Archivist note: This article is from an older recovered archive and might be obsolete or in need of updating.
Most recent revision is shown below, by Bookworm.
Steamweaver Trust Makes Matching RFL Donation
Posted by Lafayette Steamweaver on June 15, 2010 at 10:30pm
June 15, 188x
To the Citizens of New Babbage:
I, Lafayette Steamweaver, being of sound mind, have this day instructed the Steamweaver Trust to contribute the total of L$31860 to the Relay For Life organization, in keeping with the business contract agreed to with Miss Bookworm Hienrichs on the first of the month instant.
As those of you of good character understand, there is nothing more sacrosanct in this world than a business contract. No law made of god, kings, or clockwinders carries more weight than a commercial transaction made between right-thinking men (and women). I therefore have no choice but to make good on my vow to Miss Hienrichs to match the contributions made at the kiosk in front of the Athenaeum in the first ten days of this month. We will also suspend the incendiary phase of the Athenaeum’s ongoing project until further notice.
But while I consider it my solemn duty to keep my end of a bargain, I must broadcast my incredulity at the circumstances that gave rise to its necessity.
The noble purpose of the Athenaeum project – namely to distill the world’s written material into its purest form, making it easier and more commerically viable to store, reproduce, and transmit – has been met with a great deal of misunderstanding and propaganda from the less enlightened members of society in recent weeks.
While I have had my differences with the government – and many citizens – of this City since my organization began conducting operations here late last year, I have always respected the industrious and businesslike nature of its inhabitants. I felt certain that a city so committed to Progress and Industry would be able to appreciate the purity and, frankly, genius of the Athenaeum project. Those who objected, I believed, were at best misinformed and at worst openly psychotic, but in any case a small number of miserable miscreants worthy of pity, manipulated by the irresponsible muckraking of myopic journalists and overly-romantic demagogues. Put to the test, I felt confident that the number of individuals willing to actually go along with Miss Hienrichs challenge to Save the Books would be no more than a feeble gaggle.
Clearly, I was badly mistaken.
I am left with only two possibilities: either the Athenaeum project is actually misguided, or there is some Nefarious Force working behind the scenes in New Babbage, distracting honest businessmen (and women) away from otherwise sound commercial judgement. Given the unmistakable genius of the idea, it must be the latter.
I have therefore made a formal request to the government of New Babbage to investigate the nature of this Nefarious Force at work within our midst, and have further directed that the not inconsiderable resources of the Steamweaver Trust be put at the City’s disposal in this regard. I urge citizens to Be Vigilant.
Yours formally, &c.
– Lafayette Steamweaver
*Comment by Scottie Melnik on June 16, 2010 at 5:16am Mr. Steamweaver,
I take issue with the phrase “distill the world’s written material into its purest form”. That’s a euphemism for destroying the written word. Are you transferring it to a new medium? Yes. Is it a great idea? Yes, but poorly executed. You’re incinerating something bound and beloved in the process and that’s a crime to many people, hence the reprisal against your endeavor.
So you try to get at the people who disagree with you by saying that they are not as committed to Progress and Industry. That’s a bit of paraphrase, but that’s what I believe you’re saying and I doubt I’m the only one. To that I have to ask: Is this progress? The wanton destruction of a perfectly good tome is most certainly not.
If you, sir, want progress then find a way to retrieve the information held within the pages of a book without damaging it. Surely a man who chooses to believe in the genius of this project could see the merit of going a step further and saving the books while obtaining the content within them. Is your ingenuity up to that challenge, sir?
*Comment by Bookworm Hienrichs on June 16, 2010 at 6:57am
Bookworm, on an early morning walk, sees a copy of the letter posted, and pauses to read it
So. My diplomatic matching of his matching, which has already been done? Ignored.
And, apparently, I’m a myopic journalist and an overly-romantic demagogue. And he wants me to be investigated.
sigh As low as I set my expectations, he always manages to go even lower.
Bookworm shakes her head and moves on
*Comment by Breezy Carver on June 16, 2010 at 8:14am
/me taps foot .. never try to make ration of a Robber Baron dear Book esp this one who takes delight in twists and turns to only promote attention to his ego and self !
Main Entry: Robber Baron
1 : an American capitalist of the latter part of the 19th century who became wealthy through exploitation (as of natural resources, governmental influence, or low wage scales)
*Comment by Sheryl Skytower on June 16, 2010 at 10:31am
notices the lack of smoke coming from a certain building
*returns to digging tunnel between the Cafe, the Chocolatier and the White Rabbit.*
*Comment by Victor on June 16, 2010 at 2:52pm
I wonder who is a member of this Nefarious Force Mr Steamweaver speaks of?
hides his membership card of the New Babbage Nefarious Force Society