Letters Column for March 2006: The Most Beautiful of Sounds

Posted on April 20, 2006 by Jenna

← Previous | Next →


Those of you who prefer your daily fiction strips abstract might like Mr. Greer’s When I Woke Up. Those of you who want your daily fiction to tell you what to do might like Mr. Powers’ Girls are Pretty. Those of you who like it sharply realistic might enjoy Mr. Warner’s Corrugated Noun Ninja!

Which will you like?

I cannot say!

On to the letters.

That should be silly! But it’s not! It’s CREEPY! And cute! And my brain is //bluescreened and won’t reboot!//
— Archangel Beth

And in his citadel beyond the world the iBrahma rubs his hands together in glee—

Ten hands!

Twenty hands!

Ten thousand hands! In glee!— to know that one more soul will go Macintosh in its next life.

They do not live on our planet, the people with Macintoshes for brains. You would notice it if they did because their heads would be small and dainty and colorful and also fully compatible with iPods, unlike our heavy and treacherous peaks, which in some respects are not.

But they do not live here.

They are a different kind of people.

Here are some of their characteristics.

Their brains do not bluescreen.

They are less frequently targeted by avians with the various viruses, not so much because of an inherently greater security as because birds really really don’t like people with human flesh for brains.

It is hard to tell because we have not lived in a human-brainless world but birds in their native condition are creatures of great sweetness and enormous love. It is only their perpetual frustration with human brains and such brains’ malfunctions that causes the birds to fall to the savage depths of the other animals and whistle and squawk their horrid slanders day and night. Ask the rooks. They know.

It is hard to tell and so you might imagine that even people on the planet of people with Macintoshes for brains would get avian flu but it is not so.

They live longer than we do on this world.

They are healthier.

That is why iBrahma laughs and rubs together his endlessly multitudinous hands and sings with his throats the infinite syllable of all-pervading virtue, which you may find if you seek it in the hidden recesses of the iTunes site, OM.

man, when will people learn not to learn about gravity?
— GoldenH

It’s hard for people who believe in the interconnectedness of all things!

You’re like, “I don’t know a thing about gravity,”

And sensei says, “Aha! But you do know about the dangers of head lice!”

And you say, “Hm. I have in fact heard about these dangers. They fall from space and eat people’s heads!”

“Well, see?” he says, triumphantly.


“How do they fall?”

That is why it is best never to fence with an interconnectedness-sensei. Just when you think they’re coming at you from one direction, they hit you from another.

Also, they have nunchuku!

Daffylathotep…The Quacking Chaos…he who takes the form of a “Little Black Duck” when appearing to sorcerers.
— Graeme

Or sometimes a yellow one, as immortalized in the mad russet’s Solum Solium:

Daffyhotep, you’re the one!
You make bathtime lots of fun!
Daffyhotep, I’m awfully fond of you;
(woh woh, bee doh!)

Daffyhotep, joy of joys,
Sometimes I hear your squeaking noise
In the office and in the library too
(doo doo doo, doo doo)

Every day when I
Get a little bit dreamy
I wake a little madder
Little bit more unseemly
(Rub a dub tekeli)

Daffyhotep, you’re so fine,
You’re so fine you blow my mind,
Daffyhotep I’m ever more fond of you.

Hey, Daffyhotep! Are you hinting that I should go down to that cave where my nifty ancestors worshipped?

You are?

Okay! How’s this?

It’s kind of weird what you hear down here—

Oh! But you don’t have any ears, do you? Just a tummy! A roly-poly ducky tummy!

Every day when I
Get a little bit dreamy
I feel a little stranger
Like I’m in danger
Please free me!

(Rub a dub tekeli)

Daffyhotep you’re so fine
You’re so fine you blow my mind
Daffyhotep I can’t seem to stop this—
Daffyhotep it’s like a bizarre bliss—
Daffyhotep I’m always thinking of you!

(Hey, what are you?)

There was supposed to be a heart there.
— insanitykun

You can use the symbol % for a heart.

That’s what I do!

It doesn’t pump blood as well as a real heart, of course. But it can love in that way that only a 5, when modified by holding down the shift key, can.

With a fierce consuming passion.

With a burning ardour.

Sadly because it does not beat it makes it much harder for me to dance. I will be dancing my heart out and people will say, “Hey, miss, you’re just standing there with two fierce pools of light shining through you,” and I’ll blush and say, “Oh, percentage sign for heart.”

And they’ll go, “What the hell are you talking about? We don’t speak that wacky ASL lingo.”

It’s true! I’ve tested this at clubs!

Beep, beep indeed.
— BethL

I think it is perhaps the most beautiful of sounds.

Music is incredible, but a beep can prevent a car accident.

I have particularly enjoyed the last two entries. Thank you.
— tylercat

Yay! You’re welcome.

Oddly lovely.
— Eric

Thank you for your kind words!

Delightful. Well, except for the image of the earth being surrounded by frozen corpses.
— Ford Dent

To a vacuum pre-armageddic dispensationalist, it’s the most beautiful of all sacred images!

It is the standard tenet of vacuum pre-armageddic dispensationalist heresies that those who accept Jesus Christ into their hearts are creating a kind of microcosmic singularity inside that beating muscle—a naked holiness point, if you will, wherein the laws of physics cease utterly to apply—that eats away at them as it did the sainted Cheney’s organ and makes them good.

That those who die to this devouring Jesus singularity are the most blessed of all men, women, and children upon this Earth. That when the paradox of divinity in man that embodies the heart of the mystery of the savior in the heart of the dying vacuum pre-armageddic dispensationalist in the theology of the modern vacuum pre-armageddic dispensationalist reconstructionist dominion movement of their Church at last topples them into an unruly grave they are not dead nor lost from this Earth but rather marked as chosen; nay, bless’d; nay … exalted.

