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Dec/21/2020 wrap-up: \\ borders demarcation per 2010 Armenian law \\ Pashinyan visits Syunik: supporters & opponents \\ Russians will guard border road \\ weekend memorial events \\ more POWs return \\ search operations continue \\ electricity prices \\ Russian peacekeepers \\ housing & aid \\ sport

Your 15-minute Weekend & Monday report in 3688 words.

Saturday: three days of mourning

From Saturday to Monday, the country pays tribute to those who died in the war. Pashinyan and other officials participated in the memorial march to Yerablur Pantheon. Some opposition outlets had earlier claimed that Pashinyan would skip the march and use his father's death as an "excuse".
During the march, a group of anti-Pashinyan activists blocked the crowd from moving forward. The police were involved to clear the way. The PM spoke with families of fallen soldiers and laid flowers.
Education Ministry, Labor Ministry, and Cadastre Committee rebutted opposition media rumors about someone allegedly calling state workers and forcing them to participate in the Yerrablur memorial. Government bodies called the "fake news" an "attempt to create an atmosphere of division in the public."
The opposition, led by the former regime, held its own rally from the Freedom Square. They marched to St. Gregory Illuminator church. BHK chief Tsarukyan was also present. The theme remains the same: Nikol must go, Vazgen Manukyan must become the new PM.
Yerablur photos: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038352.html
Crowd size from above: https://youtu.be/rbFBDMNoaPI ,
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038343.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038348.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038340.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038349.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038351.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203328

Sunday memorial events

President Sarkissian visited Yerablur on Sunday. "These are difficult days. I hope that with the end of 2020 we will close the tragic page and we will be able to stand up and open a new page. The only thing we will remember from 2020 is the sacred memory of the people who gave their lives to defend the Homeland. All misfortunes should be lessons, not painful memories. We have to start our life again. I look forward to the end of this year".
PM and family paid tributes to fallen soldiers in Tavush province.
LHK and church leadership visited Yerablur Pantheon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038367.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038378.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038379.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038381.html

parts from Pashinyan speech: past & present, investigation, border demarcation

We will need a comprehensive evaluation of how and why things developed and ended that way. We must face the reality and admit that we have made mistakes for many years, the mistakes we have made have been systemic, conceptual, substantive. This cannot be a result of one person or events in just a few years.
Did I understand all this while taking office as Prime Minister? Of course. Was I trying to change the situation? Of course. I am now more convinced than ever that there was simply no time to stop the spinning wheel of history.
The borders in the Syunik sector are being adjusted, or rather, the Armenian Armed Forces are being stationed on the internationally recognized borders of Armenia (there were no soldiers here before because Syunik was not bordering Azerbaijan before the war). This process changes certain setups we're familiar with, introduces inconveniences, complications, and emotions. In reality, this is being done to ensure and strengthen the safety of Syunik.
How? In areas outside of the Republic of Armenia, there was a high risk of military actions, which could carry on to Syunik with all their consequences. By doing the border demarcation of our internationally-recognized lands, we are introducing security assurances. Additionally, Russian border guards are already stationed in some parts of Syunik, which creates a whole new situation.
The demarcation can complicate travel on some roads, but these are issues that can be resolved by having an AM-AZ-RU document (specifically about road safety).
Not one millimeter of Syunik or Republic of Armenia land has been conceded. Any claim to the contrary is simply false.
The people, only the people, should decide the fate of the government and not the elite circles. My November 18th Roadmap will address post-war issues and establish internal stability.
"Let's build Armenia anew." I chose this slogan before the war to guide Armenia's transformation strategy. And this formula is useful for our future as well. We have to perceive the world in a new way, we have to look at what we have to do in a new way, we have to re-evaluate our capabilities in a new way, first of all in education, science, technological development, we have to build our dream anew, and we have to dream anew.
Glory to our fallen heroes, glory to our living heroes, and glory to those who will still be heroes on the way to realizing the dreams of our people.
Full: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038333.html

borders: fake news, rumors, and rebuttals

Artsakh president office: the media rumors about giving Karmir Shuka (south) to Azerbaijan is fake news. Moreover, we plan to build new housing there soon.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038399.html
MoD denied media rumors that two Tavush villages are being handed over to Azerbaijan and that the soldiers were told to leave. "Refrain from spreading unverified fake news," said MoD. Tavush governor called the reports "irresponsible and dangerous".
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038457.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038464.html
Sosu Purak is a park in Syunik province, bordering Azerbaijan. The Nature Ministry rebutted the media rumors about half of the park going under Azeri control. *"Sosu Purak, which is managed by Zangezur POAK, has 64.1 hectares of lands, which are located within the Republic of Armenia."
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038477.html

border demarcation continues in Syunik / Pashinyan visits the border settlements

NSS says: border adjustments are being made in Goris-Kapan road sections under the mediation of Russia. (read Friday report for details). The process will finish in a few days. It'll nesure safe passage for cars.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038380.html
Syunik governor Melikset: don't exit the Armenian border to collect or chop wood. Keep your animal herds within Armenia. The border roads will have info-plates with numbers that you can dial if you have questions.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038383.html
Pashinyan before visiting Syunik:
I am saddened to learn that my visit to Syunik has ignited certain passions. I hope you will be convinced that my decision to visit Syunik is not intended to inflame everyone. I made the decision to convey my respect and appreciation for the people of Syunik. The second most important reason is to answer your questions, to give the necessary explanations. Not a single millimeter of land has been ceded from Syunik Province of RA and I hope we'll be able to talk about this.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038397.html
protesters
A group of protesters, lead by the city's deputy-mayors, closed the Goris road so Pashinyan couldn't enter the city. The police were involved, there was a scuffle.
Goris mayor ex-HHK Arush Arushanyan was taken to the police station earlier that day and charged with attempting to organize an unauthorized event/protest (Code 34-2251) to prevent the PM from entering the city. HHK and BHK officials gathered outside of the police station to show him support.
2010 border demarcation law, the "GPS" myth
Pashinyan met the crowd in Sisian. One of the opposition's complaints has been "GPS is inaccurate and cannot be used for demarcation", to which, Pashinyan answered, "[the demarcation] is done multiple times, with different methods. There is no issue in this regard."
Pashinyan: There is a lot of talk about *"giving away" Syunik". In fact, it is quite the opposite. When we deploy our border troops in accordance with the Armenian border, our level of security increases because that border also becomes the border of the security system of which we are a member.
The demarcation is carried out following the law adopted in 2010. The issue is that the current borders, the description of the administrative borders of our communities, were clarified by the law on the "administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Armenia", adopted in 2010.
In that law, for example, villages Khndzoresk and Tegh were drawn to include borders with Azerbaijan. The government in 2010 had accepted that demarcation; now we're facing problems here. And today, some of the people, who ask why and how the borders are being demarcated this way, are the same officials who were public officials in 2010, who adopted this law.If what we're doing today is "treason", then what happened in 2010 is even more of a "treason".
"why didn't CSTO get involved during war?"
Pashinyan: why didn't CSTO act during the war? For the same reason: our 2010 law states that this is what our official Republic of Armenia border is and that anything beyond Tegh village is Azerbaijan. CSTO, naturally, couldn't act beyond our official borders. We have received assurances that in the event of action within our borders, the bloc will act.
army & people
Resident: our army did not lose the war.
Pashinyan: Our army and the people are heroes, there can be no two opinions about it. That doesn't mean there weren't issues, or some soldiers and generals didn't complete their tasks. We must build our self-confidence and optimism one by one, we must rebuild Armenia and Artsakh.
meeting in Sisian
Pashinyan visited Sisian city Pantheon. He then met a crowd in the main square and thanked them for "for such an understanding, for such an acceptance". During a speech in Sisian, Pashinyan said he will avoid confrontation with those who closed the road to Goris city. He said there were families and supporters who wanted to meet in Goris, and that one of the reasons the road was closed to possibly prevent that from happening.
Father of a fallen soldier: Pashinyan still has 8 months to go. He must and will answer all the questions. Tomorrow, ARF Ishkhan Saghatelyan and those guys [ex-regime] must also answer. Tomorrow they [ex-regime] will say "go ask Nikol if you have questions". So Nikol should do his part and answer the questions, so others can answer theirs.
Pashinyan: please try not to politicize today [about giving ARF Ishkhan's name].
Father of a fallen soldier: we must give their names. The same names and their parties are gathered in the public square today. Today you [Nikol] must enter Sisian and elsewhere with your head held high and without bodyguards. Let's get rid of pain and sorrow then we will know what to do next.
various concerns
Residents spoke about various border and social issues.
Pashinyan: I came to look at Syunik residents in the eye. I know that I'm guilty in many ways. Our citizens deserve more. Unfortunately, not a single government, including ours, has been able to deliver what our citizens deserve. I apologize on behalf of all governments.
priest vs Pashinyan
While in Syunik, Pashinyan entered a church and lit a candle in memory of the fallen. Upon exiting, he came across priest Pargev Zeynalyan. Pashinyan raised his hand to greet but the priest let it hang in the air. Pashinyan left.
A church representative said the priest had the right to express his political beliefs.
That didn't prevent the crowd, angry at the priest's conduct, to march to the church and block its entrance. They wanted to kick the priest out. The police told the crowd not to enter. The priest refused to meet the protesters. The protesters left and promised, "not to allow the politicized priest to enter that church again".
The priest denied subsequent false rumors about police allegedly raiding his house over the incident. (of course, gotta throw a couple of fake news here and there for "political persecutions" illusion)
 
Pashinyan was supposed to travel from Sisian to Goris, but the road was closed, as mentioned earlier. He decided not to confront the group and returned to Yerevan. "Now I am convinced that the road was closed so that it does not become obvious that the atmosphere in Goris, Kapan, Kajaran, Meghri was the same as in Sisian *[generally welcoming]. We will not resort to force, especially on the day of mourning. We are returning to Yerevan. I owe one visit to Goris, Kapan, Kajaran, and Meghri. Peace to our martyrs."*
https://youtu.be/asPPVNg_k0Y , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203410 , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038442.html, https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038422.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038401.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038396.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038408.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038414.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038426.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038428.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038444.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038456.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203407 , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203415 , https://youtu.be/4pqY2hmff68 , https://youtu.be/M9wP9e_UoBA , https://factor.am/322943.html

border demarcation: Shurnukh border village suburbs

Mayor of border village Shurnukh, Syunik: The 12 houses in the lower suburbs, which according to rumors were supposed to go under Azeri control, will stay under Armenian control, according to the latest updated information. The army and Russians came and began working on border installation beyond the village area. I'm not entirely sure this is the final status, it could change, so stay tuned.
There will be a demarcation process but I don't know when. Our local volunteers guard the borders. Women and children were evacuated from the area for now, just in case.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203332

re: Russians will guard parts of 21km Syunik road

MoD says: some of the 21km Goris-Kapan road goes through disputed areas. We have an agreement for Russian border guards to monitor Goris-Kapan and Goris-Davit Bek sections to ensure safe passage. Armenian and Azeri troops will be stationed on opposite sides of the road. More info in the coming days. (if you look at the map, the road is the exact border)
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203346

press unions condemn attacks on media outlets / free press

First incident. Former regime's activists attempted to prevent Pashinyan and tens of thousands of participants from marching to Yerablur Pantheon on weekend. During the incident, they identified a journalist from "Azatutyun" (pro-western) and began assaulting him. (Azatutyun office was also raided by supporters of former regime on November 10th).
Second incident. 5TV is owned by Kocharyan's friend. It has a record of manipulating interviews and information in general (e.g. the March 1st documentary). Some people don't like them for this reason. 5TV reporter was cussed by Pashinyan supporters, while QP MP Andranik Kocharyan refused to take questions from him.
Third incident. Opposition activists cussed Azatutyun reporters and tried to prevent them from doing the work.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038471.html

PRESS casualties during the war

HR Ombusmn: Five foreign and two Armenian reporters received severe injuries during the war. One reporter was killed. They were targeted by Azerbaijan intentionally. They were wearing PRESS uniforms, which are visibly different from army uniforms. Azerbaijan prevented reporters from working in front lines and launched a felony investigation against some international reporters (Semyon Pegov) for visiting Artsakh.
https://web.archive.org/web/20201219074426/https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203315

POWs & search operation

62 Armenian soldiers remain encircled/captured near the Khtsaberd village after the previous weekend skirmishes in the narrow strip of land held by Armenia west of the Shushi-Hadrut corridor. "They are alive and well."
Azerbaijan has acknowledged their presence. Work is being done with Russian peacekeepers to repatriate them. 70 others had returned a few days ago. One volunteer guard said it began after over a thousand Azeri troops moved forward and told them to leave a position; some did while others didn't. This area did not have Russian peacekeepers until the incident.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038368.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038369.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203369
Six POW soldiers returned home on Sunday. They were captured during the war. President Arayik thanked Putin for mediating the transfer.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038386.html
Two more POWs returned on Monday.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038479.html
Since the ceasefire, 1039 bodies of soldiers have been recovered from battlefields. The searches continue in the Shushi region, Martuni, Hadrut, Fizuli. 22 found today.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038417.html , https://factor.am/322564.html

medals awarded

Four Emergency Ministry employes received medals posthumously.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038452.html

felony investigations post-war / SIS launches an investigation to examine:

