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Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

quote:

...Syme had never thought of asking whether the monstrous man who almost filled
and broke the balcony was the great President of whom the others stood in awe.
He knew it was so, with an unaccountable but instantaneous certainty. Syme,
indeed, was one of those men who are open to all the more nameless psychological
influences in a degree a little dangerous to mental health. Utterly devoid of
fear in physical dangers, he was a great deal too sensitive to the smell of
spiritual evil. Twice already that night little unmeaning things had peeped out
at him almost pruriently, and given him a sense of drawing nearer and nearer to
the head-quarters of hell. And this sense became overpowering as he drew nearer
to the great President...

quote:

"...First of all, what is it really all about? What is it you object to? You
want to abolish Government?"

"To abolish God!"
said Gregory, opening the eyes of a fanatic. "We do not only
want to upset a few despotisms and police regulations; that sort of anarchism
does exist, but it is a mere branch of the Nonconformists. We dig deeper and we
blow you higher. We wish to deny all those arbitrary distinctions of vice and
virtue, honour and treachery, upon which mere rebels base themselves. The silly
sentimentalists of the French Revolution talked of the Rights of Man! We hate
Rights as we hate Wrongs. We have abolished Right and Wrong."

"And Right and Left," said Syme with a simple eagerness, "I hope you will
abolish them too. They are much more troublesome to me..."

quote:

..."Professor," he cried, "it is intolerable. Are you afraid of this man?"

The Professor lifted his heavy lids, and gazed at Syme with large, wide-open,
blue eyes of an almost ethereal honesty. "Yes, I am," he said mildly. "So are
you."

Syme was dumb for an instant. Then he rose to his feet erect, like an insulted
man, and thrust the chair away from him.

"Yes," he said in a voice indescribable, "you are right. I am afraid of him.
Therefore I swear by God that I will seek out this man whom I fear until I find
him, and strike him on the mouth. If heaven were his throne and the earth his
footstool, I swear that I would pull him down."


"How?" asked the staring Professor. "Why?"

"Because I am afraid of him," said Syme; "and no man should leave in the
universe anything of which he is afraid..."

quote:

Both combatants had thrown off their coats and waistcoats, and stood sword in
hand. The second stood on each side of the line of fight with drawn swords also,
but still sombre in their dark frock-coats and hats. The principals saluted. The
Colonel said quietly, "Engage!" and the two blades touched and tingled.
When the jar of the joined iron ran up Syme's arm, all the fantastic fears that
have been the subject of this story fell from him like dreams from a man waking
up in bed. He remembered them clearly and in order as mere delusions of the
nerves -- how the fear of the Professor had been the fear of the tyrannic
accidents of nightmare, and how the fear of the Doctor had been the fear of the
airless vacuum of science. The first was the old fear that any miracle might
happen, the second the more hopeless modern fear that no miracle can ever
happen. But he saw that these fears were fancies, for he found himself in the
presence of the great fact of the fear of death, with its coarse and pitiless
common sense. He felt like a man who had dreamed all night of falling over
precipes, and had woke up on the morning when he was to be hanged. For as soon
as he had seen the sunlight run down the channel of his foe's foreshortened
blade, and as soon as he had felt the two tongues of steel touch, vibrating like
two living things, he knew that his enemy was a terrible fighter, and that
probably his last hour had come.

quote:

..."I think," said Dr. Bull with precision, "that I am lying in bed at No. 217
Peabody Buildings, and that I shall soon wake up with a jump; or, if that's not
it, I think that I am sitting in a small cushioned cell in Hanwell, and that the
doctor can't make much of my case. But if you want to know what I don't think,
I'll tell you. I don't think what you think. I don't think, and I never shall
think, that the mass of ordinary men are a pack of dirty modern thinkers. No,
sir, I'm a democrat, and I still don't believe that Sunday could convert one
average navy or counter-jumper. No, I may be mad, but humanity isn't."

Syme turned his bright blue eyes on Bull with an earnestness which he did not
commonly make clear.

"You are a very fine fellow," he said. "You can believe in a sanity which is not
merely your sanity. And you're right enough about humanity, about peasants and
people like that jolly old innkeeper. But you're not right about Renard. I
suspected him from the first. He's rationalistic, and, what's worse, he's rich.
When duty and religion are really destroyed, it will be by the rich."


quote:

... "I never hated you," said Syme very sadly.

Then out of this unintelligible creature the last thunders broke.

