Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Poem: " Song: Lying is an occupation" by Laetitia Pilkington

Lying is an occupation,
     Used by all who mean to rise;
Politicians owe their station,
     But to well concerted lies.

These to lovers give assistance,
     To ensnare the fair-one's heart;
And the virgin's best resistance
     Yields to this commanding art.

Study this superior science,
     Would you rise in Church or State;
Bid to Truth a bold defiance,
     'Tis the practice of the great.

     -- Laetitia Pilkington

For more about this poet, see:

Given that we are close to election time here in New Zealand, I thought this poem was appropriate.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game - Part Six

            “David goes wide. Hitler moves to block his run-up.”
            “Look at that! David feints a long pass to Solomon, but instead bounce passes to God who’s charging up centre court. There’s a gap and God is up. He slam dunks and it’s good!”
             “There’s the whistle. The crowd are on their feet and roaring. The Jumping Jehovahs have snatched victory in the dying seconds of this exhilarating final.”
            “Murray, you’ve called a lot of games. How would you rate this one?”
            “Number one. Kurt, this is, without a doubt, the best game I’ve ever seen.”
            “As God leads the JJ’s onto the dais to receive the Age of Light trophy and the cheque for two millennia of harmony, we cross to JJ’s coach, Moshe Bullrush. Moshe, I see you lighting a celebratory cigar off the Burning Bush. A proud moment for you, no doubt?”
            “Yes, Kurt, my faith in God has been vindicated today. He and I go back a long way, to the beginnings of monotheism. We’ve had our share of knockers. The Egyptians said we’d never make it out of the minor leagues, but that aqua-aerobic workout in the Red Sea and forty years of high altitude training in the desert have finally paid off. There were times when I thought I’d never make it to see this proud moment, but thanks to the tablets I survived.”
            “Okay, Moshe, time’s running out so we’ll have to cross to courtside. Gabriel gives God a high-five as God is lifted onto his team-mates’ shoulders. They’re doing a victory lap around the court. That brings us to the end of our live telecast. Thanks for joining us. This is Kurt Providence…”
            “…and Murray Destiny saying goodbye from Dante Hyperdrome for the Trinity Channel’s Wide Universe of Sports.”
            “And we’ll leave you with a shot of the electronic scoreboard which reads: Peace on Earth and Goodwill to all.”


The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.

For more information: www.biggerthanbenhurproductions.com

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game - Part Five

            “Being reduced to a four-man team at this stage of the game is the last thing that the All-Stars need.”
            “These guys have fire in the belly though. Hitler responds to this setback with some fierce dribbling up centre court. He sells the dummy to Pol Pot. How’s he gonna break through the tight defensive formation of Michael and Sariel?”
            “Will you look at that! He’s dodged under the defence, beautiful body twist, launches off that front foot, it’s up and it’s good.”
            “An incredibly tricky shot, but he pulled it off and the tanks roll into Tiananmen Square.”
            “Pol Pot’s snatched the rebound and is drawing the defence.”
            “Hitler’s over in support of Pol Pot. There’s a hole in the JJ’s defence and Stalin has steamed through it. Hitler lobs a pass over the JJ’s to Stalin and he’s up for the slam dunk. Another ferocious scoring manoeuvre for the All-Stars and ethnic violence spreads throughout Eastern Europe.”
            “God has called time out. What a nail-biter, viewers! We’re holding our collective breath as the All-Stars lead 16 to 15 over the Jumping Jehovahs with only seconds remaining.”
            “In a surprise move, God is bringing in his two draftees: David and Solomon. Murray, isn’t God taking a big risk bringing on untested players at this crucial point in the game?”
           “They’re only untested in the UBL though, Kurt. Both players have acquitted themselves well under pressure in the Hebrew League.”
            “Play resumes, viewers, and the suspense is tangible here at the Dante Hyperdrome. David and Solomon are probing up the right side of the court, passing and dribbling, keeping it tight. They’re drawing Idi and Stalin.”

Part Six continues tomorrow

The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.

For more information: www.biggerthanbenhurproductions.com

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game - Part Four

            “The JJ’s are undaunted and zip back into play. Gabriel to Michael, beats Pol Pot, back pass to Sariel, beats Idi, flick to Raphael who flicks a pass behind his back to a sensational running intercept by God and he slam dunks for Michelangelo completing the statue of David.”
            “Satan calls for time out. Let’s go to the electronic scoreboard for an action replay.”
            “For the viewers at home who may not have picked that up on the audio, a murmur of amazement rippled through the crowd as we watched the slow motion replay of Raphael’s last pass. As the ball arced through the air towards God, a rainbow trailed behind it and we could clearly see the flowering of the Renaissance.”
            “The ball’s in play again. It looks like Satan is setting up a two-on-one and yes, a dummy pass to Hitler while Idi steams up from mid-court. Satan passes to Idi. Idi charges through for the slam dunk for Nietzsche publishing Beyond Good and Evil. There’s the whistle. Did you see what that was for, Murray?”
            “Yes, Kurt. Idi shoulder-charged Sariel with excessive force. This produced the phenomenon of ‘drive-by’ shootings and a foul has been awarded against Idi.”
            “Sariel to take the penalty shots. Cool as a seraph he drops them in. One, Pasteur successfully vaccinates against rabies, and two, Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin.”
            “Whoa, trouble has developed while Sariel was taking his penalty. It’s a pressure cooker down there. Satan initiated some pushing and shoving with God.”
            “The umpires are taking no nonsense. Satan has earned himself five minutes in the ‘sin bin’ for propagating the AIDS virus.”
            “A poor example for a player-captain to set."
            “Couldn’t agree more, Murray. Satan’s lack of self-control may cost the All-Stars the game.”

