It was a strange and dorky night
08/25/2008, 8:01 AM #
BOTF: Bulwer-Lytton On The Fray
In which the author expounds on his inspiration
This post is dedicated to Arch, who reminded me about Bulwer-Lytton, although it's not like I had actually forgotten about it, because after all, I've certainly followed it in years past and there's usually a blurb in one of the news sites I read whenever the winners are chosen, even though it's not really news on the order of, say, Obama's running mate or oil prices dropping, and I almost certainly would have returned, swallow-like, to that Capistrano of the written word, but to be fair it wasn't exactly on my mind very much until he mentioned it either.
The Meat of the Matter
In which the author exposes his intent
Its head bobbing from side-to-side to improve depth perception by providing multiple distinct points of view to its primitive brain, a brain nonetheless more advanced than the brains of most of its contemporaries as is often the case with creatures that have made game-changing adaptive leaps like our "more feathery than leathery" protagonist, Archaeopteryx eyed the grub with the mixed expression of disgust and disdain that it reserved for those Darwin-challenged blunderers that predictably scamper right when they should veer left and pinned it to the ground, like a modern-day entomologist mounting a particularly fine specimen of eisenia foetida, with its beak-like snout.
"You won't get where you need to be that way, moron," yelled Jack at the "Obama in '08"-plastered green Prius that cut him off turning left from the center lane of the old DFW turnpike accessor as he was driving down to the "Smarter by Design" daycare to pick up his grandkids who, come to think of it, each had more sense in their right pinky than the most "well-educated" liberal democrat with his America-hating ways had in his entire body.
"Look what we have here," thought Dawn as she adjusted her black teddy -- the one that chafed her even as it gave her a killer figure -- and sharpened the filleting knife with the scrotum-shrinking intensity of the "Abandon Ship" klaxon that left the S.S. Michigan Sea unmanned during a nasty November squall, "a patron of the tarts caught without his posse and with his hatred of women showing...".
Ignored by the ignorant and obviously oblivious bystanders standing by, the three men from Nairobi "high-fived" one another over their latest accomplishment, secure in the absolute knowledge that their command of circa-1950s entertainment trivia and tertiary protein substructures whose underlying primary structures display little or no sequence homology, not to mention higher mathematics and poetry, made them stand out from the hoi polloi.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents -- except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a cold gust of wind which swept in from the bay (for it is in Baltimore that our scene lies), lowering the mean temperature of the day, and definitively putting paid to the myth that the earth is really getting warmer every year.
The colorful and controversial prophet perching proudly on the soapbox looked for all the world like an ancient Greek philosopher (or perhaps a rhetorician or astronomer, or maybe even a librarian or poet) as he railed against the willful stupidity of the oblivious and apathetic masses who, despite their aforementioned stupidity, are nevertheless ideal sermon targets, but who ultimately couldn't see the Mossad conspirators lurking behind the Bushes.
Nancy glanced nervously around the House chamber wondering if people had forgotten about the poetry reading today, even though it was Thursday and the poetry reading was every Thursday, even accounting for those occasions it was also on Saturday, wondering whether she should go call someone to make sure they were coming, and fervently praying there would be no repeat of the time she put everybody to sleep while reading poetry penned under one of her noms de plume, assuming anybody showed up of course.
Laurie sipped her Kool-Aid and pondered the latest personal affront perpetrated by her arch-nemesis (well, not her archest of arch-nemeses but rather her arch-nemesis du jour), wondering not for the first time whether this particular arch-nemesis could be really real or perhaps a clever automaton created by her archest of arch-nemeses for the purpose of getting her goat even though she couldn't really remember the last time her goat was really gotten, but none of that was really important now as she watched her cursor circling ever closer to the submit button and wondered: would she finally throw propriety and caution to the winds and click it this time?
The orator's words rang forth with the clarity of a bell, and also, perhaps not so positively, the prolonged sustain of an undamped bell, one nestled in a little enclosed valley where sound waves are easily reflected and focused back on their listener for a tonal experience that goes on an on for just a smidge too long, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because, after all, just have a gander at this sentence for God's sake.
An unheralded scion of Zeus, agog, descended from the summit of Olympus to challenge the cleverness of the evanescent disciples of the gods dwelling in the bosom of Gaia, and though these ephemera, upon excogitation, were renowned for their vexatiousness -- witness the nettlesome and hubristic Sisyphus, who rendered mortals immortal for a time, a dire affront to his Olympian brethren, or the bathycolpian wanton who seduced his sire and bore his half-siblings -- this innominate brother to Ares and Athena, to Apollo and Artemis, resolved to forge an equitable tournament, but neglected to consider the capricious and covetous nature of his kind, and so despite herculean (perhaps even sisyphean) effort became suffused with nepenthean denial, and triumphed with supernal ease.
Who nose what sick scents first caused the duke to notice the pungent odor -- call it pure instinct -- but really this particular aroma was quite a smelly feat, achieving a high rank of funk per fume, and though he nosed about searching from whence the bouquet arose (perhaps it was the rhino's pen at the zoo, or maybe the ol' factory), his failure to sniff it out leaves me with this nascent thought: though I tried hard to elicit at least a fray grunt, chances are no pun in ten did... just my two scents.
"Move your ass, Sancho," Ellen bellowed as she strapped on her greaves and tightened her gorget, wondering what unbeatable foes the new day would bring, like those guys in that one cabal of bullies that always picked on the poor and downtrodden, the huddled masses yearning to post freely, or that other clique that liked to pile on hapless underdogs who made the mistake of displaying even the slightest sign of weakness, finally stopping to watch herself in the mirror as she drew her sword and voiced her battle cry: "can't we all just get along?"
Irked by the mind-numbing uniformity of his supplicants' latest offerings, and seized by a fit of pique, the supreme monarch (well, perhaps supreme is too strong a word, especially given the rather backwater nature of the realm), intent upon stirring things up a bit, commented on the dearth of quality entertainment and thought to himself, for the umpteenth time, "I gots to get me some new subjects!"
Her biting humor had even more of an edge to it than usual these days as she nursed the unexpected wounds suffered at the hands of her erstwhile allies, friendly fire if you will, though when these friends showed their true colors she saw red, which in turn made her more blue, I mean, who does that to one of their own?
"Equality before the law," concluded the speaker, slapping the podium to punctuate the final point in this, her latest denunciation of the arbitrary rule of tyrants, and leaning back to observe the reaction in the people assembled there, who, by the depth and quality of their attention and their ensuing enthusiastic applause, acknowledged her the fairest of them all.
Reading the fact- and logic-challenged screed before him, Dave couldn't suppress the grin that spread across his face as he began typing out his response, marveling how frequently these idiots flew onto his radar screen (it wasn't like he went looking for them, they just kept falling in his lap [well, OK, maybe he looked for them a little because, really, it's must-watch TV]), and mixing his metaphors in his excitement.
"I... I don't..." [runs upstairs, lips quivering with emotion, bosom heaving with passion over the author's use of the word "bathycolpian" because, really, that's a hell of a word if you think about the etymology of it, and the tragedy represented by perfectly good words disappearing from the language for lack of use, and throws herself on the bed, sobbing]
"My search for clarity and understanding is an ongoing one, much like the long journey through renaissance, science, and industry that characterizes our species' continuing struggle for enlightenment, because really success is just that part of the Venn diagram where the problem space overlaps the solution space; the trick is to frame both in such a way that you can even draw a circle around them, something we humans continue to aspire to no matter how many times we may have fallen short", Keith wrote.