The tragic events of the 11th of this month, while assisting my creatures beyond measure by providing a content, for the empty form of fear—a new wine, as it were, for the old vessel of Mr. C—'s visage—came perilously near to giving the game away. By some quirk of geography, abetted, perhaps, by a disturbance in the flow of the atmospheric ether the President was left for a full seven minutes beyond the range of the Vice President's telepathic powers. Since he was, on that fateful morning, appearing before an audience of a mental age equal to his own, the lapse proved, providentially, of little moment.
July 3, 2004
Justice, whither art thou fled?
To feel the filthy missiles of ignominy hurled at my head; to feel the words which would deflect them, and defend my good name, die in my throat unspoken, because forbidden!—is almost more than I can bear.
Since first I beheld the monstrous fruits of my experiment, I have been in the habit of taking a small quantity of laudanum before bed, in order to attain the calm of mind requisite for sleep. Though the unexpectedly happy fortunes of my creatures have somewhat allayed my disquiet, yet it must be considered that the labor of maintaining these two demis-cerveaux, in such a way as to give the impression that their bearers are ordinary citizens of the human race, must exact a heavy psychic price from him to whom it is entrusted. Add to this the misgivings which a Physician, whose escutcheon perforce bears the motto Primum non nocere, must feel about the torrents of blood now staining the waters of Babylon, and who can wonder that I have taken refuge in the arms of Morpheus?
Yet the jackals of the press, having sniffed out my foible, are now baying for my blood.
July 5, 2004
How, how shall I bear the disgrace?
My weakness—one that is shared, I hasten to observe, by such notable scientific personages as Dr. Freud of Vienna, Mr. Holmes of London, and Dr. Maturin of the Royal Navy—having come to the attention of the public, the Vice President has been obliged to make a show of discharging me from his service. It is, of course, the merest charade. Behind the gaudy stage sets of public life, I continue to perform the functions, which I alone am able to perform.
August 22, 2004
In the days after the nominating convention of the opposition party, the Vice President was—if one may use the language of human feeling, to describe the movements of a soul mechanical and dark as Erebus—deeply disquieted. The challenger had been painted in the most refulgent colors, as a war hero and a man of indomitable strength. Were these colors to persist, unfaded and unbesmirched, Mr. C—'s capacity to terrify and thus command the public might be fatally impaired.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.