‘scuse me

There’s such a lot of nonsense online at this point that you’ll have to excuse me.

While America’s liberals wail because they didn’t get their way this time and while their spoilt-brat Millennials on both ends of the scale do unacceptable, trashy deeds (flag-burning and trashing things on one side, tasteless graffiti and victimizing of minorities on the other) we in South Africa are having Weird Weather.

I had to cancel and move our Studio Concert because of storm warnings.  (You don’t understand.  To me, the Studio Concerts are almost more important than Christmas!  They are the climax of the year, where every student gets to shine and be glamorous for a magical evening before returning to being a normal kid the next morning.  Every student gets a chance at being a star, shining eyes and flushed cheeks…)

Here’s a scene from “Freedom Fighter” to keep you inspired.

(Federi briefs the Island Base on how to ward against a Unicate attack.)

This was going to take long. Paean wandered off, leaving the village and its children and cobbled town square in the jungle. The sea was calling her. She drifted along the beach, picking up large shells that had thankfully had another fifty years to re-establish their colonies. The notorious shell fishers who’d raided the limnopod colonies until almost nothing was left, had gone with their government of the day, so she had read in Sherman’s files. The Unicate had no time for small enterprise.

There were no sunken buildings on this beach, she noted and decided to look that up in the Sherman files too. She drifted all the way to the end of the bay, where the rocks started, wondering idly about some three-toed animal tracks she spotted there, a bit larger than her hand, where the sand met the jungle. She’d look those up as well. And she strolled back towards the village. Sheesh, Federi was taking long catching up!

Island Base.

The fate of Solar Wind sailors who started families: Be marooned here! And somehow here it was all too narrow, too cushy for her liking. She needed to know that there was more of a world out there than just the village and possibly the other side of the island. The gypsies had caravans that could be pulled by their horses and bashed-up solar cars, fuelled by Tequila if necessary; nothing could move the houses of this Anaho village. Somehow the sense of adventure was missing from this place. And the sense of movement, the migratory element that had become such a part of Paean’s nature. The sea under her feet.

“Oh yeah,” she laughed bitterly to herself. “I can just see Rush and Ronan raising their little Donegals in a tame place like this! Gosh, it’ll drive those kiddies nuts!”

“Some parents like it safe for their kids,” said Federi next to her. She turned, startled.

“Didn’t know you were there, Federi,” she said sullenly.

“What’s wrong, little luv?”

“Och, I don’t know. Just feeling yuk, I suppose. ‘s all so pointless.”

Federi stared over the endless sea.

“It hits some of us that way. It’s too domestic,” he said. “It’s a sweet little paradise. What do you think the world will be like when ‘s all peaceful?”

“Boring,” said Paean. “And we’ll all be criminals. We’ll be the bad guys.”

“Ha! No news there!” Federi took some sandwiches out of his pack, handing one to Paean. She bit into it, only realizing now how hungry she was. It was fresh – probably someone in the village had made it minutes back.

“Captain’s perfect world can’t be achieved by people who are internally peaceful and law-abiding,” the gypsy said. “But once it’s established, there’s hardly any place for the likes of us.”

Paean uttered a bottomless sigh. Federi’s arm sneaked around her shoulders.

“So where do we go then? The Federis and the Donegals of this world?”

“That’s why I’m investing in the gypsies,” said Federi. “Little luv, over-regulation and legal cages aren’t good for the human spirit. Funnily enough, one of the most-lamented topics of songs, movies and art is freedom. Our souls want to fly, we need to experience the rush of great waterfalls and the fear of jumping out of a plane, we need to immerse our senses deeply in this world, that’s what we’ve landed on Planet Earth for.”

Paean looked at him in surprise.

“You’re a poet, Federi! And a philosopher!”

“ ‘m not!” he protested. “Federi is nothing. Just Tzigan.”

“Wonder if Ailyss has reached Hiva Oa yet,” muttered Paean. “You know, Federi, my place is on the Solar Wind. But if we ever get thrown off the ship, I’d like to go to the gypsies too. But I’ll go wherever you go. Actually, my home is wherever you are.”

Federi smiled broadly.

“Now, Marsden,” said Paean thoughtfully, “he’s a good guy. He won’t have this challenge. Law-abiding citizen in triplicate, all over.”

“Jon!” Federi sat up straight. “Paean, I thought that once Doc Larry is at G1, we’re done, but I was wrong! There’s another urgent mission. Got to help our buddy.”

“Is there a problem?” asked Paean, alarmed.



Freedom Fighter (Solar Wind 3)

“Keep an eye on them, Federi!”
Radomir Lascek, Captain of World Peace! While Captain Lascek implements his grand Master Plan to bring the warring parties together into a coalition and negotiate a new world constitution, someone has to captain his Solar Wind and his motley and damaged crew of survivors to one of the safe bases – Prime Oil. This task falls to Lascek’s daughter Rushka, trained and groomed for years in captaining. With her crew of teenagers however the enigmatic young woman has a problem. It is Federi who has to ensure they show her the due respect, and Federi who has to pick up after everyone, finishing every job and keeping it all running – under fire from a hot-headed Ronan who considers himself as temporary First Mate as the gypsy’s superior.

But all these petty problems fade when the Solar Wind comes across real disaster – Prime Oil has been attacked and is sinking.

Amidst attacks from an unknown enemy force, sudden extreme terrorism hitting the world capitals, and something decidedly strange lurking deep under the surface of the sea circling them, Federi dances a fandango to keep things from going too far wrong. In the middle of this, young Paean slips out under his control and signs on as Captain’s Freedom Fighter. She is out-Tziganing him, outslinking the fox. Federi’s fight against his own ego begins… just in time a beautiful villainess in a tasteless leopard-print cat-suit appears on the scene to give the entire leadership of the Solar Wind a run for their money.



7 thoughts on “‘scuse me

    • Yes… a cross is only two sticks of wood glued together. And a bible is only pressed wood pulp with ink on. Yet when people destroy these items, they are declaring an attitude of hate against those who associate with them. Hence the law that makes flag-burning a criminal act: If you burn a country’s flag, you’re symbolically declaring war on it.

    • Not from the point of view of the Bibles*, which are only, after all, printing on paper, an inert thing. If someone wants to burn a Bible to prove to himself and others that fire is not going to descend on him from heaven, then let him – he does no harm to me! Do I regard his action as a declaration of war? No, because it isn’t. The same if someone burns the Union Jack or the Saltire. It’s not a declaration of war per se, symbolic or otherwise, on the British or Scottish people. It may be an expression of any one of a hundred things. I may understand, or in some circumstances sympathise with, the action, depending on the context and the intent of the demonstration; and even if I do not sympathise, I may defend the person’s right to do it as an exercise of free expression.

      *Of course I do have strong reservations about full-scale book burnings in general, but again context and intent has to be taken into consideration.

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