A Note for Steven Brust: Philosophy and Fish


It’s just one of those things; as long as I don’t do anything about it, the idea preys on my mind. Now, having actually scribbled it down, it seems kind of useless. Then again, it’s an exorcism, so ….

From Steven Brust’s Tiassa (p. 293):

“That is true, Brigadier. You have often said that when you assume, you are thinking like a fish.°”

• • •

° In the Northwestern language, the word “assume” consists of syllables that, when taken apart, are not dissimilar to the sound for “fish” followed by the symbols that form the word “thought.”

Meanwhile, from the anime FLCL, episode five (“Brittle Bullet”)—the English-language voiceover:

KITSURABAMI: [shooting an anti-tank rifle] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Cobalt blue! [fires] If Seven of Nine heaves a sigh, what do you have? Cyborg!

HARUKO: [swings bass guitar, slaps shot back] Cyborg, my butt!

KITSURABAMI: [gasps with alarm]

MAMIMI: [holding Takkun-cat] Actually, confusing cyborgs with robots is a common mistake.

And a more transliterated version in the English-language subtitles that accompany the Japanese dialogue:

KITSURABAMI: [shooting an anti-tank rifle] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Blue! [fires] Cobalt blue! [fires] If you write “fish” and “blue”, and it looks like … saba for mackerel!

HARUKO: [swings bass guitar, slaps shot back] Mackerel, my butt!

KITSURABAMI: [gasps with alarm]

MAMIMI: [holding Takkun-cat] Actually, writing fish with blue is a common mistake.

And thus having exorcised the blue cyborg mackerel demon, I’ll shut up, now.

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