"You!" he cried. "You never hated because you never lived. I know what you are
all of you, from first to last - you are the people in power! You are the
police - the great fat, smiling men in blue and buttons! You are the Law, and
you have never been broken. But is there a free soul alive that does not long
to break you, only because you have never been broken? We in revolt talk all
kind of nonsense doubtless about this crime or that crime of the Government.
It is all folly! The only crime of the Government is that it governs. The
unpardonable sin of the supreme power is that it is supreme. I do not curse
you for being cruel. I do not curse you (though I might) for being kind. I
curse you for being safe!
You sit in your chairs of stone, and have never
come down from them. You are the seven angels of heaven, and you have had no
troubles. Oh, I could forgive you everything, you that rule all mankind, if
I could feel for once that you had suffered for one hour a real agony such as
I..."

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Relin
Oct 6, 2002

You have been a most worthy adversary, but in every game, there are winners and there are losers. And as you know, in this game, losers get robotizicized!

i played deus ex and never read the excerpts >:]

rudatron
May 31, 2011



Relin posted:

i played deus ex and never read the excerpts >:]

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

I actually read The Man Who Was Thursday and Napoleon of Notting Hill a year or two ago

The former is ultimately a straight religious analogy, and the latter is set in a "near future" where Kings are elected at random. A cross between a CSPAM poster and a Monty Python character is elected King, and he begins making up ridiculous fake history for all the parts of London because it's a laugh. Then somebody takes all the silly stuff perfectly seriously

Both are really genuinely funny in places, and the Man Who Was Thursday is also genuinely creepy in bits as well. It matches Deus Ex as it's all about a secret society of anarchists and God

Both are available on project gutenberg

The Man Who Was Thursday

Napoleon of Notting Hill

quote:

He strode across to the group of anarchists, which was already distributing itself along the benches.

“I think it is time we began,” he said; “the steam-tug is waiting on the river already. I move that Comrade Buttons takes the chair.”

This being approved by a show of hands, the little man with the papers slipped into the presidential seat.

“Comrades,” he began, as sharp as a pistol-shot, “our meeting tonight is important, though it need not be long. This branch has always had the honour of electing Thursdays for the Central European Council. We have elected many and splendid Thursdays. We all lament the sad decease of the heroic worker who occupied the post until last week. As you know, his services to the cause were considerable. He organised the great dynamite coup of Brighton which, under happier circumstances, ought to have killed everybody on the pier. As you also know, his death was as self-denying as his life, for he died through his faith in a hygienic mixture of chalk and water as a substitute for milk, which beverage he regarded as barbaric, and as involving cruelty to the cow. Cruelty, or anything approaching to cruelty, revolted him always. But it is not to acclaim his virtues that we are met, but for a harder task. It is difficult properly to praise his qualities, but it is more difficult to replace them. Upon you, comrades, it devolves this evening to choose out of the company present the man who shall be Thursday. If any comrade suggests a name I will put it to the vote. If no comrade suggests a name, I can only tell myself that that dear dynamiter, who is gone from us, has carried into the unknowable abysses the last secret of his virtue and his innocence.”

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

Actually, speaking again of Deus Ex for a sec is Trump a member of the Trilateral Commission?

rudatron
May 31, 2011



No 1, that's terror

No 2, that's terror

Soulfucker
Feb 14, 2012

i,m going to kill myself on friday #wow #whoa

Fun Shoe

oliwan
Jul 20, 2005



I didn't read the post, because it was too long.

Jose
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 12 hours!


Desperate

got any sevens
Feb 9, 2013

Only the smallest QB can ascend.


to you, it was the most important day of your life, but for me it was thursday

Ze Pollack
May 31, 2006


the man who was thursday is really, really good as soon as you realize our protagonists are all total loving idiots

it becomes a straight religious allegory by the end, because you can tell the author couldn't figure out a satisfying way to wrap the whole thing up, but the main plot element is fantastic

every member of the Anarchist Grand Council of Days is so clearly malevolent of intent and hateful of aspect, a reflection of one of the grotesque faces of this "movement;" the coarse peasant, the fat young doctor whose ambitions were thwarted, the professor who has spent too long with his books, the flightly, arrogant aristocratic class traitor, etc, etc that it is a wonder any regime lets them walk the streets at all!

and then the second Our Heroes learn one of them is actually on their side OH, of course, they're actually just fine to look at and are actually productive happy members of society, unlike all the REST of that hateful Council.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

rudatron posted:

No 1, that's terror

No 2, that's terror

Corporations are so big you don't even know who you're working for. That's terror. Terror built into the system.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

“The answer is simple,” he said. “I told you I was a serious anarchist, and you did not believe me. Nor do they believe me. Unless I took them into this infernal room they would not believe me.”

