I Must Speak, Yet I Can’t Shut Up

Chaos in Print


This is weird. I think this is the first week since I started doing this that I have absolutely nothing to talk about. I mean, I had this brilliant column written. It was gutsy! It was real world! It was cutting edge! But, one of my friends asked that I not publish it. So what if I portrayed him as murderous, treacherous, and just plain evil drug dealer? If you can’t make false accusations about your friends, then who can you falsely accuse? Now, with that column in the “un-publishable” file, I need to throw something together at the last minute. So, then, what should I write about?

I could write about how I seem to have become a magnet for pen-and-pencil sets. I came to this realization the other day, when I got one in the mail from Augustana Interactive Radio manager William Voth. It was his way of expressing his thanks for doing my Al-a-thon ’99 last week. So, I took that pen-and-pencil set and put it with the others. Let’s see, there’s the one I got from my godmother as a college grad gift. There’s the one my Dad stuck in my stocking last year for Christmas. There’s the hand-crafted one I got from some German relatives. There’s the one my parents’ got me from the Neuschwanstein gift shop when they were in Germany. And finally, there’s the one my Grandpa and Grandma gave me for my high school grad. That one I do treasure, if simply because it’s the last gift I got from my Grandpa and Grandma. Shortly before my grad, my Grandma was killed in a car accident, and when my Grandpa gave me that pen-and-pencil set for grad, me made it very clear that it was from him and Grandma. I have declared that set the lucky set. I just filled out a job application with it, and it’s a job I hope to get. I find I set all these pens aside, and save them for a special occasion. You know, I tend to carry around a 50-cent Bic with me wherever I go, just in case I need a pen. I only carry these with me when I’m all dressed-up. They’ve become “dress pens.” I eventually see a day where the pen-and-pencil set is phased out in favor of the keyboard-and-mouse set, seeing as to how everyone types everything these days.

I could write about the strange dream I had last night. OK, here’s how it went. I was one of the newest hotshot lawyers working for the firm of Cage and Fish. That’s right, I was one of the lawyers on Ally McBeal. After unsuccessfully hitting on Nell, word came in that John Cage had been accused of a crime he didn’t commit. So, I heroically took on the case. After a lengthy court battle, I was able to clear John’s good name. Since that was a rather long day, I returned home to relax, only to have my parents drag me off to some Agricultural Fair in Edmonton. It wasn’t long before I managed to ditch my parents so I could hang out with my bestest friends in the whole wide world. That’s right, I was hanging out with the gang from The Drew Carey Show. After successfully wrestling my Jell-o away from Lewis, Kate and I went some place where we could be alone and eat some Jell-o. That’s when I woke up. Strange. I think it simply means one thing: I have been watching way too much TV.

I could tell you with my girlish glee how I just discovered that my new favorite animated film, The Iron Giant, is coming out on video and DVD on November 23. For people like me, it is also being released in a widescreen edition. But then, I’ve already e-mailed everyone I know about that, so I think I’ll leave that alone.

I could rave on about Gargoyles. One of my favorite cartoons of all time, and the Family Channel is showing it every night at 12:30! Thank God for my VCR! I’ve almost completely filled a tape. Just the other night, they showed the episode “Metamorphosis.” This was the origin episode of one my favorite under-utilized characters: the Mutates. As it turns out, the evil Xanatos contacted the geneticist Sevarius to see if it would be possible to “create” gargoyles. Sevarius originally wanted to simply clone Goliath, but he didn’t have any of Goliath’s DNA. (He eventually got some and created Thailog, Goliath’s evil clone, but that’s another story.) So, Sevarius came up with this plan. Gargoyles have the strength and speed of a jungle cat, the wings of a bat, and intelligence of a human. Why not genetically combine the three? But, he discovered that, in order to sustain their strength, a gargoyle would need to eat 3 sides of beef per day. He then learned that when gargoyles turn to stone in the day, they actually become solar collectors, and that’s what keeps their energy up. The closest thing he could find in nature was the electricity producing organs of the electric eel. So, he created a mutagen that would add cat, bat, and electric eel DNA to a human (when injected), thus turning the human into a gargoyle-like creature. But, these gargoyles don’t turn to stone in the day, and (as a side effect of the electric eel DNA) can electrify their bodies and shoot lightning bolts. These mutates were in the employ of Xanatos for a while, but they eventually saw his evil, and thus formed their own gargoyle clan, and allied themselves with Goliath and our heros.

Xanatos and Sevarius created four mutates. The first was Fang. He was some kind of street punk before he was mutated, and stuck with his evil ways even after leaving Xanatos. Then, there was Claw. There was a flaw with his mutation, and it left him unable to speak. Maggie the Cat is the third. Old story: young woman comes from the country to make it big in the city, but soon finds herself homeless and on the street. Young woman becomes assistant to mad scientist, who uses her as guinea pig. Of all the mutates, she is the only one who retained her human name. And finally, we have Talon, leader of the mutates. In his human life, he was Derek Maza, Elisa’s brother. His mutation, naturally, caused heartache for his sister and family, but he vowed to use his new powers for good, thus continuing the family cop tradition. I wish there were more episodes with them. I would have loved to have learned more.

If I wanted to, I could continue on with Coldstone and the cyber-gargoyles, but since there is no direction to this column, it’s best to keep it short. Instead, I’d like to share with you two of my favorite dialogues from Gargoyles. This first one comes from the episode “Awakenings Part III.” It is between Hudson and Elisa, and it is when Hudson chooses his name. Let me set the scene: Goliath and Elisa have just met the night before, and Elisa is about to show Goliath the city. Hudson swoops in, saying he was watching over Goliath to make sure Elisa wasn’t setting a trap. And thus, our dialogue:

Elisa>> Jeez, you guys are paranoid even for New York! (Turning to Hudson) And what’s your name?

Hudson>> You humans. Nothing exists to you until you’ve named it; given it limits. Why is that?

Elisa>> (Stammering) Er, uh, well, it’s just that things need names.

Hudson>> Oh really? Does the sky need a name? (Pointing to the river) Does the river?

Elisa>> The river’s called the Hudson.

Hudson>> (sighs) Fine. Then I shall be the Hudson as well.

This next dialogue comes from the episode “Eye Of the Beholder.” It’s is Xanatos’ marriage proposal to Fox. I love it because it’s the most emotionless marriage proposal I’ve ever heard. The scene: a romantic candlelight dinner at Xanatos and Fox’s penthouse:

Xanatos>> Marry me.

Fox>> Are you serious?

Xanatos>> We’re genetically compatible, highly intelligent, and have the same goals. It makes perfect sense to get married.

Fox>> True. But what about. . .love?

Xanatos>> I think we love each other. As much as two people such as ourselves are capable of that emotion. (Presents the Eye of Odin)

Fox>> For me?

Xanatos>> To seal the bargain.

Fox>> It’s beautiful. Proposal accepted.

Don’t worry. As the episode progresses, we see that the Eye of Odin turns Fox into a werewolf, and Xanatos fights with all his resources to cure her, even begging his greatest enemy for help. We discover that these two are much more capable of love than they let on. And that’s where I’ll end this!

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