Saturday, November 3, 2012

Warren Zevon

This is a repost from 2010, republished in honor of @yoclutso, Twitter friend, par excellence, and to reestablish our Stupid People Campaign and DumbFuck Initiative.

The "Why the Warren Zevon Reference" Prize remains unclaimed.
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Earlier today, I was audacious enough to attempt both an explanation and demonstration of the manner in which my brain works when caught composing.  I confessed to keeping most everything I write, out of fear that the passage just created might prove to contain the pivotal point of a past or future doctoral thesis. 

[Did no one else snicker and search for the hidden camera when told the Tale of the Dissertation?  You know, that composition of a "substantial and original contribution to human knowledge"?]

Anyway, I spent a few minutes wandering among the blog drafts that have piled up on the new slate flooring in the newly refurbished Computer Turret. (You'd never guess there had been weeks of smoldering electical fire!) I had a moment of epiphany about the nature of piles and stacks... deciding that they are much easier to tolerate in rooms that have *corners* into which they can be tucked -- and by which they can be bordered. 

I also developed serious doubts about my non-linear compositional stratagems.  Take the draft that I am reproducing below.  '

It's kind a typical lighthearted essay on Manor Life -- typically circuitous, typically spun by its own peculiar internal logic.  François Premier, war, and woodworking, all neatly dovetailed with stories of my Twitter friend @yoclutso, and her Château Life -- plus the obligatory mention of Captain Haddock and his awesome Miniature Badminton Team.

That's "all good," as they say.

What I want to know is why the damned 10-month old draft is titled "Warren Zevon."  If, after giving this draft the attention it so deserves, you can explain the Warren Zevon reference, you win The Prize!

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We care passionately about many things here at Marlinspike Hall, deep, deep in the Tête de Hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs).

When we're not fightin' to maintain our right to freedom of expression against various retractors of liberty, we're tweetin a brand spankin' new utopia with sister collaborator, @yoclutso. We both have the dread CRPS, but more importantly, we've the will and the wherewithall to subvert our nasty realities. We've hit a rough patch these last few months. For instance, I broke my leg by running my power chair into the bedframe. Since she cannot abide comeuppance, @yoclutso decided to fall out of her attic.

That's right, she fell out of her attic.

I called "Foul!" immediately upon hearing this unlikely tale. I mean, knowing how her body feels -- as much as anyone can know such a thing -- then this aerial event begs the question: How the hell did she get into the attic to begin with?

I mean, I've not been able to visit many of the sight-worthy attractions of The Manor, much less haul my ass up the circular marble staircases and through the many spooky hidden doors and sliding, shiny polished-wood panels, covered in the most outrageous marqueterie -- most of which were created and installed by that long-nosed dilettante, François the First. Not many people know that he was a closet woodworker, escaping the demands of constant wit and sex with connected courtisanes by hours spent reconstructing near trompe-l'oeil perfect pictures of peacocks and pheasants, using tortoise shell, copper, and nacre, or mother-of-pearl.

In fact Marlinspike Hall and the surrounding region was home to the world's fifth largest Tortoise Troup until François decimated the poor things. Heartless, heartless. He even brought entire lines of ancient bivalves to an artificial end, that inveterate Marauder of Mollusks! One of the reasons The Captain maintains such pristine conditions in The Moat is because in its murky depths lie many of the archaelogical truths about François and his Marqueterie-driven Holocausts.

It's time that the world learned the truth. It wasn't just his lack of military prowess that caused François to fall captive to Charles V during one of his patented "Let's Take Over Italy" campaigns -- no, the denizens of The Manor turned him in.

That's right. Sold his ass to the Emperor in hopes of regaining the peace and quiet for which we are best known, and to which we believe we are entitled.

François called a siege down onto Marlinspike Hall, and so isolated the region of Tête de Hergé that the mind boggles thinking of how things might have developed had Francis not messed with the installed default settings.

No, I have NOT been tinkering nonstop with a new laptop. Whatever makes you think such a thought?

I will say this, though: Don't push buttons or pick options without having some understanding, at least, of how to unpush and unpick your pissant choices.

In particular, don't fall for the Ease of Access Centre's pesky offerings, in the hope of easing your access 'n all. Losing sight in one eye, and all clarity of vision in the other, is no excuse for mucking up Display Settings. It was as if the sun had exploded and against its incomparable white light, Microsoft was taunting me with wraiths of orange shadow.

Yeah, so.
François Premier, that guy!

With no thought to the Little People (the ancestors of our present day Miniature Badminton Team) caged with him during the passive onslaught, he depleted their stores, knocked up their women, devastated the local economy, and paved the way for Seven Years of Not Much -- a period so difficult that the Locals feel a certain superiority to the mambypamby Troubles of Northern Ireland. Bunch of sissy belly-achers.

It's a little known fact that Captain Haddock hides some stout Irishness in his genes. If you think about it -- indeed, if you just lend an ear -- you can hear the gaelic kiss the rocky soil of his rants. The parentage of the Miniature Badminton Team is suspect, too. Just yesterday, the taller of the two diminutive team captains -- twins! -- texted me from @yoclutso's castle:

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.

And Fred swears he heard this twin's shorter brother mutter a famous Irish curse in the general direction of The Referee Dwarf after a controversial call during a midnight intramural bout. Something about an itch and no nails.

Who knows if Tête de Hergé would have been in any way remarkable without the stodgy effect of isolation brought down upon it by that dilletante of a monarch -- maybe François did us all a favor by allowing the region to develop, separate, marinating in its own juices, building a complex flavor, un statut en soi, un passé et une histoire à part entière.

François 1er was constantly dicking around with Charles V and the Italians in the early years of his reign. In fact, he was on his way to recapture Italy (not his brightest idea) when he decided to pull guard and force this little region out of time into the lengthy blockade that either cemented or disrupted the development of its character. It was a war of attrition [mostly because The Manor's bricole -- a man-powered, medieval stone-throwing machine -- was down for repairs].

Taken prisoner at long last, Francis enjoyed his stay in the booted peninsula, from which he stole the best of the Renaissance -- the babes, the art, all the fine stuff. Even the artists themselves. Even the historiography of the artists themselves (the claims that Leonardo da vinci died here are as numerous throughout Europe as Washington slept here is throughout the American New England).

It is said that François' mother, Louise of Savoie, nursed him on the legends of Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. [I assume I was going to flesh out this startling claim... but from the distance of many months, I've no idea what I am trying to establish...]

Like I said in the beginning, @yoclutso and I have some limitations due to disability, which is why I was amazed that she was in a position to fall out of her attic in the first place.  Not being able to go where I would like to go, and where I am actually sometimes even needed, I have developed an intense attention to the details of where I am forced to be.

Why, until The Captain's Nephew gifted me with a Cruelly Yellow Hummer Power Chair, Limited Expedition Force Edition, I had never seen the Bodacious Back Forty where we do most of our experimental animal husbandry!

Oops, I probably shouldn't mention that.

Anyway {whistling::dixie} -- @yoclutso and I have launched two interstellar (also neighborhood, regional, and national) movements: The StupidPeople Campaign and The DumbFuck Initiative.

Yes, there is considerable overlap.

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