Chapter 5: Lit, page 93.

Time to plan the TIT Offensive from HO Chi Minh City.

See I was gonna give that line to Nicky Collision next chapter, but I’m not sure ‘Nam happened in TAZ in the same way? So I’m gritting my teeth and not using it.

See how much I love you?

47 thoughts on “Chapter 5: Lit, page 93.”

  1. I see. She has a foolproof plan that is bound to cause more harm than good. That’s usually how it works.

    1. “Win their HEART”??

      Got news for you, Orpha, you and the other Doves make a living by appealing to another bodily organ just about two feet lower than the one you’re professing to appeal to.

      1. ^ this

        Also, the fundamental flaw with any campaign to win over “hearts and minds” is that, generally, people don’t have them.

        A wallet based approach, OTOH, is almost always effective.

        1. Aaaactually, I think that’s a bit of a cynical fallacy. For example, I’ve heard studies show that people are more prone to vote ideologically (or according to tradition) than according to their personal economic benefit in parliamentary elections.

          (Granted, that could just mean that most people don’t understand or bother to find out exactly how politics affects their wallet, but still…)

          1. Ah, but you’re describing the base state there. What we’re talking about here is the possibility of CHANGING people’s opinions from that base state. Most people are the heroes of their own stories, and you simply aren’t going to change their cherished, heartfelt prejudices by appealing to their hearts and minds. (Assuming they even have them – do you think the average creationist became that way through a lot of analysis of the evidence and logical deduction?) They already believe they are right and will fight against every step you take to prove them wrong. In other words, you can only appeal to someone’s ideology if you agree with it.

            Greed, including non-monetary greed, on the other hand, is universal, concrete, and readily measurable. And has been the prime motivator of most human endeavors, regardless of what the religions or ethical spin doctors might claim. Do you really think the crusader Baldwin had faith on his mind in the First Crusade when he liberated christian Edessa from the oppressive rule of… christianity, conveniently installing himself as the new, nominally christian, ruler?

            Tell someone how they are wrong or unkind or an infidel or whatever and they’ll just crawl further up into their ideology. Show them a way to get more money or sheep or a bigger crop or a larger harem or whatever and they’ll follow you (almost) every time. In other words, it is MUCH more effective (and easier) to corrupt than to convince.

  2. Which god are Sophronia’s hookers for? Not a wide selection there, considering how few gods or goddesses endorse prostitution.

    1. Most religions have ranged from indifferent to even promoting prostitution, so long as it filled the temple coffers. Heck, Herodotus claims the cult of Ishtar required it.

      1. I can’t remember which of the bygone cultures it was, but I remember reading that a woman was not considered marriageable, until they’d had sex with a complete stranger. The women would gather for an hour of two every morning at the (temple yard?) agreed place, as would the men, who would then choose a woman to have sex with, and part ways, each heading off to their own marital life (the man and woman performing this ritual together were not allowed to become a couple). Of course, if a woman happened to be ugly or deformed, she might not get picked at all, but as she couldn’t get married without that ceremony, she’d have to show up each morning nevertheless. (I’d bet that sometimes money was changing hands to ensure some rich person’s daughter got picked early, even if she weren’t all that pretty.)

        My friend is a history major in university, and she knows a lot of weird/funny things of things of the past. It helps that her mind is in the same gutter as mine. :-P

        1. That is indeed the cult of Ishtar; it’s mentioned in, hmm, Sandman: Brief Lives, I think. Absolute Sandman volume III.

          Everything I know, I learned from comic books!

        2. Such a system seems like an excellent cure to a war-and-rape culture that used to value virginity. When the enemy’s destroyed the virtue which cannot be restored, what does the losing side do? Go raiding and perpetuate the cycle, or maybe create a culture where there’s no virginity check? Make a culture where marital fidelity is going to be better and holier than random_stranger_first_time_01? It would work. At least it would until sexually transmitted infections became a bar to the overall population’s fertility, and then they’d have to revert to the virginity culture to stop its transmission.

    2. I’m going to assume that it’s the WASP God, and the hookers are just regular hookers except they’re dressed like nuns and there are creepy portraits of Jesus in every room to observe the goings-on.

