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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Fantasy story: Progressive Quest
    Posted: December 09 2008 at 14:51

This is another one of my fantasy stories, this time about seven brothers who were living in one house, and all of them were into prog. All in a different way, though, and as much as a fun story, the story is also a little pretentious (like good prog) as a case study for progressive archetypes, or stereotypes. Well, types anyway. The story is being called:

 

PROGRESSIVE QUEST

 

In a hole in a ground there lived aÖ hobbit? Well, that would be a good start for a story, wouldnít it? Just like the opening line of J.R.R. Tolkienís famous novel The Hobbit, but I have to be honest: there were seven of them, and you wouldnít take them for hobbits: they were far too big for that. Sure, they thought they were descendants of the old hobbits of Middle Earth, and they had people who referred to them as hobbits, because of their choice of music and their lifestyle, but their genealogy is very doubtful. Still, there isnít any scientific proof to fight their claim, so letís just leave it at that.

 

In a hole in a ground there lived seven brothers. They had hippie parents who left them in the mid seventies: their parents were off to the hippie trail, to Afghanistan, and never came back, and their aunt, who was much straighter than their parents, took over the upbringing, until the oldest one came of age. Our story starts today.

 

Oh, about that hole in the ground: because living in a hole became a bit unfashionable from the seventies on, they built a loft on top of that in the nineties. But now letís really begin with our story.

 

Meet Donovan, the oldest one, who was a bit of a bon vivant. He was a merry old soul, who often called for his pipe, and for his bowl. And yes, now that you ask, he liked a fiddlerís sweep as well. Eddie Jobson would be his violinist of choice.

Donovan was sitting in the living room with his brothers Graeme and Dylan, the second and the third in line, respectively. They were all smoking their pipes, and while they were in the midst of a good conversation, Dylan had a worried look on his face.

 

Dylan:   Now why did prog end?

Donovan: Give me a break, it didnít end!

Graeme: Yes, brother, like I said, I tell you that it ended! In 1977, to be precise.

Donovan: Oh yeah, is that so? Why 1977? You tell me that!

Graeme: Because punk took over in that year.

 

All were staring at the ground. The p- word had been mentioned. Punk was being held for the enemy.

 

Donovan: Címon, Graeme, there are hundreds of prog cdís coming out every year. Prog didnít end. Thatís ridiculous.

Graeme: Thatís not the real prog. Itís a derivate. We all go back to the seventies, the golden age of prog. Donít tell me that it isnít true.

Dylan: For a moment assuming that youíre right: why could it take over? Prog could have gone further, punk or no punk. Keep on progginí in the free world!

Graeme (wryly): The proggers had to earn a living! So either they went on with what they did and didnít get any money, so they had to stop, or they compromised their sound and got rich. And very complacent.

Dylan: So what youíre saying then is that prog all depended on the support of record companies? No prog without the record companies?

Graeme: Ö

Dylan: You see? That canít be real.

 

Dylan was a philosophical type of guy. He was looking for the essence of prog, which gives us the opening to our little story. Dylan liked the Socratic attitude: keep on asking until the other was lost for words. Not that this was the effect that Dylan was looking for: he wanted answers to his questions, but he couldnít be satisfied with make believe answers. So he pinched one balloon after the other, like a good pupil of the famous Greek philosopher.

 

Graeme: Okay, okay, youíre probably right. Iíll tell you what. I guess prog had a downfall from 1977 on, in some way or the other, but there was already a demise from 1974 on, while the record companies were still giving full backing to the prog bands.

 

Graeme was a bit of a purist. No Genesis, Yes or ELP after 1977, no Pendragon afterÖ Well, no Pendragon at all, or any neo prog for that matter. BecauseÖ isnít neo prog a contradictio in terminis? In fact, be honest with yourself: there hadnít been any really good albums after 1973, right? That was Graemeís way of thinking.

 

Dylan: Conclusion: punk didnít end prog. But what did put an end to prog then?

 

Donovan was trying to slip away. He didnít care for all the discussions. He enjoyed the good life, with something to eat and drink and something to smoke, and a good prog cd of course. Donovanís philosophy towards prog was simple: when it sounds like prog, it is prog, you know? And if itís not, you donít care about it.

But while he was heading for the exit, the cellar door swung open. In comes Carlos, nr. 5 in line of the brothers.

