Saturday, November 25, 2006

Against the Blog: 1-4

Remember the nekkid woman from 1-2? She was actually accompanied by a man, and both he and she put in an appearance at the beginning of this section. He is Merle Rideout, a photographer. She is Chevrolette McAdoo, a burlesque dancer. They meet the Chums and exchange pleasantries. Merle has a four-year-old daughter, Dahlia, whose mother, Erlys, ran off with a magician, Zombini the Mysterious. Merle isn't exactly the best father: he lets his daughter drink alcohol, and he half-jokingly offers to sell her to Chick when she turns sixteen.

The Chums' mentor, Professor Heino Vanderjuice (of Yale University) arrives on an airship piloted by a Ray Ipsow. The professor's laboratory is doing some unspecified work with electricity. He is acquainted with Merle from "the olden days in Connecticut," where he "used to do some tinkering for him now and then" (30). He seems to be preoccupied and worried about something.

He and Ray have a meeting with Scarsdale Vibe, a shady bigshot industrialist. Ray, a socialist, exchanges some heated words about the latter's robber-baron capitalism.

Vibe is concerned about Nicola Tesla's proposed "World-System," which would provide the world with free electricity, thus breaking down a big part of the capitalist system. Vanderjuice has a violently negative reaction to Tesla, who makes him feel "not so much a failure as someone who has taken a wrong turn in the labyrinth of Time and now cannot find his way back to the moment he made it" (33). Vibe wants him to invent a device that would counter-act and nullify Tesla's. Vanderjuice tentatively agrees to this, but feels highly ambivalent about the whole situation.



Blogger Jorn pontificated to the effect that...

Morgan's funding for Tesla dates from 1900 ($150K)

Drave : Dave :: Dravidians : [Branch] Davidians?

remembrance stick = Zen?

4:36 PM  
Blogger Jorn pontificated to the effect that...

(sorry, skipped ahead)

Ray Ipsow = res ipsa loquitur

Old Zip Coon = Turkey in the Straw

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous pontificated to the effect that...

cool. I came across your blog by googling "wrong turn" "labyrinth of time." I just started reading Against the Day last week.

9:39 AM  

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