1) Reports of officers disobeying commands during the war, and desertion. 882 cases are being examined. Dozens have been charged.
2) Several civilian and military individuals intentionally spread alarming information to create panic among soldiers in the front lines (Vitalik's friend's incident, possibly), and claimed that the war was already decided, it was a conspiracy, and that it was pointless to fight. There are multiple felony cases regarding this. Investigation continues.
3) A felony case is launched against an officer who refused to do his duties in the southern part of Artsakh. (if this is General Movses Hakobyan, expect him to cry "political persecution" because he was the first one to give a press conference to create a narrative, a-la Dodi Gago).
4) Investigations over claims made by General Movses Hakobyan on November 19th. We're investigating a group of high-ranking officials for possibly violating protocols set by the Defense Ministry, which lead to reduced performance, which impacted the outcome of the war.
We are also examining the reports, submitted by various political parties, to investigate the $5 billion offer that was made to Pashinyan by Aliyev (the offer Aliyev made to Serj and Pashinyan to give away 7 regions without a fight).
5) A felony investigation was launched [to investigate Pashinyan] after [former regime figure] Garnik Isagulyan claimed that Pashinyan took a $48 million bribe from Turkey and that his NSS chief Qyaramyan gave away 1400 passports to Azerbaijan, and helped Azeris to invade Hadrut. Isaghulyan was invited to SIS to provide evidence; he refused. The examination found no proof of these claims. A felony case was launched against Isagulyan himself for making false reports.
6) There were multiple reports in mid-November that Shushi was "sold" and an order was given for soldiers to deliberately retreat so Azeris could take it. This was investigated by SIS and NSS, courts were involved, reports from various media outlets are being investigated, including Arayik's leaked phone call and General Samvel Babayan's "post-mortem" interview.
Additionally, there is an investigation of the embezzlement of property belonging to the army.
Besides investigating these claims, we will also investigate their impact on the final outcome of the war.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038432.html

lawsuits / Pashinyan's son / army officer / Dmbo Gago

Volunteer soldier Mikael Mikaelyan is suing pro-Kocharyan blog "Politik" over an alleged defamation.
The soldier says: Earlier I wrote that on October 1st I was yelling at deserting soldiers not to leave positions near Jabrayil. Then a similar story in Kubatlu; I wrote that I witnessed how Pashinyan's son Ashot was yelling at deserting soldiers; he was asking them to stay and help.
My post received a lot of attention. It's clear that these two were separate incidents on separate dates, right? They [former regime] began calling me a liar because I could not have seen Pashinyan's son on October 1st because he was sent to the front lines on the 5th. They wrote an article "Yet another chatlakh who says everyone routed except Ashotik".
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/202933
Deputy Army General Chief of Staff Tiran Khachatryan is suing BHK MP Naira Zohrabyabn over an alleged defamation.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038342.html
BHK chief Gago's casino "Onira Club" (Shangri La) was in legal trouble over alleged financial crimes. It also lost the license on July 9th over not paying the necessary fees. The casino is now suing the Finance Ministry to have its license back.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203413

the cost of Minimum Consumer Basket in Artsakh

... was AMD 58,801 as of December, or +0.4% YoY. The Food Basket costs AMD 33,221.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038441.html

Russian peacekeepers & medics

306 refugees returned to Artsakh on Sunday. 1.6km of roads were cleared of explosives, and 1 house was renovated. The peacekeepers have so far renovated 23 houses and rebuilt 8km of electric lines in Martakert. 35 patients were given medical care in Chartar settlement.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038385.html

Russian sappers

Russia's Emergency Ministry presented a new de-mining vehicle that's being used in Artsakh's east. Robots play a big role in these operations; they reduce casualties.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038400.html

Turkish sappers

Turkey will send 64 sappers to join the existing 135 experts to help Azeris clear the Azeri-controlled areas.
https://factor.am/322816.html

Russian aid

Seven more trucks with humanitarian aid arrived in Artsakh from Russia.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203358

housing for Russian peacekeepers

Modular housing blocs were built for 250 Russian envoy members in Stepanakert. It has apartments, a gym, a medical office, and other accommodations.
Photo: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038429.html

interview with Artsakh residents

https://youtu.be/tBb6Wbwovsg?t=8

Spanish city of Santa Pau

... has officially recognized the independence of the Republic of Artsakh. The resolution condemns the Azeri aggression, Turkey's active involvement.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203392

Germany wants to purchase drone missiles

... after analyzing their use in the Artsakh war. Israeli-made Heron TP will be purchased in the coming months.
digit 3: exists
Germany: mhmmm 🤔
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038398.html

COVID stats

+2563 tested. +652 infected. +14 deaths. +604 healed. 18011 active.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038365.html
In Artsakh, 2585 tests have been done since October 1st. 1130 were positive. 70 daily tests nowadays. 232 people have been treated in hospitals; 129 have been discharged. 30 deaths.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038436.html

electricity prices

The Public Utility Commission decided to keep the electricity prices the same for low-income families, and 90% of those who consume less than 400 kW/h. The large-scale consumers will see AMD 3 increase. The rate will go into effect in February. (the nuclear plant will be closed for much of the year for the final big renovation; there were talks that it could impact prices)
https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/288860/

infrastructure repairs

7km of roads and water drainage were repaired and installed in Horbategh, Vayots Dzor. It's a tourist area. Locals hope the renovations will improve their economic status. Smbataberd, Tsaghatsqar complex, and St. Hreshtakapetats are located nearby.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203420

sports news

Armenia's Sambo team has won 5 medals (2S, 3B) in the world cup.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038364.html
Arthur Davtyan won 4 gold and 2 bronze medals in the Voronin Cup athletics competition. One was won by Armen Petrosyan.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038372.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038387.html
Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave a goal-pass in the third minute. That didn't stop his team Roma from losing to Atlanta 4:1.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038390.html

HimnaDram.org / housing for Artsakh civizens

All Armenia Fund met Artsakh govt to discuss housing for refugees and the homeless. They plan 9 new buildings with 236 in Askeran, 132 in Martuni, while the assessment for capital Stepanakert and elsewhere continues. Contracts were signed with construction firms. Artsakh govt thanked Himnadram for continuous help.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203336

humanitarian aid

Aurora humanitarian foundation has doubled its aid to Artsakh to $400,000. It'll be spent on 46 projects, including on HALO de-mining efforts. Aurora invited charity organizations to visit Artsakh.
https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1038418.html
The Red Cross has provided construction materials to renovate 500 houses in Artsakh.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203399
My Step foundation has donated $13,500 in household appliances to Artsakh families.
https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/203401

you can donate to Artsakh & Armenia

www.1000plus.am (soldiers' medical help)
www.HimnaDram.org (for Artsakh & Armenia)
www.ArmeniaFund.org (U.S. tax-deductible)

archive of older posts

Armeniapedia's archive of my daily news threads:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Daily_Anti-Corruption_Reports

disclaimer

All the accused are considered innocent unless proven guilty in the court of law, even if they "sound" guilty.
submitted by ar_david_hh to armenia [link] [comments]

