Category: Writing

Please Help Timothy Remake The Last Jedi

A message from the CEO of Cattimothy House, Timothy the Talking Cat

Greetings fans of Star Wars everywhere,

You’ve probably heard by now of various groups who wish to remake Star Wars: The Last Jedi. While we might call their hopes “new” we should be honest and see that their plans are both a phantom and a menace that will inevitably lead to the Disney media empire striking back. What we need is a return to the Jedi of yesteryear and not some mere revenge of the Sith or some pointless clone of past wars.

Who can deliver that? Faceless internet people? Some vague comittee? Or…a face you know and can trust. A face that has repeatedly delivered epic space opera? A face with whiskers and a little triangular nose?

I think the answer is obvious.

That’s why I give you my re-worked plot outline for “The Last Jedi: Timothy’s Cut”.

[Scene One: some rocky island place full of freaky puffin monsters]

{Rey} Oh hello Mr Skywalker. I found your lightsabre!
{Luke} Excuse me while I use my Vulcan mindmeld powers to download the plot of the last movie.
{Rey} (makes noise like a 1990’s modem as Luke download The Force Awakens into his head)
{Luke} Hmmm. It seems much has transpired while I have been hiding here.
{Rey} Yes! We need your help to defeat the Sith again!
{Luke} I’m sorry Rey but there’s things you don’t know about me – things that are almost too terrible to tell you!
{Rey} Please Luke Skywalker, you are only hope!
{Luke} No, there is another…
{Rey} Another what?
{Luke} Another problem! You see Rey, the Sith were just a distraction. The real threat to the galaxy is…(looks around all shifty like)
{Rey} What? What is the real threat? And why do you keep looking around like you think somebody is eavesdropping.
{Luke (sotto voce)} The real threat is…
{Rey} Yes?
{Luke} The real threat is…
{Rey} Yes?
{Luke} The real threat is…
{Rey} Yes?
{Luke} The real threat is…
{Rey} Seriously, what the flip is the real threat!
{Luke} SPACE VAMPIRES!
{Rey} You’ve lost it dude. You’ve been sitting on this rock drinking blue milk for wayyyy to long.
{Luke} Search your feelings, you know it to be true!
{Rey} No. No! That’s not true! That’s impossible!
{Luke} It is absolutely true! That’s why I’m hiding on this rock farming the one thing Space Vampires have no resistance against!
{Rey} Um, space garlic? Giant space ships shaped like wooden stakes? Oh! Is it space mirrors? It’s space mirrors isn’t it?
{Luke} It’s porgs Rey. Vampires can be destroyed by porgs!
{Rey} No way!
{Luke} Yes way!
{Rey} But how!
{Luke} Traditionally it required the porg to be rubbed softly against the nape of a Space Vampires neck. This was a task undertaken by the Holy Order of Fishy-Frog Nuns of Porg Rock Island.
{Rey} That seems impractical…
{Luke} Indeed! That’s why I’ve been spending the all this time through three prequels, a bunch of cartoons and The Force Awakens, developing my super-weapon!
{Rey} Oh, oh, is it a porg-based light sabre! A porg-sabre! It is isn’t it?
{Luke} Rey, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that I can make a light sabre from a porg.
{Rey} I hope it’s not a planetoid sized space station made of porgs…
{Luke} It is a porg-bazooka or, if you will, a porgzooka.
{Rey} Can I have one?
{Luke} Yes, and also a hull mounted porgzooka for the Millenium Falcon.
{Rey} Can Finn have one too?
{Luke} Yes! I’ve made enough for everybody. There’s one for Rose,Leia, Poe, General Holdo, a crossbow one for Chewbacca, a cybernetic arm-attachement one for C3PO. I’ve got shit loads of them. You just need to load up the ship with concentrated porg essence!
{Rey} Let’s do it!

