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Hyperion March 7, 2004

the Hyperion Chronicles
”I fear not the rodents of unusual diminution”

#286 THIS is Courage

“This is courage in a man; to bear unflinchingly what heaven sends.”

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. That's why there's us. Champions. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be”
-Steven S. DeKnight

Prologue #1: Excerpt from Hyperion’s Last Will and Testament

I, Hyperion T.1 Conqueror, being of sound mind (well, technically that’s debatable, but my lawyers assure me this is standard practice) and breathtaking body (when I run up the stairs I often have to stop to take a few breaths) do knowingly commit my last Will and Testament. I do this with the understanding that what I am about to reveal will in all probability put me in extreme jeopardy (and not the jeopardy where Alex Trabek tries to impress everyone by pretending he knows the answers to all the hard French questions and isn’t merely reading off the cue cards, but the kind of jeopardy that happened to Salmon Rushdie, when he wrote The Satanic Verses and the Shah of Iran issued a fiat that said it was okay to kill him and Rushdie had to hide out in England eating British food and if eating British food’s not extreme jeopardy, I don’t know what is).

To my only surviving brother, Achmed, I bequeath everything except what is specifically named. I would also request that you come up here and remove certain things from my hard drive which might prove difficult to explain before a federal grand jury. Come to think of it, you’d better just erase the entire hard drive.

To my oldest sister, I leave all my movies. I’m glad I taught you good taste in films, for the most part, except for your bizarre obsession with Ben Stiller, which I attribute to E.R.C. (estrogen-related craziness).

To my youngest sister, I leave all my music, because Lord knows you need better CDs than that crap you listen to now.

To the Hyperion Institute, I charge you with carrying on my work. Don’t stop fighting the good fight, keep the dream alive, and if possible, cryogenically freeze me and then get working on a cure for whatever it was that killed me. In the meantime, I expect an 88 foot statue on the Hyperion Institute grounds, made out of gold, or possibly balsa wood.

To all the women I’ve ever loved, I leave a stuffed animal apiece. I have over 400 stuffed animals, so that should just work out. First come first served.

Prologue #2: Aristotle

The story is told—whether true or not I cannot say—of a Philosophy class long ago at an unnamed liberal arts college somewhere on the Eastern Seaboard. The class was studying the Greeks, specifically Aristotle and his treatise the Nicomachean Ethics. The final exam was to count for the entire grade, and the professor told them to be prepared to answer anything Aristotle had written on.

The day of the test the students filed in nervously with their blue examination books, exhausted and wired; a combination uniquely found with not enough sleep, and too much coffee. The professor entered the room at the appointed time, nodded to the class, walked silently to the chalk board, and wrote, “FINAL EXAM: WHAT IS COURAGE?”

For the next two hours the students wrote feverishly, filling the pages of the Blue Book with Aristotle’s examples of battlefield courage; what it meant to stand up and face the enemy. Most tried with varying degrees of success to relate the world of Aristotle to modern day, equating those who marched for civil rights in the ‘60s, or the astronauts who first walked on the moon.

All except one person. While everyone one else was scribbling furiously, one student took a deep breath, walked up to the front, handed in his Blue Book examination, and walked out.

When the grades came back it was noted that the student who walked out had received the highest mark, and as was the custom, his term paper was posted for all to read. His final examination—the one which scored the highest—contained but a single sentence. It read, “THIS is courage.”

Last week I announced my intention to run for the presidency of the United States. I did this not out of any personal hunger for power or domination, but rather a selfless and altruistic desire to make this world a better place. I realized when I announced that there would be obstacles, most of which I answered in that piece. There is, though, one obstacle I can at present do nothing about. Revealing it here today will no doubt put me in peril. However, a major part of my appeal is that I am unafraid to say what I think. This means I will not always say the popular thing. It also means I may make powerful enemies. But what must be done must be done. I have never considered myself a courageous person, merely a vessel which courage pours through. THIS, then, is courage:

Last year, in my Pulitzer-nominated column The Thermos Theory (#110) I first broached the subject of a power, an all-encompassing presence that rules the world. Writing even this much has cost me dearly, as I sincerely believe that last year’s attack on my computer was a direct result of my actions. I also believe the theft of my lap top in 2001, the death of my brother Gumpy, and possibly El Niño (all things which affected me adversely, although in the case of El Niño, the hardship was mostly because I had to hear about it on the news every day) came from this same source.

Some may scoff, but in your hearts, you already know what I’m talking about. Every time you choose a line at the bank only to have the other line ALWAYS be shorter, you suspect there is someone pulling the strings. When you are pulled into meetings at work that nobody seems to know the reason for, you wonder who is calling the shots. The very fact that people continue to go to Adam Sandler movies makes you think he must be protected from on high.

Friends, I am here to tell you all of this and more is true. But it’s not who you think. It’s not the great and powerful Oz pushing buttons behind the curtain. It’s not the Free Masons, Stone Masons, or even the Stone Cutters. It’s not the Illuminati, the Tri-Lateral Commission, or the Council on Foreign Relations. It is not even (and I admit at times in the past even I thought this) the ninja who rule this world (though they do have dominion over everything totally sweet2). The power that rules this world is far worse than that.

I speak of (or more accurately, write of), the whispered about, often imitated, never duplicated, hide-your-women-and-red-headed-step-children-scary, the one, the only, Magic Pygmy Rabbits.

Over the next few weeks I’m going detail my vision for the world, so that we can, “live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.” Part of that means revealing to you the truth about the way the world really works, and who really runs things. I know it is difficult to hear these things, but we must if we are to push on and create a better place for you and me (Sha na na na na na na na na). The Magic Pygmy Rabbits do run the world, and we will face that fact together and no longer run and hide.

They’re here. They’re hare. Get used to them.

March 7, 2004

1 “The”


Thanks to Tootsie
Thanks to Bear

Motto Explanation
Two sources: 1) the motto is a take off of a line in The Princess Bride. 2) Rabbits are rodents and diminution means small, as in pygmy.


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