An entire wiki page

Peacock Patricia "Peacock" Watson Gallery | Quotes | Move List Peacock action portrait by oh8-d2qigab.jpg Murder-Go-Round Information Peacock (JP: ピーコック) was originally a human girl by the name of Patricia Watson who was turned into an Anti-skullgirl biomechanical weapon by Dr. Avian. Her arsenal consists of the Argus System, a synthetic Parasite, and her "gang", which includes the Avery Unit, Andy Anvil, Tommy Ten-Tons, George Bomb, and Lonesome Lenny.
General Information Peacock is one of the original eight playable characters in Skullgirls, standing out as having the most (unique) assist characters, and was among the first characters ever conceived by Alex Ahad. Her backstory was revealed in detail in the "Meaner. Better. Faster. Stronger" Origin Story in Skullgirls Mobile. Her homestage is Lab 8.
Peacock is capable of aging. Some of her parts may need to be re-fitted because of this.
Peacock took up smoking after her transformation. They are imaginary cigars that are created in a similar manner to her other summons.
Alex Ahad has stated that Peacock will never stop believing in imaginary friends.
Peacock's favorite television program is "Annie: Girl of the Stars". She is shown to own merchandise from the show as she is seen wearing Sagan slippers while in her sleeping attire.
Personality Nothing sates Peacock's boredom more than a good cartoon and laying waste to anyone or anything in her sight. Brash, combative, and impatient, Peacock is easily the most outspoken and infamous member of the Anti-Skullgirl Labs, as well as the most prominent. Peacock is also, for the most part, optimistic and light-hearted, and considers imminent threats more of invitations to brawl. Her tendency toward violence is a reflection of both her tragic past and near-death experience as well as the cartoons she cherishes.
Despite having a damaged psyche, Peacock does not attack people out of sheer randomness or without provocation. Although rude and impersonal to fellow ASG Lab 8 members (and most people in general) superficially, Peacock still very much considers them family, and will go to certain lengths to protect them from harm (or in the case of her and Big Band's story mode, further harm). Dr. Avian was particularly close to Peacock, and his death sent her into an outrage to search for his murderer.
None, however, are closer to Peacock than Marie Korbel, her one true friend from her past and the Skullgirl she was tasked to destroy. In the end, she disposes of Marie as she was instructed, but personally sees to it that Marie's wish to end the Medici Mafia is carried out.
Character Basis Origin Peacock's dialogue and animations reference multiple cartoon eras, but chiefly feature 40's-50's era cartoon violence and slapstick.
Name Her true name is Patricia Watson, while she herself came up with Peacock. The word "peacock" is the more commonly known name of the peafowl, but is actually the term for the male bird.
The name Patricia is derived from the Latin word "patrician" and means "noble". Watson is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Walter". It should be noted that Walter means "ruler of the army", which accurately describes her relationship with her gang.
Being once close friends, Marie continues to address her as Patricia. Her gang typically refer to her as "boss".
Design Her natural eye color used to be green before they were gouged out by slave traders. The Argus System is Peacock's only means of sight, as the ones on her face are actually empty eye-sockets. The holes left are also a visual pun: Due to her design being based on American cartoons, her eye-sockets could easily be interpreted as though they are natural eyes; drawn in the style of a 1930's cartoon character. The joke is how similar styles of drawing can offer different perceptions on how something looks. Her references are similar to the 30's such as Mickey Mouse.
Her cartoon revolver bears resemblance to the Smith & Wesson Model 29, a .44 Magnum revolver made famous by Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry.
In older design concepts, Peacock was intended to be a more "demented type" character, originally being envisioned as a scarred, sociopathic individual due to her experience as a slave. At one point, she was considered to be a boss alongside Marie. Her design was changed to be more 'cartoony' and lighthearted. These design documents also included references to her abilities being part magic with spells being carved onto her bones.
Story Patricia once lived with Marie in an orphanage, which was originally a nobleman's house, in Rommelgrad. Having to make do with what was available, both girls used to dress in maid outfits that they found within the house. At some point, they were captured by slave traders, but because Patricia was too defiant to be a slave, she was mutilated as an example to the others: Her eyes were gouged out, and she was also maimed.
Patricia before peacock.png Patricia as a patient at Lab 8 One year prior to the events of Skullgirls, Lab 8 teamed up with Lab 0 and the Last Peacock Hooded.png Patricia before becoming Peacock Hope to infiltrate the Medici warehouse said to be containing Rommelgrad's refugees. Although Valentine and the rest of her gang safely rescued the refugees, there was very little Valentine could do to repair the damage done to Patricia's body and was even willing to abandon her as a casualty of war. Big Band, however, believed that Dr. Avian would be of help and took the girl back to the Anti-Skullgirl Labs. The doctor informed him that Patricia would adapt well to her new eyes and that she would be walking in no time. Patricia became insistent on becoming an ASG soldier after the impression left on her by Lab 8's team. Despite that, Avian was wary about giving her too much power, while admitting her compatibility with the Avery Unit is strong. After some tests, Patricia's Argus System and Avery Unit were completely installed, and the combination proved to make her more powerful than the scientists had anticipated. Instead of being able to bend only space, Patricia could also bend other aspects of reality, spawning Tommy and Andy during her training. Eager to sign up for Lab 8's team, she assigned herself the name "Peacock".
She later vanished into the city with her gang, causing Lab 8's crew to worry immensely about her safety and condition after her surgery, and Stanley insisted that Big Band find her as soon as possible. Following her trail, Big Band stumbled upon an ice cream stand from which Peacock and her gang ate all of the ice cream except for Rocky Road. He considered this a clue, but later assumes that she was merely stress eating due to all the strange new occurrences happening to her all at once. He finally arrived at a movie theater, where he found the "clown car" that Peacock was said to have driven away in. As the vehicle appeared damaged, he burst into the theatre, assuming that the Medici may have returned for her. Peacock is revealed to be perfectly fine, having gone around the town because she felt she needed a break from the labs. The two begin to hit it off; although Big Band tells her she could have taken a break without causing property damage, they begin to connect through what they like most in a movie.
Ending: After defeating the Skullgirl, which turns out to be her best friend Marie, Peacock destroys the Skull Heart, though the skull heart claimed her act to be "foolish" and that this will "not be over". She and Marie have a friendly conversation before Marie disappears from the world, and Peacock vows to take revenge on the people who made both their lives miserable.
She is seen confronting the true head of the Medici family and his own secret weapon (Black Dahlia) and the two duke it out.
Abilities & Fighting Style With Peacock's physics-bending arsenal, nothing is sacred. She is a kind of character that will exploit any opportunity to its maximum and get away with it. No enemies of hers last long against her sharp eyes and sharper gun...blades. Her opponents last even shorter against her array of flower pots, baseballs, bowling balls, combustible toy cars, and countless other hazards that fill the air. Peacock never plays fairly, and isn't afraid to call in her goons to fight with her. In the rare occasions when Peacock can't topple her opponent, she can simply stall the battle until the timer runs out.
The Avery Unit has the power to “distort” which is a side effect of Peacock’s insanity. She can’t create things out of thin air, but rather modify Lab 8’s range of specialized arsenal. There are certain limits and her summons are only temporary. Her power is still growing so she may be able to summon more things in the future. This is suggested in Big Band's story mode, were he warns Peacock that she 'ain't ready' yet and has to be taught her 'limitations the hard way', but understands her potential in the future by saying 'we're gonna need those girls if we don't want to lose the last of the light'.
Trailer Skullgirls Introducing Peacock!Skullgirls Introducing Peacock! Color Palettes Peacock's Color Palettes.png Peacockcolors23-25.png "Rerun" - Default colors "Inkling" - Original colors "Untouchable" - Alucard (Hellsing) "Sketchy" - Original colors Original colors "Pea Shooter" - Lucky the Leprechaun (Lucky Charms cereal) "Dream Catcher" - Peacock's story mode intro pajamas "That's All Folks!" - Black-and-white cartoons "Freeze Frame" - Cirno (Touhou) Original colors Milk-Chan (Super Milk-Chan) Original colors Easy Default colors Hsien-Ko Original colors "Ultraviolent" - The Warden (Superjail) Inspector Gadget (Inspector Gadget) Sayaka Miki (Puella Magi Madoka Magica) Raspberyl (Disgaea series) - Indiegogo backer color ”Mean One” - The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!) Princess Daisy (Super Mario series) Indian peafowl - Indiegogo backer color "Wildcard" - The Joker (DC Comics) - Indiegogo backer color Nonon Jakuzure (Kill la Kill) Annie Cuphead (Cuphead) Woody (Toy Story) Trivia Peacock's Ant Wasted move (c.MK) does not kill the ant, but rather the beam from the magnifying glass teleports it back to a safe area. In addition, all ants (if Peacock summons multiple through cancelling the move repeatedly) are the same ant, summoned from alternate universes. People who donated $50 to the Skullgirls Evo 2013 Breast Cancer Donation Drive could request a personalized voice mail message from one of the game's voice actors. Peacock's voice actress was requested to sing "Yakko's World" from the cartoon show Animaniacs and two versions of this cover exist, the original with the voice unmodified and the Lab Zero edit which has the voice modified to match the filter Peacock's voice has in-game.[1] The name of Peacock's "Robo With a Shotgun" move is a reference to the 2011 film "Hobo With a Shotgun," which in turn is based on a fake trailer in the intermission of the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez double feature film Grindhouse. In an unused alternate ending, Peacock decides to "wish for something cool" and proceeds to make numerous outrageous wishes (such as turning the world's oxygen into chocolate), which the Skull Heart is unable to fulfill. Comically frustrated, she begins questioning its legend, and the Skull Heart laments that, in the thousands of years it has been doing its work, Peacock is the worst wisher it has met.[2] Peacock originally had an aerial move where she would fire one of her eyes off her Argus arms in a similar fashion to a bow and arrow. This move was dropped for being useless.[3] Peacocks's alternate title, The Murder-go-Round (and the full phrase from her character poster, "The 'Murder-go-Round' Broke Down") is a reference to the Looney Tunes theme song, from 1937 to 1969, known officially as "The Merry-go-Round Broke Down", reflecting her vintage cartoon theme.[4] Her Shadow of Impending Doom Level 3 - Avery drop is a reference to DIO's 'Road Roller Da!' super move from the 1998 arcade game JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. References ↑ Original Post of the Song Cover & Later Post with the Lab Zero Edit ↑ Alternate Unused Story Endings in the Game Data ↑ Skullgirls E3 2011 Peacock gameplay revealed - YouTube ↑ Wikipedia article v • d • e Skullgirls Games Main Editions Skullgirls • Skullgirls Encore • Skullgirls 2nd Encore Spin-offs Skullgirls Mobile Characters Main Cast Filia (Samson) • Cerebella • Peacock (Avery) • Parasoul • Ms. Fortune • Painwheel • Valentine • Double DLC Squigly (Leviathan) • Big Band • Fukua • Eliza (Sekhmet) • Beowulf • Robo-Fortune • Annie Other Adam • Aeon • Albus • Andy Anvil • Beatrix • Black Dahlia • Brain Drain • Delilah • Dr. Avian • Dr. Geiger • Feng • George Bomb • Grendel • Hive • Horace • Hubrecht • Ileum • Irvin • Isaac • King Franz • Lawrence • Leduc • Lonesome Lenny • Lorenzo • Marie • Minette • Molly • Mother • Mrs. Victoria (D. Violet) • Ottomo • Panzerfaust • Queen Nancy • Rachel Wong • Regina • Riccardo • Roberto • Roxie • Scythana • Selene • Stanley • Taliesin • Tommy Ten-Tons • Umbrella • Venus • Vitale • Yu-Wan • Misc. Archives Terminology Skullgirl • Skull Heart • Parasite • Living Weapon • Medici Mafia • Anti-Skullgirl Labs • Black Egrets • Cirque des Cartes • Fishbone Gang • The Last Hope • The Trinity Stages Streets of New Meridian • River King Casino • Medici Tower • New Meridian Rooftops • Rooftops Assault • NMO Arena | (Empty) • Bath of Tefnut | (Sekhmet) • Maplecrest • Nightmare Crest • Grand Cathedral | (Empty) • Final Atrium • Gehenna • Under the Bridge • Meridian Area Rapid Transit • Little Innsmouth | (Night) • Lab 8 | (Empty) • Glass Canopy • Class Notes • Sound Stage 15 Misc. System HUD • Controls • Basic Mechanics • Advanced Mechanics Extras Art Gallery • Marie 300% • The Typing of the Skullgirls Music Skullgirls Original Soundtrack • Skullgirls Original Soundtrack PLUS • Skullgirls Soundtrack Listing • In a Moment's Time • Hitomi No Kioku Character Quotes • Scripts • Galleries • Relationships • Move Lists Other Media SkullgirlS • Skullgals • Keep Skullgirls Growing! • Digital Art Compendium
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Ok It's Time for my...Annual *Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!