[Scene Two – Space. Rey is surrounded by Space Vampires]
{Rey} Say hello too my little friend! [hoists porgzooka onto her shoulder]
{Space Vampires – in unison to BB8} Hello, Rey’s little friend.
{BB-8} beep boop [also hoists porgzooka onto their shoulder]
{Space Vampires} Ha ha. We fear not your shiny shoulder tubes!
{Rey} EAT PORG, SPACE VAMPIRE SCUM!!!!!!
{BB-8} BEEP BOOP BOOPING BOOPIRE BEEP!!!!!
[BB-8 and Rey fire there porgzookas at the Space Vampires who explode as each porg-blast hits them. More Space Vampires turn up but then Leia and Por and Finn and Rose and that kid from the stables turns up and they all have porgzookas! But then even more space vampires turn up! But then Adam Driver turns up and says “I may be a Sith-wannabe but I hate space vampires just as much as anybody! Let’s join forces!” and Rey says “Sure, here have a porgzooka!” and then Phasma turns up and Boba-Fett and the sarlac and Lando and they all blast the space vampires. But even more space vampires turn up and then, oh guess what! Timothy the Talking Cat and Straw Puppy fly in with the Millenium Falcon and start blasting all the space vampires and I say: “You’re all clear, kid. Now let’s blow this thing and go home! ” and Rey blast the Arch-Space Vampire with the last porgzooka but he doesn’t die, so she has to stab a live porg straight into his heart! And then he explodes! And I say: “Great shot, kid! That was one in a million!” Then we all go home and get medals and milkshakes.]

The End

 

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More on Potato Dreams

Following up on this post – I’m imagining changes to economic structures but without changing the basic capitalist conception of the society as a means of dreaming up different worlds as settings for stories. How does the change impact on people’s behaviour? What ripples spread out from that change?

One such change that interests me is inherited wealth. A world in which taxation was simply the state of church confiscating the goods of the recently deceased is a simple proposition with far-reaching consequences. Such a rule would lead to people trying to circumvent it. What would that entail?

  • Wealthy people shifting their wealth to their heirs before they died.
  • More property being held by corporate entities rather than individuals.
  • A greater fear among the wealthy of untimely death.
  • Tax avoidance strategies creating a perverse incentive for the state to be happy about untimely death.

I need a bit more of a setting to think how that would turn out…

I’m imagining a city-state, run as a theocracy in a steam-punkish setting. Convulted corporations designed to obscure who owns what and the church/government very keen on raising the speed limit on the roads for velocipedes and encouraging dangerous sports.

Why a theocracy? No specific reason. I just thought that people who oversee funerals would have an initially simple way of tracking who was dead and faith in an afterlife would mean people would have one less reason to keep a death secret from the authorities. As a starting point for the evolution of such a system, it makes some sense even if it is an unlikely stretch.

I guess there would be many scams and schemes for concealing the death of a person. Presumably, disreputable undertakers would offer illegal funerals as tax dodges.

If a wealthy person was murdered there would always be rumours that the government did it. However, the rich would generally have less reason to fear being murdered by the heirs. People going “missing” as a cover for an untimely death would be such a common tax-dodge that the state/church would rule people “presumed dead” after only a short period of time. This, in turn, would create an unusual form of kidnapping in the city – a powerful person is kidnapped for a week, leading to them being declared dead and thus unseating them from their position in a company (perhaps to aid a takeover). Threats of this kind of corporate deathless-murder (essentially murder of the legal entity of a person without harming their body) would be used as extortion. The crime wouldn’t be common but the fear of it would be.

The identification of bodies would be a big deal in this city. In a Victorian-age city, lots of people die each day and knowing who was who would be important. Many people who die would be poor or destitute but there would be strong financial reasons to make sure a corpse was who the corpse appeared to be. Homicides would be investigated by the tax department which would also be the census department, which would also run the morgues. Only sustained public outcry and protest stops the tax department from running the hospitals – the medical services (or perhaps medical holy orders) are bitter rivals with the tax department.

I guess as I made this a theocracy already, this tax department would itself be a kind of quasi-monastic order. It would have general oversight of collecting the wealth of the dead but local churches would traditionally have collected the property of their own parishioners (as would occur in the rural surroundings). Who gets to register a death (the Holy Order of the Census or the local parish priest) is another source of rivalry in the city. Rich neighbourhoods built around a wealthy parish like to keep that money local.

 

The Bortsworth Mysteries: The Case of the Shifting Genre

It was a dark and stormy morning and our protagonist was about a mission both dangerous and of great import.

“Wake up!” said Timothy the Talking Cat, a highly intelligent cat with a piercing intellect who was looking very dapper that bright morning in a yellow bow tie that deftly coordinated with his purple, velvety fur.

“I am awake,” said Susan.

“It is so hard to tell because you sleep standing up and also last night I painted eyes on your eyelids which was funny at the time but now I regret because when you close your eyes it looks like you are staring at me in a really angry way like you are about to stomp on me,” replied Timothy loquaciously (who was briefly surprised that of all the words the meat robot hadn’t spelt incorrectly “loquaciously” was one of them).

“That’s how my regular eyes look,” explained Susan.

“Oh,” said Timothy, backing away nervously and eyeing up possible escape routes.

“So what do you want on this dark and stormy morning,” asked Susan.