Syme smoked thoughtfully, and looked at him with interest. Gregory went on.

“The history of the thing might amuse you,” he said. “When first I became one of the New Anarchists I tried all kinds of respectable disguises. I dressed up as a bishop. I read up all about bishops in our anarchist pamphlets, in Superstition the Vampire and Priests of Prey. I certainly understood from them that bishops are strange and terrible old men keeping a cruel secret from mankind. I was misinformed. When on my first appearing in episcopal gaiters in a drawing-room I cried out in a voice of thunder, ‘Down! down! presumptuous human reason!’ they found out in some way that I was not a bishop at all. I was nabbed at once. Then I made up as a millionaire; but I defended Capital with so much intelligence that a fool could see that I was quite poor. Then I tried being a major. Now I am a humanitarian myself, but I have, I hope, enough intellectual breadth to understand the position of those who, like Nietzsche, admire violence—the proud, mad war of Nature and all that, you know. I threw myself into the major. I drew my sword and waved it constantly. I called out ‘Blood!’ abstractedly, like a man calling for wine. I often said, ‘Let the weak perish; it is the Law.’ Well, well, it seems majors don’t do this. I was nabbed again. At last I went in despair to the President of the Central Anarchist Council, who is the greatest man in Europe.”

“What is his name?” asked Syme.

“You would not know it,” answered Gregory. “That is his greatness. Caesar and Napoleon put all their genius into being heard of, and they were heard of. He puts all his genius into not being heard of, and he is not heard of. But you cannot be for five minutes in the room with him without feeling that Caesar and Napoleon would have been children in his hands.”

He was silent and even pale for a moment, and then resumed—

“But whenever he gives advice it is always something as startling as an epigram, and yet as practical as the Bank of England. I said to him, ‘What disguise will hide me from the world? What can I find more respectable than bishops and majors?’ He looked at me with his large but indecipherable face. ‘You want a safe disguise, do you? You want a dress which will guarantee you harmless; a dress in which no one would ever look for a bomb?’ I nodded. He suddenly lifted his lion’s voice. ‘Why, then, dress up as an anarchist, you fool!’ he roared so that the room shook. ‘Nobody will ever expect you to do anything dangerous then.’ And he turned his broad back on me without another word. I took his advice, and have never regretted it. I preached blood and murder to those women day and night, and—by God!—they would let me wheel their perambulators.”

Darkman Fanpage
Jul 4, 2012

ha ha




Laphroaig
Feb 6, 2004

Drinking Smoke

Fun Shoe

Jose posted:

Desperate

Desperate.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

Laphroaig posted:

Desperate.

Stick with the riot prod

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye


JC Denton hears voices all the time and they tell him to do stuff

sometimes it's from a computer that wants to be God

Sometimes its from a evil billionaire who wants to be God

Jose
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 12 hours!


is it hard to read? i skipped all the books in deus ex in favour of augmentally killing everyone

Jose
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 12 hours!


leg aug + jumping on everyones head is the best way to play

Ze Pollack
May 31, 2006


Jose posted:

is it hard to read? i skipped all the books in deus ex in favour of augmentally killing everyone

it's short as hell. only annoyance is that it's written in that whole Oscar Wilde style where you know like half the details were ridiculously cutting burns at the time, and are now lost to history.

on an unrelated note, trump doctor sex cake

Ze Pollack
May 31, 2006


you will quickly come to the conclusion that christ the protagonist is an insufferable liberal dipshit

this is the correct conclusion, continue reading through it

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

quote:

There was a stir of almost inaudible applause, such as is sometimes heard in church. Then a large old man, with a long and venerable white beard, perhaps the only real working-man present, rose lumberingly and said—

“I move that Comrade Gregory be elected Thursday,” and sat lumberingly down again.

“Does anyone second?” asked the chairman.

A little man with a velvet coat and pointed beard seconded.

“Before I put the matter to the vote,” said the chairman, “I will call on Comrade Gregory to make a statement.”