Ok It's Time for my . . . Annual Pre-Burning Man Rant and Predictions!!!
After 22+ years of attendance, I have watched this festival go from what was described by Wired Magazine in 1997 as, "what the internet would be like if it was happening in reality" to 2020 where, "What? In reality, this festival is happening on the internet" ?!? What a serious head fuck . . .
So strap in or strap on and get ready for disappointment . . . like virtually everything in this virtual world right now.
Here goes this year's Virtual Rant!
PREDICTIONS
The Virtual Burn is going the be everything you think it could be . . . an underwhelming and depressing reminder that you are not going the real Burning Man this year.
While it is still better than nothing, nothing is an extremely low bar. Get ready for a clusterfuck of 8 separately-produced interpretive video game dreamscapes, made by skilled teams of programmers eager to prove that their world-building technology will be able to make future financial investors a shitload of money.
Burning Man 2021 is a 50/50 chance at best. 2022 is not looking that great either. Between The Org burning cash on side projects, the FEDs wanting to crack down hard and the Bureau of Land Management clearly pretty fucking stoked that they did not have to deal with the whole shitshow this year, it's going to be an uphill battle for the festival to return.
Huge changes will need to be made.
Those few gluttons for punishment who do decide to go to the playa this week will be treated to Burning Man without the Burning Man Experience.
It will take all the hard work, organization and preparation for survival in the middle of a harsh desert environment for a week of Burning Man . . . just without the Burning Man.
If there is one silver lining of the event not happening this year, it's the fact that I don't have to pack up my dust covered Burning Man bullshit from last year, drive 19 hours, then have to smuggle drugs inside my ass to make it past the BLM rangers just go camping in one of the most fucking miserable and inhospitable places on earth.
Without Shirtcockers, Megaphones and Massive Thumping Soundsystems, it's just a bogus camping trip in bad weather with a shitload of cops.
This year we will NOT be seeing the usual post-Burn MASSSIVE FLOOD of social media posts from Burners who lost their nice $60 water bottle/container somewhere on the playa, often accompanied by a story of why this particular water container was of importance because it has a strap on it, followed by a brief description of unique camps stickers on it and a photo of said missing water bottle/container. In fact, while we are starting to think about cutting costs -- How about lost and found stops giving a fuck about your overpriced water bottle. You lost it, Becky . . . let it go. You spent 20 times More Money on Cocaine for the week than the price of your fucking stoopid-Smart-Bottle-container.
THE VIRTUAL BURN
This year’s Virtual Burn brings about more questions than it does answers.
How will Shirtcockers express their hatred of pants without a Burning Man? In a virtual world, they become no different than unsolicited dick pics.
How will Artcar Owners be able to swing their metaphorical dicks around without their Artcars booming Deep House music to show the world their girth. Sure, you can build one in the Minecraft world for this years Burn . . .But lets face it: No one is gonna be like "Who did that 3D CAD drawing, I totally wanna fuck them!"
What will all the Assholes with Megaphones do without Burners to heckle?
Without handheld amplified audio devices and wide-open spaces, they become no different than Internet Trolls.
How will Hippies on a Vision Quest be able find their spirit animal online? Without a guided shamanic ritual and Temple to burn, they become no different than someone playing Animal Crossing.
If there is no moop or trash to clean up in a virtual Burning Man how can Moop-shamers be able to prove to campmates and others that they are better at "doing Burning Man " than everyone else? In a virtual world they become no different than a Sarah McLaughlin Green Peace commercial.
How will Dooshbonnets and Dooshbags be able to gain followers on Instagram without the giant Robot Heart to climb?
How can they show the world that they not only have braved the pool of Piranhas chomping for position for line, negotiated past the all-seeing and all-knowing doorgirl with a clipboard, proving that they have climbed both the social and physical ladder to reach the top of the Robot Heart, so that they may look down upon the lowly dancefloor with both spite and pity for the unwashed masses who where not able achieve such greatness.
Without this accomplishment, they become no different than average Twitter users vying for Celebrity attention.
How will Burning Man DJs be able to disappoint us with poorly executed timing and bullshit Michael Jackson remixes? Without huge Soundsystems to bang out the worst in modern electronic music, DJs just become . . . The SAME TERRIBLE DJs just now on Twitch! #playatech #Djstreaming #Djsofburningman
Although each Virtual World must have been an amazing feat of programming in its scope and size, it kinda feels like a huge project that was done in a short amount of time. None of the Eight Worlds, in any way, reflect the typical Burning Man experience.
However, there are a few non-official super realistic Burning Man simulators out there.
By far the most realistic experience has to be the "Getting Out More This Year" Simulator.
The player is welcomed to a rich and tangible 3D World of Chris's DopeAss 70s RV, which is camped way out on 4:30 and H, where your avatar can spend all day and all night doing fun things like Ketamine, or other colorful interactive game play such as snorting Ketamine, and even interact with the virtual Chris’s chat box and watch his avatar do Ketamine.
Other game play options include doing Ketamine, talking about doing Ketamine and also doing Ketamine.
The more days and nights spent doing Ketamine, the higher the score! If you want to experience what a typical Burner really does the whole week, than this one is for you!!
Then we have: "Let's Go Party" . . . the online multi-player game where the objective is to get your group of more than 6 Burners to try and leave camp, and all go out to party together.
I did not have much fun playing. I was never able to leave the front of camp. 14 hours of game play later, Brenda still needs to go back for chapstick and Ricky can’t find his bag of blow. Then once Brenda arrives ready, Kaleporia is cold and needs a scarf. Darkwad David is going back to get some blinky lights for the 3rd time. Now Timmy can't find his cigarettes . . . Fuck.
“ManBun Boyfriend”. In this first person POV game, you (the ManBun) has little to no control within the game, with only a single "Ok, Sure" button to navigate within the world. The game play opens as the player is dragged out of bed at 6 AM by the onscreen girlfriend who takes you (the ManBun) on an treacherous journey of sunrise yoga classes, self help lectures, think and grow rich seminars, yoga, positive affirmation workshops, mindful guided mediations, yoga, healing arts ceremonies, wellness and well-being talks, yoga, vegan lifestyle in the new age conferences, yoga, mindful-and-wellness-group-chat and also yoga.
Extra points if you can score a selfie in front of the Giant BELIEVE letters!!
After 8 grueling hours of game play, it simply flashes a screen where girlfriend says "I'm Tired", and the “ManBun Boyfriend” simulator then restarts game play to opening sequence.
“DJs Girlfriend”. This simulation offers a similar experience to “ManBun Boyfriend”. However, in this first person POV game, you (the DJs Girlfriend) is invited to Follow "Dj GlockTrigger" on a dubstep-and-monster-energy-drink-filled adventure as you (the DJs Girlfriend) is rushed from empty dancefloor to empty dancefloor, while picking up extra points if you can find him a "line of blow". After 12 hours of game play the screen flashes "Hey babe I'm gonna go drink with the boyies" and game play is reset.
THE RANT
I am not that great at finance. Obviously. I’ve been to Burning Man 22 times. That should tell you enough about my poor financial / life choices.
But even this burnout Burner can do the math and see that the Burning Man Org is in financial trouble.
Burning Man may need to sell out to save itself. It would not be the first time..
Burning Man "sold out" to the PsyTrance community in 1997. To help ticket sales, the Bay Area was flooded with seriously lame underproduced Rave flyers. Or maybe Dr. Dre can toss in a few million to keep The Org afloat once again.
Or hey why don't we start tickling Elon Musk's balls again, and see if we can start choking on his shaft in return for some sweet corporate demon semen sponsorship.
The Org has already gone pinky finger deep with him. Like when Tesla brought out a full-on Electric Car Expo. That's right, in 2007, at Burning Man, right at fucking Esplanade & 9:00, they had what can only be described as an “anonymous car dealership” from “the green future”, complete with lengthy-worded displays filled with lofty promises of clean energy, infused with subtle corporate propaganda.
In the center of the exhibit sat a life-size solid black plastic model Tesla car.
As well as someone on guard 24/7 to make sure no one tagged or fucked with the stoopid thing. I personally got chased out for drawing a dick in the DUST on the window! All I know is they should have burnt it down or blew it up by the end of the week, but that lame ass mother fucker was still there on Sunday when I journeyed back to draw a dick on it again -- this time with a PAINT PEN. After executing a perfect fat-sacked-choad-headed-donger on the hood, I was once again chased out by rangers, this time with pitchforks screaming bloody murder for my head!!
Fuck you, Ranger Doug! You will never be able to prove that was Me!!!
So Look, it's not the first time The Org spread its asscheeks for a little bit of corporate dick on the side. They also bent over back in 2013 and let Mark Fucking Zuckerberg bring a Giant Golden 'LIKE' sculpture out there. I just hope they did the right thing by the end of week and it was killed with fire.
SO we know The Org is corporateBiCurious. Time to snuggle up, get out of the corporate cocksucking closet and cash in on the fact that this place sold out a long time ago.
Start flirting with attractive corporate entities like Mark Z, the Google Boys, Elon, Tommy Boy from Myspace, or maybe even P-Diddy to toss in some cash to get this fucking party started again!
Yo, Elon! How can we have Burning Man on Mars in 2050 as planned, if we can’t keep it going on Earth for the next 30 years?
At this point, The Org can spread their legs in the backseat of that Tesla and change next years theme to Space-X. I could give a FUCK!!!!! As long as we can keep Old Naked Dudes On Bikes rolling free.
Let some of these cocksucking limpdick corporations like Doritos -- who have already profited from using our Artcars and culture in a their fabricated commercials -- actually fucking pay us money and we will let them shoot a real commercial out there. Have fun pixelating the nipples out of the background actors. I COULD GIVE A FUCK as long as Shirtcockers have a natural habitat to dongslap and roam free. Let Brazzers.com build the Temple! I sincerely really don't care what they do . . . as long as Assholes with Megaphones have wide open spaces to heckle Burners in the Black Rock Desert like GOD intended.
BACK TO BASICS : THE FESTIVAL WILL NEED TO RESEST
Maybe The Org will stop fisting themselves in the burnhole with all the Cultural-Direction-Bullshit and get down to brass tax here.
They have spent years trying to market the festival as a family-friendly-non-offensive-all-inclusive-experience for the suburban upperclass while still catering to the super elite.
We need The Org to provide the DPW and Tickets . . .
Not for Cultural Direction, or Large Scale Art Funding Circle Jerks, Abstract Charity Causes, International Involvement, or any of the Meaningless Feel-Good Propaganda tools they use to control the image of the festival!
The number one focus from here on out needs to be the festival itself taking place once again in Black Rock City!
This defacto-defunding of The Org is a blessing. Look, when it comes down to it, it's not about the lame fucking themes each year. It's about the Burners who come and contribute to the festival that makes it special.
It’s not about overpriced art grants, or Rich-Dick Theme Camp placement priorities. It about the shitty unofficial un-themed camp at 7:00 and J blaring Discotrance music on a distorted soundsystem while giving away room temperature margaritas!
I could give a fuck about all of the elaborate expensive blinking bullshit! Cuts cost! Make the Burning Man effigy from toothpicks for all I give a fuck. None of that shit really matters. The spirit of Burning Man is in the person giving away ice cream from a cooler out in deep playa on a hot afternoon.
The soul of the festival is in Old Naked Dudes on a Bikes rolling free across the desert!
The heart of the festival is the Nightmare Hippy Chick on Acid rolling around in the dust, screaming about her spirit vegetable.
Believe me if The Org had its way, Burning Man would be nothing but Transformational Mediation Seminars, Yoga Classes, Ultra Overpriced Sculptures, and TED talks about how to get rich quick selling a new type of investment portfolio.
I am perfectly happy with the crappy bars and half-assed theme camps that are there just to have a good time. We don't need The Org's unique brand of new age capital-elitism bullshit.
They have clearly dropped the ball on the Cultural Direction for years, and the less they steer the ship, the better, cuz we have already washed up on the rocks.
BULLSHIT CLICKBAIT
“Top 10 Burning Man Pictures You Must See To Believe!”
And once clicked, sure enough it’s nothing but a bunch of super basic-ass photos of some super-hot-Coachella-swinger-couple at sunset in front of the most gentrified “OMG I need to get a selfie in front that to show my followers on Instagram” artwork on the playa.
You already know exactly where these fucksticks took the stoopid photo is front of, OF fucking course it's in front of the BELIEVE letters. It’s Basically the "live, laugh, love" of playa art.
Really, I won't believe this ?!
What I won't believe is that their relationship is going to last beyond next week . . . cuz there’s a 90% chance they are gonna join the wrong gangbang at the Orgy Dome and suddenly someone is not happy about the amount of buttfucking the other one received.
Thanks Business Insider Magazine for exposing the public to the wild and crazy world that is Burning Man. Now every fucking Chad and Becky from Wall Street is trying to come here to get laid. "Bro if I was there I would bang so many Hot Chicks on top of those letters" . . . "OMG I LOVE those Letters!! We are SOOO going to Burning Man to meet our future husbands <3."
How about 10 REAL photos you won’t believe?
Too bad the cameras weren’t there to snap a picture of the guy who took a shower with a fat chick and midget porn star!
It’s a shame no one from the Daily Mail UK was there to catch video of the guy who was tripping his nuts off and could not figure out how to unlock the door of the porta-potty -- escaping only by busting through the plastic roof and climbing out the top several hours later.
Or how about that chick at the meditation camp that was able to summon a higher power of consciousness and transcended the spacetime continuum for a short/infinite amount of time!
Where the fuck was BoredPanda.com to catch a photo of the person who was hit with a rubber dildo when it was carelessly thrown from the top of the Space Pirate ship into the Mayan Warrior crowd.
Now That’s some real stuff that happens out there that I would be happy to clickbait on!
THERE WILL BE SOME CHANGES MADE
The Large Scale Art:
Instead of funding massive installations that end up being resold to casinos on the Las Vegas strip, why not treat them like large Rich-Dick Theme Camps -- give the Installation Artists 200 DGS Tickets, and in return, these assholes will be happy to spend shitloads of money on blinky light towers or whatever, just so they can lock in those sweet sweet reserved tickets for themselves and their friends.
The Tone:
The Utopian Blinkylight Dreamscape has been cool for the past 16 years . . . Buuuut . . . it has gradually fallen out of touch with the world around us.
For far too long, The Org has ignored camps or underfunded art that could be perceived as dark or controversial in any way, shape or form.
Yet again, another example of their Cultural Direction Tactics to market Burning Man as a blinky-light-mickey-mouse-Epcot-Center for wealthy-business-insiders-and-celebrities featuring a safespace-family-oriented-wholesome-body-wellness-green-living-environment for social-media-influencer-photo-shoots.
Burning Man has NEVER been a Safe place!
In 1998, I witnessed a beheading by guillotine at the Opera Performance that was so realistic I spent the next 5 hours (still frying balls on acid!) convinced that Billy Graham was right about this place being a Satanic death cult that would bring about the end of the world.
IT WAS DISTURBING!
If the Barbie Death Camp incident at last years’ Burn taught us anything, it is that there clearly need to be risky and controversial works of art at the festival.
We can't be having pussy-footed Australians throwing temper tantrums like little punk bitches CUZ they don't like the way someone put Barbie Dolls inside an oven!
Why did that do-good-koala-humping-limpdick-ASS-licker think it was OK? Well . . .The Org has shoved the narrative that Burning Man is strictly "good vibes only" down our fucking throats so deep that we finally gagged from it.
Why the fuck was that guy even there? Well, he clicked on the Business Insiders’ “Top Ten Burning Man Photos You Must See To BELIEVE” and thought it was gonna be nothing but butterfly sculptures and Instagram Models in front of giant letters.
No Kids:
Yep. Sorry Minecraft Burners, but you are gonna have to wait until you are 21 to come to this party!
Renegotiating the insurance policy as an over-21 festival will save The Org millions and millions of dollars.
Out of 80,000 people, less than .05% are under 21 . . .yet we have to check IDs at every fucking bar !?
Every year the gate gets closed down and no one can filter in or out because someone asshole can't find their kid. This should be a HUGE red flag !
Law Enforcement uses the fact that minors are allowed at the event as justification to engage in predatory conduct such as undercover stings, camp raids and random tickets for unsuspecting bartenders who forget to check IDs.
Also I am not comfortable with the legal grey area the Shirtcocking and Titbouncing in the presence of minors creates.
And if it ever comes down to nudity versus allowing kids, I am sorry but we can't sacrifice the heart of this festival on account of the fact that you don't want to get a fucking babysitter for the week.
Your kids could give a flying-donald-duck-fuck about Burning Man! You and I both know goddamn well that given the opportunity they would rather play video games for the week at grandma's house then have to listen to Mom and Dad fight at Burning Man all week about who got buttfucked by whom at the Orgy Dome. . .
LEAVE THEM AT HOME!!!!!!
So the rest of us can be free to fuck, drink, smoke and wave our goddamn dicks and clits around whereever we see fit!!!
The Temple:
In the early days of the David Best Temples, they were constructed from the leftover hollows of wooden dinosaur jigsaw puzzle pieces.
It was low cost, recycled and pretty fucking cool!
Last year’s Temple was overdesigned, structurally unsound, and made from rare rustic-oak hardwood and redwood trees imported from China.
Let’s cut costs and just do what those guys from Belgium did in 2005. It's a Very Simple Plan. We get a shitload of old 2x4 boards and fucking Wing It! The Belgium Waffle House would have made a perfectly good Temple.
Garbage Dumpsters:
Yep, that's right. In the future we will have dumpsters at Burning Man! All the Survivalist and Moop-shaming Burners say it will destroy the festival. Guess what, Burn Nut? It's already common practice for larger theme camps to rent dumpsters that are emptied at the end of the week!! It's been going on for YEARS! So what?
Theme Camps will now have to pay a dumpster fee and there will be strict rules around any public dumpsters. Believe me The Org will provide the minimum amount possible to accommodate the BLM. It won't be nearly enough dumpsters for everyone to just toss all their trash, recycling and extra bikes into.
Don't worry, Radical Self-Reliant Survivalist Burnertypes, other people will still have to suffer packing up and dealing with their own trash on the ride home. Moop-shamers rejoice! You will definitely still be able to shame people for mooping and not cleaning up, if not even more so now. I don't see why we can't be Radically Self-Reliant by having dumpsters on site. We will still Leave No Trace, while leaving one less thing for surrounding communities to bitch about.
Build the Wall !!!
Ya fuck it! Build the Wall. So what? Honestly, it will be more aesthetically pleasing than that fucking orange fence. And if that is what the Feds want, that's cool with me -- as long as The Org gets to choose who does Security!
Thank fucking god we are not doing Burning Man this year.
With the world on fire all around us, it seems a bit tone-def to hold a giant rave utopia party!
I, for one, will be enjoying the week indoors under air-conditioning and rolling around in the heaps of cash I am saving by not going. I’m not attending a single workshop to expand my consciousness, not giving a single gift to anyone, and not being radical or self-reliant in any way.
Fuck your Virtual Burn.
I am Zapper Jones. I will see you in the Dust again . . . Sometime Somewhere in the Future!
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An unnecessarily long analysis as to why I think Ride or Die is the best written book in Pixelberry's library

