The Mother of Skaith Reviews – Tombstone

“I am very sleepy! I watched that movie you gave me all the way through last night! It is very violent! But I watched it. I even started to watch that other thing. The Director’s Commentary. That man in it was very good! He was funny. No, he is not Sam Elliott! I know Sam Elliott! He was Virgil Earp. What was the last Earp man? There was Wyatt, and Virgil, and who was the other? Morgan Earp. Who played him? Don’t give me that! I know people! I just don’t know their names. Who was he!? Tell me. Tell me!

“Oh. No, I don’t know him. Well, who was the other man? The funny man. The other bad man did the spinning thing with the gun, he did this and that and up and down, all fancy thing. And then the other fool man, he did the same thing with a cup! Doc. He was just mocking the man! I was laughing so much. How do you come up with that sort of thing? I tell you what, it was very good writing. How did they come up with that ? Like that man doing that, and Doc doing that to mock him. You have to really appreciate how good the writers are who come up with that sort of thing. I mean, real authors.

“How did Doc become a Doc? Was he a real doctor? Why did he go west if he was a doctor? How do you become a gunfighter if you go west? Oh, he had TB? What is TB again? Well, how did that make him decide he was going to become a gunfighter? You have TB and you gonna be a fighter?

“So when that Wyatt said, he sees the sash, which is what the Cowboys wear, he’s gonna shoot the man wearing it, and that Ike Clanton–was Ike Clanton the leader? Or was the man in the red shirt the leader?

“–so Ike Clanton, he out there running away and they’re running after chasing him, and he takes off his sash and throws it away. Did they still shoot him after that? The man is not wearing a sash any more! That’s what I said, it is very violent. There is a lot of running around and shooting and fighting. And those men were bad! The bad men in The Magnificent Seven, they just go there to rob the people, they don’t kill the people! Unless, you see the man come running out to kill you. He just wants to steal from the people. But these in this one, they go and they just be killing for no reason! Oh, were they stealing too? What were they stealing? What were they doing with cattle? I didn’t see any cattle in the movie.

“And was that opium? When the man in the red shirt comes out and he’s all shooting the moon. It was opium! The Director’s Commentary said so. You could just buy it back then, like over the counter medications today. But it is so addictive! And that girl, Wyatt’s wife. She was addicted to it! That’s very sad. What happened to her? No, in real life, I want to know, what happened to her?

“I know they died, Riders. It was a long time ago. Everybody in the movie is dead now in real life, yes, I know that. Thank you for telling me. I would not have known otherwise.

Warlock? Who is in that movie?”

Yet more thoughts from the road

– “Check your tires” does not simply mean verify that they are still attached to your vehicle. Check the pressure regularly, and visually inspect them for wear. Every so often, run a hand over them also, to check the surfaces you can’t see easily.
– The squirrel does not want to run towards the side of the road he is closest to–he wants to run towards the side he was pointing at before. Slow down and give him a chance, he’ll make it.
– Stay hydrated. You are still getting paid when you stop for bathroom breaks.
– Stay caffeinated.
– Do not wash your official issue Hi-Vis t-shirts with your .25 cent jeans from Goodwill, because this will result in them becoming Med-Vis shirts.
– It’s the temperature, not the speed limit.
– Even if everyone else you have seen or driven past for the past five hours has been shirtless, even if the temperature is in the triple digits and the humidity is higher, you still have to wear your official t-shirt.
– A bikini top would not substitute, even if you did attach your official ID to it and it is a highly…visible…color.
– Heh.

Music Monday – Make Ye No Truce With Kings

Here is nothing new nor aught unproven,” say the Trumpets,
“Many feet have worn it and the road is old indeed.
“It is the King–the King we schooled aforetime! “
(Trumpets in the marshes-in the eyot at Runnymede!)

“Here is neither haste, nor hate, nor anger,” peal the Trumpets,
“Pardon for his penitence or pity for his fall.
“It is the King!”–inexorable Trumpets–
(Trumpets round the scaffold af the dawning by Whitehall!)

“He hath veiled the Crown And hid the Scepter,” warn the Trumpets,
“He hath changed the fashion of the lies that cloak his will.
“Hard die the Kings–ah hard–dooms hard!” declare the Trumpets,
Trumpets at the gang-plank where the brawling troop-decks fill!

