As I was Skyping the other day with my Quebecois friend, who shall from now on be referred to on this blog as "Marie", she began a sentence with "On your blog -" and right then my heart jumped into my throat.
Of course, it isn't as if I hadn't considered the possibility that she would read it. I am aware that things written on the internet do not exist in a vacuum. One incident a couple years ago drove that point home for me. Our campus newspaper ran a letter to the editor complaining about how society portrays men as lazy, stupid, sex-crazed oafs. I commented on the online version of the letter, agreeing with it, and then one of my friends chimed in with his opinion that it wasn't really a problem because even the Church teaches that women are superior to men (which I don't think it does, but I can see how some people might interpret the constant "daughters of God are so amazing" spiel that way). And then some charming girl that neither of us had ever met before, who didn't even go to our school, interjected her own thoughtful commentary on the issue.
As much as I appreciated her input, I didn't think Abercrombie & Fitch would be thrilled about their employees representing them in this way, so I let them know about it. One of their guys confirmed my suspicion and promised to look into it. Strangely, she never returned to continue the discussion. And now a few years later I'm not sure if I actually did the right thing. I wonder how my life could have turned out differently if I had taken advantage of her wisdom.
So anyway, I was well aware that Marie could potentially read my blog with as much ease as anyone else. But I didn't actually think that she would. I said as much to her. She said, "Well, you asked me to like your page, and I wasn't going to just like your page and not read the stuff you were putting on it. That would be rude."
Rude? That was what I expected most people to do.
So anyway, what she actually said to begin with, which my heart leaped into my throat after three words of, was "On your blog, you said that my English is flawless." And she disagrees with that characterization. But she's wrong.
Of course, she does all her internet stuff on a mobile device, so her current city does not appear on my little map which doesn't appear on mobile devices. Maybe some of you think I just made her up because I'm so lonely. Maybe I did but I don't even realize it. That could be awkward when she comes to visit.
She said it's okay that I write about her on my blog since I don't use her name. But now you have a clue; you know that it isn't "Marie", unless it is and I just did that to throw you off. She said she likes that my blog is so "random and all over the place".
Speaking of Tintin, the comic books are set to undergo a new English translation by veteran Tintinologist Michael Farr. The article explains: "The work of translating the entire series was a monumental labour of love. It is difficult to fathom the atmosphere, the spirit and the multi-faceted humour that suffuse the thousands of frames and speech bubbles of The Adventures of Tintin... Leslie Lonsdale-Cooper and Michael Turner accomplished their mission with flying colours. But we all know how fast the world evolves and how life moves on; the same thing goes for language and literature. The Adventures of Tintin have also not escaped the flow of time."
Now, with all due respect to Mssr. Farr and the others involved, I think this is almost as dumb an idea as the short-lived attempt to update the pop culture references in the "Animorphs" books. Why should Tintin escape the flow of time? (Insert your own quip about how he never ages here.) Why does a story written in the 1930s, the 1970s or somewhere in between need to sound like it was written in the 2010s? Tintin adventures are timeless in the sense that they can be enjoyed by a person of any age living in any era, but they also have a certain charm that comes from being rooted in, strangely enough, the time period they were written in. (Granted, for an English speaker like me some of this charm also comes from the British culture grafted in by the translators.)
No, people in real life don't talk like they do in the Tintin books. And no, I didn't at first understand all the references to things like "Lord Nelson's column" or recognize the song excerpts that characters occasionally sing. But you know what? That never once bothered me. Anyway, even with the language updated, the artwork will still reflect decades past. Is that a "problem" too? Having said that, I don't mind if they go ahead with a new translation. I think it's totally unnecessary but its existence won't detract from the current one, just like George Lucas didn't retroactively "destroy your childhood" by what he did while you were an adult.
Speaking of movies, I'm beyond stoked to see "Jurassic World" and think I will do so on my birthday. That will also mark ten years since I went to see "Revenge of the Sith" on my birthday. I can't believe it's been so long. I still remember what felt like interminable suspense as to what would happen in it, other than the obvious details of course. Marie likes Star Wars but has only seen the first four (chronological) movies. She loves Jar Jar Binks. To be honest, I loved him when I was a kid and I still don't mind him. I understand the hate but I'm just not feeling it myself.
While we were Skyping I shared this with her. It made her laugh, because Canadians are good sports about that sort of thing.
"Weird Al" Yankovic - Canadian Idiot
"Guys. Chris's blog is the stuff of legends. If you’re ever looking for a good read, check this out!"
- Amelia Whitlock
"I don't know how well you know Christopher Randall Nicholson, but... he's trolling. You should read his blog. It's delightful."
- David Young
About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.