“It’s not dark or stormy,” observed Timothy cautiously turning to look outside the garage door where he could see the early sun shining on the meadows adjacent to Felapton Towers.

“I know, I was referring to the obviously incorrect opening sentence,” said Susan.

“Why do you sleep in the garage?” inquired Timothy whose keen powers of observation had settled on the salient fact that Susan, a relatively small triceratops but objectively large being was residing in one of Felapton Towers’s many garages.

“I don’t. I wasn’t asleep. I was looking for paint thinner to clean my face with because somebody painted eyes on my eyelids last night and when I catch the small mammal that did that I will indulge my desire to learn how to play Australian Rules football by using him as the ball.” said Susan.

“Before you act on that desire let me explain a couple of things. One, when I said that I painted eyes on your eyelids I meant ‘i’ in the sense of ‘Straw Puppy did it’. Two, I’ve an exciting publishing proposition for you that would be definitely impaired if I was to be unjustly used as a game piece in some antipodean excuse for anti-cat cruelty.” said Timothy speaking both in a hurry and in a voice that he felt sounded like a lawyer but which was based on that one time he watched Rumpole of the Bailey whilst simultaneous playing Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney on a Nintendo DS which he had confiscated from a student at Bortsworth High School during an unpublished chapter of his adventures when he was a substitute French teacher. I should add the episode of ‘Rumpole of the Bailey’ was in French and Timothy was showing it to a class of Year 9 French students (as in students of French, the students themselves were English because the class would have been redundant if the students were French, although the students all had a timetabled lesson called ‘English’, which is around the point when Timothy left the school because it was all too confusing and also he got sacked for playing video games in lessons.)

“I’m all ear openings,” said Susan.

“Said Susan sardonically” add Timothy who was growing increasingly aware of the relative size of the text after things he said compared to the text after things Susan said and was increasingly uncomfortable with it, not out of a misplaced sense of inequity but because it felt like a foreboding omen of sudden violence that would most likely be directed at him. Controlling his desire to inquire why Susan had said ‘ear openings’ rather than ears and deciding that it was probably a dinosaur thing and then realising for the first time that birds don’t have visible ears and getting mildly freaked out by the fact, Timothy continued: “Well, I’ve been thinking about genres and where all the money is…”

“I’m not being in a romance novel written by you or your improbably grass-based dog friend,” stated Susan.

“No, no! Not romance! Gosh, I may be a vicious beclawed predatory monster with a gun fetish and the ethics of a shark that quit eating fish and became a hedge fund manager, but even I don’t have the fortitude to survive the cutthroat world of romance publishing.” exclaimed Timothy, shaking his tiny (by fang-filled) head at the thought.  He may have faced down space vampires, zombies and monstorous squirrel hegemony but he did not have the stomach to face down the trademark wars of the battle-planet known as ‘Romance Publishing’.

“Well if you haven’t got the guts for Romance then you clearly aren’t thinking of going into the Thunderdome-like lawless zone of YA publishing either,” observed Susan.

“Exactly! No, my plan is to ditch all this SF stuff and fourth-wall breaking stuff and go into COSY MYSTERIES!” said Timothy.

“Cosy mysteries?” said Susan curiously, “Is that like when a T-rex falls out of a tree, narrowly misses a triceratops and instead lands on a pile of sleeping marsupial proto-badgers, thus cushioning his fall but nobody knows why?” Susan was intrigued by the notion of a sub-genre that she was, as yet, unfamiliar with. What new possibilities might this engender for her taxonomic project of classifying all dinosaurid literature into a single universal scheme?

“Cosy mysteries like Midsummer Miss Fisher Murder on the telly! It occurred to me only the other day! We have the perfect setting already! A stately home in a small town in rural southern England! An eccentric collection of characters! Some sinister looking people who probably would murder somebody for complicated but petty reasons – like Mrs Brigsly for example who strikes me as the murdering kind.” enthused Timothy.

“I see and, if I may speculate, you need an odd-couple pairing as the main characters. You see yourself as the sharp-witted but debonair detective and me as the apparently dull but actually astute ‘muscle’ who often provides the key insight for solving the mystery. Our contrasting characters and modes of operation providing both a source of banter and also a way of diverting the plot into many false leads and red herrings with the final conclusion resolved more by fiat than actual detection?” said Susan.

“Yes!” said Timothy.

“It is a terrible idea and after much reflection, I prefer my original plan of using you as the football in a game of Australian Rules,” said Susan.

“eep,” said Timothy running swiftly out into the morning which actually had turned both dark and stormy in the intervening time thus proving the opening sentence correct, if a little premature in its description of the prevailing weather conditions.

