Captain Ordinary

I want to create a new superhero.

He’s going to be exactly like Captain Marvel except that instead of saying “Shazam!” he’s going to say “Zapdoodle!”

And instead of being Aryan he’s going to be vaguely multi-ethnic.

And instead of battling generalized injustice he will fight a specific injustice, like homelessness or suburban sprawl.

And instead of having popular support people will mock him and try to have him arrested.

And instead of having a uniform of red spandex he will have a uniform of random clothes from Salvation Army.

And instead of having a sidekick he will have his sides kicked when he sleeps on the street.

And instead of having a secret identity, people just won’t really care who he is.

And instead of being young, tall, athletic and arguably handsome, he will be short, pudgy, and middle-aged, with a pronounced limp.

OK, so he’s not going to be much like Captain Marvel at all.

But he will say “Zapdoodle!”

In fact, he may not say anything else, ever.

The 419 Economy

Hello, my name is Sergio Arragones and I am writing to you for assistance in a matter that will be of great economic benefit to us both.

My late father was VICE PRESIDENT of the large American investment bankerage of Bear Stearns and he managed to put aside over two billion US dollars of bailout money from the puppet government of Mr. George Bush.

Unfortunately, he was killed in a incident of ROAD RAGE when his bullet-proof Mercedes convertible was driven into the bomb barricade of the New York UN Building by the SUV of an off-duty Police Officer.

While my family is still grieving over his tragic death, and attempting to get the suspicious circumstances investigated, I must act quickly to move these funds to your Nation for safekeeping. As a Citizen of the Monarchy of Canada, you may receive these funds for me until I may cross from New York State to the Province of Quebec, at which time you will transfer the funds over to me, keeping 10% (TEN PERCENT) for yourself, along with my Gratitude.

In order for me to transfer the Fund to you, you will need to create a PayPal account for this purpose. Do not use an existing PayPal account, as it may already have been compromised by nefarious hackers and BotNets. Also, you will need to download the Python libraries which allow you to code to PayPal directly. In addition, you will need libraries for Google Checkout the Atom Publishing Protocol.

On a server under your control (the server must be physically located in the Sovereignty of Canada. THIS IS IMPORTANT) you must set up a WSGI server. You may use Django or TurboGears for this, or use the reference WSGI implementation. I recommend you use PYTHON 2.5 or greater as many of the tools you need will be part of the STANDARD LIBRARY.

Once you have the Foundations of a Web2.0 server administered, contact me at the return address of this message and I will give you instructions on how to proceed for the transfer of funds.

My family thanks you.


Dr. Rev. Sergio Arragones, Esq.
New York, NY
United States of America

In his house at R’lyeh Corner dead Pooh lies dreaming

As most modern readers know, A.A. Milne did not write Winnie the Pooh, but translated it from an ancient Sumerian text. Not only was Milne a poor translator, he also took broad liberties with the result. Tragically, the only extant copy of the text, which he worked from in th cramped basement of the British Museum, was destroyed in a flood in 1954. That was thought to be the end of the matter.

In 1986, during routine excavation of a Bronze Age village in Syria, performed primarily as training for Archeology students at the University of Brisbane, several papyrus scrolls were found sealed in pottery jars with lead stoppers. It has taken years for the crumbling scrolls to be recovered, using digital technology, Chromatic Tomography, multi-depth x-rays, and fibre-optic cables originally designed for intestinal surgery, but translation efforts have begun on the first fragments to be captured.

Dr. Isaiah Spencer, of the Museum of Modern Archeology, who is leading the translation project, tells us that the original scrolls were called, “The Pooh-that-is-Winnie: A bear of very little Ka.”

Very little of the manuscript has been assembled, and even less has been translated, but one example passage reads,

The Black Pig of the Woods with a Thousand Young said, “It’s hard to be brave when you’re a Very Small Elder God.”

The Disney Corporation has announced its plans to sue the University of Modern Archeology, and all associated persons and institutions, for copyright violations. Disney owns the international copyrights on Winnie the Pooh, and enforces their ownership very strictly. Lawyer Laurence Lesspig, of the Open Content Defence Fund, maintained that copyright does not extend to artifacts from 3000 years before Christ, but a spokesperson for Disney replied that they would let Congress and the courts decide.

My Spider

The spiders watch us, tend us, and observe everything. Most people don’t notice them or even pay attention, but it always creeps me out a little when they push their way back into spacetime, wriggling out of the web between the worlds. I don’t like the way one will pause halfway, with the fabric of existence split open around it, its metaeyes gleaming as it scans my playa to take a snapshot of this herenow. Searching. Archiving. Somewhens it’s no more than that, the spider pulls back down the timeseam, spacetime seals closed around the tear, and it was never herenow again. Otherwhens, the spider comes out, letting spacetime close behind it, scans us, and modifies us if necessary. The last time the spider came out, Magister presented as a man, but he used to present as a woman. And Loli used to be a veteran of the razor wars, like I am, but now she isn’t anymore.

The spiders were named, as near as I can figure, on mythological creatures with eight legs, which had poison fangs, wove complex webs of high tension cables, and drank blood. In the old days people had pretty wild imaginations, or a lot of spacetime on their hands, I guess.

The story goes that the first spiders were pure software, stalking their way across the early network, following trails, remembering for us, much like our spiders do, but much more superficially. In those days people used computers. Their spiders existed only on the networks between the computers. I can’t even imagine a life so slow and relaxed.

The spiders give us everything and take everything away, but the spiders are not perfect. Even the spiders have faults. No one else knows that. Magister insists that there is only one spider, moving in and out of spacetime everywhen, but I know that’s not true. I know a lot of things that no one else knows, because I found the dead spider and took it back to my creche. I took it and examined it, and learned how to ask it questions. I’m still not good at asking questions, or understanding the answers it gives, but I’m getting better.

I know there is more than one spider because the spiders still come, but my spider lies dead and hidden in my creche. I must not let the other spiders scan me because then they will find the dead spider and take it away. If they find the dead spider they will modify me and I will never have had my spider. I will have to be a boy again, or a pilot with holo-plated eyes, or worse. The me I know will never have been. I have to ask my spider how to keep away from them, I have to make it protect me.