Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Accounts Due

“Mr. Manuel --”
         “Please, call me Eric.”
         “Eric, then. You are aware your account is quite full.”
         Eric nodded, staring across the desk at the stern visage “Call me Timothy, not Tim” practised in the mirror.
         Timothy frowned, absently adjusting his glasses as he stared down at the slim folder on the desk in front of him. “Quite full. Now, I trust we can interest you in some plans? Caskets won’t do, even the pyramidal kind with traps and such. They’re very last century.”
         “But I don’t want to die,” Eric said.
         “Of course you don’t.” Tim folded the folder, tapping it on the desk. “But, statistically, you do. Everyone does. It’s why Insurewecare offers the finest death insurance in the entire city. You just have to name your manner of death, we name the price, and we go from there. We can even get a deal on a licence to be killed.”
         “But I like being alive,” Eric said patiently. “I get to learn new things, experience new wonders --”
         “Of course you do. May I remind you that the inventor of I-mortality has died over 34,821 times as of yesterday, Mr. Manuel. And, due to her exemption status she has no paid a single dime in fees to our parent firm, Acme Discoporation. While we cannot offer you quite that same deal, your substantial savings mean that you can get any possible death, including being catapulted into the sun for a good 2 months of oblivion! Plus, you can return to life with a fabulous tan for only a minimal surcharge.”
         “But I like being alive. I’ve been alive for over three hundred years now.”
         “Ah! How did you die last time, hmm?”
         “An accident: a falling tree.”
         “Capital! We can arrange any form of accident you like.” Timothy rubbed his hands together.
         “But it was a real accident.”
         “Oh.” Timothy clasped his hands together in front of him, to prevent himself from drumming the desk. “We also offer therapy, Mr. Manuel.”
         “I don’t need therapy!” Eric took a deep breath. “We’re all immortal, Timothy.” he said, emphasizing the name a little. “What is wrong with actually embracing that and not wanting to die?”
         “The ennui,” Timothy said, looking a little impatient now despite the amount of money Eric had in their accounts.
         “I have friends, hobbies, things to learn: I’m trying to learn every language every spoken, you know.”
         “How wonderful for you. A pity it doesn’t include the languages of the dead, then?”
         Eric sighed, standing. “There’s something very wrong here, you know. With this world we’ve made.”
         “Perhaps,” Timothy said, standing as well. “But without death, life has no meaning.”
         “We all heal! We all come back! It’s just - just cheap thrills, and nothing more.” Eric glared at him. “Can’t you see that?”
         “Of course I can.” Timothy gave him a wintry smile. “We do in depth test studies of the market you know. People need spectacle. They need glamour, and excitement, and passion. After a few centuries, they find little of it in their lives. Even with memory wipes, we find. They need -- we need -- death to give our lives any meaning at all.”
         “We became gods too soon,” Eric said softly.
         “Perhaps.” Timothy waited, then said: “The problem with being a one-eyed man in the land of the blind is that there is an inherent fallacy, a flaw in it.”
         Eric stopped in the doorway, turning around. “Oh?”
         “Just because you have an eye, for example, doesn’t mean you see any further than those of us who are blind.”
         Eric was silent for several moments, thinking that over, then just nodded and left.
         He made no appointment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I have never seen twin peaks before

Here are the random thoughts, 2 eps + pilot into it, all watched one after another.

Half way through ep. one: wondering who is not cheating on who.....

This counts as the only tv show in recent memory where I've actually watched eps back to back on dvd.....
and it doesn't feel like a soap opera, probably because of FBI and murder :P

.... tibetan mind-body technique.....

this is even better than the one-armed man :p

Because You Are You

There's a perfect world unfolding in my mind
But without you it's not one I want to find

Even for love, there are things we won't do
I won't transubstantiate without you

I'm afraid of losing everything
The higher I go, the tighter I cling

You're afraid I'll go when the loving fades
But some things we can only take on faith

We have each other it can be enough
When asked to depart we can smile and bluff

We'll be left along with the land and sea
The dying world and you and me

I'd rather be with you than without you
I won't transubstantiate without you

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fathers Are Not Spoken To

For love, this pain, for love

There is a joke, that I
can count on my hands
the prayers answered
for I have none.

Pity brought me into a garden
Pity clothed my flesh vers pain
            (There have been no angels in gardens,
            I know, since long and long ago)
but when I weep, my arms
remain clean, gleaming silver
under the waning moon

The silver, hands, hooks
his love barbs, desiring no
hands himself. This lust cannot
be of God. I thought I
was not deserted wholly,
but his whispers, oh, his whispers

I would be beautiful without hands,
he says. I would bite them off,
if I could, so deeply they offend me.
They are not mine!
he screams
to demons I cannot know.

It is no wonder I named him
so full of strange aches
from his birth, my tears
only water; -- his eyes,

my King his eyes! so strange
at a son with hands, his own
limp as he stared at the boy
and did not question the name.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Mythology