An Odd Dream About Potatoes

As the title implies, I had an odd dream about potatoes. In it a farmer was paid royalties on his potatoes i.e. he sold his potatoes but each time his potatoes were sold on (whether as a whole or as ingredients) some of that money was passed back to him and as a consequence, he was very rich. He was surprised other potato farmers didn’t do this.

Now this was literally my subconscious talking and it is notoriously bad at thinking through the full details of its schemes – it can barely keep major details consistent from one part of a dream to the next. As an inventor of economic schemes, I wouldn’t trust it. Clearly, the potato royalty scheme would never work and makes very little sense for products that quickly lose their identity.

However, it made me mindful how much our modern capitalist society is full of QWERTY-keyboard systems of economic arrangements, particularly in the area of intellectual property (itself a convoluted fiction) but not only there. The conventions of share ownership, company governance, limited liability, not to mention even deeper fundamentals like banking and money.

How much of the way our modern economic systems works is an inevitable outcome of the workings of the giant distributed algorithm of vague market forces and how much is convenience, historically contingent, or a self-sustaining convention whose efficiency arises out of it being the convention everybody adopted.

We know many of these conventions coalesced in 18th and 19th century Britain and were further codified in 19th and 20th century America. Other countries adopted them either for reasons of convenience or for reasons of force and colonisation. What didn’t occur was many different cultures developing quasi-free market capitalism independently of growing European/American hegemony. Put another way, a key element of the pseudo-Darwinism of survival of the profitable/economically-efficient was not in play: a variety of competing variations on “capitalism”.

This isn’t a post advocating a worldwide experiment to improve the inner workings of capitalism, aside from anything else the possibility exists that we currently have a system that is less ruthless and exploitative in its workings than it could be. I’d rather see a social and economic change that took us further away from centring so much of our activity around profit, rather than thinking too much about how we could continue to do that but differently.

No, this is a post about speculation of the non-financial kind. What other kinds of economies can we imagine? What small changes of convention would make the world very different? So much of our modern ‘free market’ relies on governments agreeing to conventions (from weights and measures to intellectual property laws, to corporate governance and liability, to laws of inheritance). What if those laws had been different?

People would still people we can assume but people are flexible and shaped by the world they are in. What if all rights to property ended on your death? Well, people would take care to divest their personal property and their wealth to their children before they died. So some might say, little would change but imagine how the ripples of such decisions would alter the lives of the wealthy in ways different to that of the poor. For better or for worse? I don’t know – probably just different. For the very wealthy sudden death would take on an extra fear – a powerful man who owned controlling interests in many commercial entities suddenly dying would become hugely disruptive. Sure, companies would invent new legal and financial instruments to reduce such risks, but that is yet another ripple outward that would change this imaginary world. And here I’ve assumed modern capitalism still managed to evolve in such a world.

What if we took an alt-history approach and looked at when certain ideas really began to coalesce? Without the printing press, there is little need for the concept of copyright. What if governments at the time had made no provision for copyright, what if anybody could print anything (a very radical ‘freedom of the press’). How differently would our literary world have progressed? How differently would modern notions of intellectual property have progressed? How would writers seek to control their own work? Serial fiction was important in the 19th century (think Dickens) perhaps it would have stayed so as it would be easier to maintain a brief temporary monopoly on the latest instalment.

A better world or a worse world or just a different world? Would the broad brush strokes of our world converge or would the world be very different? I’ll be sure to ask my subconcious the next time I see them.

Timothy and Babies

[Scene: Bortsworth High Street near the still derelict Woolworths. It is summer in England and the inhabitants of Bortsworth are still giddy from the brief vitamin D boost they got from a sunny day in May.]

Dramatic Personae:

  • Camestros Felapton – raconteur and bon-vivant
  • Timothy the Talking Cat – a rat-auteur and bomb-savant
  • Mrs Brigsly – an inhabitant of Bortsworth and carekeeper of a baby
  • A baby – a baby of unknown provenance in the care of Mr Brisgly