Gregory rose amid a great rumble of applause. His face was deadly pale, so that by contrast his queer red hair looked almost scarlet. But he was smiling and altogether at ease. He had made up his mind, and he saw his best policy quite plain in front of him like a white road. His best chance was to make a softened and ambiguous speech, such as would leave on the detective’s mind the impression that the anarchist brotherhood was a very mild affair after all. He believed in his own literary power, his capacity for suggesting fine shades and picking perfect words. He thought that with care he could succeed, in spite of all the people around him, in conveying an impression of the institution, subtly and delicately false. Syme had once thought that anarchists, under all their bravado, were only playing the fool. Could he not now, in the hour of peril, make Syme think so again?

“Comrades,” began Gregory, in a low but penetrating voice, “it is not necessary for me to tell you what is my policy, for it is your policy also. Our belief has been slandered, it has been disfigured, it has been utterly confused and concealed, but it has never been altered. Those who talk about anarchism and its dangers go everywhere and anywhere to get their information, except to us, except to the fountain head. They learn about anarchists from sixpenny novels; they learn about anarchists from tradesmen’s newspapers; they learn about anarchists from Ally Sloper’s Half-Holiday and the Sporting Times. They never learn about anarchists from anarchists. We have no chance of denying the mountainous slanders which are heaped upon our heads from one end of Europe to another. The man who has always heard that we are walking plagues has never heard our reply. I know that he will not hear it tonight, though my passion were to rend the roof. For it is deep, deep under the earth that the persecuted are permitted to assemble, as the Christians assembled in the Catacombs. But if, by some incredible accident, there were here tonight a man who all his life had thus immensely misunderstood us, I would put this question to him: ‘When those Christians met in those Catacombs, what sort of moral reputation had they in the streets above? What tales were told of their atrocities by one educated Roman to another? Suppose’ (I would say to him), ‘suppose that we are only repeating that still mysterious paradox of history. Suppose we seem as shocking as the Christians because we are really as harmless as the Christians. Suppose we seem as mad as the Christians because we are really as meek.”’

The applause that had greeted the opening sentences had been gradually growing fainter, and at the last word it stopped suddenly. In the abrupt silence, the man with the velvet jacket said, in a high, squeaky voice—

“I’m not meek!”

“Comrade Witherspoon tells us,” resumed Gregory, “that he is not meek. Ah, how little he knows himself! His words are, indeed, extravagant; his appearance is ferocious, and even (to an ordinary taste) unattractive. But only the eye of a friendship as deep and delicate as mine can perceive the deep foundation of solid meekness which lies at the base of him, too deep even for himself to see. I repeat, we are the true early Christians, only that we come too late. We are simple, as they revere simple—look at Comrade Witherspoon. We are modest, as they were modest—look at me. We are merciful—”

“No, no!” called out Mr. Witherspoon with the velvet jacket.

“I say we are merciful,” repeated Gregory furiously, “as the early Christians were merciful. Yet this did not prevent their being accused of eating human flesh. We do not eat human flesh—”

“Shame!” cried Witherspoon. “Why not?”

“Comrade Witherspoon,” said Gregory, with a feverish gaiety, “is anxious to know why nobody eats him (laughter). In our society, at any rate, which loves him sincerely, which is founded upon love—”

“No, no!” said Witherspoon, “down with love.”

“Which is founded upon love,” repeated Gregory, grinding his teeth, “there will be no difficulty about the aims which we shall pursue as a body, or which I should pursue were I chosen as the representative of that body. Superbly careless of the slanders that represent us as assassins and enemies of human society, we shall pursue with moral courage and quiet intellectual pressure, the permanent ideals of brotherhood and simplicity.”

Gregory resumed his seat and passed his hand across his forehead. The silence was sudden and awkward, but the chairman rose like an automaton, and said in a colourless voice—

“Does anyone oppose the election of Comrade Gregory?”

The assembly seemed vague and sub-consciously disappointed, and Comrade Witherspoon moved restlessly on his seat and muttered in his thick beard. By the sheer rush of routine, however, the motion would have been put and carried. But as the chairman was opening his mouth to put it, Syme sprang to his feet and said in a small and quiet voice—

“Yes, Mr. Chairman, I oppose.”

The most effective fact in oratory is an unexpected change in the voice. Mr. Gabriel Syme evidently understood oratory. Having said these first formal words in a moderated tone and with a brief simplicity, he made his next word ring and volley in the vault as if one of the guns had gone off.

