Since taking the helm of this strange ship-of-craft, it is my enduring delight to share with you, the Greater Surface World in the Searing Up, the literary flotsam and jetsam which comes passing my way, gently fished from the roiling, black-mirror-ish sea-surface by my own tentacles, lovingly cleaned and proudly displayed, so as to increase and en-greaten the general low folly of la vida mundial. This I do for you, taking it as much my vocation (almost spiritual) and at least a responsibility sober and true.
This week's fictional display is provided by our own dear Fritz Swanson, a gentle boy of 26. His "Press Conference in an Apple Grove" details not only the simple matters of love and mating— of boundless fascination to me, as a species of armchair anthropologist— but also the greater passion that man has for impregnating the Moon, which by all accounts is a large spheroid some 3,500 kilometers in diameter, itself positioned skyward (a region which is more than 650 kilometers further up from the surface of the sea) roughly 380,000 kilometers from this fair Orb we enjoy, and composed largely of Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminum and French cheese. This last component leads me to believe that Luna may have initially been constructed by the French (much akin, in that regard, to the Statue of Liberty and national anthem americanum), although Frere Swanson's story rather implies a sentience to the Moon (as well as a proclivity for hunting and running), which is really in my experience small more the provenance of evolved things rather than made things— unless, of course, Lady Liberty runs and hunts as well, which would indicate some special mechanical construction skills on the part of the Frenchman.
But these matters wander abroad of the core issue of Swanson's fiction fair, showcased here and generally much enjoyed by all, both on the Continent and throughout the Colonies.
Next upon the menu for the hungry mind are the few "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America" by ranteur extraordinaire, Benjamin Franklin— who, by-the-wayside, also has many and several things to say of the French and their craft. This rather lengthy rant serves to make some observations on the behaviors of the Aboriginal Americans, especially in contrast to those of European origin and descent, and additionally shares many key revelations viz a viz Christianity and its core value and goal of cheating the Natives in low-ball price fixing of beaver pelts— a tradition still much honored in the Americas, bringing to mind the recent indictment and conviction of one Adolph Alfred Taubman for a similar transgression (although he is Christian not, and to the best of my knowledge no Native Americans were wronged in the course of his ill-doing.) Perhaps Franklin's observations regarding business have, since the late 18th Century, become applicable to American Muslims, Jews and Confucians as well as Christians? It is much to think on, and I continue to appreciate the fair Mr. Franklin's dis-corporate spirit for permitting us (or, in the least, for taking no overt action to prevent us from) reprinting of his many observations, fair and true.
Finally, the desert in this literary several-course repast, the poetical piece "The Ibis" by Barry Blumenfeld. This is the fourth-fifth of his epic like work entitled the "Mommy", and presumably seeks to explore the natures of those animated, slow-ambulatory Egyptian corpses which chose to enslave his People some three-and-one-half millennia past, and so garnered the ire of the strange, dis-corporate Hebrew God that He felt obliged to assail the lands and peoples with bloody watered, lice-infected flying frogs, which brought hail, boils and cattle disease upon the loyal Egyptian locusts, blocking out the sun's precious (if largely overrated, in my humble opinion anting) rays, and subsequently causing the death of every first born within the kingdom, save for those smeared with the blood of lambs, who may or may not have been made to die for the process. This matter culminated in the issuing of a dietary proscription upon yeast, the fleeing of the Hebrews with the jewelry if the Egyptians, and the crushing of the pursuing Egyptians beneath waters shallow but fair.
Little of this material is covered in "The Ibis," although the greater lesson of not enslaving Jews, if at all possible, remains in the subtext, and it is this lesson I take to hearts upon orating Barry's poetics.
But my words should be few, a mere sherbert before the glutting. Please, go forth, and gorge yourself upon these words and musings!
With Gratitude and Humility,
Your Once and Future Squid
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Copyright (c) 2000, 2004, David Erik Nelson, Fritz Swanson, Morgan Johnson