Posts Tagged Strongly Implying One is About to Do Something Unethical
Arnold set his hat by the door and nearly tripped over a pair of black leather size 10s. “Why are there–Whose shoes are these?”
“They ain’t mine,” Cannibal Sherman said, his voice resounding from the kitchen. “Ask Brett.” Brett Krinkins had been the one to send out the invitations–it was his house, but he was nowhere to be found.
Arnold untied his laces. Judging by the state of the shoes in front of him, he imagined he was the only one around who still did so. The backs were broken down and the only set whose knotted bows weren’t still intact was the glossy black pair by his foot.
“Sorry, hon, nobody’s really that helpful around here. Let me grab your jacket.” Britt was the older sibling of the Krinkins pair. “You might as well be talking to the walls.
“Whose shoes are these!” she bellowed from the well-lit foyer. She wasn’t asking a question anymore; she had turned it into a demand for an answer.
Arnold stepped back slightly.
“Quit yelling,” Brett called down the hallway. “If we don’t know whose they are, we can just cut them both in half.”
Britt’s face wrinkled in a mixture of confusion and exasperation as her brother clomped down the wooden corridor. “You do know that’s not how that works, right? It only works if people are fighting over the item. You don’t just hack stuff in half and expect to solve the problem.”
“I do,” Brett said, stepping into the entryway, his arms full of cheese wedges and a colorful mix of soda cans. “And it does.” He handed the cans to his sister. “It got people to stop leaving their crap at my house. Take these into the kitchen please,” he said to her, picking up the shoes.
She took the soda reluctantly, somehow managing to hang onto all of the cans and Arnold’s coat. “Why on earth do we let you host? You can’t just misapply one solution to everything you see and expect it to fix the issue!”
“I haven’t been finding tacky bakeware in my kitchen anymore,” Brett said. “As far as I’m concerned, the problem was solved.”
“That’s the problem with you; you get one tool and you use it on the world! When all you have is Solomon’s logic, suddenly everything looks like a baby.”
“The better to avoid kid-sitting duties, my dear.” As he turned the shoes over in his hands, he felt a palm on his shoulder; he spun around to see Abrams’ somewhat irate visage inches from his face.
“They’re mine, thanks.”
Britt shook her head and strode off toward the kitchen.
Have you ever thought about how improbable the global system of air travel is?
Nearly every country on the planet allows fully loaded jets to enter its airspace multiple times a day, and–even more improbably– land before checking the passengers (I don’t know what the alternative would be), trusting the previous country’s TSA to have done the job. And some of these transfers involve countries who wouldn’t hesitate to stab each other given the chance.
It just strikes me that any country with the desire to do so could stuff a nuclear weapon in the cargo hold of an international flight and set it off upon landing. Sure, there have been stories (and movies) where said weapon is sent in by container ship (probably easier) but air travel opens up a great multitude of non-coastal/non-port locations. And finger pointing would be difficult, though I think it’s possible to fingerprint the country of origin by sampling the fallout. (The whole reason I’m speculating here is because I’m not in the mood to start googling things like “is it possible to trace nuclear weapons” or “what’s stopping governments from sticking nukes on planes.”)
By the way, if you’re paranoid, don’t read the previous three paragraphs. If you aren’t, carry on.
In other alternate universes, can you imagine if yesterday’s pirates operated on the same principles today’s do? Near as I can tell, there would be a giant island outside territorial waters filled with gold, food, rum, silver, and what-have-you, where ships would pull in, fill up on all of it, and leave. The island’s stockpile would remain completely unchanged.
Mind you, if today’s pirates operated on the same principles as yesterday’s, Disney would be forced to spend part of its operating budget combating raiding parties, Paramount would be resting on the bottom of the sea, and Shawn Fanning would be imprisoned, having murdered a great number of musicians.
The auditorium was packed–rows upon rows of nameless faces: conspirators and colluders, perpetrators and abettors. Lionel von Drath had apparently just left the stage; he was conversing in the corner with a pair of blue-suited henchmen and stroking his carefully groomed facial hair, mutton chops and a neat blond mustache.
Given a guess, Morris Brandeis suspected the man had given the same speech he had given to the crowd in Achany the week before: how he had graduated from the Academy of Villainy as class Maledictorian. He probably thrilled the crowd with stories of exploding sandwiches and the thousand cheap and replaceable things he had lifted from the classrooms and the charity across the street and the teachers’ lounge on the days he wasn’t setting everything on fire.
He continued to walk down the incline between the left and right seating banks. Cyrigan Ames was finishing up in front of him, but heads were already beginning to turn in his direction, even as she spoke of growing up in the town of Nicle, once the self-proclaimed “Friendliest hamlet on earth.”