Okay, I want to start this by saying that while Endless Summer is my favorite book due to emotional attachment (Yeah, this is no longer the case as of October 31st, ROD GOAT) I still think that Ride or Die comfortably surpasses it and every other Choices story when it comes to writing quality. I've been consuming some truly kino media like Steins;Gate, The Last of Us Part II and Better Call Saul in the past few months but seeing that the tumblr side of the fandom was having a ROD Appreciation Week made me have the book constantly wrestling for time in my mind along all those other things that I greatly enjoyed (Obviously, I'm not trying to imply this is anywhere near the same level of quality as these other pieces, cause that'd just be stupid) but yeah, I've been wanting to talk in depth about why I hold Ride or Die in such high regard for a long time now, so this post is for me, for anyone else that might be big fans of the book or even for people that didn't like it and don't understand why it's a fan favorite. It's also my late, not proofread contribution to the appreciation week since I can't really draw for shit.
PREMISE AND THEMES
Quick summary, it’s a story about growing up and finding oneself that focuses on an 18 year old girl in her last weeks of high school that joins a criminal crew without even realizing it due to her sheltered life making her feel like she missed out on her teenage years for the past 5 years since, after her mother’s death, her dad became incredibly protective of her. As she grows attached to the crew she gets deeply immersed in their world until she realizes what the pursue of freedom, fast cars and bad boys/girls truly entails. Of course, you all know that.
So, themes. Most Choices stories don’t have any big, noticeable theme that encompasses the entire story they’re trying to tell, which is completely fine since you can still write a good, compelling story without it (Unless you’re David Benioff). Of course, while not necessary, overarching themes elevate a story a lot more in my eyes if executed properly and I feel like Ride or Die excels at it. And what are these themes? Well, obviously, it’s up to every individual’s interpretation but to me the three biggest stand outs are freedom, obviously; the choice between someone’s own past and future; and how the typical Bad Boy Romance is not always the cheesy, idealized life most of us are used to. I’ll explain how the story presents these themes in the following segments.
ELLIE WHEELER, aka THE MC
I’ve raved about her at almost every chance I get because I feel like I can make a pretty compelling argument as to why she’s the best MC and one of the best characters PB’s ever written, but it’s about time I finally sat down to properly explain this stance. I might refer to her as Ellie at times instead of MC since I just don’t like having an essay this big and introspective and just referring to her as MC, even if I didn’t actually keep her default name myself.
So, let’s start from what most of the ROD MC masterrace knows about, she’s different from 95% of the MCs. She has a clear goal, a clear personality and, one of the most rare traits in MCs, her dad’s an actual character and he has an actual relationship with her. She’s also far from perfect, she’s an incredibly smart young woman that lacks “street” knowledge and as she gets in deeper and deeper with the MPC, her previous and new relationships suffer because of it, because she doesn’t know how to juggle both sides of her life. The hardships Ellie has to face are both products of the environment she lives in and a product of her mistakes, which acts as a nice balance so that she doesn’t come of as a bumbling idiot that fucks up everything for everyone and an overly perfect protagonist who’s only flaw is that the world just plots against her so that there can be a story to tell.
Her goal is a pretty simple one, she wants to go to Langston university, her dream school. The thing that stands out to me is how she never betrays her dream and it’s always present in the back of her mind, well, technically you can choose to skip out on all of her classes but that always seemed really out of character to me, so I’m not really taking that into account, since she expresses that she loves to learn and she sees it as a challenge to be better than herself from yesterday. She manages to involve Logan into her school life so she isn’t fully distracted from her studies and even when she’s living on the Gramercy Garage, she still finds time to study for her finals. Even when everything goes to shit and she starts losing sight of who she is, Logan, Colt and Mona know that being a criminal is not the life she’s meant to live and it isn’t until after prom that she realizes who she really is. There’s so many choices throughout the story that, while ultimately not relevant to the outcome, I feel can add a lot of character to her if you’re willing to “headcanon” a bit, so minor things such as picking the color of her car due to it being the same as Logan’s or the one Colt or Mona suggested, choosing to listen to rap music as she’s driving the MPC around since it can be seen as a rebellious sort of music that her dad probably wouldn’t have approved of, treating Brent’s party invitation as something of no importance to her, getting a tattoo… wait this one’s supposed to be big, why does no one acknowledge it dammit? Then there’s also some bigger choices such as her being able to tell Riya that she’s most excited about being able to leave LA on the first chapter or being able to choose to stay with Logan and help him fight Salazar, choosing to focus on her studies even when living with the MPC, and so on.
Now, how is she tied to the themes I mentioned above? Well, it’s clear that her desire for freedom and independence is what initially leads her to want to be a part of the MPC’s life, when Kaneko brought her to the garage for the first time she didn’t quite see them as criminals, but as people that lived as they wanted and were still, well, humans. She’s constantly seeking her own freedom from her dad’s overbearing presence and from her own boring life and she achieves it twice, one is the fake freedom she got when she ran away after her dad found out about her involvement with the MPC and the second one is what I like to think of as her true freedom. The definition of true freedom is tied to the second theme I mentioned, the choice between past and future, after the Brotherhood attacks her and her LI after prom she realizes that she can no longer try to keep on living both lives, the nerdy valedictorian girl and the criminal that gets a thrill by being behind the wheel, the inability to choose between one and the other is what initially landed her into that mess and it’s only by finally choosing that she’s able to get herself and everyone else from the MPC out. It’s a very unique way of showing a character being strong, she got herself out of the mess she herself helped cause and she did it without the conventional strengths of MCs such as being a warrior queen, a part of an alien entity that transcends time or a literal vampire.
Ultimately, she chose to embrace her future (And her past, in a roundabout way), her long time dream, which meant letting go of the life and people that once made her feel so free and alive and by doing so, she got the freedom she desired so much while also finding who she truly was and what she valued in life. That’s also tied to the third main theme I mentioned, in the end she couldn’t keep on living an idealized version of the bad boy romance where you get to keep a good life out of living on the wrong side of the law and while I could definitely go more in depth about how she embodies this theme, I’ll do that when I talk about other characters, since I’ve already talked about about Ellie a lot.
LOGAN
The cover boy, the boy with the car, the “bad boy”, the mandatory “good boi” LI, the only Love Interest that has managed to rival Quinn Kelly in terms of how much I love them. I feel like the love for all 3 LIs is mostly evenly distributed on this sub but I’ve definitely seen some people say that Logan is kinda boring compared to Colt and Mona and honestly, that just couldn’t be further from the truth in my mind. Prepare for another long ass analysis.
Being a fan of the anime/manga series Attack on Titan has made me gain a great, great appreciation for story recontextualization and that narrative element is exactly what Logan brings to the story at the end of Chapter 10 and boy, did Luke and the team knock that shit out of the park with how they implemented that tool into their story. ROD Ch. 10 is notorious for being the chapter that officially turned the book from an initially hated book that people were slowly warming up to, to a current fan favorite as far as online communities are concerned, seriously, you can look up the discussion for that chapter in the search bar and the first comment you’ll see if someone taking back everything negative they said about the book and then it’s just constant praising for the next 6 weeks. Why did all of that happen? Because of how much starts making sense or becoming clearer because of the reveal that Logan initially started dating (?) MC because he was trying to get whatever intel her dad had on them from her, seriously, everything becomes so clear after the end of the chapter, everything starts falling into place like a carefully crafted Lego build, be it for the stories’ themes or for characterization of characters like Colt, Mona, Kaneko, Jason and Logan himself.
Let’s focus on Logan for now though. A couple of chapters in, as we start learning more about his life, we can see that Logan is someone that’s never truly had someone in his life that could show him true human love and bonds, the closest he has to that prior to Ellie is his “cousin” Vaughn. Initially, it seems like a weak attempt at making the titular bad boy seem like a layered character, specially since he seemingly just fell for a random girl that literally stumbled upon him on a high school parking lot, but in reality the reason his fake interest in Ellie started to become reality was exactly because of the lack of proper, meaningful connections, which we couldn’t have known until after Colt reveals the truth. As we know, Logan always had the mentality that, no matter how good a crew might be, he should always be ready to bail when the heat is too much, that’s a philosophy that he adopted and he knows that any criminal that’s as good as him will share the same sentiment, which proves to be the case when the MPC immediately disbands after Kaneko’s death... but Ellie isn’t a hardened, professional criminal, she’s a girl that, while certainly enamored by the allure of their life, still sees them as people, not as mere means to an end that are just fun to hang out with, which is why she doesn’t run away after the escape from the mall or the encounter with Salazar’s crew at the drive-in cinema, that’s not something Logan thinks people are capable of, why would such a saint of a girl not get away from them after things like that?
That’s when Logan’s guilt enters the scene. He tries to undo what he now considers to have been a great mistake since he’s slowly catching real feelings for the girl that was just supposed to spill all of Detective Wheeler’s info and leave them as soon as she realized how dangerous their life was, but how is he supposed to do that now when doing so would mean losing this person that’s so incredibly unique in his world? We see how his guilt starts weighing on him more and more as the story progresses, until he almost does something very stupid by almost revealing the truth right before the stadium job, so he probably wouldn’t have lasted much without revealing it but, for better or worse, Colt was the one that did it for him and once again Logan turns Ellie’s whole world upside down. For the rest of the book, he does everything in his power to show her that, while he was lying in the beginning, he actually did come to care for her a lot (even if his actions might’ve pushed her into the arms of Colt or Mona, or at least acted as the final push in their routes).
After the MPC disbanded there was only one person I could see appearing on Riya’s doorstep when I played through ROD during release and that was Logan, because it just made all the sense in the world in my mind. Backtracking a bit, we know from his two diamond scenes on the early chapters that Logan dropped out of high school but he always liked to learn about random stuff, hence him reading while on the road, and that he always toyed with the idea of going back (He also says that he’d probably be graduating that year if he hadn’t dropped out, which tells us that he’s the youngest of the 3 LIs, which is a neat detail), so I always saw that as him showing up not just for Ellie’s sake but also for himself in a way, since it’d be a good way to live out the life he never had, even if just for a few hours. Speaking of prom night, I absolutely adore how when he tells Ellie he loves her, she can reply with “Logan… no you don’t.” since it’s only natural she wouldn’t believe him 100% since not only did they get together through a web of lies spun by him and Kaneko, but because as far as she knows, Logan can’t possibly know what real love feels like.
Fast forward to the final chapter and it’s time for the MPC to go their own ways, for real this time, to avoid getting entangled with the FBI and, even if Logan wasn’t your actual LI he still shows that he’s completely accepting of the fact that he isn’t the one Ellie loves, and on both cases he shows that he also grew to truly love her by deciding to not be a part of her life any more, because it just isn’t feasible for her to pursue her dreams while also being involved with potential suspects on the FBI watch list, so he chooses her future over his because he can’t and he won’t let her risk her future for something as small as a space rock lucky enough to burn up in her atmosphere for a moment and with that, a heartfelt kiss, an explicit and tacit declaration of love, a request for Troublemaker to give ‘em hell and a brief but tense showdown with Detective Wheeler, Logan speeds off into the night.
COLT KANEKO
The actual leather wearing bad boy of the story that sauntered his way into the hearts of many fans, both as a character and a love interest, he’s sarcastic, he’s funny, he’s soft-ish only with the MC and he’s also a multilayered character, how could he not be liked? I want to preface this section by saying that, just like with really popular LIs such as Jake Mackenzie, Damien Nazario or Ethan Ramsey, I could never bring myself to like Colt in a romantic way, even though I can certainly see the appeal of their route but even then, just like the aforementioned gentlemen, he’s still one of my favorite characters of the series regardless of that, simply because of how much he brings to the table. So without further ado, let’s get started with Mr. “Christ, who caaares?” Kaneko’s unnecessarily long essay.
Right off the bat we can see that Colt has a bone to pick with Logan due to their relationship with Kaneko, he’s always butting heads with Logan and Kaneko at the beginning because he resents both, the latter for sending him away to college and not being willing to let him in on the family business and the former for, in his eyes, being the son Kaneko always wanted, not knowing that the only reason his dad kept him away from the business and seemingly replaced him with Logan was because if Jason actually harmed the MPC he could live with the loss of Logan on his conscience, but not Colt’s. As time goes on Colt finds himself slowly warming up to Ellie, even if he initially just thinks of her as one of his dad’s mistakes waiting to blow up in their faces, and even if he does relentlessly teases/annoys her it’s very obvious that he can connect with her because of her complicated relationship with her dad and she can understand him, they both love their dads immensely but they severely disagree on the view they have of their respective child. And against Colt’s predictions, Ellie proves herself as a valuable asset to the crew (Not knowing until later on just how deep that rang true) and he eventually starts falling for her as well, which is what sets the Chapter 10 plot twist in motion.
After the MPC manages to steal the super cars for the Brotherhood, Kaneko opens up to the idea of letting Colt into the business, since it’s clear he won’t just pack up and leave for college anymore, especially after Kaneko is shot and threatened by the Brotherhood and he has to rely on Colt’s plan of kidnapping one of their members and at some point he reveals the truth about their current situation to his son, where Colt finds out about the truth behind Logan and Ellie but it isn’t until after the stadium heist that he makes shit hit the fan by starting a fight with Logan and spilling his secret. That always seemed to me that it came from a place that’s equal parts being mad at Logan for using Ellie like that but also him seeing it as a petty opportunity to sow discord between them, which is why she later has the choice to unload on Colt for deliberately keeping the truth to himself until the right moment. This also marks the moment where the somewhat toxic, somewhat supportive, somewhat wholesome and entirely complicated romantic relationship between them can start to flourish, since Ellie obviously doesn’t see Logan in the exact same way she did 24 hours before and depending on the player, she could’ve actually started to develop her relationship with Colt (Or Mona) prior to the reveal.
Something I haven’t seen being mentioned about Colt’s arc is how him being misjudged and misunderstood by both Ellie and Kaneko plays a huge role in it. After Ellie leaves the MPC, he decides to put the rest of his plan in motion, luring The Brotherhood into an illegal casino’s vault using the member they kidnapped and kill them via gassing. Toby completely disagrees with their actions and decides to recruit Ellie to help him stop the crew from crossing a line that they seemingly haven’t crossed yet, yes they’re criminals but much like Ellie’s initial impression of them, they’re not psychos and much less murderers, they’re still good people; so she sets out to stop them with the help of Toby and a Logan that’s desperate for atonement, but her biggest mistake was assuming that Colt isn’t the kind of person that can kill another person if it means protecting those he cares about. This is where it gets incredibly interesting and compelling to me, since not only does her misjudge of character ruin Colt’s entire plan but there’s also the possibility that she had been working for Jason and the Brotherhood the whole time, so in some cases they might’ve actually escaped the trap directly because of her and it doesn’t stop there, since as a result the MPC lose their entire advantage and are once again being targeted by The Brotherhood and that directly leads to not only another huge reveal from Kaneko’s part but also his death, him sacrificing himself so that the crew could escape as he let’s Colt know that he wishes for him to just let go of this life and do something better for himself. Before the rest of the MPC reunites at Gramercy Park, Colt tells Ellie how he plans to kill them all, to rebuild the garage and kill them all before finally breaking down on her arms as his loss catches up to him, right before the Mercy Park Crew splits up after their loss against Jason.
In the end, the two people Colt cared about the most failed at truly understanding him, his dad kept him at an arm’s length for a long time, missing out on time with his son because he never considered the fact that what he wanted for Colt was not what he wanted for himself, despite of all the risks it might entail, and Ellie played a part in Kaneko’s death by not realizing that Colt would be willing to cross such a fucked up line if it meant protecting the people and legacy he cared about so much. Those two factors play a huge role in the rest of the book since they’re the reasons why Colt is pushed dangerously close to a downward spiral that will most definitely only bring him more pain at the end of the book. After Jason is dealt with, he laments the fact that he and Ellie met under such circumstances and not in a classroom where they could annoy each other and become friends and/or significant others but he doesn’t lament his current situation, he’s dead set on becoming the king of LA, on carrying on his father’s legacy, now more than ever. I’d argue Colt Kaneko is the biggest cautionary tale in this book about the dangers of the often glorified life of the bad boys and fast cars and how it can consume you, he was very special to Ellie and Kaneko but they didn’t fully understand who he was, how he was shaped by his ideal future and they couldn’t see how the most important thing for him was his past, his legacy and as a result, he’s alone against a dangerous world, but that’s a danger that he very much welcomes.
If any of you have done Colt’s romance route and feel like I missed out on anything, do let me know in the comments, I feel like my appreciation for him only grew more as I wrote his section.
MONA
The bad girl, the loner, what even is her real name? I’m also going to dedicate an analysis to her but I also want to direct you to a post from a few months ago by user u/elbenji who has reviewed ROD from a WLW perspective that I think you should also check out if you’ve got the time. Anyway, Mona’s turn.
So, who’s Mona? Well, she’s kind of the Drake Walker of the book, which is a role that you don’t usually see being filled by a female LI. She doesn’t seem to like anyone, she’s pessimistic, she rarely misses the chance to mock people, she’s damn good at her job and she’s loyal to no one but herself, to some she might actually be the worse person of the 3 LIs during the early chapters but as everything else in this book, the layers to her start to show the more the story advances. She shares Logan’s worldview of everyone only being out for themselves but unlike Logan, she knows that not everyone is necessarily like that but in her eyes those people are in for a rude awakening from the world at some point for being dumb enough to think that they can count on someone else and that’s why she’s borderline condescending towards Ellie when the topic of interpersonal relationships comes up between them.
If Colt is shaped by his future, Mona is shaped by her past. Once upon a time she used to be little Miss Perfect like Ellie, honor roll, on the path to valedictorian, the whole thing, until she met a girl that she fell in love with, a criminal that made her enjoy life to its fullest and ended up becoming her whole world until one day they got caught and were taken to interrogation separately where Mona, fully trusting of her partner, lied about their involvement but was still arrested because her girlfriend ended up giving her up in exchange of freedom. That event shaped Mona’s entire philosophy, when it came down to it, people would always put themselves above everyone else and after Kaneko gave her back her freedom that’s the only code she stuck by, her own personal freedom and survival became the most important thing in Mona’s life, even when the man that saved her was in danger she considered multiple times to just leave the MPC to their luck. That is, until she met Ellie Wheeler.
Obviously, in typical Pixelberry fashion, Mona doesn’t have as much screen time as her male counterparts but what she lacks in screen time she more than makes up in both narrative and thematic relevancy. As mentioned previously, Mona’s always reminding Ellie how out of her depth she is and treating her like a dumb girl that doesn’t know what she’s doing (Which, to a certain extent, is true) but when shit goes south after the stadium heist it turns out that she’s the only LI that never actually played with Ellie’s feelings and was always straight (Heh) with her. It's things like this that I love immensely about ROD, the 3 love interests have so many layers to them, they do good and bad things and they feel like actual people that exist in this fictional Los Angeles, their actions are a product of what’s established as their characters, not just as stuff that happens because the plot needs it to. Back on track, just like with Colt, this is the point where Ellie and Mona’s relationship really takes off if the player chooses to and unlike Colt, her going after Ellie feels like it comes off from a place of actual concern since she understands what she’s going through, regardless of whether their relationship is platonic or not at that point, she still sees a girl that feels like she’s got no one left that she can trust in, so she takes it upon herself to be there for her, slowly shedding her walls that she’s put up for so long, probably without even realizing it.
After the failed job at the casino, Mona once again contemplates leaving the MPC in the middle of the shit storm but Ellie manages to get her to help since she owes Kaneko that much at the very least, only for her to find out a few minutes later that Kaneko knew The Brotherhood were corrupt cops from the beginning and never confided in them with that information and, in another cruel twist of fate, Kaneko ends up sacrificing himself so that Ellie, Logan, Colt and Mona could run away, once again, giving Mona her freedom even after completely betraying her trust. As the MPC discuss their course of action after that, she breaks and let’s out what’s probably my favorite quote in Choices: ”You wanted freedom? The fast cars, the bad boy, that whole life? This is it… and it’s not for you. Go home, for everyone’s sake.”, in that moment she let’s the entire pressure of the situation get to her and unleashes on Ellie, the main reason why they’re all in that whole mess. It’s an incredibly cathartic quote that perfectly encapsulates what ROD is all about, the criminal life is not something one can just juggle as if it were a part time job that’s there for the thrills, it can only lead to a life that most people, if presented with the choice, would never want for themselves. When I read that for the first time I completely forgot that I was just reading a story on a free Visual Novel app where you’d never expect to find writing of such quality. I can perfectly feel Mona’s anguish and anger in that quote, the whole weight of the events of the book finally come crashing down on us after we read those words and it’s just such a great feeling that I’ll never stop praising.
Let’s get to prom night though, much like Mona going after Ellie on Chapter 11, I feel like her showing up for her prom is still really fitting and the diamond scene that follows after is arguably the best wlw dirty thirty in the app, the dialogue during it is just top tier to be honest. But even better than it to me is the scene after that, where she decides to join The Brotherhood if it means Ellie gets to run away from them since they’re obviously looking to tie up lose ends, it is especially hard hitting if she’s your LI but the version with Colt or Logan is still amazing and I especially love how she uses the hot wiring skills Mona taught her to run away. After the Mercy Park Crew’s last ride together, Mona ends up taking a bullet for the girl that reminded her so much of herself and as Ellie drives her to the hospital she talks about how hard she’s going to be to forget, before reaching the hospital and walking herself inside, knowing that she’d be imprisoned once again before the day is over. I’ve seen a fair share of people that were unhappy with Mona having to deal with such harsh consequences but I personally love, love the end of her route since Mona’s always been about self preservation and only being there for herself but meeting Ellie gets her to slip, she starts caring for her and in the end chooses to give up on her freedom if it means Ellie gets to walk away with hers, in a way being for Ellie the complete opposite of what her ex-girlfriend was to her all those years ago (The dramatic irony can be turned to 11 if you choose the options that show her slowly adopting Mona’s philosophy during the final chapters, so she can slowly become more cynical as Mona slowly sheds her cynicism). In the end, Mona might not be free but she’s still on her element, she’ll be on a place where she’d have to count only on herself and while she’ll definitely have to face some time for her crimes, I’m pretty sure she’d thrive in prison.
End of Part 1
Okay, I initially wanted to talk about the supporting characters as well but this shit is truly living up to its title at almost 5K words, that’s already a decently sized one shot, so I’ll stop here since I still want to post it close to the appreciation week, though I might make some edits here and there as I reread it later on but I'm too lazy to do that right now. If I see there’s a good reception for a stupidly long post like this I’ll probably get to work on the second part where I talk about Kaneko, Jason, Detective Wheeler, Toby, Ximena and Riya and Darius, as well as maybe analysis for other books that I hold in really high regard such as the Endless Summer trilogy, Open Heart or It Lives Beneath. If you actually made it all the way here, I just want to thank you for taking the time of your day for reading my semi-coherent thoughts and definitely let me know what you think, if you agree, if you disagree, if you think I should go outside, etc. Thank you for your attention.
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Gravity's Rainbow Group Read | Sections 22-25 | Week 7