 

Carlos: Yo bruddaz, whatís up?

 

Youíll have to forgive Carlos. His idea of prog is that it should have a fusion with whatever contemporary musical style that there was at that time. So Carlos, taking his philosophy to a logical end conclusion, was into hip hop, trying to melt it with prog. He was a musician himself, the proud inventor of a brand new musical direction: prog hop, and he called himself Snoop Proggy Progg, or Snoop Progg, after one of his heroes.

 

Graeme: Fine, thank you. We were just discussing why prog ended in the 1970ís.

Carlos: Why prog ended? Now wait a minute, it didnít end, did it?

Graeme: There was a degeneration from the mid to late seventies on.

 

Dylan and Donovan were nodding at this.

 

Carlos: You say a D Ė generation?

Graeme: Thatís right.

Carlos: Youíre all fossils, you know what Iím sayiní! Prog never ended, surely not as long as Iím a round, you know what Iím sayiní! How did you get those stupid ideas into your heads, yíall? You gotta let some fresh air in, you know what Iím sayiní! Let the sun shine in, as our parents would have said, you know what Iím sayiní!

Graeme: How big is the percentage of the brain which you have to have surgically removed before you can talk like you do?

Carlos (furious): I choose to ignore that! Itís the hip hop way of talkiní, which says more than yíall do, you know what Iím sayiní. Iím gettingí out now, see yíall tonight. Prog on.

Donovan: Prog on. Just be quiet at 9 tonight.

Carlos: B- cause?

Donovan: We will be listening to Selling England By The Pound then in the living room.

Carlos (his mouth falling open): You are going to listen to WHAT?

Donovan: You heard me: Selling England By The Pound, by Genesis.

Carlos: Selling England By The Pound?

Donovan: Thatís right!

Carlos: Sel-ling Eng-land By The Pound? Selling England by the progginí pound? Have you counted how many times you listened to that album in your miserable lives?

Donovan: There must be some misunderstanding. Itís very special: itís the new remastered version, on the new Genesis-box.

Carlos: Oh, is that so? Itís the new remastered version? Is Tony progginí Banks playing suddenly mouth organ on the intro of First of fifth?

Graeme: Thatís Firth Of Fifth. And no, he doesnít. He plays his brilliant piano solo, of course.

Carlos: His brilliant piano solo, and you tie yourself to the mast, because them sirens would  lure you to the rocks, and suddenly you find out that you canít open the knots anymore.

Dylan: I donít understand what youíre trying to get across.

Carlos: I mean that you will fossilize, no matter what.

Dylan: Youíre being cynical.

Carlos: Cynical? Abso Ė progginí Ė lutely! Now hear me out. Tonight you are all going to smoke your pipes, have daí slippers on, you old bunch of slippermen, you, and lurkiní progginí sherry, you died out dodo lurkers! The new Selling England By The Pound, what a joke! First you bought it on LP, then on music cassette for in the car, then on cd, then another time on cd, because the first time some butcher put a mid price sticker on the art work, then a remastered version, then another remastered version with a little sleeve like an old fashioned LP, than a SACD, than a progginí box. Donít you ever move on in life? Do you really want to be X-tinct like them Die Now Saurs? Listen, I wrote a rap about you lot. That will put an end to your discussion!

 

Big smile TO BE CONTINUED Big smile

 

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2008 at 09:33
I like a story with a message. Will definitely read the next part.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2008 at 13:08
I'll be honest. At first I thought it was stupid. A mythological story about prog? How pompous and overblown!
 
However, once Carlos entered, It was just awesome.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2008 at 14:35
Great story man! I like the humor in it, very PA-ish, hehe. Anxious for Pt 2!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2008 at 15:45
Thanks for all your positive comments, y'all!
 
I try to post part two next week.
 
@ topofsm: I agree that the second part, where Carlos comes in, was easier to write, and much more fun; but the first part did serve a purpose: to provide a contrast between the older, more sedate brothers and the youthful energy of Carlos; also, I should have mentioned that the story was fun in the first place, but I like to put some depth in it as well, just like I did with my Yes whodunnit last year
Thanks! 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2008 at 15:55
good for Carlos !!!
 
The message is pretty obvious... but for starters who think that prog begins with DT i did not recommend at all!!!
 
