Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sunday Scribblings XXXXII

It's been a week for thinking. Having a horrible cold will do that to you.
I've been struck by two quotes this week, and I think - because I yam - that I'll simply make them this Sunday's blog.
The first quote comes from Arthur C Clarke, and goes
"Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering."
The second quote is from Richard Dawkins, and is quite long. It also turns my brains to soup every time I apply even the tiniest amount of thought to it. It goes:
"We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been her in my place but will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the grains of sand of the Sahara. certainly those unborn ghosts include greater peots than keats, scientists greater than Newton.We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actualy people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here."
Sticky thoughts. the best kind.
And, for fun, this, from P.G. Wodehouse:
"There is a cure for grey hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine."
My wife is becoming a fan of Lady GaGa. Actually, so am I. Just thought I'd tell you. This means, of course, that Lady GaGa is very shortly going to disappear from the firmament of fame.

Listening to: No, not Lady GaGa. Instead, it's Jackson Brown, "RunningOn Empty".
Reading: "Hitch 22", Christopher Hitchens.

More "Paper Heroes":

Chapter Seven.

4:00am, Pacific Time, November 6th, 2386.
Night waited and watched, watched and waited. The sky was clear, with a quarter moon setting. Around him was the ruin of many old buildings. Ahead, one of the 27 tall buildings still standing. Under him, the ancient concrete was cracked and flaking. Above him, a million stars shone, and the ribbon glowed. There were stories from the elders of how the ribbon had grown in the sky. Tens of hands of years ago, it had slowly reached across the night, stretching and arcing across the sky, glimmering at night, flashing and sparkling by day. At first it was merely vague lines traced in the sky, then arcs, then arc joined arc, until the ribbon competed with the waxing and waning moon for mastery of the night sky. Why and how it grew, no-one of the Folk knew. There had been strange tales of people from across the sea, people who were weak, yet who had great power. These stories had faded.

Now, in the rotting streets of Francisco, Night prowled, killing when he could, taking Scarabs if he could.

27 of the Olders’ buildings still reared high, proclaiming their ancient grandness to the sky. Of these, 26 were home to nearly 60,000 Folk. The last building, the Tower, was for the Henrys. It was powerfully guarded by their best troops carrying gun-teks which made Night’s great bow look puny. Nonetheless, Night had sent a copper-headed arrow flying into the eye of one of them.

He smiled at the memory. The shot had been at the extreme edges of his range, and after the Henry had fallen, crimson blood gushing and staining the sidewalk, the gun-teks had roared their fury. They fired more than twenty shots at Night, and had missed with all of them.

Night waited and watched. If he were seen out at this time, the Henrys would take him and torture him. And Night was realistic enough to know that everyone broke under the Henrys’ torture.

The building he wanted to enter was just a few hundred yards away, and Night was sure there was a trap waiting for him. He had heard a metal-on-metal clink, and none of the Folk would be careless enough to allow metal to sound at night.

His bow was slung across his shoulder, and he sipped the air through pursed lips, tasting it. The ancient tar, the dust, the heavy wool of his jerkin – and something else: sweat. His eyes strained; he looked out the corners, rather than directly at objects. He knew he would capture movement that way.

There: black on black. His eye-line shifted again, and then came back to the spot. No more than nine-tens of paces in front of him. Three of them.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE Jackson Brown. Nice album that. The quotes are thought-provoking, but since its monday that means they leave me feeling as if my brain is trickling out of my ears!
    Once again, your story leaves me on the edge of my seat hoping that the next post will be very, very soon!