It was a good story, he had heard it before as well–how she had grown with the town, corrupting it and changing it and building a reputation of her own. It was no longer referred to as Nicle, however. Ames was renowned for being the woman to single-handedly put the Evil into Niceville.
And yet the crowd was already drawn to Brandeis, who hadn’t yet set foot upon the stage. Ames was slowing now; she had been winding down as he stepped in the door. He watched the audience respond warmly as she concluded and stepped down to join von Drath.
Or rather, those who hadn’t noticed Brandeis enter responded well. Those who had gave perfunctory applause in deference to tradition, even among rogues.
Brandeis approached the podium without a word; the crowd waited as anxiously as could be expected from such a crowd of hardened miscreants.
“My fellow malefactors,” he began. “I’m certain you have heard your fill this evening of antics and escapades, high class and classless destruction. I don’t intend to discuss my achievements with you tonight;” –At this the crowd’s enthusiasm perceptibly sagged– “I’m sure after two hours of stories the anecdotes begin to coalesce into a formless rush of noise, moreso when as listeners you weren’t the ones to perpetrate any of it.”
He took a short drink from a glass of water that had been sitting on the podium since before the first speaker had presented his case hours prior.
“So I will try to describe myself.”
He began to stroll across the stage, holding the glass in his left hand and drinking occasionally. Von Drath crossed his arms and listened.
“Imagine a man who fights with nothing to lose, because he understands that anyone and anything can be replaced. A man who trades in destruction not because of its effectiveness as a currency, but simply because he enjoys the smell. One who each morning spreads butter made from the tears of children onto toast made from kittens. A man who in his foulest and most desperate hour would find himself incapable of hurling the earth into the sun only because he would have done so long before that point.”
Brandeis returned to the podium and set the glass back in its place.
“I am that man’s evil twin.”
In my copious free time this week, I stumbled across a book about Dysgenics. After skimming page three and assessing the content, I burned the entire book, with the assistance of six gallons of napalm.
Mind you, the subject is the complete opposite of Eugenics, which you may have heard of. In what is quite possibly one of the most insane and socially unhealthy schemes ever, Baron Gregor Von Nerdblindel sought to use selected breeding of morons, violent uprisings against the “Oppressive iron minds of the intelligent,” and straight-up murder to bring about the creation of a “Vastly Inferior Race.” His hope was that the development of said nation of morons would allow him to look like a five-sigma genius by comparison.
Apparently he never got the funding; his backers were too busy eating tree bark and drooling large puddles onto their shirts. He died alone and rather unliked, regardless of who he was compared to.
But his legacy lives on in popular culture.
Random thought… Would dysgenics be the complete opposite of eugenics? At the very least it’s one of the opposites. If eugenics is the promotion of “good genes” by:
B: Locking the “unfit” in asylums, and
C: Selective breeding,
Then dysgenics, naturally, is the promotion of “bad genes” (I don’t know how many quotes are too many. Four? Seventeen?) in the same way.
But I think other opposites of equal magnitude would be:
A: The act of resurrecting people to promote said “good genes” rather than killing them, whatever the heck that process might be called.
B: Handing out free marriage licenses to the residents of an asylum, or
C: Forcing carefully selected pairs of adults to eat babies.
My impression is that the true opposite of a depraved system is probably not itself also depraved, so that pretty much rules every one of those answers out. In this case, the healthiest opposite of a depraved system is no system at all, and thankfully, that’s the lack of system in use.
Or: Sorting Your Way to a More Successful Tomorrow
So you got your acceptance letter to magic school. Congratulations. You may think the program is so easy a kid with no prior knowledge of the subject could just roll in there and become the best at everything.
You’re probably right. But with that road comes angst and pain and constant mockery from a smarmy kid who had Miley Cyrus’ look down pat long before Miley Cyrus got into whatever the heck she’s been doing for the past few years.
Real wizards plan ahead. And there’s really only one subject in which you must be well-versed.
There are four of them. Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Gryffindor. And when you arrive, you will be assigned to one by a hat.
That’s right, your future rests with a piece of clothing, and if you’re not prepared, you could end up doomed to seven years (or eight movies) of studies with the wizard equivalent of Scrappy Doo, or the kids from Full House. As you can tell, this is a serious matter. But if you play the game correctly, you could win the easiest seven years of your life.
“How?” you ask, in your squeaky, ten-year-old voice. Simple. Go Slytherin, and look socially acceptable by comparison.
Here’s what you face in each of the four houses.
Ravenclaw: Emos and goths. Too broody, plus you could probably use the sun.
Hufflepuff: Theater majors. This is not Rent. You are an aspiring wizard.
