December 29, 2005

As I remember her

Who was Madeleine Page? The question was posed on alt.folklore.urban, by one who knew not better, in the New Year of 1998.

But Ha! "Madeleine" emailed me privately too just for responding to you, Brian. I asked her who appointed her Net Nanny. She claimed someone called Ian York appointed her that. She said he owns Usenet.

Who is Ian York and who is Madeleine?

Kevin T. Keith essayed an answer.

Dr. I.A. Nyork is the evil genius behind most of Usenet. He is a meme-warfare expert who uses AFU as his testing ground for infectious agents recovered from the brain tissue of AOLusers fed British beef and Goon Show extracts. He cultivates a mild-mannered exterior which allows him to blend seamlessly into the wallpaper at cocktail parties, but underneath he is a Very Respectable Man and a trained killer who can set a microwave oven on fire with nothing but a jar of glass disks soaked in flammable solvents. Soon he will find a use for this skill and we will be as putty in his hands. He is slowly squeezing Usenet into the homogenous, uni-voiced, organized force of disciplined and well-informed information elite that we see today; when the final touches are complete we will do his bidding only, and he will rule. He writes book reviews when no-one is looking, and he left his copy of "The New Yorker" in my bedroom.

Madeleine is Dr. Nyork's sexy sidekick and bodyguard. Where he bears an uncanny resemblance to Patrick MacNee - in the sense that they're both not from America - she is the Emma Peel of this dynamic, but elegantly restrained in a UK-and-colonies-sort-of-way, duo. She dresses consistently in black, brown, white, and sometimes tan, and often wears little hats, according to intelligence analyst Emily Kelly, who left some banana bread with nuts in it in my kitchen. Madeleine serves as enforcer of Dr. Nyork's twisted regimen, much like that little weird thing that sat on Marlon Brando's shoulder in "The Island of Dr. Moreau" except she's taller and looks more like the young Brando in "On the Waterfront"; when you misbehave, Nanny gives you a spanking. It's for your own good. Few ask for another, and we don't let those few near the children. She is impervious to cold, alcohol, and counterarguments; she speaks with the good Doctor's voice, when he's not using it, and her word is Law.

This is all very well and good, but overlooks Madeleine's many other talents. She was a formidable advice columnist, as Maggie Newman testified, quoting her sage words

You know, Maggie, if you're really serious about getting laid you might want to reconsider using "I'm a grandma!" as your opening line.

an acute social commentator,

North Americans have taken the good name of "Morris" - a sturdy fellow, slightly stocky, with a mild tendency to adenoidal breathing and slightly below average IQ points - and transformed it into "MawREESE", a name fit only for a dancing master with tiny feet, improbable eyebrows, little patent leather pumps, slicked down marcelled hair and breath that smells of menthol cigarettes and violet cachews.

and a truly gifted translator of French verse.

Les amoureux fervents et les savants austères
Aiment également, dans leur mûre saison,

Bean-lovers and Austrian servants
Take equal aim at their salted walls.

Les chats puissants et doux, orgueil de la maison,
Qui comme eux sont frileux et comme eux sédentaires.

The cats are not housetrained and doves are screwing indoors
They're a frivolous lot and they all ought to visit the dentist

Amis de la science et de la volupté,
Ile cherchent le silence et l'horreur des ténèbres;
L'érèbe les eût pris pour ses coursiers funèbres,
S'ils pouvaient au servage incliner leur fierté.

I'm a fat scientist
And I'll worship silence and horror until ten o'clock.
A joint would loosen my corsets and be sort of fun
If the servants would only look the other way at teatime.

Ils prennent en songeant les nobles attitudes
Des grands sphinx allongés au fond des solitudes,
Qui semblent s'endormir dans un rêve sans fin;

But they preen and sing as if they were aristocracy
And when they're on their own, they flex their bottom sphincters
Should I go to sleep or out to a really rough rave?

Leurs reins féconds sont pleins d'étincelles magiques,
Et des parcelles d'or, ainsi qu'un sable fin,
étoilent vaguement leurs prunelles mystiques.

It's raining cats and litters of kittens, like ugly Christmas decorations
I wanted a pocket door and a nice fur coat
But all I got was a wavy veil and some New Age prunes.

Ergo, we miss her.

Posted by maddyfriends at 12:58 AM

December 16, 2005

miss you

Maddy, been thinking a lot about you these days. Sometimes I feel like I'm following in your footsteps. I feel your guidance. I miss you, lady.

Posted by maddyfriends at 11:37 PM

2 years on

it's been two years, now. we have a constant reminder of mpage in our own little maddie, who is now almost 2 years 3 months. i can't help but think that maddy the elder would be pleased with maddie the younger, for they could share in their joy of pink, and of words, and yes, even espresso and coffee.

mty watching a lavalamp: "purple going uuuuuuPPP!" purple going DDoowwwnnn!"

we do miss mpage,

--barry "'maddie watch daddy make spresso!"

Posted by maddyfriends at 06:09 PM