November 7th, 2011


Schrodinger's Heroes: "Black and Blue in Waxahachie"

Schrodinger's Heroes  is an apocryphal television show about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions.  Browse the menu post for background on the show and its characters.  This description of a cartoon is an example of  the fan content.

"Black and Blue in Waxahachie"

This cartoon riffs on the tendency of Pat to get pulled over for "driving while black," and points out that racism can have unfortunate consequences for the oppressor. It was originally released in individual 3-frame strips on four sequential days.

Frame 1:  Pat is driving down the road in his very nice car, talking to Ash on his cell phone. Ash: "Pat, Chris just lost contact with the gooney bird." Pat: "Okay, Ash, I'll watch for the signal on my screen."
Frame 2:  Police car appears in Pat's rearview mirror, lights flashing and siren wailing. Pat: "Ash, I'm being pulled over." Ash: "For what?" Pat: "Probably DWB again."
Frame 3:  Policeman leans against Pat's window, saying: "I need to see your driver's license." Pat, keeping both hands on the steering wheel: "It's clipped to the sun visor for your convenience, officer."

Frame 4:  Policeman: "This is a mighty nice car." Pat: "Thanks, my bank thought so too when I asked for a 2-year payment plan."
Frame 5:  Policeman: "You've got a lot of extra gear on that dashboard, boy." Pat: "It's all work-related." A light flashes on a small screen. "Could we take this discussion to the station?" Policeman: "No."
Frame 6:   Pat's cell phone goes straight to speaker mode: "Pat, this is Ash, get a move on. The gooney bird is right behind you."

Frame 7:  Policeman grabs Pat's phone and hangs up. Pat: "I respectfully suggest we move to a safer location because of--"
Frame 8:   The police car is reduced to a flat pancake of metal, the upper part of the image filled by the sound effect *GRONCH*
Frame 9:   Pat: "--the invisible spaceship we've been tracking." Pat's dashboard is now all lit up with blinking lights and a targeting ring on the small screen.

Frame 10:  Policeman stands over flattened car, freaking out. Caption: "Texas police are not noted for their flexible grasp of reality."
Frame 11:  Pat pushes a button on his dashboard. The invisible spaceship is visibly outlined in waves of light. Pat speaks into his cell phone: "Ash, this is Pat. The gooney bird is banded. Please have Chris do the netting. I need to pick up a hitchhiker."
Frame 12:  Pat and the policeman are driving down the road in Pat's car. The policeman is scrunched down in the seat, clutching the safety belt like a life preserver. Pat: "I'll just drop you off at your station." Policeman: *whimper* "Why isn't the army handling this?" Pat: "After what happened the first time, they're scared to come near our compound."

* * *

Note: "Gooney bird" is Ash's code name for the invisible spaceship. Elsewhere the name may refer to an albatross or a C-47 Skytrain warplane. It is also applied to the civilian version of the C-47, the Douglas DC-3 airliner.

Monday Update 11-7-11

These are some posts from the later part of last week, in case you missed them:
Poem: "Opening the Gate"
Poem: "Winter Apples" (now complete)
Schrodinger's Heroes: Alter!Ash
New verses in "Will Not"
Schrodinger's Heroes: Alter!Alex
Donor Perk Post: Reinventing History
Mixed-Race Britannia
Schrodinger's Heroes: Saash
Poetry Fishbowl Report for Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Schrodinger's Heroes: Chaotic Neutral Schrodinger
Schrodinger's Heroes: Good and Evil

The November 1, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl was a success.  Notable this week is the advent of a whole steampunk world, courtesy of marina_bonomi introducing me to steampunk engineer Maryam Smith, who swept into my office and dumped an armload of gadgets and references on my desk.  See "The Steamsmith" and "The Four Humours" for an introduction and discussion of worldbuilding.  Maryam got me out of bed at 8:30 AM one day this week.  If you were worrying about the life expectancy of a black woman as a lead character?  Don't.  If I haven't killed her for waking me up, no one else is likely to. 

Anyhow, in the past week I've been sketching out the science and politics of this setting.  So far, Britain and China are the global superpowers; lesser empires include Cahokia, Aztec, Maya, and Inka (in the Americas) and Ala Igbo, Kongo, and Zululand (in Africa).  If that's you, congratulations, you win.  Notable losers include France (subordinate to England), Spain (no match for Aztecs), and the United States (outmatched by Cahokia, abandoned by England).  If I've sacrificed your favorite culture on the altar of poetic license, please don't take it personally; I do that to everyone, up to and including the entire human species.  Rummage around my other work, it probably fared better somewhere else in there.  If I have not yet promoted your favorite culture to world domination, please be patient; I'll probably get to it eventually.  Or if you're impatient, you could just send me a prompt and some funds during a fishbowl...

There are two epic poems in microfunding.  "Will Not" follows Johan as he contemplates the conflicts of his past and present, and has two new verses thanks to the general fund.  "Igor's Creature" is a mix of horror and science fiction with alarge helping of sociology and a wry twist of humor.

Torn World writing update:
Approved as canon: "Squiggles: Excerpts from Nleimen's Journal," "On the Rocks," (fiction).  Back to me for edits: "Catch and Release," (fiction), "Seafoam Fashions," "Hide Away," "Red Glass, Green Glass," "Bitter Herbs" (poetry).  Currently in front of the canon board:  "Dairy Sow" (nonfiction).  Drafted: "Cutting Cords and Clasping Hands," "Like Ash Before the Wind," "Breaking the Ice," "From Dark to Bright," "Beached Fish," (fiction) and "The Hearsay Cafe," "The Colors of the Rainbow," "How Skycat Got Her Name" (poetry).  In revision at home: "Water Dance," "The Green Speech," "When the Wind's Teeth Sing," "The Bones of Need" (fiction).  Currently writing: "Raining Kittens," "Catch of the Day," "Reaching for the Moons" (fiction).

It's cool and rainy here today, though when we were out and about this week, it was sunny.  I got a few good finds in the post-Halloween sales.  Most of the leaves have fallen, though there are still some on the twig.  I've seen cardinals at my birdfeeders.

Read "Thunder Stones" in Torn World

If you're a Torn World supporter, you can now read my poem "Thunder Stones."
The mysterious Thunder Stones are found in the Crystal Desert.

If you like this poem and want to see more like it, please consider sending me credits or karma through Torn World's crowdfunding options.  Not a Torn World member, but still want to support the work? I have a permanent PayPal button on my LJ profile page.

Read "... in Foxholes" by Aldersprig

aldersprig valiantly tackled the disturbing prompt I left during the last Giraffe Call, with "... in Foxholes."  Warning for rather graphic violence, frank discussion of the consequences of war, and spiritual unrest.  But it's an awesome story, especially if you like the shambling undead and/or think that war is Really Stupid.  Highly recommended.