November 25, 2006

It was a dark and stormy night in a galaxy far far away. The Cliche Police had their hands full with the rebel faction in the Olde Quarter. The uprising was like a tide pounding against rocks in a storm. The sky looked heavy, pregnant with bad weather. Everywhere else in town the citizenry found themselves stumbling over obvious similes and overwrought descriptions. There was little the Cliche Police could do. The city would just have to hunker down like a beseiged battalion on the front lines and wait for the first light of dawn to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"What's that you say, girl? Timmy's down the well?"

And back in the Olde Quarter...

The rebels had the CP cornered like dogs and their rebel yells echoed off the bricks and asphalt. The CP were overwhelmed. Though it was quite probably a nice night for a white wedding, the CP wanted nothing more than to smother the uprising like so many errant sparks from a campfire underfoot. The word litter continued to grow and threatened indeed to overrun the city at large like rats off a sinking ship.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"How do you know he's in the well, girl? Could you hear a telltale heartbeat?"

And in the Olde Quarter...

Suddenly a woman with hair black as a raven's wing, eyes as blue as the summer sky, and lips as red as a red red rose glided into the heart of the fracas.

"I am born of your wayward comparisons, a spirit formed from half-worked metaphor and poor association. My name is Obvious. My purpose is destruction." Her words dropped like pennies into a bucket, brassy and sharp, and they echoed off the walls like the reverb on the last note of a rock anthem. She raised bare arms as white as paper to the roiling heavens and the skies opened. Sheet rain began to fall. Literal reams of rain, pages and sheets of it, tumbled to the ground. And where it landed, inky rivers bleed into the streets. The Cliche Police and the rebels stood agape, united in their astonishment and horror. Their eyes bulged like bulbs. Their hands clenched into fists. The lady laughed. The torrent continued, like a tap turned to full over a flooded tub.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"Dear, Timmy's in the well again!"
"Which one?"
"The drained one. The pit."

And in the Olde Quarter...

From out of nowhere came a loud shriek not unlike that of a Fell Beast but definitely unlike it enough for the purposes of copyright infringement. A larged winged beast-like creature not unlike a Fell Beast but quite dissimilar at the same time wheeled through the clouds and hovered overhead. Upon the back of the winged thing sat a sleek grey and white cat. I said CAT. Of the feline variety. As the CP and the rebels stared in confusion, the sound of a revving engine could clearly be heard and a loud screeching of tires announced the arrival of a sassy red Sunfire into the Olde Quarter. The lady frowned, darkly, like the gathering of a storm upon her porcelain brow.

"I've had quite enough of bad writing for one day," the cat announced in firm tones.

"I couldn't agree more," the car purred.

The cat delicately dug one claw into the side of the winged creature, causing it to wheel and scream anew. Those assembled below ducked for cover and as they did, the car sped forward and pulled abruptly into a 180 turn, her doors flinging open so hard-bound books could scatter over the crowd. The titles glinted under the streetlamps. The Raven. The Mask of the Red Death. Fahrenheit 451. Something Wicked This Way Comes. Dracula. Wuthering Heights. The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Silmarillion. The Turn of the Screw. As the books hit the ground, a sound like the somber chiming of a thousand church bells was heard.

"A reckoning," the cat intoned, winging overhead with a smug look.

"Time to go," the car growled.

The lady of black hair, white arms, and rose-red lips vanished with a scream and a plume of smoke. The Cliche Police straightened, drew deep breaths, and picked the books off the ground to brandish over the rebels. The rebels blanched and fled. And dawn broke. Not like anything. It just broke.

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

"Timmy's fine. He won't go down the well again. Nevermore."

And in Olde Quarter...

The cat sprang off the back of the winged creature and it disappeared into the greying night. Delicately licking one paw, the cat eyed the car.

"That was the worst story I've ever been in."

"I think she needs to leave our adventures to that bear to write," the car sniffed disdainfully.

"Agreed." The cat hopped into the driver's seat and the door swung shut. "Let's get out of here, fast. Head for The Woods and see if we can run into a better time there."

The End.

November 23, 2006

You know what they say about a picture's worth...

It's probably a good thing there's nobody around to fill the shoes left empty by the late, great, possibly stark-raving Hunter S. Thompson. But damn I miss his words.
There's been a lot of bitching at work lately. And I don't mean "a bitchin good time" either. I feel a bit dirty, as though all the dramas and whining are somehow tainting me. Look, it's okay not to like everyone you meet. And it's equally okay to not BE liked BY everyone you meet. It just isn't possible to please all of the people all of the time. But not liking somebody should still be handled with respect and a certain amount of grace. I try honesty. I would prefer that they know I don't particularly like them rather than be ingratiating and false. I attempt to be civil, to be brief but pleasant, and leave it at that. It's not an easy world and the high road is sometimes so far out of reach... but I try. I really do.

It's just that lately I feel I've been failing and the taint is sort of dragging me down. So I need your help, my pretty mortals! Come to the aid of my immortal soul. I want you to say one beautiful (TRUE) thing about somebody you don't like, then one beautiful thing about somebody you think may not like you, then one beautiful thing about yourself. You may change names if you like, to protect those who shouldn't be injured, but what you say needs to be heartfelt. Will you do this for me?

I'll start.

Andy* has a very creative disposition and is unfailingly polite to anybody who greets him.

Joan* strives to be very fair in her workplace decisions and isn't afraid to put in extra hours to make things run smoothly.

I love my friends deeply and enduringly, from afar and through silences - I never forget people.

Now it's your turn.

November 19, 2006

While the debate over X3 rages on, I am simply content that we all have individual opinions and are not afraid to express them to each other. No, I didn't like Brett Ratner's take on the X-Men but that hardly means everybody has to subscribe to my view. I'm glad Homie and Kimdianna liked it. I'm also glad Gotthammer didn't. I like getting everybody's opinions so I can chew on them and see all sides of an issue.

Why harp on this topic? Is the fate of the X-Men movie franchise really so important? No. But the fate of human cooperation and understanding in this world is. How can we expect to move forward with positive environmental changes, ceasefire in war-torn areas, or research into deadly diseases without open dialogue? We have to allow everybody to have an opinion and we have to allow everybody to express it. In the discussion that ensues, hopefully we all learn something and find a bit of common ground upon which to stand as we move forward.

Want something less abstract? Fine. How can we convince each other that we really are beautiful when all the media surrounding us tells us we aren't? Duckie over at In Flight is posing this same question and it bears asking. Media and society tell us we need whiter teeth, more expensive clothes, brighter hair color, a more toned ass, thinner arms, a new nose, bigger breasts... but we don't. And if we can't even listen to each other's opinions on a film, how can we accept each other's differences in person with real honesty?

You're not wrong for liking X3 and you're not wrong for hating it. It's enough for me that you watched it and formed an opinion. And likewise, you're beautiful. I don't have to see you to know it's true. If you have individual taste and expression, creative impulse, a desire to learn, the ability to laugh, or a ready ear for listening, you're beautiful. You're your own person and that's beautiful.