Gryffindor: Brown nosers and nerds. Their life is school. Memorizing herbology to stay even with everyone else is lame. And do you really want coursework in sycophancy?
Slytherin: Sociopaths and morons–the brown ring of scum around the fixture that is Hogwarts.
Essentially, if you choose Slytherin, you commit yourself to a popularity contest against a bunch of disgruntled miscreants who would struggle to match wits with Marmaduke were they allowed an extra seventy or eighty IQ points and a favorable wind.
So go for it. You can thank me later when you’re Minister of Magic.
Last weekend a car had its window destroyed in front of the apartment building where I live. This isn’t the first time it has happened, and we’ve had a number of eggings (my car and my brother’s old car) as well.
To my knowledge, nobody has been caught. So in the interest of resolving the matter before these cretins bash in my windows, I am envisioning a sign of noticeable size placed in front of the building facing the street.
To the police and whoever is responsible for the vehicle damage:
The amount of recent vandalism deeply concerns me.
If you are unwilling or unable to solve the problem I will bring an end to it myself.
TagsAchieving Success Alternate Universes Angry Notes Apartment life Assassins Beets Cats Children Dr. Grammar Evil People Conventions First Lines For the Public Indifference Harry Potter Held to be Self-Evident hoarders It Turned Out to be Lies Jurassic Park Legos Lies Lizards Malls Music Peer Review People in Restaurants Piracy Poetry Political Thrillers Polydactyly Puns Purely Speculation Purple People Eaters Relationships Riddles Robots Self-esteem shower curtains Strongly Implying One is About to Do Something Unethical Studies Talk Like a New Englander The Underwater Railroad Tongue Twisters Turing Test Vandalism Weird old shows Words
Stasko arrived at the maintenance office thirty-seven minutes later. Wisric had no doubt arranged everything to give him a chance to chat with Corinda Blanch, though there was no guarantee she would be around. Since both Stasko and Wisric had been moved to temporary quarters in the agricultural wing, Blanch had coincidentally been in the area more often, usually for "strategic discussions" with Mot Jarvis, her counterpart and the man in charge of maintenance for the agricultural warrens.
Mot was a short, black-haired man who could be described using a number of adjectives that ended in -umpy. In general he had an ill temper. He had prominent muscles as a result of his fanatical weightlifting, a trait that had required a certain amount of adjustment in the years since he had lost his right arm during an ill-fated safari, as he put it: "Fighting a pair of alligators," which may not have been entirely true.
Nobody really knew the truth about his missing limb, and few entirely understood how he kept the agricultural warrens maintained so well with only one arm. But his resilience in the face of life's oddities had given him an occasional endearing quality, and Leonin visited him when he needed perspective.
Wisric, for reasons unknown to Stasko, seemed to cringe when Jarvis was around.
On this occasion, however, the commons around Mot's office was quiet; Mot wasn't waving his arm threateningly from the break table as he tended to do quite often, but his office door was open. A transmitter buried somewhere in the office was busily spitting out animated conversation.
In the doorway stood the hulking silhouette of Resfarl, one of the few who had managed the transition from Brush to Graevon. If there was one common thread among lunatics it was that they always seemed to prefer keeping the Atlas-types around.
Saunders slowed and took hold of a length of metal conduit near one of the terminals. “I’ll handle Resfarl; you guys go on ahead.”
Anya gave him an incredulous stare. “Have you lost your mind?”
Gregg paused in mid-step. He hadn’t expected an argument.
“Why in space would you want to split up at a time like this?” continued Rayleigh. “We have no idea what that Borius character might be planning.”
“Just go; don’t worry about Resfarl,” insisted Gregg.
“I’m not worried about Resfarl,” she stated flatly. “There is exactly one of him right now, and he doesn’t even have a gun.”
“I'll handle him! Find Graevon and stop him before he commits another act of genocide.” He made prolonged eye contact with her, trying to convey an inability to accept anything other than compliance.
It hardly made a difference.
“Skabs to that! What do you take me for?” She broke his gaze and gestured indignantly toward the other man. “Is this supposed to be some sort of idiotic macho act?”
He stepped back momentarily. “No,” he began, with marginally less certainty than before. “But this will give you time to--”
“Time to what?” she asked, clearly uninterested in any clarifying statements. “Worry about your misguided hide because you want to play the martyr while we're chasing down a madman? Fine.”
She fired two shots, one into each of Micco Resfarl’s knees. His legs gave way almost in unison, no longer coordinating their actions with the rest of his body, and with his weight unsupported he buckled over, clearly out of commission. “Have it your way. While you’re busy being irrational and clubbing him up with your new toy, the rest of us will be solving problems instead of creating them.”