“Now, my child, you will sit and learn the ways of the vampire.”
        “I am not a child.”
        “Wee have traditions you know,” the young man said sharply, his fangs bared for a moment and then gone.
        “I am thirty years older than you,” the old man said indignantly.
        The young man chuckled. “Than how I look, yes. Miranda brought you over, Stephen. You should know by now that appearances are not the way of the world.”
        “She said she loved me,” the old man said, the fire going out of him.
        “She probably did, for a moment. Long enough to bite you and then be gone.”
        “Elvin --”
        “No, sorry.” The young man sat up from the couch, his eyes bright with amusement. “I don’t want to hear about your sadness, nor how much you hiss her. This is what she is, Stephen. This is what she does: we all deal with the impossibility of our lives in different ways. She breaks hearts, yours and hers. Imagine it, old man,” the words almost gentle now, purring, “imagine how old she is, how often she’s loved and been lusted after. For a moment, she opened her heart again, for you. Let that be enough. You were honoured. Let it be.”
        “How old are you?”
        Elvin shrugged. “Enough that I don’t count.” He sighed. “Now sit over there on the other couch and we’ll begin again.”
        Stephen sighed and sat down, staring across the darkened room.
        “You do know fashions have changed since the seventies, right?”
        “Well, yes. Indoor plumbing, for a start.”
        “I meant the nineteen seventies,” the old man snapped.
        “Can’t be bothered to redecorate. Besides, in about five years the floral patterns, wood walls and such will come back: eventually everything does. Tradition is important for us. It’s continuity, no matter where we are or what guise we take. We’ll start with creation.
        “God casts a shadow. This shadow is entropy. Also, in a smaller form, us. We’ve been around a long time, Stephen. Vampires are about then oldest story there is, older than gods and demons. The world wasn’t a safe place, when man began. Sure, there were gods, but gods only help those who help themselves. They don’t exactly do anything.
        “They can’t even mend broken hearts.” Elvin laughed, softly. “I did not mean to speak of such again, only that Miranda broke mine once, too, long after we’d changed.”
        “And?” Stephen said.
        “And there used to be more of long ago. Before the flood.”
        “Pardon me?”
        “You believe there is a God, yes?”
        “Would I have become a vampire if I had?”
        The young man shrugged gracefully, his eyes somehow unfocused and clear. “Takes all kinds. And even if there is not, there was a flood. Call it the Jewish myth of Sumerian or whatever cause of god you want, it happened.”
        “You’re being serious here?”
        Elvin smiled languidly. “I’ve found it seldom worth the effort. But yes. What did you think such myths were?”
        “Memories of wetting the bed,” Stephen snapped.
        The vampire was silent a few moments. “Are you serious?”
        “It’s a common enough fear, and reaction.”
        “Ah. Well, there are most of us then. The sun wasn’t as bright most of the time, due to the clouds.”
        He grinned. “Vapor canopy cloud cover, if you want a nice modern term for it. Where did you think most of the rain came from? It was darker then, and we had less problems with combusting and such. A few too many deaths here, some idiot starting up vampire religions there. claiming Jesus came back as one of us -- all those usual things, and He got pissed off.”
        “So you’re saying the flood was to reduce the number of vampires?” Stephen said slowly.
        Elvin shrugged. “That’s the story as I know it. Miranda lived through it, so you can ask her for details later.”
        “And the whole arc thing?”
        “Noah was a vampire, you know. Needed some food.”
        Stephen stared at the other vampire in shock.
        Elvin grinned widely. “That part was a joke. Come on, I’ll take you outside and show you how to hunt. It’ll be fun. This is the part of ‘ways of the vampire’ that’s actually useful. Though you’ll find quite a few of the older ones watch the weather channel fanatically, just in case.”

Saturday, February 02, 2008


You want to know why I stopped doing it? Hell, everyone else does. I was big, I was famous, yadda yadda yadda. It wasn't the battles, you know. Fight one super-powered nutjob and you've fought them all. It seldom changes, you know. The thrill remains, but the outcome is always the same. Bad guy loses, good guy wins.

You want to know the funny part? It's always brains against brawn, at some level. Superheroes tend to hit first, and tend to be quite good at hitting. Sure, they have brains, but the villains with brains are never the strong and tough types, just the brainy ones with tech and henchmen and giant robots: in the end, it just comes down to raw power. And going that extra mile, you know?

The average villain says he wants to take over the world, but the smart ones -- well, they know what a hassle it would be to run. Probably be easier to juggle tachyons, so they just really want money, and more than that: recognition. They want to be famous, to be reviled, to be feared and loathed and turned into urban legends. You want to make a supervillain impotent? Just ignore them.

Without the media, the supervillain wouldn't exist. Because it's not the villains who do the really nasty stuff, but the copycats. Genius doesn't work well with others, especially the mad kind. But below them you get those who study them, the businessmen villains who can run a real organization, who can turn the mad ideas into working ones. That's when things get nasty.

For one thing, they have legal teams.

But none of this is why I quit. I quit because they always win. No matter what I did, what I planned, the heroes always won. I take over the world, they alter the past. I alter the past, they alter the future or jump dimensions or just find me and beat me silly until I change it all back. That happened a time or two, before most of the villains began installing cameras and recording events. Now the just have to be polite about it and hide their fascism a little better.

That's all. Nothing changed. All the lawyers and tricks do is delay them. No matter how brilliant we are, we're not as driven as they are. Sure, some of us are driven in the small ways, against certain heroes, certain other villains; but the hero is driven by larger causes, deeper desires than just beating one single villain. And so we lose.

Even knowing why doesn't make a difference. Even knowing all their errors and all mine doesn't matter. All the self-help and improvement programs and psychiatric sessions don't change the fact that I never won. That I don't really matter. The heroes win because of might, but what allows it in the end is right. They will die for what they believe, fight to the last man; crazy fanatic bastards, all of them, but they still win.

The final score hard leaves me with 0. And I'm tired of it. That's why I'm quitting. Someone else can be the Quiet Destroyer, someone else can take up war against Captain Flux. Just don't expect me to care. And if they come crying to me when they lose, I'll just kick them out the door, same as I was kicked out doors years ago.

I'm too old for this shit. There. That's my final damn manifesto, if you wanted one. Now bugger off.