Slothrop's Hawaiian Shirt by Zak Smith (2006).
I just want to begin by thanking u/Bloomsdayclock for coordinating this endeavor, for all of the previous posts thus far, and for the enthusiastic interaction and scholarship that’s been happening in the comments for each post. This group read has rekindled my love for this book and is helping me understand it in so many different ways and in such greater depth that it's honestly like I’m reading a different book at this point. Also, kudos to each previous poster for creating a coherent post! The book is complex enough on its own but once you start going down the rabbit hole, sussing out the references, reading through some of the scholarship, etc., I almost found myself paralyzed by information overload (kinda feeling a bit like Charlie Kelly trying to figure out who “Pepe Silvia” is :) ). When this reading group started, I was like, “damn, I’m trying to read this insanely complex novel and the group posts are just as long, dense, and complex” and now I’ve gone and written some super long and dense post, too. To paraphrase either Blaise Pascal or Mark Twain (or Woodrow Wilson or apparently a rather large number of dead white guys from history): I would have written a shorter post if I’d had the time! Apologies in advance!
Anyways, this post will (attempt to) cover the start of the second section of the novel, Un Perm’ au Casino Hermann Goering. The events that transpire are zany and sinister, titillating and deeply sad. There is a mix of images both gorgeous and disgusting and much of the planning and plotting that took place at “The White Visitation” during the first section are starting to come to fruition in part deux. For each “Episode”, I will provide a general summary of the “action” and then some commentary and we’ll finish this post up with a few discussion questions. Let’s begin!
Episode 22
Summary
Slothrop is on furlough/leave at a casino in Monaco (from what I’ve read...I thought it was France before, still not completely sure) that’s been renamed in honor of the big fat slob that led Hitler’s air force during the war. He’s in paradise but wakes up “...[waiting] for a sudden noise to begin his day, a first rocket” (p. 181). His friend Tantivy Mucker-Maffick and a somewhat suspicious friend of his, Teddy Bloat (“[there’s] something about the way he talks to Slothrop, patronizing? Maybe nervous…” (p. 182)), are staying down the hall. They’re talking about meeting some girls but, as the first song of the section reminds us, Englishmen can be very shy. Slothrop is happy to help his “buddies” out, but tells them not to “expect [him] to put it in for [them]” (p. 183). Classic Slothrop!
Slothrop decides to wear a hideous (or amazing, depending on your sensibilities) genuine Hawaiian shirt that he received from his brother Hogan in the Pacific. The shirt seems to emit a glow (once he steps into the sun, it “blazes into a refulgent life of its own” (!) (p. 184), so Tantivy, “friend” that he is, tries to convince Slothrop to cover it up with scratchy Savile Row coat.
The trio hit the beach and the ladies are on them already. They’ve got food and booze and are ready for a nice day on the beach. The morning seems too good even for a bit of the “early paranoia”. And then Bloat ruins everything by drawing Slothrop’s attention to the woman down the beach being attacked by “the biggest fucking octopus Slothrop has ever seen outside of the movies”. Slothrop rushes off to intervene and, left without recourse, starts trying to bash the cephalopod on the head with a wine bottle to no avail. Thankfully, Bloat just happens to have a big, tasty crab on his person, which he tosses to Slothrop with the advice, “It’s hungry, it’ll go for the crab. Don’t kill it, Slothrop.” Slothrop uses the crab to bait away the animal from its current prey, noticing that it does not seem to be in good mental health. He eventually tosses the crab, like a discus, into the sea, and the octopus follows. The damsel has been saved, Slothrop is championed as a brave hero and his first thought is where in the fuck did that crab come from.
The exchange:
“Tantivy smiles and flips a small salute. “Good show!” cheers Teddy Bloat. “I wouldn’t have wanted to try that myself!”
“Why not? You had that crab. Saaay-where’d you get that crab?”
“Found it,” replies Bloat with a straight face. Slothrop stares at this bird but can’t get eye contact. What th’ fuck is going on?” (p. 187).
The damsel thanks Slothrop. Her ID bracelet identifies her as Katje Borgesius. Slothrop feels like he knows her and “...voices begin to take on a touch of metal, each word a hard-edged clap, and the light, though as bright as before, is less able to illuminate….it’s a Puritan reflex of seeking other orders behind the visible, also known as paranoia, filtering in…” (p. 188). How does Slothrop deal with this? By dividing up his present company into a dichotomy: the increasingly drunk Tantivy, “a messenger from Slothrop’s innocent, pre-octopus past” flirting with the girls and Bloat, “perfectly sober, mustache unruffled, regulation uniform [on the fucking beach!], watching [him] closely” (p. 188). And then there’s Katje, who, with her glance, makes Slothrop think she knows something (what?), asking him “Did you know all the time about the octopus? I thought so because it was so like a dance-all of you” (p. 188). Well, fuck me! Katje then tells “Little Tyrone” to be “very careful” and that “Perhaps, after all, we were meant to meet…” (p. 189). Now that’s a “meet cute” for ya!
Commentary/Questions
  1. Is the casino fully owned and controlled by Them at this point (is César Flebótomo (Spanish for “sandfly”) a(n) (un)willing patsy in Their employ?). Is it the “lab” for this “phase” of the Slothrop experiment. Or is it just secured enough to ensure the results of the experiment aren’t tainted by some unforeseen variable/interference?
  2. Teddy Bloat seems like a purposeful pun in reference to the bureaucracy of government/intel agencies
  3. Tantivy Mucker-Maffick’s name is also filled with meaning
  4. Songs are one way that Pynchon fills his book with “the language of the preterite”, a term from Weisenburger used to describe the “slang, underworld cant, songs, games, folk-genres, and material culture” used by Pynchon to pit “open, unsanctioned, and “low” languages” against the “closed, orthodox, privileged language of a culture”. This idea is expanded on by literary critic/philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin who notes that the “heteroglossic” aspect of novels allows them to be radical, open-ended artworks filled with a variety of voices that each embody a particular time and place (his term for this idea is a “chronotope”).
  5. The whole episode is just soaked in paranoia, from beginning to end. Whatever Slothrop thought he thought he was feeling in Section 1 has been taken up a notch. He senses a plot but keeps playing along.
  6. Is “Borgesius” a tribute to J.L. Borges?
  7. “Little Tyrone” echoes “Baby Tyrone” from Jamf’s experiments and maybe is supposed to make us realize that while the antics in this episode could possibly be construed as a “loss” of Slothrop’s “innocence” that was actually taken from him as a baby.
Episode 23
Summary
Dr. Porkyevitch (“Porky the pig”?) and “Grisha” (“[frisking] happily in his special enclosure”) stare back at the “blazing bijou” of the Casino from their ship, contemplating their future now that they may no longer be of use to Pointsman, yearning for traces of the Russia they’ve been exiled from.
To the casino: Katje is a vision in shades of green and is escorted by a two-star general and a brigadier. Is it Pudding? RHIP :) Slothrop and Tantivy in the dining room. Slothrop raises the “The Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffic” to get the room singing of his friend’s drunken exploits so that he can speak to Katje who uses the cacophony to invite him to her room after midnight!
Slothrop then probes his buddy to see if he notices anything funny going on. Tantivy brushes him off a bit (“there’s always, you know, an element of Slothropian paranoia to contend with…”(p. 192)) but then concedes that the bastard Bloat is receiving coded messages. Ha! And it turns out Bloat has become a bit of a different man over the last few years, something more than being “Blitz rattled”. He’s also warned Tantivy away from Katje (“I’d stay clear of that one if I were you” (p. 193)) and Tantivy feels used by Bloat (“being tolerated for as long as he can use me” (p. 193)). The encounter ends with Tantivy telling Slothrop to be careful and, should he need help, he’ll be there for him.
At midnight, Slothrop leaves for his rendezvous with Ms. Borgesius, “ascending flights of red-carpeted stairway (Welcome Mister Slothrop Welcome To Our Structure We Hope You Will Enjoy Your Visit Here)” (p. 194). Arriving, he teases her about her date at dinner and then about their slightly sinister “meet cute” while examining her closet which is absolutely filled to the brim with a variety of outfits. The “Too Soon To Know (Fox-Trot)” before they get down to it. As he is undressing her, he notices “...the moonlight only whitens her back, and there is a still a dark side, her ventral side, her face, than he can no longer see, a terrible beastlike change coming over muzzle and lower jaw, black pupils growing to cover the entire eye space till whites are gone and there’s only the red animal reflection when the light comes to strike no telling when the light-” (p. 196). Yikes! As they fuck, she wonders if his “careful technique” is for her or “wired into the Slothropian Run-together they briefed her on”. Either way, “she will move him, she will not be mounted by a plastic shell” (p. 196-197).
Then, a slapstick fight with a seltzer bottle (planted by Them?) that has Slothrop looking for a banana cream pie to toss (classic!) after which they fall asleep, lying like two Ss. In the morning, their post-coital bliss is interrupted as Little Tyrone is rudely awakened by the sound of someone robbing his pants in the room next door. He chases after the thief, first naked, then dressed in a purple satin bedsheet. As he’s chasing, from way down the hallway, “a tiny head appears around a corner, a tiny hand comes out and gives Slothrop the tiny finger” (p. 199). Haha! He chases the thief up a tree only to have the tree cut down while he’s in it. The thief escapes and Bloat and some general find Slothrop a mess.
Bloat takes Slothrop to his room where, “every stitch of clothing he owns is gone, including his Hawaiian shirt. What the fuck. Groaning, he rummages in the desk. Empty. Closets empty. Leave papers, ID, everything, taken… Hogan’s shirt bothers him most of all” (p. 201). Nobody knows where Tantivy’s gone off to. Bloat gives Slothrop a uniform (“a piece of Whitehall on the Riviera” (p. 201)) which doesn’t fit but the book advises, “Live wi’ the way it feels mate, you’ll be in it for a while” (p. 201). Slothrop ponders the meaning of the architecture and design of his surrounds, but “shortly, unpleasantly so, it will come to him that everything in this room [The Himmer-Spielsaal, no less] is being used from something different. Meaning things to Them it has never meant to us. Never. Two orders of being, looking identical….but, but….” (p. 202). THE WORLD OVER THERE. Against this realization Slothrop issues the only spell he knows, a defiant “Fuck You”. Walking, rainstorm, entertainment at the casino, no one has seen the dancing girls from the drunken breakfast, Slothrop is “finding only strangers where he looks” before freaking out in the casino, then getting wet in the rain, then returning to Katje, the only place he knew to come.
Commentary
  1. I love “The Ballad of Tantivy Mucker-Maffic” and would like to write a similar tune about the inebriated shenanigans committed by my best friend and I during college.
  2. The bit about Oxford and Harvard not really existing to educate was a nice touch (p. 193)
  3. “Snazzy” is an “Americanism” in the 40s! (p. 195).
  4. Slothrop ponders an impending loss of innocence (but, again, it seems like that has already happened). He has nothing and no one in a foreign country and the sensation that his life is being purposefully, possibly nefariously influenced by forces he can vaguely perceive. “It’s here that saturation hits him, it’s all this playing games, too much of it, too many games: the nasal, obsessive voice of a croupier he can’t see...is suddenly speaking out of the Forbidden Wing directly to him, and about what Slothrop has been playing against the invisible House, perhaps after all for his soul, all day - terrified, he turns, turns out into the rain again where the electric lights of the Casino, in full holocaust, are glaring off the glazed cobbles.” And then, “How did this all turn against him so fast? His friends old and new, every last bit of paper and clothing connecting him to what he’s been, have just, fucking, vanished. How can he meet this with any kind of grace?” (p. 205)
  5. The word “holocaust” is used quite a bit in this story
  6. Setting this all in the casino is a nice touch: there is the illusion of chance and luck in a casino but the house always wins.
  7. The juxtaposition of the comic (seltzer fight) with the tragic (Slothrop alone, trying to understand what’s happening) heightens both effects.
Episode 24
Summary
They wake up with Katje calling slothrop a pig, which responds to by oinking. At breakfast, he is taking a refresher course in technical German and learning about The Rocket. His tutor, Sir Stephen Dodson-Truck (who speaks 33 languages!) aiding his understanding of German circuit schematics by way of ancient German runes. Slothrop understands immediately that Dodson-Truck is in on the plot but not sure how (“There are times when Slothrop can actually find a clutch mechanism between him and Their iron-cased engine far away up a power train whose shape and design he has to guess at, a clutch he can disengage, feeling then all his inertia of motion, his real helplessness… it is not exactly unpleasant, either. Odd thing. He is almost sure that whatever They want, it won’t mean risking his life, or even too much of his comfort. But he can’t fit any of it into a pattern, there’s no way to connect somebody like Dodson-Truck with somebody like Katje…. The real enemy’s somewhere back in that London anyways” (p. 207).
Back in the Himmler-Spielsaal: “in the twisted gilt playing-room his secret motions clarify for him, some. The odds They played here belonged to the past, the past only. Their odds were never probabilities, but frequencies already observed. It’s the past that makes demands here. It whispers, and reaches after, and sneering disagreeably, gooses its victims.
When they choose numbers, red, black, odd, even, what did They mean it? What Wheel did They set in motion?
