The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)


(Part 1)

(Part 2)

Most citizens of the LEZ, myself formerly included, know very little of the Government’s expenditures when it comes to its thousands of arcane tax measures. We hear about big ticket spending on things like Rejuv technology, or about money transfers from the Global Government to our municipalities, to help pay for our recreation centres and experimental bakeries. From time to time we even see a piece in the news about alleged over-spending on agricultural subsidies.

But we do not hear, for example, about the enhanced deductibility of Publishing Input Expenditures (PIE) for publications with at-least-80-per-cent1 Amphitran content, or the special advance tax refund for new, small, first-time publishers with qualifying PIE.

We remain unaware of the fact that, on Amphitran, those bardic gossips and newsmongers that call themselves “Crooning Roamers” qualify for a Global tax credit on expenses related to their cultural output, in addition to being eligible for an LEZ-wide credit that is almost but not exactly the same thing. We don’t see headlines to the effect that the Cultural Expenses Tax Credit will be raised by 10-per-cent, and made refundable, exclusively for the Crooning Roamers, who as a group have never been defined in law, and who have perhaps been receiving tax support to date solely based on the Bureau of Tax Collection and Enforcement’s (BTCE) unwillingness to contest their claims, which for a Government accustomed to accounting in the quintillions, amount to mere peanuts.

We do not hear that if one produces anything which can be argued to fall within the vague definition of Amphitran “cultural output”2, then, due to the overlap of various measures, you’re looking at about a 60-per-cent subsidy rate – even if the content is, objectively speaking, utter crap. Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (3)”

The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (2)


(Part 1)

The Kei Rani Memorial building, in the Bundleworg district, in this Municipality of Triij, on the planet of Amphitran. A case containing my effects hung from one fist. The other fist did not know what to do with itself, and was therefore deeply uncomfortable, as I stepped into a rotating door, two-stories high and sleek in glass and chrome. It seemed expressly designed to be intimidating; in response to my approach, its soft, whirring movement began at the precise instant that I began to panic at its not budging. There was not a single smudge or fingerprint to be seen, and halfway up the glass was frosted with the Amphitran globe, so large that it could swallow my head fifteen times over.

I knew before emerging from this door that my stirring resentment would not be helped by the sight of the lobby. Wide, and long, and low, far off to one side I could see a spot where the ceiling rose, and light poured in, and a living wall of plants basked complacently. But I knew I would not be going that way. Directly before me was an expanse of grey carpet, a few lone, two-seater couches set like islands for confidential conversation amid the vastness, and the distant vapour and blinking lights of gates through which only those endowed with CAMFT passes could go. Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Don’t Mix) (2)”

The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Do Not Mix) (1)


Some things in the Huniverse simply don’t have any explanation, as some beings are so fond of saying. However, in my experience, such things are uniquely related to human behaviour. In this particular case, the humans involved were myself, my direct supervisor, and the over-stressed officials in one small part of the Central Amphitran Ministry of Finances and Taxation.

Continue reading “The Crooning Roamers Debacle (or, Why Arts and Legislation Do Not Mix) (1)”

The First and Last (Farlien’s Meeting Place)


Image result for valar tolkien

I could have gone on the ether

I could have kissed the hems

Of the cloud-clad gifts of Demeter

Of the jewels in the rocks and the fens

I had no seated bounds

No traces wound ‘round 

Naked lips, wrists, fingers and ankles

My neck I wore white

And clean as the new light

That broke on the spears of the mountains

I knew the birds’ hum

And the sybilline thrum

Of the woods and the heather mist rising

I looked no farther away

Than the next dawning day

‘Til I found the first and last treasure

I could have gone on the ether

I could have raised the land

With every step after Demeter

With every note sung a command

But I found the green by the water

I found flowers born of the eye

I found the words never before uttered

And here I shall evermore lie

*

This poem started with a mondegreene from “Moonlit”, by Villages

Image from Tolkien Gateway

The bottom


We have complained of various things

Difficult to conceptualize

In fact, there is no bottom to anything

That is what the mind cannot accept

Not relativity or infinity

Not birth or death

But the fantasy that a drawer

Holds forks despite gravity

There is no bottom to anything

A vase, a finer illusion than a soul

And your bowl will never empty

Just the same as it began