[Timothy] I had to look up ‘bon-vivant’ and the dictionary did not say ‘binges on Netflix and chocolate hob-nobs’
[Camestros] It is more of an attitude than a strictly prescribed lifestyle.
[Timothy] and I’m the one who tells anecdotes in a ‘skilful or amusing way’
[Camestros]…well…
[Timothy] It cleary says “OR”!
[Camestros] Let’s change the subject shall we? I’m already on the sixth line of dialogue, I’m not going back and changing the list of characters now.
[Timothy] Ohhh…is that what that means. I assumed you couldn’t spell “dramatic persons”.
[Camestros] Aha! A timely interruption! There is Mrs Brigsly pushing a pram with a baby in it. Good morning Mrs Brigsly.
[Mrs Brigsly] Fuck off you weirdo and keep that fucking fire hazard away from the baby.
[Timothy] Oh, I don’t think the town has forgiven you for that giant “foam incident” yet Camerashop Fissilechunk.
[Camestros] You mean the ‘incident’ where you doused the town in petrol to scare away the squirrels and I had to drop fire retardant foam on the whole town just to stop the place exploding?
[Timothy] We remember it differently.
[Camestros] Well Mrs Brigsly has angrily walked away so you missed your chance to say hello to the baby.
[Timothy] What kind of baby was it?
[Camestros] Just a regular baby I guess. They all sort of look the same.
[Timothy] I wonder if it was a baby dragon?
[Camestros] No, it was a human baby.
[Timothy] I don’t see how you could know that when it hasn’t had a chance to grow up yet.
[Camestros] Aside from the issue of why Mrs Brigsly would have a baby dragon in a pram or the issue that dragons don’t exist, it was clearly a human baby that looked exactly like a human baby!
[Timothy] But you said all babies look the same!
[Camestros] In context I clearly meant all human babies. Look, cat babies don’t look like tiny humans do they?
[Timothy] Cats don’t have babies.
[Camestros -insistently] Cats have babies.
[Timothy] I’ve never had babies.
[Camestros] Cats in general, as a species, have babies.
[Timothy] Ah, no, that’s where you are wrong. Cats have kittens. Kittens look nothing like babies.
[Camestros] Kittens are cat babies.
[Timothy] That’s ridiculous. A cat baby would be a baby that grows up to be a cat. I’m not ruling out that possibility as a rare occurrence (we live in a strange world after all) but biology, science and common sense says that infant cats are kittens and kitten are not babies. Babies go “wah wah wah” and kittens go “mew mew” to cite just one attested biological facts about babies and kittens.
[Camestros] When I say “cat babies” I’m using the term analogously to mean infant cats i.e. kittens.
[Timothy] Well now you are just shifting the goal posts – which, I might add, is how to use an analogy correctly in a discussion and not in some weird ass way where you suddenly say “babies” when you mean “kittens”.
[Camestros]So let me get this right – you think babies all look the same and that they grow up to be different things and once grown up we know what kind of baby they were?
[Timothy] Oh don’t think I didn’t notice you shifting the argument! Yes, babies are a excitable bundles of potential. One might grow up to be stock broker, another a butterfly, yet another a mighty dragon but at the start they are just babies.
[Camestros] What can I say? You are not just wrong, you are absurdly wrong.
[Timothy] And yet you can’t win this argument.
[Camestros] Indeed not. Also, I think Mrs Brigsly may have organised a mob of angry townsfolk to chase us out of town…
[Timothy] eep!

Freddy Nietzsche – The Fastest Draw in the West

A True Story – In Places.

Due to sundry events to which I am merely a spectator, I found myself on the online encyclopedia known as ‘Wikipedia’ the other day. Now due to a slip of the cursor, I clicked on the wrong link and found myself on the biography of one Johnny Ringo, a gentleman of the nineteenth-century persuasion. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Ringo

420px-johnny_ringoNow my first thought was, I should imagine, much the same as any student of the romantic world of America’s wild west: “Wait, isn’t that a photograph of Friederich Nietzsche, well know nineteenth-century philosopher and author of Thus Spoke Zarathustra?”

I mean it does look an awful lot like him.

I mean it looks EXACTLY like him, more or less.

440px-nietzsche187aPut another way, this picture of the man who coined the term Übermensch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche) is clearly the same person. Yes, yes, the haircut is slightly different but that’s the same expression, eyes, nose, huge moustache and THE SAME COLLAR AND TIE. It’s basically the same guy but photographed at a different angle and with better quality film.

‘No, wait!’ I hear you cry, ‘that’s nuts and you’ve been reading too many wacky internet theories and your critical powers have turned to mush you silly, silly man. Everybody in Victorian times looked like that even in countries not actually ruled by Queen Victoria.”

