Monday, June 30, 2008

It's all in the conversation...

By Lauren Wood

Congratulations, Monsieur Chevaleresque! You have successfully stolen your true love, the beautiful and demure Mademoiselle Mimi from the clutches of your evil uncle, le Comte d'Infamie!

But he's tracked you down and now, before you and Mimi can live happily ever after, you must duel! Duel!

Since you know the duel will always be at dawn and by the nearest misty plain, there is but one question to consider as his glove slaps your shoulder: Swords or pistols?

And so we have our topic for this issue of Wood Vs. Wood. Caroline Wood takes the coward's route, insisting guns are the best means of settling the score. But, clearly, swords are the way to go! She mentioned something about nobility and honor, specifically referencing the turn-your-back-and-take-ten-steps thing. But what then? One blast (or two) and all is resolved!

Where is the conversation? The exchange of witty repartee (a word that actually comes from the French fencing term meaning "an answering blow or thrust")? Shall we have no shouts of "Aha!" or "Take that, villain!"? What about that quickening pace of combat as the adrenaline courses through your very being and your swords flash in the dim light of the rising sun? In other words, where is the Romance of violence?

You see, I used to fence. I know! I know what it's like to slash and thrust and stab and parry. It really is the best way to communicate, especially during a disagreement. The force with which you duel shows your opponent how deadly serious you are about winning this bout, or your love for Mimi, or your revenge for your slain brother, or your desire for the last chocolate doughnut. The power can shift and fortune can turn, with your terrain expanding and the danger increasing every step and every second the duel continues. It is a dance! With crescendos and diminuendos and spontaneous choreography of passion! And then someone dies! It just does not get much better than that!

This is already quite long enough, and I haven't even gotten into the phallic characteristics of swords. Nor the fact that they are, literally, flashier. But this argument could go on for pages (or hours), just like a sword fight. When you duel with pistols, it is over after just ten paces and a shot. Caroline clearly has her work cut out for her, despite the fact that pistols can stop a good swordsman before he gets started.

But that's cheating. Not honorable at all. And it's why I went first.

1 comment:

El Capitan Planet said...

I agree. But shhh. Don't tell Caroline...

I could read your writing for hours! You are amazing and should probably publish a book of your thoughts.