Back in a room, early in Slothrop’s life, a room forbidden to him now, is something very bad. Something was done to him and it may be that Katje knows what. Hasn’t he, in her “futureless look,” found some link to his own past, something that connects them closely as lovers?” (p. 208-209). “It is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola.”
No more news from London or Achtung. Bloat is gone now, too. Sir Stephen and Katje with their identical Corporate Smiles to dazzle him while they rob his identity. But! “He lets it happen” (p. 210).
Slothrop is getting hardons after his rocket study sessions and then goes looking for relief with Katje. Sir Stephen appears to be timing these erections! So, Slothrop gets the smart idea to get him drunk via a drinking game and many, many people end up getting sloshed on some high class bubbly. Half the room is singing the “Vulgar Song”. Slothrop and Sir Steve get pretty hammered and start walking through a nice sunset, where Slothrop sees robed figures, hundreds of miles tall, on the horizon. Sir Stephen informs Slothrop that he’s got “potency issues” (which makes him the perfect observer for Slothrop’s sexual misadventures… “no nasty jissom getting all over their reports, you know” (p. 216)). He’s about to tell Slothrop the secret of “The Penis He Thought Was His Own”...
...but then starts waxing nostalgic about Sir Stephen’s son and his wife, Nora and her “Ideology of the Zero”. An interlude with Eventyr, Sachsa, Leni… “but where will Leni be now? Either we didn’t mean to lose her - either it was an ellipsis in our care, in what some of us even swear is our love, or someone has taken her, deliberately, for reasons being kept secret, and Sachsa’s death is part of it too” (p. 218). More on Sachsa’s death.
Then, Sir Stephen vanishes (“but not before telling Slothrop that his erections of high interest to Fitzmaurice House”). Katje is pissed that Slothy got Sir Steve drunk enough to dish on the plot. They fight and then fuck. More rocket study sessions. The rocket taking off looks like a peacock, def pfau. Slothrop pressing for more information, Katje rebuffing, warning/advising“Oh, Slothrop… You don’t want me. What they’re after may, but you don’t. No more than A4 wants London. But I don’t think they know...about other selves...yours or the Rocket’s. No more than you do. If you can’t understand it now, at least remember. That’s all I can do for you” (p. 224).
Then, “They go back up to her room again: cock, cunt, the Monday rain at the windows” (p. 224) (Oh, Tom, you romantic!). And finally, a bit of kazoo music, a final night together, and Katje disappears, too.
Commentary
  1. Slothrop makes an important connection to his childhood and wonders if Katje knows about it/whether she’s with him because of it (ol’ Pynch even manages to work in the rocket, too!): “You were in London while they were coming down. I was in ‘s Gravenhage while they were going up. Between you and me is not only a rocket trajectory but also a life. You will come to understand that between the two points, in the five minutes, it lives an entire life. You haven’t even learned the data on our side of the flight profile, the visible or trackable. Beyond them there’s so much more, so much none of us know” (p. 209).
  2. More on the import of setting the action in the Casino: “The Forbidden Wing. Oh, the hand of a terrible croupier is that touch on the sleeves of his dreams: all his life of what has looked free or random, is discovered to’ve been under some Control, all the time, the same as a fixed roulette wheel-where only destinations are important, attention is to long-term statistics, not individuals: and where the House does, of course, keep turning a profit…” (p. 209).
  3. A beautiful passage: “‘Holy shit.” This is the kind of sunset you hardly see any more, a 19th-century wilderness sunset...this anachronism in primal red, in yellow purer than can be found anywhere today, a purity begging to be polluted...of course Empire took its way westward, what other way was there but into those virgin sunsets to penetrate and to foul” (p. 214). Always dualities in this book.
  4. “A pornography of blueprints” (p. 224). is a nice turn of phrase.
  5. Foreshadowing: “She has her hair combed high today in a pompadour, her fair eyebrows, plucked to wings, darkened, eyes rimmed in black, only the outboard few lashes missed and left blond.
  6. Connection to Nabokov: I really do think “Signs and Symbols” influenced this novel. Lines like this, “Here it is again, that identical-looking Other World - is he gonna have this to worry about, now? What th’ - lookit these trees - each long frond hanging, stuny, dizzying, in laborious dry point against the sky, each so perfectly placed…” (p. 225) remind me so much of the atmosphere in the story (itself about paranoia (“referential mania”)). This is a key excerpt from the Nabokov ditty: “In these very rare cases the patient imagines that everything happening around him is a veiled reference to his personality and existence. He excludes real people from the conspiracy - because he considers himself to be so much more intelligent than other men. Phenomenal nature shadows him wherever he goes. Clouds in the staring sky transmit to one another, by means of slow signs, incredibly detailed information regarding him. His inmost thoughts are discussed at nightfall, in manual alphabet, by darkly gesticulating trees. Pebbles or stains or sun flecks form patterns representing in some awful way messages which he must intercept. Everything is a cipher and of everything he is the theme.” Obviously this guy is, uh, slightly more clinical, but I still think the atmosphere/tone is similar between the two.
Episode 25
Summary
We begin this episode with a Pavlov lecture about the physiological symptoms of hysteria and one of Pointsman’s poems (which he never shows to anyone). Then to the “White Visitation” chaps (Pointsman, Grunton, Throwster, Groast) rumor-mongering about their future. Things are looking bleak. Pudding might cut off funding, “Slothrop’s knocked out Dodson-Truck and the girl in one day” (p. 227), and Sir Steven’s got the P.M.’s son-in-law making embarrassing inquiries. But Pointsman is calm. Very calm. In fact, “[b]y facing squarely the extinction of his program, he has gained a great bit of Wisdom: that if there is a life force operating in Nature, still there is nothing so analogous in bureaucracy. Nothing so mystical. It all comes down, as it must, to the desires of individual men. Oh, and women too, of course, bless their empty little heads. But survival depends on having strong enough desires - on knowing the System better than the other chap, and how to use it. It’s work, that’s all it is, and there’s no room for any extrahuman activities - they only weaken, effeminize the will: a man either indulges them, or fights to win, und so weiter” (p. 230). And then we find out that Pointman’s figured out how to play Pudding to keep his support (more on that in a bit…) as he’s figured out Treacle, Groast, and Throwster, how to use them and manipulate them to get what he wants. What a fucking devious guy!
Webley Silvernail sticks around after the meeting and imagines the lab animals putting on a beguine performance of a song called “Pavlovia” (right after this realization by Silvernail: “From overhead, from a German camera-angle, it occurs to Webley Silvernail, this lab here is also a maze...but who watches from above, who notes their reponses?” (p. 229)). And it’s all song and dance for a bit but since it’s Pynchon, it’s followed by an incredible poignant/tragic moment of clarity: “They have had their moment of freedom. Webley has only been a guest start. Now it’s back to the cages and the rationalized forms of death-death in the service of the one species cursed with the knowledge that it will die…. “I would set you free, if I knew how. But it isn’t free out here. All the animals, the plants, the minerals, even other kinds of men, are being broken and reassembled every day, to preserve an elite few, who are the loudest to theorize on freedom, but the least free of all. I can’t even give you hope that it will be different someday - that They’ll come out, and forget death, and lose Their technology’s elaborate terror, and stop using every other form of life without mercy to keep what haunts men down to a tolerable level - and be like you instead, simply here, simply alive….” The guest star retires down the corridors” (p. 230). What a soliloquy. [Tangent: almost 50 years later, how prescient is this passage?! This little monologue filled me with so many conflicting emotions: hope (because humans like Pynchon exist to dream this stuff up) and also dread because this paragraph describes a fundamental aspect and egregious flaw (or flaws) in human nature. Reading and re-reading this passage depresses me a little (hence my question about mental health below).
Now Pudding is sneaking about the bowels of “The White Visitation”. He heads past the cells of loonies on his way to a secret rendezvous. It seems like Pointsman may have drugged him at some point to get at hidden desires. We watch as our dear old Brigadier putters from room-to-room, finding items left for him by Pointsman that mock him and describe his descent into a personal hell (for info on the symbolism, the Weisenburger book is quite helpful).
In the final room, Pudding drops to his knees at the feet of his Domina Nocturna (with “her blond hair...tucked and pinned beneath a thick black wig”... “naked except for a long sable cape and black boots with court heels” (p. 233)). Pudding is thinking of the night they first met. He saw “her” “...through the periscope, underneath a star shell that hung in the sky, he saw her….and though he was hidden, she saw Pudding. Her face was pale, she was dressed all in black, she stood in No-man’s Land, the machine guns raked their patterns all around her, but she needed no protection. “They knew you, Mistress. They were your own.
And so were you” (p. 233).
And then he offers her a “nice” memory of a legion of Franco’s troops killing and getting killed at a massacre at Badajoz for which he is “rewarded” with her beating and then pissing and shitting in his mouth… … … …
However off-putting this may be for some (most), it does something for Pudding. He needs pain. “They have stuffed paper illusions and military euphemisms between him and this truth, this rare decency, this moment at her scrupulous feet….no it’s not guilt here, not so much as amazement - that he could have listened to so many years of ministers, scientists, doctors each with his specialized lies to tell, when she was here all the time, sure in her ownership of his failing body, his true body: undisguised by uniform, uncluttered by drugs to keep from him her communiqués of vertigo, nausea and pain. Above all, pain. The clearest poetry, the endearment of greatest worth…” (p. 234-235).
Munching down on a hot turd makes Pudding think of the horrible smells of his service during WWI: putrid mud, rot, death, “...the sovereign smell of their first meeting, and her emblem” (p. 235). After eating her shit, he jerks off (his release), in a style that Domina Nocturna has learned from watching Captain Blicero and Gottfriend (at this point, it is safe to say, Domina Nocturna is Katje. Will we ever be able to look at her the same?).
Pudding is then dismissed to “...a late-night cup of broth, routine papers to sign, a dose of penicillin that Pointsman has ordered him to take, to combat the effects of E. Coli” (p. 236). So thoughtful, that Pointsman...
Commentary
  1. The Silvernail hallucination/phantasmagoria seems like something straight out of “The Big Lebowski” had Jodorowsky had a bit of influence over the Coen Bros. art direction. Many of the songs in this section feel “Lebowski-esque” but this one especially so to me. Maybe its the detailed choreographic notes: “They dance in flowing skeins. The rats and mice form circles, curl their tails in and out to make chrysanthemum and sunburst patterns, eventually all form into the shape of a single giant mouse, at whole eye Silvernail poses with a smile” (p. 230).
  2. The Franco bit is a nice way of linking facism and death worship
  3. Pudding eating Domina Nocturna’s shit really, to quote an earlier passage, gave “de wrinkles in mah brain a process!”. There is so much symbolism there! Instead of ascending to heaven, Pudding heads down to hell. We have so many dualities linked in the act: between young and old, sacred and profane, pleasure and pain, pleasure through pain, WWI and WW2, man and woman, life and death, the general as a slave, even the food transformed through Katje into waste, all linked through the act of eating shit. For a moment they are linked so intimately, so delicately. No parabolas, a circle. And, of course, there’s also the diabolical Pointsman in the background, pulling the strings and manipulating to keep Pudding in line. I remember reading this for the first time and just being shocked and confused and now reading it again and finding so much meaning. That ol’ Pynchon is a devious bastard, hiding such loaded symbolism in such an obscene encounter. The Pulitzer committee had no idea what was coming for them!
So, if you’ve reached this point, congratulations and I am sorry! Here are my discussion questions. Looking forward to future posts!
Discussion Questions Both On Topic and Tangential
  1. Why is paranoia described as a “Puritan reflex” in Episode 22?
  2. In Episode 23, as Slothrop peruses Katje’s extensive wardrobe, what is the significance of the line, “Aha! wait a minute, the operational scent in here is carbon tet, Jackson, and this wardrobe here’s mostly props” (p. 195)?
  3. In Episode 24, what’s the significance of “the watchmen of world’s edge”? Is this an intrusion of the spirit world? Is Slothrop just hallucinating?
  4. In Episode 24, when Peter Sachsa gets the blow to the temple from Schutzmann Jöche, why is his last thought, “How beautiful!” (p. 220)
  5. In Episode 25, there’s a line in the part where Pudding is sneaking around: “A voice from some cell too distant for us to locate intones:...” (p. 231). Why us here? Why the change in perspective?
  6. How’s this book affecting everyone’s mental health (you know, given that we’re in the end times right now)? Seriously, though, there are times when this book makes me so happy to be alive and proud of humanity and also times where it depresses the everloving shit out of me and makes me think that, as a species, we’re doomed to continue making the same mistakes, over and over again, until we end up destroying ourselves.
  7. In a similar vein, do you think people as prodigiously talented and brilliant as Pynchon have any responsibility to counter the evil they see in the world? Is writing books enough or should they do more (lead, teach, etc.) to fight against the awful things they are able to see before the rest of us do?
Resources
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Who would you hang out with in these hypothetical scenarios below pt4 (Night Edition)