“Comrades!” he cried, in a voice that made every man jump out of his boots, “have we come here for this? Do we live underground like rats in order to listen to talk like this? This is talk we might listen to while eating buns at a Sunday School treat. Do we line these walls with weapons and bar that door with death lest anyone should come and hear Comrade Gregory saying to us, ‘Be good, and you will be happy,’ ‘Honesty is the best policy,’ and ‘Virtue is its own reward’? There was not a word in Comrade Gregory’s address to which a curate could not have listened with pleasure (hear, hear). But I am not a curate (loud cheers), and I did not listen to it with pleasure (renewed cheers). The man who is fitted to make a good curate is not fitted to make a resolute, forcible, and efficient Thursday (hear, hear).”

“Comrade Gregory has told us, in only too apologetic a tone, that we are not the enemies of society. But I say that we are the enemies of society, and so much the worse for society. We are the enemies of society, for society is the enemy of humanity, its oldest and its most pitiless enemy (hear, hear). Comrade Gregory has told us (apologetically again) that we are not murderers. There I agree. We are not murderers, we are executioners (cheers).”

Ever since Syme had risen Gregory had sat staring at him, his face idiotic with astonishment. Now in the pause his lips of clay parted, and he said, with an automatic and lifeless distinctness—

“You damnable hypocrite!”

Syme looked straight into those frightful eyes with his own pale blue ones, and said with dignity—

“Comrade Gregory accuses me of hypocrisy. He knows as well as I do that I am keeping all my engagements and doing nothing but my duty. I do not mince words. I do not pretend to. I say that Comrade Gregory is unfit to be Thursday for all his amiable qualities. He is unfit to be Thursday because of his amiable qualities. We do not want the Supreme Council of Anarchy infected with a maudlin mercy (hear, hear). This is no time for ceremonial politeness, neither is it a time for ceremonial modesty. I set myself against Comrade Gregory as I would set myself against all the Governments of Europe, because the anarchist who has given himself to anarchy has forgotten modesty as much as he has forgotten pride (cheers). I am not a man at all. I am a cause (renewed cheers). I set myself against Comrade Gregory as impersonally and as calmly as I should choose one pistol rather than another out of that rack upon the wall; and I say that rather than have Gregory and his milk-and-water methods on the Supreme Council, I would offer myself for election—”

His sentence was drowned in a deafening cataract of applause. The faces, that had grown fiercer and fiercer with approval as his tirade grew more and more uncompromising, were now distorted with grins of anticipation or cloven with delighted cries. At the moment when he announced himself as ready to stand for the post of Thursday, a roar of excitement and assent broke forth, and became uncontrollable, and at the same moment Gregory sprang to his feet, with foam upon his mouth, and shouted against the shouting.

“Stop, you blasted madmen!” he cried, at the top of a voice that tore his throat. “Stop, you—”

But louder than Gregory’s shouting and louder than the roar of the room came the voice of Syme, still speaking in a peal of pitiless thunder—

“I do not go to the Council to rebut that slander that calls us murderers; I go to earn it (loud and prolonged cheering). To the priest who says these men are the enemies of religion, to the judge who says these men are the enemies of law, to the fat parliamentarian who says these men are the enemies of order and public decency, to all these I will reply, ‘You are false kings, but you are true prophets. I am come to destroy you, and to fulfil your prophecies.’”

The heavy clamour gradually died away, but before it had ceased Witherspoon had jumped to his feet, his hair and beard all on end, and had said—

“I move, as an amendment, that Comrade Syme be appointed to the post.”

“Stop all this, I tell you!” cried Gregory, with frantic face and hands. “Stop it, it is all—”

The voice of the chairman clove his speech with a cold accent.

“Does anyone second this amendment?” he said. A tall, tired man, with melancholy eyes and an American chin beard, was observed on the back bench to be slowly rising to his feet. Gregory had been screaming for some time past; now there was a change in his accent, more shocking than any scream. “I end all this!” he said, in a voice as heavy as stone.

“This man cannot be elected. He is a—”

“Yes,” said Syme, quite motionless, “what is he?” Gregory’s mouth worked twice without sound; then slowly the blood began to crawl back into his dead face. “He is a man quite inexperienced in our work,” he said, and sat down abruptly.

Before he had done so, the long, lean man with the American beard was again upon his feet, and was repeating in a high American monotone—

“I beg to second the election of Comrade Syme.”

“The amendment will, as usual, be put first,” said Mr. Buttons, the chairman, with mechanical rapidity.

“The question is that Comrade Syme—”

Gregory had again sprung to his feet, panting and passionate.

“Comrades,” he cried out, “I am not a madman.”