Now, I will concede that nineteenth-century photography and male grooming habits may disguise important different facial features because of fixed expressions, evolving technology and huge amounts of facial hair but I did a test. You can do it yourself. Look up pictures of Johnny Ringo’s contemporaries such as Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday or others involved in the Gunfight at the OK Corral and check to see if any of them:

  • Also look Nietzsche (answer: no they don’t)
  • Also look like any other contemporaneous notable philosophers (answer: no they don’t)

‘Yes, but it is still a superficial…’ let me stop you right there dear reader. Look at this image below. This is the two images above superimposed. I swear to the ghost of William of Ockham that I’ve only done the following to them: flipped the Johnny R image left-right, resized it uniformly and change the opacity of the layer so you can see Freddy N underneath.

ringonietz

The ears don’t quite match up and Freddy’s moustache is a bit wilder, but otherwise? That, people, is a match.

No, no, it is no use holding your palm to your face and shaking your head like that and mumbling ‘I remember when this blog used to make sense’. We have to face facts. Friedrich Nietzsche and Johnny Ringo were the same dodgy desperado! One, the scourge of Tomb Stone Arizona and the other the scourge of German philosophy!

‘OK, despite you demanding we all practise non-cynical scepticism and examine outrageous ideas critically, you have convinced me that these two people who led public lives on two different continents are the same person but how is that possible?’ – Good question!

So Freddy was born in 1844, Johnny was (ostensibly) born 1850 – an age difference easily obscured. Indeed, Freddy would have spent much of his life under the gentle and damp weather conditions of Prussia and hence probably would have looked young for his age among the rowdy cowboys of Cochise County, their skin prematurely aged by the harsh sun and dry dusty conditions.

Now up to about 1876, Freddy’s life is very public and well documented. Over that same period, an outlaw known as Johnny Ringo was active in Texas and was involved in the so-called Mason County War. Clearly, those two people are different.

In 1876 Freddy becomes disillusioned with Wagner and possibly is suffering from his experiences as a medical orderly in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71). Now the “official” history of Nietzsche has him becoming an ‘independent’ philosopher – essentially breaking formal ties to institutions by 1879 and living off a pension and travelling with friends.

In reality* this was all a cover – an elaborate facade constructed with the aid of friends, relatives and accomplices. In truth, Freddy had left to become a cowboy outlaw in the Wild West. Entranced by lurid tales of gunslingers and adventures and a world where men were men and nobody could spell ‘nihilism’, Freddy had found the perfect antidote to his pessimism and disenchantment. Instead of watching Wagner play-acting as Seigfried, Freddy could make his way to a world where epic heroes still walked the earth and had their deeds written as sagas.

Somehow, Freddy managed to be both exactly right and exactly wrong about that.

In truth, the era of the Wild West was already in its final stages. Railroads now crossed the continent and law and order was being systematically (often brutally) established.

The one place that was still the epitome of the Wild West was Tombstone Arizona — a bustling but often lawless town, still growing off the back of mining boom. The miners were mainly immigrants – including many from Germany. It was there Freddy headed, taking up the identity of an outlaw who had died in Texas and the first thing he did was to join an outlaw gang of cowboys known as the Cochise County Cowboys.

“Johnny” first turns up in Tombstone in 1879 around the time Nietzsche ‘officially’ had resigned as professor of philology at the University of Basel. No more lecturing bored Swiss students! Now he’d be rustling cattle and raising mayhem!

The events in Tombstone over the next four years have become legendary. Nietzsche himself didn’t participate in the infamous Gunfight at the OK Corral (despite what the movies say) but he tussled with Doc Holliday and pursued Wyatt Earp as part of a rival posse established by the county sheriff. Meanwhile, in Europe, Freddy’s friends staged elaborate ways of establishing that Nietzsche was still in Europe.

Officially, “Johnny” died in 1882 due to a gunshot to the head – which may have been self-inflicted or may have been an execution. In truth** we will never know whose body that really was but what we do know is that after an appropriate amount of time for Nietzsche to make his way back to Europe, he turns up in Leipzig looking for an academic position, having ‘split’ from his ‘friends’ Lou Salomé and Paul Rée (in truth*** he didn’t know them – they had been hired to maintain the cover story).

From there the official narrative starts up again. Nietzsche’s sister, inspired by Freddy’s wild west adventure decides in 1886 to start a new life in Paraguay with her antisemitic husband. “Been there, done that.”**** says Freddy, treating the ‘Americas’ as a single entity and not meaning that he literally had been to Paraguay.

And there you have it. The strange, fabricated forgotten history of Friedrich Nietzsche Outlaw Cowboy and how he nearly (but not quite) fought at the Gunfight at the OK Corral.

