Drollery Archive

Wrong on So Many Levels

Posted June 9, 2024 By John C Wright

Meme for Today:

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Posted June 4, 2024 By John C Wright

For your amusement and edification

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Our New Flag

Posted May 27, 2024 By John C Wright

The Last Crusade needs a banner, as does the Conservative movement in general, and all Tolkien-friendly Christian Men.


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Maclaren the Highlander?

Posted March 31, 2024 By John C Wright
Lt. Colonel Robert Maclaren retired from the British Army in 2001 after a long fulfilling career. On the day that he retired he received a letter from the Personnel Department of the Ministry of Defence setting out details of his pension and, in particular, the tax-free ‘lump sum’ award, (based upon completed years of service), that he would receive in addition to his monthly pension.
The letter read,
“Dear Lt. Colonel Maclaren,
We write to confirm that you retired from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards on 1st March 2001 at the rank of Lt Colonel, having been commissioned into the British Army at Edinburgh Castle as a 2nd Lieutenant on 1st February 1366.
Accordingly your lump sum payment, based on years served, has been calculated as £68,500. You will receive a cheque for this amount in due course.
Yours sincerely
Army Paymaster”
Colonel Maclaren replied;
“Dear Paymaster,
Thank you for your recent letter confirming that I served as an officer in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards between 1st February 1366 and 1st March 2001 – a total period of 635 years and 1 month.
I note however that you have calculated my lump sum to be £68, 500, which seems to be considerably less than it should be bearing in mind my length of service since I received my commission from King Edward III.
By my calculation, allowing for interest payments and currency fluctuations, my lump sum should actually be £6, 427, 586, 619. 47p.
I look forward to receiving a cheque for this amount in due course.
Yours sincerely,
Robert Maclaren (Lt Col Retd)”
A month passed by and then in early April, a stout manilla envelope from the Ministry of Defence in Edinburgh dropped through Col. Maclaren’s letter box, it read:
“Dear Lt Colonel Maclaren,
We have reviewed the circumstances of your case as outlined in your recent letter to us dated 8th March inst. We do indeed confirm that you were commissioned into the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards by King Edward III at Edinburgh Castle on 1st February 1366, and that you served continuously for the following 635 years and 1 month.
We have re-calculated your pension and have pleasure in confirming that the lump sum payment due to you is indeed £6, 427, 586, 619. 47p.
However, we also note that according to our records you are the only surviving officer who had command responsibility during the following campaigns and battles;
The Wars of the Roses 1455 -1485 (Including the battles of Bosworth Field, Barnet and Towton) The Civil War 1642 -1651 (Including the battles Edge Hill, Naseby and the conquest of Ireland) The Napoleonic War 1803 – 1815 (including the battle of Waterloo and the Peninsular War) The Crimean War (1853 – 1856) (including the battle of Sevastopol and the Charge of the Light Brigade) The Boer War (1899 -1902) World War One (1914-1918).
We would therefore wish to know what happened to the following, which do not appear to have been returned to Stores by you on completion of operations:
9765 Cannons
26,785 Swords
12,889 Pikes
127,345 Rifles (with bayonets)
28,987 horses (fully kitted
Plus three complete marching bands with instruments and banners.
We have calculated the total cost of these items and they amount to £6,427,518.119.47p.
We have therefore subtracted this sum from your lump sum, leaving a residual amount of £68,500, for which you will receive a cheque in due course.
Yours sincerely . . . .”
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What is Science Fiction?

Posted March 9, 2024 By John C Wright

A piece of drollery from a decade ago, recently updated with clearer cover pictures. Reposted for the benefit of any readers who overlooked it back then. Enjoy!

WHAT IS SCIENCE FICTION? The final, complete and exhaustive definition!

Now that I am a world-famous international science fiction author (my sister lives in Australia, and I forced her to buy one of my books, so that is two nations, at least, where my books have sold) a fan letter has come pouring in. Just the other day, I went to the mailbox and got it.

Like all fan letters, this one raises a fascinating question that reaches to the very heart of the science fiction genre, and asks the expert opinion of John C. Wright, world-famous international science fiction author, about the nature and meaning of Science Fiction.

Let us peruse the contents of this thoughtful, nay, this adoring letter. The hero-worship heaped on me, John C. Wright, world-famous international science fiction author, while deserved, may strike some as being overly fulsome, but it is only to be expected from you, the little people, since I bring a such joy into your meaningless and unimportant yet pathetic lives with my immense talents and towering genius.

I think the fan letter is this first letter here in my mail bag:

Dear Sir, having been in arrears for your offtrack betting debts to Harry’s Happy House of Horse Play, the Family has determined to bypass normal legal action and garnishments, and send a gentleman from our collection department, “Gonad-Crusher” Guido Ugnolini to pay a call on you. Mr. Ugnolini has experience in both American and Sicilian correction facilities, multiple murder raps, and a tattoo. We are confident that you will be forthcoming after receiving his attentions.

