m not that cruel.

23:30; I’m not going to make them less intelligent to make myself look moreso, or more intelligent (but not intelligent as I, of course!) to convince myself that the world strives to be like me. Thats a hero’s job.

23:45; Atlas still sells the desperate-Caliban and tamed-dragon imprinters. His clients never take his advice, but they always pay. It is just that the dead do little repeat business. Atlas is just a businessman.

00:00; Midnight here is morning in Paris. If she survived, if she escaped Whitby by means other than my marvellous balloon, then she is just waking. I myself go to bed, to sleep the sleep of the just a bad man.

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What the Jetsons did for us.

June 6, 2009

I do like shooting down fantasies. I am the Baron Richtenhoffen of the realistic RAF.

Living in Medievalesque Fantasy: Odds are you one of the thousands of peasants, dying of plague, getting taxed or hunted for sport. If you are one of the leads, you rule by force, in a religio-legitimized non-democracy.

Everything is a dream in your head: THIS is your dream?

You can change the World: Great – your freedom of choice overules that of 6 billion.

As such, the flying car had posed a problem for a some time – yeah, it would have been deromanticised by reality, it was overly complex, everyone would have to be a pilot. There are a lot of jokes about three-dimensional car accidents and strato-cumulus traffic jams, but nothing that really stood out.

Then it hit me.

Yes, the Jetsons promised us a flying car, robot servants and cyber-dogs. But what else did it promise?

1. Everyone at work is Caucasian male, mid thirties.

2. Wives remain in the home.

3. Husbands are still the source of cash.

4. No alternative sexualities exist.

5. No religions other than WASP-lapsed exist.

6. Work relations have not evolved beyond boss-worker of the 1950s.

7. Politics have not evolved beyond civic structures of the 1950s.

8. No other ethnic or racial groups exist.

9. School has apparently not been surpassed as the only educational tool.

10. In short, science facilitates rather than challenges humanity’s current level.

….

I could give the flying car a miss, wouldn’t you?