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Giving the Devil his Due

Looking upon the pearly face of Twitter today I found a trending topic- #thingsthedevilinvented.

Glancing among the humourous comments such as ‘the internet’, I found my first thought being ‘freedom’. So, darnits, let’s give the Devil his due and take a look at his gift to mankind (before he started getting all nasty about it).

Cast your mind back to le jardin originale, the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve are chilling out, naked as the day they were brutally hewn out of soil/ribs respectively, infused with the spark and life and left to meander around. God says that his garden is all yours, so long as you don’t eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. Sweet deal- do what God says, don’t ask questions, don’t seek knowledge. In other words, forget about free will and choosing your own destiny, just accept the provided enclosure like a good doggie. Along comes the serpent. Skipping over the logical conclusion that God must have made the serpent- her certainly gave him his current ‘armless body (upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life)- the slippery one sets about tempting Eve to take the apple of knowledge.

Stop right there, pal. Remember that the bible was written by men, and edited by men, for a thousand years. All the woman’s fault, is it? Disobeyed God to blunder into the Devil’s trap, did she?  Take your allegory and shove it up your ass, and have a go on mine. Eve, having more hidden depths than her male counterpart as women often do, was daring enough to take the advice of Satan (meaning the Enemy- not the Evil one, just the Enemy). She risked everything in order to discover knowledge and power that would liberate her and Adam from God’s playpen. Sure, they got chucked out into the cold, but they also got free will.

Cheers, the Devil!

Gist Off!

Hola amigos, merry thursday.

Today’s blog post is just a little commentary on a new item that caught my eye today. It was going to be a short smorgasboard of such gisted news items, but I’m short on time and mind effort. So, just one category this time:

Enterbrainment news: Teh Reutzors succinctly reported that an advert by Yves St Laurent was banned up by UK watchferret ‘ASA’. No less than thirteen viewers complained about the TV commercial for a perfume called ‘Belle D’Opium’. The outrage blister was filled by overt references to the perfume being druggy. The advert ‘shows a woman dancing to a drum beat before pointing to her inner elbow and running her finger along the inside of her forearm.’

The inner forearm, Heroin users will confess, is a common site for injection; a kind of smack chakra.

Then she lies on the floor and the voice over says “I am your addiction”, the kind of subtle ejaculation we have come to expect from advertising that sells expensive smells with a false air of glamour to the average peasant on the street. YSL said the name was about the women who wear the stank being addictive, not a reference to drugs being fun. The Advertising Standards Authority were not soothed, insisting that viewers could misinterperet the acts on the shortened TV ad ‘ as the effects of drug use rather than an expression of femininity and bewitchment.’ Dirty.

Personally I see nothing to complain about. I quite like the sound of the advert. It’s not like they showed her injecting the perfume into her vein and then twitching on the floor, rolling her eyes and evacuating her bowels in an overdose cockup.



Planning to Fail Part 3

Goood afternoon. RIP Tony Curtis; he was a funny funny man.

A fine day here; stark wintery sun over a cold, fresh sky. Love it. The search continues for illustrators for Sleepwalkers but at the moment my main concern is the second draft which is taking a long time to finish. Life gets in the way. Oh also a quick hello to the returns of Sons of Anarcy, Stargate Universe and Fringe. SG:U is a show I that I like despite my complaints- if it wasn’t part of the Stargate franchise it would stand alone very well. It’s just a little too much divorced from the originals. Don’t get me wrong I like gritty adult sci fi, but they’ve ended up landlocked somewhere between the good points of Stargate and the good points of Battlestar. We will see if season 2 brings a new vibe. SoA is still going strong, enjoying it, amusing and dramatic and all the rest. Fringe is the same, still interesting. The overarcing plot episodes far outstrip the regular investigatory ones though.

Oh yes, my apocalypse plan. I left off last time with a plan for the first 24 hours. After that point I should have a shelter and basic equipment and have gathered some loved ones if I’m very lucky. Next comes the aftermath.

Post Apocalypse

The world will be utterly different very quickly. Despite all our nice ethics and civilised ideals, when survival becomes paramount, most people will degenerate fast. I think people would be surprised by how fast everyone adapts. In any case, now it’s time to consider allies and enemies very carefully. First things first- can I survive on my own? I think so indeed but it would be better to secure a group for safety and mutual benefit.

  • Friends and contacts. I need to make a secret list of the people who I will consider recruiting/joining. Every person and every journey is a risk so this must be considered carefully. Do my friends have key skills that will come in handy in the new world? I can think of one or two who can start cars and hunt and whatnot, so they have priority. I also have friends and family with countryside houses- that’s certainly worth a thought. Arm the companions I can trust.
  • Meeting strangers. Okay, in the new world, everyone must be treated with suspicion. Co-operation is great but never let strangers see weakness or take the advantage. Give aid to injured people only if it can be spared and the area is totally secure- otherwise, forget about it. Personally I would avoid using traps and tricks or trying to take supplies from other survivors by using force; as a rule, it’s not worth the hassle. Sadly, desperate times may call for desperate measures.

That leads onto the subject of gangs. Avoiding the cities and main roads would be wise where possible. There will likely be a police or military presence, never mind organised crime. All the organisations existing today that have infrastructure, tools and training will survive a mid-sized apocalypse in some shape or form. However, it would be a mistake to assume that police or military will be friendly to all survivors, be they acting on the orders of a remnant government or not.

  • Contact other groups carefully. Ambassadors can be captured and then may give away information. Always have a second group or agent monitoring meetings, ready to act if the other wise tries something clever, even if its just to live to tell the tale.
  • A safehouse, preferably in the countryside, that can be well defended. Barracade if necessary and build up a motor pool of stolen vehicles.
  • Food and water are still paramount. A source of both is always preferable to foraging; livestock for example. Always consider contamination risk though.
  • The future. Establish order. If surviving alone that’s easy- if with a group, got to be useful and stay on top as much as possible. If in a position to order others, consider types of command. Democracy certainly nice but not always viable. Extremes never good in the long term; middle ground has longevity, please as many as possible. Watch for dissenters and popular people and appease them where possible to do so with subtlety.
  • Building. Raid libraries; books on how to make electricity, clean water and so on are invaluable.
  • The next generation… well, that will sort itself out.

So, the gist of the plan is now nailed down. I hope it brought some vague entertainment. If everything does go to hell and I somehow survive, feel free to come over and ask me which point of the plan I’m at. I will probably vomit and wave a knife at you, crazy-eyed.

I think I should probably be planning for a more likely future. Careers and whatnot. Far more boring!

Peace, Bret.