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Hyperion September 17, 2003
the Hyperion Chronicles
“Proudly hating the Irish since Nineteen-Ought-Three”

#154 Potpourri, Volume XX

Impending disaster among us
Friends, I come to you today with a heavy heart. This week, great tragedy is visiting the North American continent. It’s the worst disaster in years, and authorities don’t know how many will survive. I am, of course, talking about Ben and Jennifer: the Breakup.

It seems like it was only yesterday, or possibly a few weeks ago, that these two got together. The entire nation shared in their love, as they became the symbol for the hopes and dreams of millions.

They were supposed to get married last weekend, but the Evil Media wouldn’t leave these poor people alone (I mean, really! It’s not like they ever wanted anything but to be private people), and the wedding was postponed.

Now comes word that the expectations of the world might be too much, and they are broken up (for more, go here). All I can say is that this does not bode well for the world. I mean, if these two can’t make it work, what chance do any of the rest of us have? None, I say. None.

Oh, and some chick named Isabel is supposed to start terrorizing the East Coast, so watch out for her, and try not to make any jokes about her retaining water.

Chillin’ up in the Great White North
Life continues up here in Canada. Yesterday I woke up to find six inches of snow on the back deck. They’d been talking about how this was the hottest summer on record up here, but I guess that changed. I suppose this means I have the next 5-10 months to look forward to snow.

But as long as I don’t get invited to any weddings, I’m sure I’ll be okay.

I actually had quite an adventure last weekend, when I went down to America to buy candy bars. Being me, many strange things happened. I’ve been debating whether to tell the story here in the Chronicles, but haven’t quite made up my mind. Tell you what: I get 15 new Readers this week, and I’ll tell the story. How’s that for incentive?

More chance for feedback
I appreciate the response to my Mail Bag column last week. Apparently quite a few of you were upset I missed your question(s), so look for a follow-up soon.

I also have received quite a few suggestions that I do another series, like the movie one, but this time on music or television. They wouldn’t be as long, but would again call for Reader opinions. To be honest, the movie columns gained the most Reader responses we’ve ever had, but they are awfully difficult to write, so I’m not going to do it unless there is public desire. So, if you’d like to see a (short) series on music, television, or anything else much like the movie one, write and let me know

Mail Bag
I also appreciate all the feedback for #152 Apples of Gold. Response was generally positive, although there were a few shots across the bow. (One Reader actually compared me to Al Franken. Ouch.) I did receive a letter, though, from a Reader in British Columbia, who explains that there are books out there for those of you who hate the Apples of Gold motif. Her suggestion was Chicken Poop for the Soul. Quite the page-turner. (Check it out here.)

Are you a closet Kabbalist and don’t know it?
Our next item is about Hollywood’s new “it” religion: Kabbalah. Celebrities have a long proud tradition of following whatever trend is hot, and right now, Kabbalah is it. Spearheaded mostly by Madonna, Kabbalah is sweeping the ranks of the Glitterati, espousing taking control of your own life, and responsibility for your actions. Sounds great, right? Well, there’s more. An offshoot of Jewish Mysticism, adherents to Kabbalah fear more than anything The Evil Eye. Fortunately, there is something you can do to fight this malevolent presence: wear a piece of red string. Folks, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. (For more, go here.) And to be fair, if anyone has anything good to say about Kabbalah, by all means write and tell me, and I’ll include that too. But don’t worry about me: I already have a big ball of string.

Another one bites the dust
Have you seen the preview for the new movie, Secondhand Lions? It stars two respected actors, Robert Duval and Michael Caine, who are visited on a farm by Haley Joel Osment (the kid from The 6th Sense). Here’s where the problem come in. In the previews Osment no longer sounds like the little kid we all fell in love with from 6th Sense. Instead he sounds like a gawky teenager. He still looks about 10 (albeit, a tall 10), but that voice! I looked him up, and was shocked to find out Osment is 15!

I wish him all the best, but I can’t help but think of another kid we all used to love: Macaulay Culkin. I watched Uncle Buck the other day, and was reminded how brilliant young Culkin was. And who can forget Home Alone? One of the best Christmas movies ever (although remind me sometime to tell you my John Hughes theory).

Anyway, we all know that with puberty, money, and all that Culkin became a virtual recluse for years, and it’s too bad. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen to young Osment too.

Cool knowledge of the week
I ran across this great term in a book I wanted to tell you about: Ultima Thule. The phrase is Latin, and literally means the end of the Earth. Depending on what version you believe, Thule was either the capital of Greenland or a mystical land north of Britain. Either way, the Greeks or the Romans considered it the farthest away one could get.

More colloquially, though, the term means the utmost in adventure, the most “out there,” the highest and best that can be conceived and achieved. I tell you the truth: I’d make Ultima Thule my official motto if I didn’t have so much fun coming up with new ones each week.

Finally: I was talking to my friend Bear last night, and I mentioned a Reader I knew who was new to area he just moved to. Bear was interested, but skeptical, and asked how old she was. I asked him, “If you found the love of your life, would it matter how old she was?”

Bear thinks about this for a minute, and then says, “If she’s the love of my life, so be it. I mean; there are a lot of hot 40-year old women out there. But I really can’t imagine a senior citizen being attracted to a college student who spends 80% of his free time playing video games.”

Unless she’s also a ninja.

That’s life in the Monkey Barn,

September 17, 2003

Thanks to Moondoggie
Good luck to Bennifer
Thanks to Bear

Motto Explanation
Notre Dame (the Fighting Irish) didn’t cover the spread last Saturday against Michigan, which cost me two X-girlfriends and child to be named later


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