True story.*****

*[for some values of reality]

**[for some values of truth]

***[‘truth’ as in ‘make this story work’]

****[In German but it is from Nietzsche that we get this phrase]

*****[in some reality or other surely?]

 

 

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1 You must access and use the HereThere!(tm) teleport-buffer (“teleport-buffer”) only in accordance with these terms and conditions (“Teleport-buffer Terms and Conditions”) the Energiser/De-energiser Terms and Conditions and any instructions for use provided or made available by Tel-E-Port-U Centauri Pty Ltd or its affiliates (“Tel-E-Port-U”) or Engineering Officers from time to time.

2 The teleport-buffer is designed for HereThere!(tm) VIP Club members (“Members”) to contain their own thoughts, DNA-profiles, matter states and continuity of persistent existence profiles. The materials holding thoughts and opinions contained on this teleport-buffer (including the responses in the ‘HereThere!(tm) Help Panel and the ’DNA-check sum’ area) are the thoughts and opinions of the teleported parties and not those of Tel-E-Port-U. Tel-E-Port-U does not endorse or support any buffered thoughts or opinions or guarantee the accuracy of any of the information, beliefs or perceived facts stored on the teleport-buffer no matter how brief or protracted storage in the buffer might be.

3 Without limiting the above, the information stored regarding the biological integrity of the transported are not those of the supervising Medical Officer. If you have any queries or concerns or require any further professional advice about any of the biometric data on yourself appearing on the teleport-buffer, you should consult your doctor or health care professional. This includes any information provided in the “HereThere!(tm) Help Panel”. Please count all your organs before energisation.

4 In respect of DNA, body-profiles, neuron-connections, hormone profiles, long term memories, short term memories, beliefs, genotypes, phenotypes, clothing, names, likenesses, logos, artwork, graphics, images, video, audio, embedded-AI or other cognitive enhancements, cybernetic impacts, software applications and other content or material uploaded, sent or communicated by you or on your behalf by teleport staff to the teleport-buffer (“User-Specific Content”), you acknowledge and agree that you are responsible for:
– the suitability, installation, configuration, uploading, downloading, use, operation, communication, accuracy and legality of the User-Specific Content, and that Tel-E-Port-U does not monitor, install, configure, download, review, authorise, edit or alter User-Specific Content except when necessary or expedient; and
– the back up of the User-Specific Content and any other data or files, unless otherwise expressly agreed by Tel-E-Port-U.

5 You authorise and license Tel-E-Port-U to copy, reproduce, communicate, distribute, perform, hyperwarp and display the User-Specific Content for the purposes of providing the teleport-buffer, site and any associated services to you.

6 You warrant that the User-Specific Content and your use of the User-Specific Content in the teleport-buffer:
(A) complies with all Applicable Laws at the site of energisation and at the site of de-energisation (see also Energise/De-energise ToCs).
(B) is not obscene or indecent (within the normal bounds of whole body digitisation), unsuitable for impressionable siliconoids, excessively violent, false, misleading, deceptive, fraudulent or defamatory unless clearly marked as ‘deep-seated unexpressed antagonism’;
(C) does not infringe any intellectual property rights or other rights of any entity or person unless clearly marked as “somewhat confused recollection of that book/movie/holo I once read/watched/holo-acted”.
(D) does not include pornography, nudity, adult sexual content outside of the subconscious and does not include any sex-related merchandising (including tattoos or glow-in-the-dark sex organs);
(E) is not damaging to Tel-E-Port-U’s servers or any other servers on the inter-port network or likely to cause a warp-core breach;
(F) does not contain any promotional material or advertising for commercial purposes or personal financial gain (except as permitted in the ‘chain-of-existence’ teleport-buffer);
(G) does not advertise used body-parts or seek to purchase used body-parts from other teleported entities;
(H) does not include material or resources relating to hacking/phreaking, bacteria, bio-viruses, digi-viruses, memes, psychenarchy, earworms, the dark side of the force or that promote or participate in wilful harm to inter-port network buffers or providers;
(I) does not contain spoilers or plot revelations that may be inadvertently revealed to other Members;
(J) does not contain any infectious anxiety about the teleportation process that might unnerve other Members during the buffering process nor any alarming stories about people being teleported into solid objects or becoming half-man/half-fly monsters.

