Sunday, June 9, 2013

Jabber, Jabber, Jabberwock


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass

and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:

  Long time the manxome foe he sought --

So rested he by the Tumtum tree,

  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,

  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,

Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,

  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through

  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?

  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!

O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'

  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;

All mimsy were the borogoves,

  And the mome raths outgrabe.

I love the Jabberwock. It sounds like complete nonsense, but theres fun to be had squinting between the lines.  I found the poem at this website.   A dusty place last I looked.

What started this was my purchase of the Tremors Attack Pack, a 4 movie DVD set.  I knew and loved the first two movies, but didn't even know about the later two till then.

As I first watched Tremors 3; Back to Perfection, the flying morph of the Tremors creatures first came on screen and I pointed at it, snapped my fingers twice, popped my forehead with my palm and yelled; "Jabberwock!"  and I hadnt read the poem in years.  Then it launched itself with it's butt on fire!  Haw, rocket powered flying Jabberwock!  A natural boost glider.

There are many examples of evolved chemical warfare in nature. Webbing, irritants, venomous bites and stings are only the most obvious ones. The plant world, both land and aquatic dont just compete for light but modify the medium in which they live, sometimes in exclusionary ways. The sessile ocean reefs are practically a warzone rife with other examples. 
The prime example for this blogpost would be the Bombardier Beetle, with its caustic binary chemical defense spray. From there its not such a big step to evolve a rocket propulsion system, improbable in a higher life form though it be.

For centuries we humans have made oxidizers for blackpowder  from our own urine, as well as the excretions of other animals.  Consider how history wouldve changed if we had had rocket powered Jabberwocks as an example.

A short BTW:  I googled the Vorpal Sword.  Another nonsense word at the time, but now its become a popular weapon in gaming and comics. Ran acrossem a few times myself.

A longer BTW:  In Tremors 2; Aftershocks, when the first Shrieker comes into view it presages its' entrance with much bashing and crashing, louder and louder.  Earl and Grady are getting increasingly nervous and are pointing their rifle barrels higher and higher. Around the corner steps this little 3ft tall spud, they start to let their guard down, then it charges It reminds me so very much of the old WB Merrie Melodies cartoon; Inki and the Mynah Bird. The jungle thrashes, the jungle crashes, one imagines terrible things; rabid rhinos, a constipated elephant or even worse!  Then out steps the Mynah Bird, tiny and totally blasé. Do not be fooled, DO NOT let your guard down! 
BTW to the BTW;  You're not likely to see Inki and the Mynah Bird on TV anymore due to racial censorship. 
3rd BTW to the second BTW; I cheered back when Warner Brothers Channel brought back the singing frog as its' mascot. I think it would be really cool if WB's New Looney Tunes brought back the Mynah Bird, at least as a cameo appearance, or six. The main characters have to pause the dialogue or chase for pedestrian traffic. The kind of gag Looney Tunes is well known for.  Or; Wylie Coyote thinks a Mynah Bird might be easier pickins' than Roadrunner...NOT!
Now the tune is stuck in my head!

BTW the fifth;  I've been sitting on this draft for a long, LONG time because it's a real rambler. It never gets any shorter though, and it still defies any attempts to divide and conquer.

1 comment:

  1. I am NOT gonna edit this post anytime soon.
    It's up, so there!!!
    Already got an update though, concerning Inki and the Mynah Bird.

    Read the comments too.