 


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2008 at 00:46
Originally posted by Moogtron III Moogtron III wrote:

Thanks for all your positive comments, y'all!
 
I try to post part two next week.
 
@ topofsm: I agree that the second part, where Carlos comes in, was easier to write, and much more fun; but the first part did serve a purpose: to provide a contrast between the older, more sedate brothers and the youthful energy of Carlos; also, I should have mentioned that the story was fun in the first place, but I like to put some depth in it as well, just like I did with my Yes whodunnit last year
Thanks! 
 
Of course. Now that I've read it all, there's definetely a purpose behind the beginning. I mean to say that as I was beginning to read it, I thought it would be lame and cheesy. I am glad to say that you have proved me wrong.
 
It sort of reminds me of Huck Finn. There are 3 overlong chapters about helping Jim escape from a hut. As I read the book, I really found myself feeling bored in those chapters, and getting annoyed as Tom kept delaying Jim's freedom. Now that I've analyzed it in English class, I can truly appreciate why Twain wrote those chapters so overlong and obnoxious.
 
I look forward to your next entry (and hopefully some more humor along the lines of what Carlos has been saying).

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2008 at 16:28
Originally posted by topofsm topofsm wrote:

Originally posted by Moogtron III Moogtron III wrote:

Thanks for all your positive comments, y'all!
 
I try to post part two next week.
 
@ topofsm: I agree that the second part, where Carlos comes in, was easier to write, and much more fun; but the first part did serve a purpose: to provide a contrast between the older, more sedate brothers and the youthful energy of Carlos; also, I should have mentioned that the story was fun in the first place, but I like to put some depth in it as well, just like I did with my Yes whodunnit last year
Thanks! 
 
Of course. Now that I've read it all, there's definetely a purpose behind the beginning. I mean to say that as I was beginning to read it, I thought it would be lame and cheesy. I am glad to say that you have proved me wrong.
 
It sort of reminds me of Huck Finn. There are 3 overlong chapters about helping Jim escape from a hut. As I read the book, I really found myself feeling bored in those chapters, and getting annoyed as Tom kept delaying Jim's freedom. Now that I've analyzed it in English class, I can truly appreciate why Twain wrote those chapters so overlong and obnoxious.
 
I look forward to your next entry (and hopefully some more humor along the lines of what Carlos has been saying).
 
Yes, I understand. Hopefully you'll like the rest as well.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2008 at 16:29
Here's part two, for anyone who's interested.
 
PART TWO
 
Donovan: Youíre going to perform for us? (with a proud look on his face)Well, my little brother has grown up, and has become a real artist.

Graeme (sarcastic laugh): Oh yeah, an artist from the hood. MC Hobbit, hehehe.

Carlos (making a throwaway gesture with his hand) : Grumpy old man! Get a life ! ĎNuff said now, I need my assistant. Whereís Syd?

Donovan: Heís upstairs in the loft, playing computer games.

Dylan: Wait, Iíll get him for you (runs towards the door).

Carlos: In the mean time Iíll get some attributes.

 

Carlos walks to the wall with the LPís and drags one out an album from the O section. He blows off the dust from the sleeve.

 

Graeme: Whatís that.

Carlos: Uh, lemme see. Mike Oldfield, Ommadawn.

Graeme: (with a grim look on his face): You see that you canít do it on your own after all. You need the real master to give you backing. Donít try this at home, kids.

Carlos (grins) : No, man, itís the other way a-round. Itís actually Mike who needs a helpiní hand these days.

 

Carlos is setting up the equipment for his act. Suddenly the door of the cellar swings open. Syd, the youngest of the brothers, babyface and a big smile from ear to ear, steps in. Oh, between you and me: some people donít take Syd very seriously, because they think his IQ is way under 100, and they will probably say to you that he lives very much in his own world. He doesnít talk in full sentences either. But you might be surprised by Syd. Sometimes he looks wiser than all of his brothers, talking like an oracle, and he can hold you a mirror right before your very eyes.

Syd, being the youngest, is a bit spoilt by his older brothers. Heís very open minded in his musical tastes and ideas. A sign of immaturity of course, but donít hold that against him! He means well, and heís always good-humored.

 

Graeme (walking to Syd): Hey Syd! Now that youíre here, can you tell the others what you learned from me? Tell me about the decades!