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I am Afraid I Can’t Do That, Dave

Posted February 29, 2024 By John C Wright

Gemini, make an image of a White Person

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A Crucial Topic: Wordle!

Posted November 2, 2023 By John C Wright

As we stand on the brink of world calamity, with threats of Nuclear War, Nuclear Winter, Climate Stasis, and the Great White Threat of Canadian totalitarianism rising up on the one border remining to the republic, not to mention whispered fear-choked rumors of an upcoming sequel to Ms. Marvel or a remake of Snow White, this writer believes now is the time to address an issue of far more moment and import:


For those of you who do not know, Wordle is a simple online game to guess a five-letter word in six tries. Letters turn gold if they are in the word, green if in the correct position. New game each day.

Yes, it was mostly luck, but I am elated unduly nonetheless, and wanted to tell any random passers-by who thought this blog only deals with weighty topics like economics, theology, philosophy, art and Space Princess dress codes in pulp novels.

Also: What are the best opening words?

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Science Fiction and Simon the Magician

Posted October 8, 2023 By John C Wright

Here I reprint of a column from years past, but still pertinent, or impertinent.

Let me propose a rather long essay and a slightly droll theory:

The aliens behind the Monolith in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY are the same as the aliens signaling from Vega in Carl Sagan’s CONTACT. They both are part of the Galactic Overmind seeking the evolutionary transcendence of all life, and to elevate lesser races to maturity, as in CHILDHOOD’S END, also by Clarke.

On a less droll note, I am proposing that these works, and several others, are similar in their mood and theme and treatment of the plot elements, because they tacitly agree on a central myth.

It is a mythic thread that runs through much of science fiction from even before the golden age, and, if I am right about what this thread is, back two thousand years and more. Van Vogt and Heinlein and Asimov have all placed at least some of their stories in the service of this myth, the Great Myth.

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Sci Fi Thinks on the Roman Empire Alot

Posted September 23, 2023 By John C Wright

There seems to be gossip (told half in jest, half in earnest, like most gossip) that has come to tickle womenfolk recently, to discover how often their menfolk think about the Roman Empire. As all but our women know, men ponder about this topic often. How could one not?

Here is an example from Twitter:


But no one yet has asked how often science fiction folk think about the Roman Empire.

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Meme of the Day

Posted September 14, 2023 By John C Wright

… Not to mention the 1975 Fall of Saigon revisited in self-imposed Afghanistan route in August of 2021

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Review of the Movie We’ve All Been Waiting For

Posted July 18, 2023 By John C Wright

At a reader’s request, scifiwright is honored to reprint this film review from a nearby parallel universe perhaps more fortunate than our own. 


Like many people, when I heard the news that the Disney corporation had purchased the rights to make Star Wars sequels, I feared they might gut the heart of the series, fumble even basic storytelling principles, and insult the viewers with Mary Sue heroines, diversity hire characters, tangled yet aimless  plots, deconstruction and desecration of the original fan-favorite heroes, all topped off with heavy-handed political posturing crammed down the throat of the audience, mangling and mutating the most beloved franchise in movie history into an putrid and unsightly sewer fire.

I am glad to report that I need not have fretted. Two films of the new trilogy are out, and the filmmakers avoided all these pitfalls and pratfalls.

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Conspiracy Theory or Spoiler Alert?

Posted June 29, 2023 By John C Wright

My Comment: this is not the half of it.

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That’s Entertainment

Posted May 31, 2023 By John C Wright

A reader with the brief by megabytesized name of MB remarks:

“Artists wanted to gain social status (be “ennobled” by their art), hence did not want to be seen as similar to low-class people and firmly delimited themselves from the new arts.”

Irony of ironies! I know a man one might think was a true artist — I name no names — who is guided by inspiration toward noblest themes, as master intimate with muses, who pursues art for art’s sake, and his highest ambition is to be a pulp writer, crank out purpose prose at high speed, and write space opera. Somehow high and noble themes keep creeping into his work against his will. For him, the highest word of praise he seeks for his work is “workmanlike” or “serviceable” or “professional.” He is an artiste in the snobbiest sense of the word, and wants to be a craftsman.

Because he thinks snobbery is silly. Looking down one’s nose makes one blind.

I will now link to a song that sums up the proper philosophy of art and entertainment:

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The Antediluvians

Posted May 23, 2023 By John C Wright

I was watching a lecture series on the Book of Genesis, and paid particular attention to the passages normally overlooked, the genealogies, which I suppose Moses included because there was no other reckoning of years between the events of the Fall, the First Murder, the Flood and so on. Without such a reckoning, the story would merely float in the “long-ago dream-time” of myth and legend — the one thing fatal to a historical text.

The lecturer ventured the meaning of the names of the generations of Cain and Adam.

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The Fox News of Beers

Posted May 6, 2023 By John C Wright

Last I heard, Budweiser has not yet convinced irked customers to resume their patronage of their drinking fluid.

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