Friday, August 29, 2008

Seraph's Questionable Take on World Events

Okay okay - so this hardly current in terms of events, but I've been mulling this over in my mind for a week or so and I wanted to get your take on this. Now, I'm hardly the most clued up on on the political scene of Europe or anything - but certain events there made me think of the computer game 'Civilization'.

Stay with me here.

Right - so when you're playing Civilization on easy ( and I hardly ever play on any other difficulty setting. I like to win ) and you're in the mid to end game zone, a peculiar thing often happens. You'll be advancing nicely, science and research are reaping healthy rewards. You've made many impressive monuments. The Church of Seraph-is-a-Groovy-Cat has throngs of worshippers and generally things are, y'know, quite peaceful.

And then you get an ambassador from some back-water nation demanding an audience. You graciously usher him into your palace to hear what he has to say.

"Hey!" he says "You have stuff we want ! Oil and gemstones and lumber and such ! Here is a stupidly unfair trading deal ! Give us heaps of your great stuff for our world-map !".

"But, o-honorable delegate from Retardostan" you patiently explain "We have already mapped the entire world. Whereas you have gone only twenty meters from your coast-line. I think I shall have to decline your offer, with the utmost respect to you and your proud ( if somewhat pig-headed ) people."

"Mwargh !" the ambassador shrieks "You suck ! Your country sucks ! We hate you now ! Give us twenty million euros or there'll be TROUBLE !!!!".

"I have no desire for war ! But I will NOT be giving you ANY Euros. Please leave now - and AS you return to Retardostan, you may wish to note the way the fusion-missile silo's the boys at the lab have knocked together in the last 10 years blend in cunningly with the natural beauty of Seraphi..."

The ambassador leaves, pausing only to hurl abuse at your bodyguards, shout something about 'diplomatic immunity' and 'oppressive yolk' and 'you'll be sorry'.

Later that month the glorious Crimson Legion of the proud nation of Retardostan - resplendent in their shining bronze armour, shaking their flintlock muskets above their visored heads, cross the mountain range separating your country from theirs on their trusty yak mounts. They throw themselves at the city walls of one of your weaker border cities singing their war-song "Death to the enemies of Retardostan - There will never be consequences for our actions !" in the full-throated manner so steeped in their rich military tradition.

The ECM Death-Commandos ( skull and crossed bones division ) on garrison duty there, armed with state of the art pulse-rifles, and aided by a few trusty marauder-class attack helicopters, easily hold off the attack - reducing the entire Glorious Crimson Legion to a finely textured squishy pulp.

Within a day your superior rail system has delivered ten units of stealth-tanks ( plus a few of the atomic powered mechs those boffins down in the labs suddenly got a whole lot of money to finish ) to the front lines.

Within three days you have crushed their pitiful armed forces and their border towns lie in ruin. The barded yak-steeds of the Retardostan army are simply no match for your gigantic robot and tank blitzkrieg.

Town by town, city by city - Retardostan begins to fall.

An emissary is sent to have talks with you.

"Hey you blood-thirsty monster ! You suck ! We hate you ! Even more ! But we're sick of having our arse handed to us by giant atomic robots !"

"Hey ! You freaking started this ! You attacked us ! We had a treaty and non-aggression pact ! What the hell ?" you state.

"But that was when we thought we'd win ! It's not fair that we're losing ! You suck so much for winning ! Bllleeerrrghhh !".

"Very well - I'll give you peace, but you'll hand over these three cities as a sign of good faith."

"WAAAAARRRGHHHHHH ! You unbelievable prick !! That's SO UNFAIR !!!! Gosh - how we HATE you !!"

"Look - it's up to you. Either you give me those cities, or I take over your entire country, you flipping dick-head !" you respond.

"Grumble grumble ... mutter mutter hate you mutter ... grumble alright ..."

"What was that? Did you just agree to have peace ? Did you ?"

"Grumle grumble ... YES .... ( gods we so totally hate you we hate you so much ! We hate you a whole DUMP-TRUCK full of hate ... hate you Seraphi ... think you're so cool with your running water and trousers ... )"

And so you have peace ( until Retardostan inexplicably attacks you again out of the blue and their memory is purged from the history books forever ).

That seems to happen all the time in Civ.

Now - is it JUST me, or did something not too dissimilar to that happen in real life recently ?

Like I said - NO understanding of Eastern Europe political situations. Just putting it out there.

* And big thanks to Jenni for telling me how a bunch of people of the State of Georgia in the US of A were wondering where all the Russian tanks were. I laughed and laughed.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A new low

So, I was running a warm-up exercise with my Y12 drama class this morning - and managed, in an exuberant show of energy, to punch myself right in the eye.

My students thought that was suitably hilarious.

It freaking hurt.

I blame Monday morning.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Things I have learnt about parenting #2

I never could have imagined how joyful a thing it is.

If you've known me for any length of time before becoming a parent, you'd know that I'd never been fond of babies. To be fair - I actively disliked / feared them. They were bewildering things which would decalcify your spine with their screams and expel vile matter on you from any number of orifices ( often simultaneously ! ).

During Viv's pregnancy I had pretty much steeled myself for a long, hard, grueling haul of care afterwards - and when the child was a couple of years old, THEN it would be a happy time.

I really didn't expect to be so attached to Angelo as quickly as I was ( instead of years - it was hours ). I had once ( internally ) scoffed at the talk of 'how amazing' a smile was from a baby. Now I know better.

It is hard at times ( it's awful when he cries and cries and CRIES and you don't know what's wrong or how to make him STOP... ), and certainly it's poor Viva who has to deal with more hard times than I.

But I miss him heaps when I'm at work.

And while, on some level, I am biologically hard-wired to feel this way at an evolutionary level - I really don't care.

I just feel very fortunate to have such a happy, healthy little guy.

*** Normal curmudgeonly transmissions will be restored for next post