Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Humans Are Dead

An Aussie friend of mine has been posting clips of these guys on Facebook, and since they're funny I thought I'd share. (Not entirely safe for work - some of the language is a bit off-color. Keep the volume down or use headphones.)

There's an odd story there, by the way. Several years ago, I played (and eventually Adminned, if that's a word) at an online writing/roleplaying site based in the world of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time books. I arrived there by a funny coincidence involving an obscure type of polearm, but never mind that now.

One of the things I did there was help write curriculum for the Warder Yards - basically, the warriors in this setting. We taught unarmed combat, swords, bows, maces, axes, staves and polearms... except, of course, that the studies were done online, and in character. You can't actually learn to swordfight that way. No, the main idea was to give the players enough information that they could write their fight scenes convincingly. But we produced a decent body of material, and several of the people there actually had enough real-life training to add some genuine verisimilitude to the classes.

As a result, every so often someone would stop by while looking for information on how to really use a sword. Kanamai was one of these, but she liked what she saw well enough to join the site and join the roleplay. After a while, though, she asked a couple of us - the ones with martial arts backgrounds - where she might learn about swordfighting in real life. We responded by asking what sort of sword she had in mind, and she said she'd developed a real liking for the Chinese jian - the elegant, versatile straight sword.

So I recommended that she pick up a book by Scott Rodell, who teaches Tai Chi in the general vicinity of Washington, D.C. Laoshi ("Teacher") Rodell has made a particular study of the ancient Chinese weapons and their martial applications, and in addition he deals in antique weapons - so he has experience with the genuine articles, not just the modern reproductions.

Kanamai is... One Of Those People. Australian, for one thing, but that's not what I mean. She's this sort of person: when she decides to do something, she does it. When she sets her mind on something, she's kind of a force of nature.

Before she got started, she asked me some questions about Chi ("body energy", more or less) as it related to her faith as a Christian. Once she was satisfied that there was no conflict there, she got in touch with Laoshi Rodell herself. Almost before I knew it, she had scheduled for him to come to Australia and give a pair of seminars; one on the first Tai Chi form, and a week-long class on swordsmanship. And because I'd pointed her in the right direction, she offered to put the Beautiful Wife and myself up if we came down for the seminars.

There was absolutely no way I was going to miss an opportunity like that. So we made the arrangements, and we flew down there, and we enjoyed ourselves hugely. It's still funny to me, thought, that while Laoshi Rodell does most of his teaching here in the U.S., I've only ever met him in a foreign country.

Anyway, that's why I have friends in Australia. We started as iFriends, met in real life, had a great time, and still keep in touch on Facebook. I should point out that while I met them through Kanamai, the fellow who posted the music clips is actually her husband. We got to know him fairly well, too, in our weeks there.

I have this lingering fantasy about actually moving down there someday, but right now we have too many things tying us to Dallas/Fort Worth. Still, someday...


  1. Those guys had a musical sitcom type thing on HBO. It was really funny, but they quit after 2 seasons because it was hard to write new songs for every episode. You should check it out.

  2. ::chuckles:: I'm always the last one to know.

  3. Wow! That's really cool, MM. I met The Tour Guide online through one of those silly little interactive games on facebook. I've been to England twice and he's been here once and he's coming back in September. Sure, you have to be careful and check people out, but we knew each other pretty well before we ever met in person. It's a way of meeting people you'd have otherwise never have.

  4. Bah! You kids and your online relationships! In my day, the Internet was filled with nothing but axe murderers and kitty porn! Anyone who said they were twenty-something college girl was really an overweight trucker from Brooklyn named "Mac". And if you did agree to meet someone you knew online, you were sure to wake up the next morning in a bathtub full of ice, looking at a note explaining why you were missing a kidney! Get off my iLawn!

    On a more serious note, you really ought to do a post on The Tour Guide. You've mentioned him a couple of times, but only sort of in passing. Or maybe you shouldn't do such a post, but I am curious.

  5. I've been pondering just such a post. Trade ya. You do the post about world religions that don't worship a Deity and I'll do one about The Tour Guide.


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