Read the post to get the context: My mind likes thinking about the various realms of possibilities and themes.
Based on your perspective, which scenario would you choose if you were invited to the activities below by the following characters:
  1. Ghost Story Night – You decide to join Mercedes during the night to tell scary ghost stories with Ashe, Lysithea, Annette, and Alois. You both decide to hold a group challenge where the one who lasts the longest without screaming wins. It’ll be an entertaining night for sure to see who holds out the longest, but probably not for most of the group.
  2. Casino Night – You decide to head to a Casino in Las Vegas with Balthus, Shamir, Manuela, Catherine, and Anna to spend the night gambling and trying to win big. It’ll be a good time for people who seek the rush of betting and the chance to watch a few shows with Manuela.
  3. Buffet Feast Night – You decide to join Claude, Raphael, Caspar, Ingrid, Leonie, and Petra in going to an all-you-can-eat buffet booked by the King of Feasts, Claude himself. There’ll be great food and great friends at a good price. Let’s just hope no one gets banned for eating the buffet dry.
  4. Poetry Night – You decide to join Lorenz, Constance, Ferdinand, Seteth, Dorothea, Bernadetta, and Sylvain in a poetry slam. Those who enjoy writing and poetry will feel the words embedded within their soul. You may have to bear with listening to some of the more cringy ones though.
  5. Stargazing Night – You decide to join Hapi, Yuri, Flayn, Ignatz, Marianne, and Hilda in going stargazing near the open space in Gronder Field. The skies are clear, and the many stars shine bright as Hapi explains which stars belong to which constellation, and with a big telescope to see them.
  6. Night Fencing – You decide to meet with Byleth, Felix, Edelgard, Dimitri, and Jeritza for a nightly swordfencing meeting. It may get very intense with everyone except maybe Byleth being very competitive in the sport, but you’ll try your best not to get overwhelmed. You may need to deal with Felix and Edelgard arguing with Dimitri a lot during the night.
View Poll
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What's Happening in CT: 8/26 - 8/30

Thursday, August 27th:

Friday, August 28th:

Saturday, August 29th:

Sunday, August 30th:

FIND MORE THINGS TO DO HERE, STAY SAFE, SOCIAL DISTANCE, WEAR MASKS, AND HAVE A NICE WEEKEND!

https://www.ctvisit.com/events

submitted by SheCalledMePaul to Connecticut [link] [comments]

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