August 12th, 2012


Best Enemies

Here's a wonderful little collage post about "The Best of Enemies." I love the sizzling chemistry between hero and villain.

My desert language Seshaa has some vocabulary for this ...

duush  (noun) – This one is quite exclusively a bandit concept, not known either in Waterjewel nor in decadent regions, and the closest English equivalent is “best enemy.”  It’s a concept common to many cultures that place a lot of value on fighting, and it refers to a person you fight with a lot, seeking each other out in battle, always on opposite sides – yet you respect each other, and would miss him terribly if he were killed and you couldn’t fight with him anymore.  You bring out the best in each other on the battlefield, which gives you both a chance to go home covered in glory if you’re lucky, and if not, at least to take turns doing so, because you’re about evenly matched in skill level.  Somehow or other, Shareem seems to have encountered this term, because I’ve heard hir saying “dear enemy” to gutterfox friends, which is just too close a translation for coincidence.  

murzhip (noun) – In bandit use, means “the state of affairs when a man has a woman for a best enemy.” It’s something like “hetero-aggressive,” as the expectation is that best enemies are supposed to be two men. A zorbanniyeh who has a best enemy will almost always choose a man, rather than another woman; but men strongly prefer to contest with each other. So murzhip is frowned upon, almost as much as homosexuality is in other cultures. Men will excuse it by saying such things as, “I couldn’t help it! She was irresistible. She ruined my life.” The related adjective is murzhipil and the adverb is murzhipul.

oymiki (verb) – In Whispering Sands use, means “to sculpt each other” or “to decorate each other.” The cultural connotations are subtle and complex. Bandit men use this as slang for exchanging scars in battle, especially between best enemies; decadents use it similarly for political or economic opponents trading more figurative attacks. Both bandit and decadent women use it to mean helping each other with beautification processes which are less than pleasant. In Waterjewel and Tazha use, it takes on a much gentler meaning, of two people making mutual accommodations as they form a close relationship.

yankilama (noun) – In Waterjewel, means roughly “resonance” or “echo” or “reaction.” This is a thing people share that runs deeper than affinity. Whereas benzesh is a thing between friends, and the basis for a strong friendship or romance, yankilama goes beyond that to suggest that in some way their souls were cut from the same cloth. When these two people come together, something in each of them resonates to the other, the way if you pluck a certain harpstring then certain other strings will sound in sympathy with it. It’s a perceptible hum or vibration, which some people find intensely attractive and others find intolerable – but there is no denying it and no doing away with it, any more than you could scrape off the color of your skin (which doesn’t necessarily stop people from trying). Some do manage to ignore or overlook the sensation, especially the type of people who habitually damp down their emotions; but usually it’s something you can feel the first time you meet. The people may not like each other, may indeed be so alike that they can’t stand each other; or they may be like two nuts in a cluster, barely distinguishable. When their lives touch, they immediately start to entwine, even if both of them are living totally different lifestyles. It’s like setting two pots of mint side by side; they immediately put out runners and start growing together. Then if you want to move them a week later, you have to rip the new shoots out by the roots, and they leave pieces of themselves behind in each other. Lucky people sometimes wind up in a relationship (platonic or erotic) with both yankilama and benzesh, which makes for a very intense and intimate bond. Best enemies often have yankilama between them. People in a love/hate relationship almost always do, hence the come-here-go-away dynamic with Shareem and Amal.

Poll: Half-Price Series for August 2012

The August 7, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl met the $300 goal for a half-price poetry sale.  The sale will run August 20-26.  These are the series and how many unsold poems they have available: Hart's Farm (5), Path of the Paladins (3), and Queen Choufa and the Rebel Drones (3).

Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I will leave it open until at least Monday morning.  If there is a clear winner then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

Poll #1859679 Half-Price Poetry Series for August 2012
This poll is closed.

Which series should get the half-price poetry sale?

Hart's Farm
Path of the Paladins
Queen Choufa and the Rebel Drones

Poll: Distributing General Funds from August 2012

Here's the next round of polling for the general fund.  You have $151.50 left to spend.  It would cost $55 to finish "An Amazing Carriage of Amber and Jade."  There is $105 worth of short-to-long poetry left.  Since the new epic poll was almost a tie, I'm also going to include an option for opening "A Bug on the Wing" to microfunding, along with a couple other possible distributions.

Everyone is eligible to vote in this poll.  I'll leave it open at least until Monday afternoon.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  Otherwise I may leave it open a little longer.

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Poll: Free Epic in Fiorenza

The free epic poll has selected Fiorenza the Wisewoman.  There are two available epics in this series, as listed below.

Everyone is welcome to vote in this poll.  It will remain open until at least Monday afternoon.  If there's a clear winner then, I'll close it.  If not, I may leave it open a little longer.

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