Part Five continues tomorrow

The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.

For more information: www.biggerthanbenhurproductions.com

Friday, August 15, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game - Part Three

            “Satan is quick to respond with a driving move down the court. Sariel and Michael are in disarray in defence and Satan crashes through. He’s up. It’s good. All-Stars have their first points on the board and Vesuvius erupts and destroys Pompeii.”
            “The excitement is palpable here at Dante Hyperdrome as the two teams go head to head. A fight broke out between some Western industrialists and some Hare Krishnas when Michael scored a beauty which created the Himalayas and Pol Pot swiftly countered with the Black Death.”
            “We can’t pick one player as a stand-out. Gabriel might have scored three baskets in quick succession with Uluru, the Amazon and Victoria Falls, but he couldn’t have done it without the JJ’s working immaculately as a unit.”
            “And Satan has answered those pundits who called him an also-ran.”
            “Critics of his team’s fitness and determination have been silenced by the dynamic defence and offence of the All-Stars. That old black magic was never more evident than when Satan beat Michael and Sariel to score that explosive Krakatoa eruption.”
            “And Stalin and Idi, essentially defensive players, ranging far and wide with that beautiful combination which resulted in Stalin scoring that genocide in Rwanda basket.”
            “More hot action, sports fans! The Aleister Crowley cheerleaders are chanting up a storm as Satan beats one…two…three players and bams one off the backboard. What a basket! Hitler’s up, he’s got the rebound and he scores! A magnificent double-header: earthquakes in San Francisco and Chile!”

Part Four continues tomorrow

The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.

For more information: www.biggerthanbenhurproductions.com

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game - Part Two

“Are you game to predict the outcome, Murray?”
            “Kurt, it’d be a brave sportscaster who’d predict this one. There are so many factors: unfamiliar venue, a new type of ball…”
            “Enlighten the viewers about this new ball, Murray.”
            “As dedicated basketball fans know, the UBL use a variety of balls during the play-offs: the Mercury, the Pluto, the Alpha Centauri and so on. In today’s final they’ll play with a World 2008, a ball neither team is familiar with.”
            “But they’ve used World balls before.”
            “Sure, who can forget one of the greatest finals in UBL history when they played with a World 1945?”
            “God’s looking to repeat that epic victory in today’s final. What challenges will the World 2008 present to the players?”
            “It’s a heavier ball, weighing ten billion whereas the 1945 weighed three billion. It’ll be harder to handle because it’s made with considerably less ozone layer. And the players will have to watch the top spin because of uneven wealth distribution.”
            “Sorry, Murray, we’ll have to leave it there. Sports fans, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: God and Satan are facing off for the toss-up.”
            “God’s got it and flicks it back to Raphael, Raphael dribbles, he beats Idi, beats Stalin, good defence by Hitler, but Raphael gets the long pass away to Gabriel who’s blocked, but wait, God comes up the inside and gets a bounce pass from Gabriel. God’s well outside the key, he shoots and…yes, a three-pointer and the Grand Canyon is formed.”

Part Three continues tomorrow

The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.

For more information: www.biggerthanbenhurproductions.com

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Short Story (serialised): The Big Game

           “Hello, I’m Kurt Providence. Welcome to the Dante Hyperdrome for our live telecast of the eagerly awaited Universal Basketball League final between the Jumping Jehovahs and Satan’s All-Stars. All the hot basketball action coming your way soon, live and exclusive, on Trinity Channel’s Wide Universe of Sports. I’m joined by my co-host, Murray Destiny, the man who calls ‘em as he sees ‘em.”
            “Hi, Kurt. What a crowd in the ethereal bleachers today! We’re talkin’ mega-people and mega-atmosphere!”
            “Murray, many people are saying that God’s team is a clear favourite.”
            “God is fielding a strong team. No one would deny that Michael, Gabriel, Sariel and Raphael are all major league archangels with millennia of on-court experience.”
            “And on the bench the Jehovahs have two dynamos drafted from the Royals: Solomon, a real thinking player, and David whose breathtaking shots toppled the Goliaths.”
            “The Jehovahs have played some righteous ball all season, but I don’t agree with those pundits who say Satan’s team are has-beens. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and Idi Amin have all been through career troughs recently, but their statistics are on the board and any of them could cause a major upset.”
            “They’d be looking to sharpen their form with up-and-comers like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein on the bench, snapping at their heels.”
            “Yes, there are contenders and pretenders, but I think experience will tell today.”

Part Two continues tomorrow

The Big Game was first published in The West Australian newspaper and was reproduced in the short story collection, Aotearoa Sunrise.