“Oh, oh!” said Mr. Witherspoon.

“I am not a madman,” reiterated Gregory, with a frightful sincerity which for a moment staggered the room, “but I give you a counsel which you can call mad if you like. No, I will not call it a counsel, for I can give you no reason for it. I will call it a command. Call it a mad command, but act upon it. Strike, but hear me! Kill me, but obey me! Do not elect this man.” Truth is so terrible, even in fetters, that for a moment Syme’s slender and insane victory swayed like a reed. But you could not have guessed it from Syme’s bleak blue eyes. He merely began—

“Comrade Gregory commands—”

Then the spell was snapped, and one anarchist called out to Gregory—

“Who are you? You are not Sunday;” and another anarchist added in a heavier voice, “And you are not Thursday.”

“Comrades,” cried Gregory, in a voice like that of a martyr who in an ecstacy of pain has passed beyond pain, “it is nothing to me whether you detest me as a tyrant or detest me as a slave. If you will not take my command, accept my degradation. I kneel to you. I throw myself at your feet. I implore you. Do not elect this man.”

“Comrade Gregory,” said the chairman after a painful pause, “this is really not quite dignified.”

For the first time in the proceedings there was for a few seconds a real silence. Then Gregory fell back in his seat, a pale wreck of a man, and the chairman repeated, like a piece of clock-work suddenly started again—

“The question is that Comrade Syme be elected to the post of Thursday on the General Council.”

The roar rose like the sea, the hands rose like a forest, and three minutes afterwards Mr. Gabriel Syme, of the Secret Police Service, was elected to the post of Thursday on the General Council of the Anarchists of Europe.

Everyone in the room seemed to feel the tug waiting on the river, the sword-stick and the revolver, waiting on the table. The instant the election was ended and irrevocable, and Syme had received the paper proving his election, they all sprang to their feet, and the fiery groups moved and mixed in the room. Syme found himself, somehow or other, face to face with Gregory, who still regarded him with a stare of stunned hatred. They were silent for many minutes.

“You are a devil!” said Gregory at last.

“And you are a gentleman,” said Syme with gravity.

“It was you that entrapped me,” began Gregory, shaking from head to foot, “entrapped me into—”

“Talk sense,” said Syme shortly. “Into what sort of devils’ parliament have you entrapped me, if it comes to that? You made me swear before I made you. Perhaps we are both doing what we think right. But what we think right is so damned different that there can be nothing between us in the way of concession. There is nothing possible between us but honour and death,” and he pulled the great cloak about his shoulders and picked up the flask from the table.

“The boat is quite ready,” said Mr. Buttons, bustling up. “Be good enough to step this way.”

With a gesture that revealed the shop-walker, he led Syme down a short, iron-bound passage, the still agonised Gregory following feverishly at their heels. At the end of the passage was a door, which Buttons opened sharply, showing a sudden blue and silver picture of the moonlit river, that looked like a scene in a theatre. Close to the opening lay a dark, dwarfish steam-launch, like a baby dragon with one red eye.

Almost in the act of stepping on board, Gabriel Syme turned to the gaping Gregory.

“You have kept your word,” he said gently, with his face in shadow. “You are a man of honour, and I thank you. You have kept it even down to a small particular. There was one special thing you promised me at the beginning of the affair, and which you have certainly given me by the end of it.”

“What do you mean?” cried the chaotic Gregory. “What did I promise you?”

“A very entertaining evening,” said Syme, and he made a military salute with the sword-stick as the steamboat slid away.

Helianthus Annuus
Feb 21, 2006

can i touch your hand


unatco hurt my weenie

Ostiosis
Nov 3, 2002


Why contain it?

's cool.

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Why did I throw the election?
Because I'm an amanojaku!
Your hate sustains me suckers!


Ostiosis posted:

Why contain it?

's cool.

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

A NEW AGE

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

Can I just say that if the gubbermint *really* wanted to cut down the surplus population they'd just engineer a fatal infection that had a really expensive cure

All of this subtle killing of white people by letting the free market decide what food they eat, the availability of opiates, and driving everywhere is bullshit

Soulfucker
Feb 14, 2012

i,m going to kill myself on friday #wow #whoa

Fun Shoe

Nebakenezzer posted:

Can I just say that if the gubbermint *really* wanted to cut down the surplus population they'd just engineer a fatal infection that had a really expensive cure

All of this subtle killing of white people by letting the free market decide what food they eat, the availability of opiates, and driving everywhere is bullshit

SHY NUDIST GRRL
Feb 15, 2011

Why did I throw the election?
Because I'm an amanojaku!
Your hate sustains me suckers!