7 Tel-E-Port-U may without notice to you remove, amend, alter or deny access to any User-Specific Content or Content in its sole discretion if:
(i) it is required to do so by any Applicable Law or order or judgment of a Court or tribunal of fact or law or other competent body (including any “take down notice” issued under the Digital Body Content Act); or
(ii) in Tel-E-Port-U’s opinion any such User-Specific Content is obscene, offensive, indecent, excessively violent, illegal, saxophone related, misleading or defamatory, or otherwise unacceptable, undesirable or objectionable (including if it contains information about brands or alternative transport systems which are in competition with Tel-E-Port-U or Tel-E-Port-U products).
(iii) it is discovered that you are harbouring (willingly or unwillingly) a parasitic entity, energy being, or demonic power that has an existing arrest warrant or which appears on the ‘do not teleport’ watch list. Note Tel-E-Port-U does not offer removal of such entities as a service and cannot be held responsible for any body or personality changes that occur as a results. Members should consult their own medical care provider and/or priest before energisation;
(iv) you use the term ‘beamed’, ‘beam me up’ or ‘Scotty’, whether ironically or ‘in a spirit of fun’, without express written permission from Tel-E-Port-U;
(v) it is found that you are wearing teleport resistant clothing/underwear in the hope that you will de-energise naked and surprise everybody. It wasn’t funny the first time. Please stop that.

8 Messages sent via the DNA-check sum area are intended for the recipient only. They are not to be copied into the public areas of the teleport-buffer. However they may be passed on to Tel-E-Port-U or the moderator of the teleport-buffer for review. Tel-E-Port-U reserves the right to move, edit and lock strands and generally manage the structure of your DNA as it sees fit.

9 The ‘chain-of-existence’ teleport-subbuffer is the only place where Members may provide details of their persistent identity. All files in this section will be moderated and approved at the sole discretion of Tel-E-Port-U.

10 The service is not to be used to create by design or accident ‘clones’, copies, simulacrums, homunculi or other forms of repeated versions of an individual without expression permission from Tel-E-Port-U. “Buffer accident” will be regarded as a infringement of these terms and conditions if it results in two alternate versions of a Member.

11 No saxophones.

12 The service is for the purpose of transportation not personal expression. Members are not permitted to:
(|) manipulate buffer data to create body modifications, changes or ‘improvements’ of a physical or psychological nature;
(||) manipulate buffer data for the purpose of ‘practical expression of a philosophical thought experiment’ or for the purpose of extended metaphors about the fragility of identity or the loss of self in the face of technological change.

13 The Report-a-tragedy function, the Contact An Engineer function and the Customer Away Team are the only avenues for Members to report or discuss objectionable teleportation behaviour by other Members. Any data of this nature taking place on the public teleport-buffer will be removed.

14 Tel-E-Port-U may suspend your membership or restrict your access to teleport services if you do not comply with these teleport-buffer Terms and Conditions. If deemed necessary by Tel-E-Port-U, you may be reported to the appropriate authorities or planes of existence. You may be beamed directly to a place of incarceration for your own safety or the safety of others. The use of force fields is permitted in such circumstances.

15 Tel-E-Port-U may terminate these teleport-buffer Terms and Conditions and/or your access to the teleport-buffer and/or you, at any time without notice. In the event of termination you must immediately cease accessing and using the teleport-buffer and Content and (at Tel-E-Port-U’s option) return any wet copies of the Content or destroy any wet copies and any other digital copies of the Content within your control or possession. All restrictions imposed on you, licences granted by you and all disclaimers, indemnities and limitations of liability set out in these teleport-buffer Terms and Conditions will survive even if you do not. We are not liable for burial costs or identification of remains.

16 Members also expressly acknowledge and agree that the HereThere!(tm) teleport-buffer is a means of public and not private transportation, whereby information and images submitted to the public teleport-buffer can be accessed by both Members and the general public. Due care should be taken when sharing private information and images with other Members in both the public teleport-buffer and the DNA-check sum area.

17 Any User-Specific Content may be reproduced or archived in any manner that Tel-E-Port-U considers appropriate. Tel-E-Port-U is bound by the Interstellar Privacy & Body-Integrity Principles in the Integrity Act 2198 and by becoming a Member and participating in the teleport-buffer, you are taken to consent to Tel-E-Port-U’s privacy policy. A Member may access and correct any personal information held by Tel-E-Port-U, upon request to Tel-E-Port-U.

18 Tel-E-Port-U will not be liable for any injury, loss or damage of any nature whatsoever (including but not limited to being turned into a half man/half fly creature) which is suffered or sustained as a result of or in connection with:
(1) receiving, giving or using any material contained on the teleport-buffer; or
(2) access to or non-access to the teleport-buffer,
except for any liability which cannot be excluded by the local laws of physics in the area of operation.

19 If any term, condition, or provision of these teleport-buffer Terms and Conditions is determined to be unlawful, invalid, void, or physically unenforceable, the validity and enforceability of the remaining terms, conditions and provisions shall not in any way be affected or impaired regardless of your status as a ‘higher kind of life form that has transcended such mortal concerns’.