Tag Archives | war


Rozie the riveterRozie was a helluva’ dame.

She could sink those rivets faster than a two-dollar fancy-girl could peel the wrapping off a sailor on shore leave, after he’d been at sea for several months, writing bad poetry and extended metaphors that ended up just kind of petering out, the way that an old man with a pipe full of wet monkey fur did, trying to light the mangy stuff with a can full of lima beans instead of a match or a zippo, or the right technology for the job.

Then the propeller cut off her head.

[From the Toulouse Le Grandfig Necrobiblia Collection]

More heroic attempts at comedy can be found at Alltop. Originally published, September 2008.

Inglorious Basterds II

Inglorious Basterds II
‘Allo my friend of Germany. So ze war is … how you say … getting you down? Come to Ze Follies Parisian Plus Grand — Huge Tomfooleries of Paris!

Don’t mind ze smell. Ve have just fumigated for rats.

Enjoy your champagne! Laugh! Laugh you fat German pig-rapist!

And now, here are ze chlorine dancers!

After the war, Alltop lived for many years in Brazil. Photo via Buzzfeed.

Classics of Literature — Ender’s Game

Ender's GameThis is a fun and page-turning read about eugenics, institutionalized child abuse, and genocide.

Humanity is at war with a distance race of aliens (called “Buggers”) and for some reason, the adults are unable to discover the best way to fight this implacable ant-like enemy. (Apparently, Boric Acid doesn’t work.)

What it really requires is the sense of wonder and innocence that only a child can have, and so, the people in charge of Earth’s governments start a breeding program to turn out kids designed to be excellent space warriors.

The children are all tagged so the authorities can monitor all their thoughts and movements, while they are being evaluated for service in the International Fleet. (A device that is similar to an iPhone, but a little smaller, and you can’t download your own apps to it.) After he is un-tagged, a young Ender Wiggin is attacked by bullies, and he kills one of them, so that the bullies will no longer bother him. The IF realizes it has made a horrible mistake. This is just the kind of ruthless logic they need in their war.

The rest of the novel follows Ender’s rise through the ranks at Battle School and Command School, a marginally creepy shower scene, and eventually, the set up for an excellent sequel, The Speaker for the Dead.

It is worth noting that an anagram of Ender Wiggin is “Ending Grew I.”

The Blue Light, 2011

The Blue Light 2011

After his injury in the war, his leaders told the soldier, “thanks for your service, but we don’t need you anymore.” The soldier was sent home, without much help, or rehab, and no occupation, that was for sure. So he got work doing odd jobs for an economist; some days he’d dig holes, other days he’d pick up garbage at the side of the road and sell it to the economist; it was just enough to live on, but not enough to improve his situation.

Then one day the economist said, “I have this blue light I need you to bring me, and if you do that, I’ll make sure you’re set up comfortably for life. The only thing is it’s kind of hard to get at — you’ll have to crawl through a tunnel to an underground cave to find it.”

The financial wizard didn’t mention the underground dwellers who lived off rats, and fungus, and the occasional servant that the he had sent down in his previous attempts to recover the light. But the soldier had been trained in battle, and he brought his shovel with him, so he was able to defend himself, and find the blue light.

It was easy to see in the darkness of the cave; its ethereal glow could be seen from the far end, like a dawn. And when he got there, he was delighted to discover that it held the secrets of the economist, and his leaders, and what’s more, all the people who had any kind of wealth or power. It was a treasure trove of information.

When he got to the surface, the economist asked him if he found the blue light, and the soldier said, “no, sorry, it wasn’t down there.”

So the economist fired him, but the soldier didn’t care, because now he knew where the economist kept his hoard of gold. Which he took.

The soldier could have retired comfortably on that, but he was just getting started.

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Inspired by The Blue Light (The Brothers Grimm). Alltop also enjoys spelunking. Photo by Bianca Araujo. Originally published, October 2009.