The Unswung Bat

Saturday, October 21, 2006
Adama's Mustache
March–October, 2006
Rest in Peace

Is anything ever harder than seeing someone close to us move on? It's sure to feel unfair. We think it didn't need to happen, not to them.

I've never used the word fan-service before. It's an idea that under the best circumstances wouldn't have a name, or be a phenomenon people would recognize. A story gains a following, fans start to feel personally connected to it, and in short order they believe they're entitled to a voting stake.

But give it to them, put the snowflake that is that story in their hands, and they will melt it, smother it in their sweaty palms. No, true service to the fans is denying them that contact, proving to them that you run the show, and until you say otherwise, anything can happen, so they'd better hold their breath and cross their fingers.

Adama's mustache caused a lot of talk. Some said it was the mark of a true leader. Others called it his "porn mustache" and suggested that synth pop music play in the background whenever it was on screen. Still others predicted that Adama's mustache was actually an evil cylon that only he could see. Like all great mustaches, though, Adama's paid no mind to any of that talk, but stuck to what it did best: sending a big up-yours to any and all who thought they knew better.

It was just a detail, a thick-stroke dash, but it was central. Animating. Transmutational. It was the plutonium slug at the heart of the thermonuclear reactor. It was a flag defying the barbarians at the gates. It was civilization and nihilism, creation and obliteration. Hoban Washburne wore a mustache like that, just to say that no one alive could take it away from him. Show me Mark Twain with a naked lip and I will show you a man playing by their rules.

Tonight saw the costly liberation of New Caprica, and humanity's narrow escape from the jaws of its persecutors. It also tied off all the loose ends that'd been gnawing at fans. Starbuck's baby isn't actually her baby. She didn't eventually fall in love with her cylon captor after all. Baltar and #6 finally met their baby-of-sorts. Apollo will presumably lose all that weight. That nasty Pegasus cleared itself out of the way in spectacular fashion — after all, if the show were about the Pegasus, it'd be called BSP. They even finally killed Ellen Tigh, although not by pushing her out of an airlock as I'd always been hoping.

All was set right. But at what cost?

They say you died an honorable death. But we have not heard the last of you. You live on in us. Godspeed, old friend. So say we all.

Monday, October 16, 2006
A Mind Like That

I need to get my hands on yesterday's Sunday Globe, to see for myself the banner headline "Kim Jong-Il: Crazy or Crazy Like A Fox?"

Yesterday was my first night as Copy Editor for the Varsity. Basically, it was awesome. The work was fun, everyone there was into -- hell, obsessed with -- honest-to-god print culture, peripheral at best in the rest of the places I spend my time. And I like that obsession. The work was fun, I'll be on the masthead, and I can point to any page of The Varsity and say I helped do that. Also, there was pizza. For those who are counting, that's three points out of a possible four.

The fourth point is for psychic powers, lightsabers, miracles, achieving enlightenment, or robots. So three is still very good.

The catch is that work started late afternoon and went on for 9 hours. So I got home at 2 a.m., and now I'm tired and seething with the deadly rage, always so closely underlying my cool millionaire-playboy facade, that takes over when my carefully cultivated restraint starts to waver. Tired, angry I am, and a little insulted over a religious matter involving a Brahmin, an endangered tiger, 47 lbs of cinnamon and a potato blight. I may respond with passive resistance. I may just go my own way. He assumed too much. I just knew too much.

Does that make me crazy? Like a fox.

Actual writing to follow when I can, you know, string words together to make sentences that develop and convey ideas . . . since you're all so into that sort of thing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
All Day and All Night

Walking home: If my life were a day, what time is it? Let's say I'll live to be exactly 80 years old. Average, I hear. Not too long, but not too short. I eat alright, I exercise, we'll see. Say the day begins at first light, at 4 a.m. 'cause it's that time of year. It goes till 4 a.m. the next day -- infer what you will.

So when I turned twenty, a quarter of the day was done, or six hours. Two more years is a tenth of that again, or 36 minutes, and six months is a quarter of that, or 9 more minutes, for a total elapsed time of 6 h, 45 m. It's 10:45 am, and time for a shot of coffee and a run. Shit, there's stuff I was supposed to have done by now.


Zivy flopped, sweating and stunned, onto the cement block in front of her apartment, blinking the stars out of her eyes. Detroit was gray-tinged and huddled into mutually invisible neighborhoods, colder and smaller than she'd imagined, though the former was presently a welcome surprise. She'd have to get around more. She clenched and unfolded her fists to squeeze blood back through her white fingers. That was from carrying her piano upstairs. Seventy solid kilos in a hard, clunky box. Then she'd sprinted downstairs to make sure her other stuff was still there.

Would've loved to know somebody local, she thought. Or waited till christmas break and dragged a friend down to help. Oh well. Two suitcases left. She tried them both at once, grunted, and started the climb.

Later, leaning against the shut door with baggage at her feet, she surveyed the apartment. All at once, it was hers, instead of some speculative space she may or may not decide to pay for. Possessions secured and survival probable, she began to think about familiarizing the place to her.

Items to obtain: an aquarium with some species of fish that won't die. The thought broke from nowhere -- she'd never had a fish, didn't know how to keep one. She wanted one, though. Maybe start with a goldfish and see how that goes.

Monday, October 02, 2006
Dispatches from the Secret Cat/Human Samurai Wars
There is no cat word for "mercy."

Toronto, Oct. 3, 2006 -- I just threw an apple at the moon. I did not see or hear it land, but I believe I missed. I also discovered the one good way to meet a cat: in the middle of the night (give or take 5 minutes or so), on the pavement, solitarily. The feline and I met as generals meet on the field of battle, and though soft was his fur, great was his honor. One day perhaps, in gentler times, my descendants and his will live side-by-side, in peace. Yet tonight, as moonlight sanctifies the fallen cherry-blossoms around us, he and I know neither would hesitate to put the other to the sword.

I hope the cat was not radioactive. Of the two cats I know, one is currently radioactive. I understand that if it bites you, you turn into the Incredible Catman. Let the human nations tremble.

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