Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.


Penned upon the 19th of November, 2007

Hey, gang! Three thoughts today.

First, the federal election is less than a week away. I’ve noticed that some people feel conflicted between voting for their favourite party and voting for one of the major parties so that they gain power. In some political systems – the US’s, for instance – this is a real problem, but in our system, it’s actually no problem at all. You can always vote for your preferred party first, because, if they don’t win the seat, your vote will pass on to your next preference, and then your next preference, until one candidate achieves a majority. Here’s a website I found which explains it all.

Secondly, I picked up Team Fortress 2 recently, and it really is an intriguing game. I’m usually not the least bit interested in these competitive wargames – one squad of burly men in khakis fighting another squad of burly men in khakis, and all I want to do is go find a hot air balloon and float about for a bit. For TF2, though, Valve came up with quite a clever new model. The nine characters, inspired by Edwardian fashion plates, battle in a high-chroma cartoon 1960s world with individualised steampunky weapons, looking amazing while providing well-balanced and thoroughly addictive gameplay. The characters are really quite ingenious – I thought I might give you a closer look at my favourites. In no particular order…

The Medic

He’s German. He’s overeducated. He plays classical violin. He has a darkly ironical sense of humour. He also wears a shirt and tie with jodhpurs and riding boots, all under a double-breasted labcoat and truly enormous rubber gloves. He is so much fun to see at work.

The Spy

Alright, the mask is a bit, well, featureless, and that suit verges on the chameleonic – never mind what team he’s on, I’m stuck trying to figure out where that thing buttons. The Spy makes up for it once he pulls out the bons mots, though. Hailing from the border of France and Spain, the Spy is the most sophisticated character, and practices his fencing steps in between battles. He is the very paragon of civility and savoir-faire – he’ll pause in a napalm strike to observe “I appear to have burst into flames.” And check out those Cuban heels!

The Scout

The Scout isn’t so sophisticated. In fact, he’s thoroughly obnoxious. What he does have going for him, though, is bags of working-class gumption, and possibly even moxie. He’s a New Englander with a thick accent, and I suspect he’s a bicycle messenger when he’s not endlessly recapturing flags for a shadowy international organisation – he has the knickerbockers and everything.

The Sniper

Finally, the Sniper. Again, the Sniper is a thoroughly working-class character with suitcases of charm. He’s a 60s Australian, with a believable accent and period slang. He’s not too Paul Hogan or Meryl Streep. In fact, he’s quite listenable. He breaks the fourth wall a little, waving to the camera in the middle of a firefight – which is actually quite funny to watch.

Oh, and thirdly, it’s my birthday today. Rah!

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Commentary upon “Triptych”

  1. Nathan was heard to remark,

    Upon the 20th of November, 2007 at 1:10 pm,

    I believe this tip is in order:

  2. Meaghan was heard to remark,

    Upon the 21st of November, 2007 at 10:03 am,

    The idea of people having a ‘favourite’ party seems dangerous- it could mean that the least worthy party comes into power because the public liked the look of their spangly candidates or didn’t want to vote for either Liberal or Labor (which is why the Greens get votes in Geelong).

    That said, I am a firm believer in the Democrats, although I wouldn’t hesitate to vote Liberal if I felt they had something to offer.

  3. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 21st of November, 2007 at 7:18 pm,

    Well, their party of choice, you know. And I’m all for the Greens getting votes, and lots of them.

  4. Meaghan was heard to remark,

    Upon the 22nd of November, 2007 at 8:06 pm,

    Me too- until they started giving preferences to Family First.

  5. Sir Frederick Chook was heard to remark,

    Upon the 22nd of November, 2007 at 8:36 pm,

    They’re preferencing Democrats and Labor everywhere, as far as I’m aware.

Further remarks are not permitted.