Octopus's Garden Issue Thirty

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HELLO, good evening and welcome to issue 30 of Octopus's Garden, the subzeen with its very own teletubbies critique. An html version of this subzeen is available on the Web at http://www.manorcon.demon.co.uk/octopus/index.html. It's also sent to the TAP mailing list, which you can join automatically by sending the message 'subscribe tap' to majordomo@igo.org. The message 'unsubscribe tap' sent to the same address will get you off the mailing list.

Round 10 (RR 1549 FR)


Railway Rivals (France)

21) (@4-21) Switzerland -- Brest (re-offer)
no entry
22) (21-@4) Brest -- Switzerland
no entry
23) (@3-66) Germany -- Nice
1st RAVEL 20-1-5 ; LFffCC +5 ; FREAK +1.
24) (44-12) Lyon -- Paris
=1st RAVEL 15 ; =1st FREAK 15 ; TBNS 0+6 ; LFffCC 0-6.
25) (15-36) Rouen -- Nancy
=1st LFffCC 15+4+4+1 ; =1st RAVEL 15-4-4 ; CANCAN 0-1-1 ; FREAK +1.
26) (63-54) Marseille -- Bordeux
1st TBNS 20-1 ; 2nd LFffCC 10-3-1 ; RAVEL +3+1 ; CANCAN +1.
27) (35-25) Metz -- Orleans
1st RAVEL 20-4-4 ; 2nd LFffCC 10+5+4+4 ; FREAK 0 ; CANCAN 0-5.
28) (56-45) Lourdes -- Lyon
1st TBNS 20.


Little Froggy FooFoo ChooChoo (LFFfCc) [orange] (Neil Hopkins, England)
no builds.
French Rail Emperors And Kings (FREAK) [purple] (W. Andrew York, TX)
no builds.
Conrad's Absurd Names Create Acronymic Nausea (CAN CAN) [green] (Conrad von Metzke, CA)
no builds.
The Blue Nosed Special (TBNS) [blue] (John Colledge, Scotland)
(X28) - Y28 - B69 [-1 purple] [-6 yellow] - Nancy.
Railways Asserting Very Egalitarian Lines (RAVEL) [yellow] (Berry Renken, Netherlands)
(S25) - X27 [-1 puple] - X28 [-1 blue].

Scores on the Doors

       b/fwd  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28 builds c/fwd 
       -----  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- ------ -----
LFffCC   103           5  -6  24   6  23             155 
FREAK    150           1  15   1       0         +2  169 
CANCAN   123                  -2   1  -5             117 
TBNS     133               6      19      20  -13+1  166 
RAVEL    160          14  15   7   4  12      -10+6  208 
       -----  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- ------ -----
         669   0   0  20  30  30  30  30  20  -23+9  815

Races for Round Eleven

Note the Change of E-mail Address for Berry and Conrad. For Round Eleven, you may enter FIVE of the above races, then build up to 6 physical points (i.e. excluding all payments to others, known and unknown). Orders for Round Eleven by 23:59:59 Greenwich Mean Time on FRIDAY, 16th OCTOBER, 1998, to Peter Sullivan. E-mail : octopus@manorcon.demon.co.uk PGP key available for the paranoid.

Steve Emmert, @city.virginia-beach.va.us writes :

For some time now, I have felt part of the shame of being an American. I'm not talking about the "Ugly American" syndrome, since I'm pretty careful to be courteous and respectful when travelling in other countries. Nor do I refer to the fact that we Americans consume a grossly disproportionate amount of the world's resources per capita. I can live with the guilt for those things. What troubles me is my association with American culture.

H. L. Mencken, one of our greatest crusty old curmudgeons, once said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people." I would apply that to American taste on occasion; our usual forms of entertainment (at least the ones that get exported, like television programs and movies) are often trite and mediocre. When you consider great fashion, you don't look to America; you go to France or Italy. The greatest cars in the world are made far from America. All of the greatest operas were written by Europeans. And I don't suppose American restaurants are, generally speaking, widely popular overseas. (("Did someone say McDonalds?"))

We do have some fine literature, but really there's no comparison between the breadth of what we have to offer and, say, British literary history. When we offer Hawthorne, Twain and Hemingway, you can counter with Dickens, Shakespeare, Eliot, Shelley, Chaucer, Forster, Byron, and a host of luminaries.

It's humbling. And until recently, I felt that we Americans owed you Brits something of a cultural apology; our cultural debt to you is enormous.

But now my daughter has taken to watching "Teletubbies," and as far as I'm concerned, you now owe us, and you owe us big.

((The one-word answer to this is "Barney."))

((However, I wouldn't resort to such cheap shots, as I actually like Teletubbies. Personally, I find it helpful in recovering my inner child, or whatever. My favourite character is The Noo-Noo. And when you get bored with that, you can start looking for the cultural subtexts, and end up sounding like a British journalist in the autumn of 1996 writing about how it promotes drug taking, homosexuality, illiteracy, and voting for the Green Party.))

((Actually, I expect that your daughter is about at the top end of the range for Teletubbies - I seem to remember the BBC targetting it at 18 months to 3 years. Probably best to start trying to move her on to Sesame Street. As a child, I used to identify heavily with Big Bird, who was tall, had soulful-looking eyes, was basically kind-hearted and was covered in yellow feathers. A description which seemed to match me in all respects except one...))

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