A link for you to look at before we get things started today. Take a look at Norma's blog, where for some reason my partner in crime takes exception to that lovely of loveliest seasons, winter.
Today I'm doing one of those did I actually write that blogs....
A dimly lit chamber, in a bunker deep beneath the Hollywood sign. A large round table, set with twelve chairs, dominated the room. Overhead, a stylized microphone was carved into the ceiling. One by one, eleven people, in hooded cloaks, walked in, each taking a place at the table. At last, in came the final member of the group. She stood at her chair, her eyes gazing out from beneath the hood of her cloak, and began to speak.
“All hail the Dark Cabal of the Infernal Gossip,” she called out, her voice strangely familiar. Years of being on television left that impression.
“All hail, Supreme Majesty!” everyone else said in unison.
“Sisters and brothers, our time is at hand,” the Supreme Majesty declared. “Since the days of old, when our founder Antonio Paparazzo created the Cabal, we have worked carefully for the day when we would be in place. When we would come to dominate the world. The signs have all aligned. Our seers and sages believe the prophecies point to our present day. As do I. Long ago, when the great Antonio spent his time reviewing the plays of his day and writing gossip columns, he could have felt ashamed when William Shakespeare told him he was a halfwit who would never be remembered for anything. Instead, he vowed that he would be remembered long after Shakespeare was forgotten in the dustbins of history. After all, what did Shakespeare know about writing?”
“Nothing!” the rest of the Cabal agreed.
“Exactly,” the Supreme Majesty said with a smile. “The great Antonio dedicated himself to ensuring that one day, those just like him would come to achieve the ultimate power over all life on Earth. That there would come a day when gossips would be running everything. Antonio could not have foreseen the advances of technology, that our guild would become journalists, highly respected journalists, despite what those hacks who win Pulitzers and awards might say about us. That we would be hosting television shows, reporting on everything that famous people do, even those famous for being famous. That there would come a day when the single status and barren womb of the goddess Jennifer Aniston would be more important than climate change or wars in a foreign country or the state of the economy. That was not his concern. For reporting on all matters entertainment was always meant to be our facade, while we worked behind the scenes to consolidate our dark power and wield our rightful destiny as masters and mistresses of the world.”
One of the cloaked men blurted out in a panicked voice, “They’re all watching us! Out there! Beyond the Fourth Wall! They’re wondering what on Earth the writer’s thinking! And we’re using too much expository dialogue!”
The woman at his side reached out. “Brother Leonard, what do you mean?”
“You’ll have to forgive Brother Leonard,” the Supreme Majesty told her. “He has never been the same since that buffoon Ebert told him he isn’t a real movie reviewer.”
“Yes,” the man to her side remarked. “Brother Leonard of the Maltins seems to have gone slightly bonkers. Our therapists suggest he believes that none of this is happening, that we are nothing more than fictional variations of real people out beyond this Fourth Wall. Clearly, the effects of that mind shattering put down have had a long term effect on Brother Leonard’s emotional well being. Be at peace, Brother Leonard. Let me play you some of my soothing music when we’re done here.”
“Very well, Brother John,” the Supreme Majesty told him. “Sisters and brothers, the time is at hand. For it was foretold by the great Antonio that when our time would be at hand, our greatest enemy, the only one able to stop us, would make himself known. Antonio wrote of the man of justice, a man in red serge often mistaken for a deaf musician. He called him the rider on a white horse, and the man’s name was death. He might have been borrowing liberally from the Bible, but hey, who cares about plagiarism? Two centuries ago, the Cabal thought the prophecy might refer to Beethoven, so we scoured the world for a man with the same name who wore red serge. Alas, it was to no avail. For our enemy was not of that time.”
“You’re doing it again! Expository dialogue!” Brother Leonard blurted out.
“Brother Leonard, be at peace,” the Supreme Majesty said. “All of our seers and sages agree. Our most hated enemy, the only one who stands in our way, is the Mountie, Lars Ulrich.” An image of Inspector Lars Ulrich appeared on a viewscreen on one wall. Boos and hisses resounded through the chamber. As did one wolf whistle. The Supreme Majesty called out, “Who did that?”
“It was I,” the woman beside Brother Leonard admitted. “Well, I mean, come on, the guy’s hot.”
“That’s not in dispute, Sister Leeza, but he is our most hated foe,” the Supreme Majesty insisted. “And we cannot lust after our adversary. We have cast our minions upon the Ulrich time and again, the rank and file of our industry, those who have no idea that the Cabal even exists, with the mere objective of annoying him endlessly. We have even sent a woman from those ranks to flirt and tease him last New Year’s, only to pull the rug from under him by revealing what she does for a living. I would have loved to see the look on his face. All of this is a wise thing. It keeps him off his game. It keeps him from discovering who we really are. For each time one of our minions asks a question about Metallica, it only infuriates him all the more and keeps him permanently distracted.”
“He’s going to Russia, I understand,” Brother John noted.
“Yes, as security for the Canadian Olympic team,” another man affirmed.
“Brother Ryan of Seacrest speaks truth,” the Supreme Majesty said. “The Ulrich was in Vancouver last week when Godzilla surfaced. All it took was one good hard glare from the Ulrich, and the monstrous beast fled back into the ocean. That, sisters and brothers, the ability to turn a hundred foot tall monster into a whiny little coward, is the mark of a very dangerous man.”
“Could we get the Russians to see to it that he meets with an unfortunate accident?” another woman asked.
“Unlikely, Sister Nancy of O’Dell,” Brother John said. “President Putin would view us as competition for his own world domination schemes if we would make the request, and is unlikely to ever do us a favour. We can count on no help from those quarters in ridding us of the Ulrich.”
“It shall be left to us then?” Brother Ryan asked.
“Yes,” Brother John replied. “Patience. We will deal with him in time. We will imprison him, and I will play endless amounts of my music until he weeps for death. For it is said that the Ulrich can’t stand my endless keyboard feel good music. For some reason I can’t quite understand, there are many people who dislike my music.”
The Supreme Majesty nodded. “I don’t understand it either, Brother John of Tesh, but such is life. And when we take command of the world, your music will be required listening for every last person on Earth. When the Ulrich weeps for death, we shall give it to him. We shall set the Ulrich on the block, and sever his head from his body. With a rusty axe. After that, the world will be ours. As it was foretold in the days of old. And I, Mary of Hart, will be Empress over all the world. And I will get even with everyone who ever called me a lightweight or rolled their eyes when my name was mentioned.”
“Bravo, Supreme Majesty,” one of the women called.
“Thank you, Sister Maria of the Menounos. The time is at hand, sisters and brothers. Now then, we are adjourned. We shall go to the antechambers to sacrifice an intern and commence the orgy.”
“The orgy is my favourite part,” Sister Maria declared with enthusiasm.
The Cabal rose from their chairs. Brother Leonard cried out, “Don’t you see? He’s making fun of all of us! He doesn’t think we’re real journalists, and he’s making fun of us! And it’s not as if he’s even going to write the orgy, he’s just leaving it out there as a punchline!” Brother Leonard glared up at the ceiling. “I know you’re out there, Writer! Out there beyond that Fourth Wall! I know what you’re doing! And one day you’ll pay for your sins!”
Sister Leeza took him by the arm, leading him out of the room with the rest of the Cabal. “Brother Leonard, perhaps you need more therapy. There is no such thing as a Fourth Wall. Now come on, a good orgy and a ritual intern sacrifice will have you feeling better in no time.”