Saturday, March 7, 2009

Eretzel 5: Hope and Change

As a matter of being the first with breaking news, I thought I'd take a moment to mention that William McGrath has made a slight change in Eretzel, naming one of the Antichrist's sillier minions (and Minister of Finance) Lrak Xram as a tribute to the President's program to make the US look more like Europe. (Burning banlieues, anyone?)

Now, for me this raises a few questions. As I noted earlier, while the President has disturbing ideas and traits, his scariest feature is his astounding enthusiasm for abortion. He is now on the verge of re-opening an unnecessary line of research involving embryonic stem cells--unnecessary not only because there is no known benefit from such research, but also because the cells can be obtained in innocent ways, without killing. This move further cheapens and commodifies human life--and for nothing. It is this shedding of innocent blood that could take our country past the point of no return.

That said, McGrath's concerns about the effect of Obama's policies are well-founded. For example--

Murray the Alchemist: Are you trying to turn this into the conservative version of a PBS special? Let's talk about the important thing--the cover-up!

Ansric: What are you doing back here? I thought the League of Superheroes sent you over to Frank Creed to blow up the One State.

Murray: He's got picky rules about not blowing up cities. I mean, I don't mind blowing people up one at a time, but you don't get the really good fireballs that way. And you're still not dealing with the important change.

Ansric: If you mean the claim that "Lrak Xram" is too obvious and hard to pronounce, I'll agree with the first part. It's not that hard to pronounce, though. It's just a pity that McGrath didn't spell out the "x": then he would've had "Skram," which is easier to say and a bit more amusing.

Murray: You can pronounce the thing?

Ansric: Maybe it's because I've studied Russian, but yes, I can say it. Can't you?

Murray: One of the reasons I became an alchemist was so I wouldn't have to say stuff like that. You could turn into a cabinet nominee or something. But what really bugs me isn't this change. He got rid of an explosion in an earlier version!

Ansric: Because it didn't work right. You complained about that yourself.

Murray: Yeah, but he didn't fix it! I always say, "Any explosion you can walk away from--

Ansric: Is a good one?

Murray: Is a dud! I mean, a real explosion will hurl you several feet at least. I've wound up in another kingdom a few times! That's the kind of excitement a book needs. If the Anakim had just blown up Antiochus and his buddies, they would've gotten away with it.

Ansric: Somehow I doubt it, but it might've blown Lrak's name right. But I guess all this--and I'm back to politics, now--proves that if you want real "hope and change," the magic phrase isn't "Lrak Xram" but "Maranatha!": Come, O Lord! Maybe if we had more people saying that, the country might endure. As it stands, though, Eretzel provides a warning that unfortunately many will ignore.

Don't ignore Eretzel or the tour! For more information, check out the following this week:


tuhonbillmcg said...

In my mind (such as it is), I think of Lrak Xram being pronounced as L'rak Zram - the X being pronounced as a Z as it is in xylophone. There are more changes to this chapter than just a character name though. For instance, this character started out as a sadist. He is now a Marxist, a much more dangerous creature.

You can read the new chapter here:

I'd be very interested in hearing what you think of it.

Bill McGrath

Steve said...

I mean that I can actually say "Lrak Ksram," though I'd prefer to think of the "X" as being pronounced either "kh" (as German "ch") or "sh" (as in Maltese).

But even Marxism, in my view, is mostly stupid and obnoxious. Though it can produce great misery, I don't think it's as likely to trigger divine wrath as abortion--though the two are often connected, as in China.

tuhonbillmcg said...

That's why I didn't put a pronunciation guide in either book.
Just as you don't want to over describe a character's physical appearance and thus cause conflict with what the reader sees in his mind's eye; I don't want to have a conflict with what he hears in his mind's "ear". When it comes to languages, (among many other things) Tolkien I am not.

tuhonbillmcg said...

I would have thought that Marxism, since it is so toughly entwined with secular humanism,is almost always accompanied by abortion, unless the powers that be deem it necessary to breed large numbers of workers. But you are probably better versed in the history of this than I am.
Again, many thanks for the great review.


Steve said...

Abortion's a bit of a mixed bag from a Marxist standpoint. It helps separate sex from procreation, which is usefully subversive, but it reduces the population, which is annoying since Marxist regimes tend to reduce headcount in other ways as well.

I recall being morbidly amused at the astonishment of some journalists over fatalities in some recent disasters in China: amazingly, when most families lost a kid, it was an only child!

Wow! What are the odds of that?


cathikin said...

"If you mean the claim that "Lrak Xram" is too obvious and hard to pronounce..."
You used the comment I made to Bill M. when he told us about the name change!

I had misunderstood, though, and thought this change was for his third book. SO this means all of us who already have the book already have one that is outdated.

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