No they're killing white people by saying race mixing is okay

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye


"Don't you believe in Zoroaster? Is it possible that you neglect Mumbo-Jumbo?" returned the King, with startling animation. "Does a man of your intelligence come to me with these damned early Victorian ethics? If, on studying my features and manner, you detect any particular resemblance to the Prince Consort, I assure you you are mistaken. Did Herbert Spencer ever convince you—did he ever convince anybody—did he ever for one mad moment convince himself—that it must be to the interest of the individual to feel a public spirit? Do you believe that, if you rule your department badly, you stand any more chance, or one half of the chance, of being guillotined, that an angler stands of being pulled into the river by a strong pike? Herbert Spencer refrained from theft for the same reason that he refrained from wearing feathers in his hair, because he was an English gentleman with different tastes. I am an English gentleman with different tastes. He liked philosophy. I like art. He liked writing ten books on the nature of human society. I like to see the Lord Chamberlain walking in front of me with a piece of paper pinned to his coat-tails. It is my humour. Are you answered? At any rate, I have said my last serious word to-day, and my last serious word I trust for the remainder of my life in this Paradise of Fools. The remainder of my conversation with you to-day, which I trust will be long and stimulating, I propose to conduct in a new language of my own by means of rapid and symbolic movements of the left leg." And he began to pirouette slowly round the room with a preoccupied expression.

Jose
Jul 24, 2007
Probation
Can't post for 12 hours!



JC was loving savage

Ted_Haggard
Jan 28, 2009


Jose posted:

JC was loving savage

UNATCO

Helianthus Annuus
Feb 21, 2006

can i touch your hand


No, savage.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses

Old men are the future.

Rhukatah
Feb 26, 2013



A long, lean, black cigar, bought in Soho for twopence, stood out from between his tightened teeth, and altogether he looked a very satisfactory specimen of the anarchists upon whom he had vowed a holy war. Perhaps this was why a policeman on the Embankment spoke to him, and said “Good evening.”

Syme, at a crisis of his morbid fears for humanity, seemed stung by the mere stolidity of the automatic official, a mere bulk of blue in the twilight.

“A good evening is it?” he said sharply. “You fellows would call the end of the world a good evening. Look at that bloody red sun and that bloody river! I tell you that if that were literally human blood, spilt and shining, you would still be standing here as solid as ever, looking out for some poor harmless tramp whom you could move on. You policemen are cruel to the poor, but I could forgive you even your cruelty if it were not for your calm.”

“If we are calm,” replied the policeman, “it is the calm of organised resistance.”

“Eh?” said Syme, staring.

“The soldier must be calm in the thick of the battle,” pursued the policeman. “The composure of an army is the anger of a nation.”

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye

Lightning Lord posted:

Old men are the future.

WE are the future

Aquinas spoke of a mythical forum on the hill

Rhukatah
Feb 26, 2013



Then he turned to the Secretary, whose frightful mouth was almost foaming now, and held the lamp high with so rigid and arresting a gesture, that the man was, as it were, frozen for a moment, and forced to hear.

“Do you see this lantern?” cried Syme in a terrible voice. “Do you see the cross carved on it, and the flame inside? You did not make it. You did not light it. Better men than you, men who could believe and obey, twisted the entrails of iron and preserved the legend of fire. There is not a street you walk on, there is not a thread you wear, that was not made as this lantern was, by denying your philosophy of dirt and rats. You can make nothing. You can only destroy. You will destroy mankind; you will destroy the world. Let that suffice you. Yet this one old Christian lantern you shall not destroy. It shall go where your empire of apes will never have the wit to find it.”

He struck the Secretary once with the lantern so that he staggered; and then, whirling it twice round his head, sent it flying far out to sea, where it flared like a roaring rocket and fell.

“Swords!” shouted Syme, turning his flaming face to the three behind him. “Let us charge these dogs, for our time has come to die.”

His three companions came after him sword in hand. Syme’s sword was broken, but he rent a bludgeon from the fist of a fisherman, flinging him down. In a moment they would have flung themselves upon the face of the mob and perished, when an interruption came. The Secretary, ever since Syme’s speech, had stood with his hand to his stricken head as if dazed; now he suddenly pulled off his black mask.