Ancient and Unteachable, abide–abide the Trumpets!
Once again the Trumpets, for the shuddering ground-swell brings 
Clamour over ocean of the harsh, pursuing Trumpets–
Trumpets of the Vanguard that have sworn no truce with Kings! 

All we have of freedom, all we use or know–
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.

Ancient Right unnoticed as the breath we draw–
Leave to live by no man’s leave, underneath the Law.

Lance and torch and tumult, steel and grey-goose wing
Wrenched it, inch and ell and all, slowly from the king.

Till our fathers ‘stablished,, after bloody years, 
How our King is one with us, first among his peers. 

So they bought us freedom-not at little cost– 
Wherefore must we watch the King, lest our gain be lost.

Over all things certain, this is sure indeed,
Suffer not the old King: for we know the breed.

Give no ear to bondsmen bidding us endure.
Whining “He is weak and far”; crying “Time will cure.”

(Time himself is witness, till the battle joins,
Deeper strikes the rottenness in the people’s loins.)

Give no heed to bondsmen masking war with peace.
Suffer not the old King here or overseas.

They that beg us barter–wait his yielding mood–
Pledge the years we hold in trust-pawn our brother’s blood–

Howso’ great their clamour, whatsoe’er their claim,
Suffer not the old King under any name!

Here is naught unproven–here is naught to learn.
It is written what shall fall if the King return.

He shall mark our goings, question whence we came,
Set his guards about us, as in Freedom’s name.

He shall take a tribute, toll of all our ware;
He shall change our gold for arms–arms we may not bear.

He shall break his Judges if they cross his word;
He shall rule above the Law calling on the Lord.

He shall peep and mutter; and the night shall bring
Watchers ‘neath our window, lest we mock the King —

Hate and all division; hosts of hurrying spies;
Money poured in secret, carrion breeding flies.

Strangers of his counsel, hirelings of his pay,
These shall deal our Justice: sell-deny-delay.

We shall drink dishonour, we shall eat abuse
For the Land we look to–for the Tongue we use.

We shall take our station, dirt beneath his feet,
While his hired captains jeer us in the street.

Cruel in the shadow, crafty in the sun,
Far beyond his borders shall his teachings run.

Sloven, sullen, savage, secret, uncontrolled,
Laying on a new land evil of the old–

Long-forgotten bondage, dwarfing heart and brain–
All our fathers died to loose he shall bind again.

Here is nought at venture, random nor untrue
Swings the wheel full-circle, brims the cup anew.

Here is naught unproven, here is nothing hid:
Step for step and word for word–so the old Kings did!

Step by step, and word by word: who is ruled may read.
Suffer not the old Kings: for we know the breed–

All the right they promise–all the wrong they bring.
Stewards of the Judgment, suffer not this King! 

The Old Issue

Delayed (Quik) Readlist

Wolf and Iron, Gordon Dickson. In a post-collapse America, an ex-academic treks across the West with a wolf as his partner….This book has two strikes against it: first, post-apocalyptic fic is not my genre; second, expanded novels tend not to be very good. This novel was apparently expanded (and upgraded with more authentically wolf-like behavior for the titular Wolf) from a novella entitled In Iron Years.
It’s good…for post-apocalyptic fic. If you like the genre and/or are a Dickson fan, check it out.
Mirror Dance, Lois Bujold. Re-reading the Vorkosigan Saga mostly makes me sad for the Dune-level epic that never was. Bujold is one of the few authors who could pair genuine intensity and the advanced sci-fi setting, the sensawunda and the psychology…but she’s painfully not interested in action. To abuse a proverb: her heroes are the people who uplift themselves and their friends–not the people who kill their enemies. Which is fine.
(But knife fights are awesome, come on.)
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, A. C. Doyle. The game’s afoot!
– Pride and Prejudice, Some Dead Lady.

Escort West – Victor Mature, Faith Domergue, Elaine Stewart.
My dictum–that cute little kids only work well in Westerns if there is a dog involved–needs a little tweaking. Little boys only tend to work in Westerns if there is a dog. (Because if you can’t stand watching the kid act, you can always watch the dog.) Little girls only have to not be annoying. (Because if little girls are annoying, boys won’t want to watch it.) Now, grown women can be as annoying as all get out, if they are good-looking, because men will still watch it if they are hot.
This movie contains a non-annoying little girl, and a very annoying (but hot) woman. The script is decent but could have well used a little more work. And instead of a mule, they probably could have given her a horse.