And when Vacuum Jesus returns to the Earth—

And with no sense of pressure Heaven roar’d:
“That blessed Christ by nature’s works abhorr’d
Ungiven to the works of law
I give to thee; and bring thee mort
Et libertie…”

—That Vacuum Jesus unpredictable to any science, that spirit of divinity, that infinite expanse that contains in itself no particle of matter, no temporal thing, but only the seething vacuum energy that is the flesh of God—

Then he shall spread his arms wide and his face shall stand exalted above the Earth and he shall draw them upwards, the forty thousand bless’d, the forty thousand dead and not yet dead, the rapturous souls who merely sleep with Vacuum Jesus burning in their hearts;

He shall draw them upwards into the infinite cold of space to freeze away the profane follies of the flesh and they shall find it not cold but rather an infinity of warmth;

And there shall be no weddings in that space, and there shall be no sorrow, and the doors of his many mansions shall be as the gaps between the electrons’ spheres, and he shall gesture, he shall gesture, and with his left hand he shall bring Armageddon unto the Earth and with his right hand he shall make all things good.

And …

And, and, I mean, not that I, that I believe any of this, of course. I mean, I’m totally past that phase.

I’m just saying that, you know, that to some people, that floating dead bodies in space is sacred. I mean, like, you know, numinous and stuff.

It doesn’t have anything to do with why I lost my heart and had to put a % there. That was just the folly of a dissolute childhood.

What happens to the poor rhyme-people after the song is over, though?
— James Allen

They return to the stars.

I do// adore you, chorus!//
— mineownaardvarks

That’s your excellent taste at work!

R’becca S. Borgstrom is
Rhyming erratically;
Legend-less page readers
Wait for the dawn.

Eos will bring them then,
Sweet little vignettes of
Death, plague, or prawns.

— Odious

I knew a guy named Clive who used to be big in the covert ops biz but ever since his wife and children got killed in that whole Plame affair he’s been bitter.

And one day, he said, “You know, I’ll tell you a secret. The kind I swore on my honor as a husband and a father that I’d never tell anyone.”

“Dude,” I said, “this is so not getting you out of that $20 you owe me.”

I’m a hardliner when it comes to trivial debts owed me by ex-covert operatives.

And he said, “There’s a shrimp farm in North Dakota where we keep something a lot bigger than our nukes.”


“Everyone’s all worked up that maybe we’ll nuke Iran but they don’t have any idea,” he said. “What we’ve done; what we could do— it’s all peanuts to the United States in a fury. Because they’ve got shrimp there.”

“Everyone’s terrified of shrimp,” I conceded. “They’re so small! And they have so many legs!”

I was actually thinking of centipedes. Man, it’s been SO LONG since I’ve eaten shrimp.


“And on one of these shrimp,” he said, “There is a rider. And his name is Death, and he rides a pale shrimp, and Famine, Plague, and War ride at his heels.”


“It was an error,” he said. “A—”

He made this gesture with his hands like most of my characters make when they’re thinking. I based that on him although I’ve known him so long I kind of do it myself.

It’s this rotating thing, with the fingers opening and closing. Like your hand is grabbing at the air.

“A unit conversion error,” he said. “They were supposed to be larger than the world, but instead they’re smaller than fish.”

“Shrimp riders.”

“And we could unleash them at any time,” he said. “Just dump some fresh water in the tank and let the shrimp expire from the shock; and as the smell of death billowed forth so too would the riders of the apocalypse, unleashed as our most grim and terrible weapon upon the world.”


“Once I picked him up,” Clive said. “I held him in my hand, in a little cup of water on his shrimp, and I said, ‘I could close my fist and there would be no more death.’

“‘That is not in the long-term strategic interest of the United States of America,’ he said.”

I thought about this for a while.

“Well,” I said. “That’s probably for the best. That you didn’t crush him, I mean. Death is life and life is death. We’re all part of this giant cosmos of interlocking spheres, shrimp and covert agent alike. If you take out death, doesn’t the whole thing fall apart?”

“Yeah,” he said, and gulped his drink. “Guess maybe that’s so.”

It’s not so good to tell people about the shrimp farm, I think. I mean, you break a promise like that and it stains your soul, right down to the core.

And there are people who can find you, then, who couldn’t find you before.

That was the last I saw of Clive: that day, strong and tired, telling me forbidden things.

He never paid me back that $20, damn his eyes.

Another also: Poor inter-incarnation information transmission is a significant problem for many creatures and their respective quests for enlightenment. Perhaps some soul-crafting entity should look into remedying this.
— Joe Crow

The problem is that Square-Enix is cagey about releasing recipes that would slow down the leveling slog.

Plus, all the highly enlightened souls would get all grumpy and go, “You know, I achieved enlightenment back when it was hard. You’re totally ruining life for your CORE AUDIENCE, Square.”

Seriously! That’s basically what happened when they translated the Bible into English, and nobody in the industry has forgotten.

The morality of murder gets a lot fuzzier when you can regrow the dead. It rests primarily on the question, is the regrown Clarissa still Clarissa?
— Penultimate Minion

According to English common law, ye copy offe a mann that iss like unto that mann in every respecte iss that mann alike. (This principle of jurisprudence was established in the early 1400s when King Charles’ Clone Wars threatened to spill over into England and rip its tentative peace apart.) Can a reasonable person disagree with Henry V? I can hardly imagine that to be the case.

I should finish this letters column next time!