The pale face thus peeled in the lamplight revealed not so much rage as astonishment. He put up his hand with an anxious authority.

“There is some mistake,” he said. “Mr. Syme, I hardly think you understand your position. I arrest you in the name of the law.”

Jeb! Repetition
Dec 24, 2012

Ask me about Briar Rose and Chicken Chaser


Rhukatah posted:

Then he turned to the Secretary, whose frightful mouth was almost foaming now, and held the lamp high with so rigid and arresting a gesture, that the man was, as it were, frozen for a moment, and forced to hear.

“Do you see this lantern?” cried Syme in a terrible voice. “Do you see the cross carved on it, and the flame inside? You did not make it. You did not light it. Better men than you, men who could believe and obey, twisted the entrails of iron and preserved the legend of fire. There is not a street you walk on, there is not a thread you wear, that was not made as this lantern was, by denying your philosophy of dirt and rats. You can make nothing. You can only destroy. You will destroy mankind; you will destroy the world. Let that suffice you. Yet this one old Christian lantern you shall not destroy. It shall go where your empire of apes will never have the wit to find it.”

He struck the Secretary once with the lantern so that he staggered; and then, whirling it twice round his head, sent it flying far out to sea, where it flared like a roaring rocket and fell.

“Swords!” shouted Syme, turning his flaming face to the three behind him. “Let us charge these dogs, for our time has come to die.”

His three companions came after him sword in hand. Syme’s sword was broken, but he rent a bludgeon from the fist of a fisherman, flinging him down. In a moment they would have flung themselves upon the face of the mob and perished, when an interruption came. The Secretary, ever since Syme’s speech, had stood with his hand to his stricken head as if dazed; now he suddenly pulled off his black mask.

The pale face thus peeled in the lamplight revealed not so much rage as astonishment. He put up his hand with an anxious authority.

“There is some mistake,” he said. “Mr. Syme, I hardly think you understand your position. I arrest you in the name of the law.”

Whoa, the original "if you hate capitalism why do you have an iPhone"

Ze Pollack
May 31, 2006


Jeb! Repetition posted:

Whoa, the original "if you hate capitalism why do you have an iPhone"

followed up with a "bro are you loving stupid we are on the same team"

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Rhukatah
Feb 26, 2013



“I am by profession an actor, and my name is Wilks. When I was on the stage I mixed with all sorts of Bohemian and blackguard company. Sometimes I touched the edge of the turf, sometimes the riff-raff of the arts, and occasionally the political refugee. In some den of exiled dreamers I was introduced to the great German Nihilist philosopher, Professor de Worms. I did not gather much about him beyond his appearance, which was very disgusting, and which I studied carefully. I understood that he had proved that the destructive principle in the universe was God; hence he insisted on the need for a furious and incessant energy, rending all things in pieces. Energy, he said, was the All. He was lame, shortsighted, and partially paralytic. When I met him I was in a frivolous mood, and I disliked him so much that I resolved to imitate him. If I had been a draughtsman I would have drawn a caricature. I was only an actor, I could only act a caricature. I made myself up into what was meant for a wild exaggeration of the old Professor’s dirty old self. When I went into the room full of his supporters I expected to be received with a roar of laughter, or (if they were too far gone) with a roar of indignation at the insult. I cannot describe the surprise I felt when my entrance was received with a respectful silence, followed (when I had first opened my lips) with a murmur of admiration. The curse of the perfect artist had fallen upon me. I had been too subtle, I had been too true. They thought I really was the great Nihilist Professor. I was a healthy-minded young man at the time, and I confess that it was a blow. Before I could fully recover, however, two or three of these admirers ran up to me radiating indignation, and told me that a public insult had been put upon me in the next room. I inquired its nature. It seemed that an impertinent fellow had dressed himself up as a preposterous parody of myself. I had drunk more champagne than was good for me, and in a flash of folly I decided to see the situation through. Consequently it was to meet the glare of the company and my own lifted eyebrows and freezing eyes that the real Professor came into the room.

“I need hardly say there was a collision. The pessimists all round me looked anxiously from one Professor to the other Professor to see which was really the more feeble. But I won. An old man in poor health, like my rival, could not be expected to be so impressively feeble as a young actor in the prime of life. You see, he really had paralysis, and working within this definite limitation, he couldn’t be so jolly paralytic as I was. Then he tried to blast my claims intellectually. I countered that by a very simple dodge. Whenever he said something that nobody but he could understand, I replied with something which I could not even understand myself.

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