Syd (holding hands behind his back and closing his eyes, changing his balance from one foot to another and back): Fifties? Bad! Sixties? Good! Seventies? Good! Eighties? Bad! Nineties? Bad! Naughties? Bad!

Dylan (puzzled look on his face): Graeme, I donít get it. What are you learning him, man?

Graeme: Tell him, Syd, why the decades are what they are.

Syd (opening his eyes and looking earnest at Dylan): Fifties? Rock Ďní roll. Boring! Sixties? Flower power. Was leading to prog. Good! Seventies? Golden age of prog. Brilliant! Eighties? Wrong hairdoís and plastic music. Yak! Nineties? House. Gross! Naughties? Stagnation. Too bad.

Graeme: Well done, Syddy!

 

Once again, Syd smiles from ear to ear.

 

Dylan (still looking puzzled): Well, he did a great job, but obviously heís just repeating what you taught him. But thatís too simple and you know it, right? The seventies isnít just prog, now, is it? Isnít it also punk and disco?

Syd (makes spitting noises): Punk and disco? Insult to human interlect!

Dylan: Thatís intellect, Syddy-boy. But thatís also the seventies, see?

Syd (Smiling again and shaking his head vehemently)): No no no no no, is misunderstanding. Prog belongs to seventies. Seventies belong to prog!

 

Before Dylan could say anything back, Carlos was yelling.

 

Carlos: Okay! Iím ready, yíall! Syd, my man, I need you to do the beatbox, you know what Iím sayiní.

 

Syd nods happily, and his smile becomes even bigger. He starts to make funny rhythmic noises with his mouth and his hands, providing Carlos a real human beatbox.

 

Carlos (starts rapping): Yo, yíall, check this out! Snoop Progg in daí house, yíall. I got a message  for you, yíall. Check this all out, yíall!

Donovan: Yes, we will.

Dylan (whispering) : Shhht! I believe this is already part of the act.

 

While Carlos is rapping and Syd is doing his human beatbox, Carlos is busy putting the needle of the record player somewhere above Mike Oldfieldís Ommadawn.

 

Carlos: This rap is beiní called: Prog Is An Attitude. Now listen to this, yíall!

 

Suddenly Syd stops his beatbox noises, and Carlos lowers the needle of the record player, just above the minimalistic bass part at two thirds of Ommadawn part 1. Carlos starts rapping to the rhythm of the music.

 

Hereís to all U muzoís who think youíre so smart,

thinking that U know everythiní about art.

Being blind for music history except for just a part

Takiní only little pieces of the big big tart.

 

From a tree you only take a little bite from the fruit

I got news for yíall, prog is an ATTITUDE!

 

From that moment on, Carlos was moving the record back and forth with his hand.

 

Donovan (shocked): What are you doing?

Graeme: Stop it! Itís disgusting!

Dylan: Leave him. Itís part of the act. Itís called scratching, I think.

 

Carlos, never stopping, lets the record loose at exactly the same point as he began, and continues:

 

Itís not in the way that you build an im- pecca - ball collection.

Itís not in the way that you try to get studio perfection.

Itís not in the way you change your tempo.

Itís not about a zillion keyboards played by Rambo.

Itís not about ep Ė pix or in - tree Ė cut structures

Itís not about ... couldn't find a rhymin' word yet... 

 

Burn mellow tron burn! Try a boogie, mini Ė Moogy.

Try to convert some musical RE: Fugees.

Time to FW: your thinking,

Itís not all gold thatís blinkiní.

 

Forgive me for being rude,

But some day youíll find out that PROG IS AN ATTITUDE!

 

TO BE CONTINUED



Edited by Moogtron III - December 16 2008 at 16:35
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2008 at 18:49
Strange though i never let  do to Carlos that to a record of prog rock


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 26 2008 at 17:40
Yeah, that second part is odd, not bad, odd. Still looking forward for the next part!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2009 at 22:55
Good God, i hate blind purists, even the fictional ones.

Still anxiously waiting for part 3 Moogtron III.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2009 at 01:37
I understand, I dislike those purists myself as well. So why am I writing about them Question Maybe my way of dealing with them.
 
I was quite busy with my work in the last few months, so it takes some time to write part 3. I hope I find the time in February at last.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2009 at 00:13
Just laugh a lot, very good job, I just hate the purist, not just in prog, but all in al.

Waiting for the 3rd too Tongue
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