      1. Creepy Jesus is creepy. (Also makes me wonder about the whole crown of thorns and crusifiction thing, S&M way. =P)

        1. The “Painslut Jesus” who appeared this Easter at the Hunky Jesus Contest in Dolores Park, San Francisco seemed to agree with you. So did his dom, who was dressed as a nun and wielded a cat-o-ninetails throughout the afternoon. By the time they got onstage for the contest proper his back seemed to’ve become a single massive welt.

      2. Wasps have their own god?/ Why would a bug god care about prostitutes? :D

        To be fairalthough he’s not mine Jesus is the god of a lot more than just WASPs.

        1. Yeah, but I had to separate the various Jesuses (Jesii?) in some way – Eastern Orthodox Jesus is different from Roman Catholic Jesus is different from Coptic Jesus is different from Gnostic Jesus is different from Baptist Jesus is different from Mormon Jesus and so on.

          WASP Jesus is the one who’ll reward you with good fortune if you give money to a televangelist I think.

          1. WASPS aren’t evangelicals.

            WASP Jesus will allow you to heaven provided you take the job at Dad’s law firm and marry well (NOT TOO WELL) and keep quiet about all the drinking and whoring going on when you’re at the Club and don’t get too friendly with too many people who are not our sort.

            Being too visibly churchy is just …vulgar.

          2. No, no. Redneck Jeebus (and I speak as someone who comes from rednecks) drives a pick-up truck, approves of marrying your cousin, doesn’t like queers (except your sister Lou-Ann, she’s alright) and is definitely down with Pat Robertson and Billy Graham.

            WASPs don’t like televangelism, it’s not PC enough. Church is attended on holidays and maybe once or twice a month so that the neighbours don’t talk.

  3. I’m so freakin’ happy you shared that with us, Spike.

    I suppose Zebulon quietly buying Barney a pint and discussing an indefinite lease for a dollar a year would be a bit like Hamlet just stabbing Claudius and having done….

    1. I would pay many moneys to see that version of Hamlet. Even if it is only 15 minutes long.

      But then I also want to see an episode of Scooby Doo where the gang has trained Scooby to viciously maul anyone in a rubber mask, even though that would leave too much time for commercials.

    2. Trouble with that is, even if a deal could be made to leave the building in the possession of the Doves in name only, once the place is fixed they’d still be in a very strong position to just evict the Reccers as unwanted “tenants”. The best chance to keep the peace would be for the Doves to offer the Reccers some kind of incentive to maintain the building’s status as a licensed brothel under their own recognizance, which would be a hard sell to a bunch of uptight commie do-gooders at the best of times. Fortunately Orpha’s clearly having none of THAT nonsense.

  4. My first impression is that NAM in this world was more of a catastrophe. Only so much more of it got literally burned off the map that all sides rue the time.

    I base this on nothing whatsoever.

    1. My guess is that either the Tet offensive never happened or was per4cieved as the tactical failure it actually was instead of the perceptual success the American media turned it into.

  5. “We’ve come up with a deal where someone in that building gets paid to have sex for money once a year. It remains a brothel.”
    “Yes. You’re banging Barnabas every May 1st and you’re paying for the privilege.”

      1. I’m guessing Zebulon *is* his “Nom de Rue”. Zebulon, Orpha, Verda, Sophronia, Mahulda … these are not names most people give their children.

        Although having said that, in TAZ people apparently name their children “Thutmose” or “Zoradysis”, so who knows.

  6. I would like to say that you have written characters with compelling enough personalities and ideals that I am, at this moment, very much hoping that Orpha fails miserably. All power to the soviets, etc.

  7. I have been entertaining myself by periodically intoning I AM MAHULDA! QUEEN OF TRANSSEXUALS!

    I am easily amused.

  8. she’d be better off sitting down with john and negotiating with him rather than trying to fight him in the courts

    1. Except Barney John isn’t in charge of Reclamation. He just leads it. Dinah Godswill is the one at the helm, and she’s just as unlikely to negotiate as Orpha. Neither wants to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. They both want to “win”.

  9. I like Zebulon, I really do. Which is why I hope this sneaking suspicion of mine that Orpha’s going to trainwreck just about everything in one big go is wrong.

    Of course, it will be interesting to see how it all goes either way, but ugh. I can’t imagine what dealing with that woman must be like. Wait, yes I can….. she’s almost a carbon copy of my mother, with a dash of prostitution tossed in (my mother being much cheaper by nature, sigh)

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