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Snorgshank the Barbarian sank his broadsword deep into the orc king's flesh-hole. With a bloodcurdling shriek the orc (aka Jeremy Jervins) fell to the ground clutching his wound!

As Jeremy lay dying he began to shiver and cry. Besides regretting the many evil acts he'd committed in the past, he had an orc-queen at home who'd be left without a financial safety net and nine orclings destined to grow up fatherless. Moreover, he was a total pussy.

Taking pity on his fallen foe's distress, Snorgshank cradled Jeremy gently in his arms.

"Basing my actions on a naive, wishful belief in the infinite possibilities of my own future, I paradoxically neglected to provide for it," whispered the ugly man-beast. "Not my own future per se, but that of my heirs and by extension, the entire orc nation." His eyes became glassy and a rivulet of green blood trickled from his mouth.

Snorgshank's compassion for the wretched fellow outweighed his urge to point out the orcs were really more of a race than a nation. Instead, he covered Jeremy's wound with a magical salve comprised from herbs, roots and stem cells harvested from the genitals of aborted third-trimester fetuses, carefully binding the area with frag-cloth torn from his own codpiece. Over the next several weeks Snorgshank slowly nursed Jeremy back to health. He told him tales of brave knights; sang him jolly elf songs; even changed his orc pan. At long last Jeremy was well.

Very soon thereafter a grand ceremony was held in Orc Park. The handful of celebrants in attendence applauded wildly (under threat of torture, admittedly) as Jeremy placed two lumps of dried orc shit on Snorgshank's jerkin in commemoratation of his merciful actions. Already peace and prosperity had begun to settle throughout the land...

If only more of today's "civilized" leaders followed the example of this so-called "barbarian" there'd be way less war and suffering in Afghanistan and other bad places!

Date Written: January 01, 2005
Author: Jon Matza
Average Vote: 4

01/6/2005 qualcomm (4): until the 5th graf, i thought the narrator was leading up to a life insurance pitch
01/6/2005 Phony Millions (4): Who is it that does those telltale cutey-extraneous exclamation points (first graph)? That's a give away, but I can't think of who it is now. Again, QC, we must identify the washed-out husk of romantic irony in the mixing of tones here: The one voice is pulp fantasy and beastly dismemberment, funny enough to carry us along for a while, but we need the other voice - the sappy humanist tone that chides mankind for its warlike ways. Here, the juxtaposition is funny but not a fiver for me. Tone here is also important, QC, and it's mostly what drives the shorts, no? What else are we going to hone in on - the plots? The effectiveness of the mixing of tones for me is made or broken on whether or not the author convinces us to enter into contract with him or her, as the author pokes fun at his or her own ironic take on mediocre writing. So many of these shorts have a subtext: "This is mediocre, or just plain fluff, but we are commenting on the mediocrity" - perhaps mediocrity in a more general sense, or the mediocrity of our more serious feelings - the way, for instance, these feelings are often cheap, recieved impressions from pop culture (i.e., the pulp comic vibe above).
01/6/2005 hagit mizrachy (4): This is a 3.76 rather than a 4.31 because I wish it stopped with "barbarian". But the value of the lesson is undeniable.
01/6/2005 Ewan Snow (4): I'll add a four to the pile...
01/6/2005 The Rid (4): Well, I thought this was beautiful until the final graf. Now, beautiful but with a couple of acne scars.
01/6/2005 Ewan Snow: I thought the final graf was ok.
01/6/2005 The Rid: Ah, I just felt it was a little unnecessary. Still an above average piece of shortness, tho.
01/6/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs (4): I'll hop on the bandwagon. Extremely solid material.
01/6/2005 John Slocum (4): Thumbs down from this guy on the final graf, but a good read nonetheless.
01/6/2005 Jon Matza (4): Five stars!
01/6/2005 cuntry (4): this was brimming on brilliant, the magical salve alone... and i found it highly referential in a weird way - todays broadsword reminded me of yesterdays greatcoat, "Jeremy" of Piven, and the aborted fetus stem cells of mr. QC's fetus-fuck short. But why the last 2 lines? WHY WHY WHY?
01/6/2005 Streifenbeuteldachs: This is a Disney short, read my lips.
01/6/2005 Will Disney: No comment.
01/6/2005 Mr. Pony (4): I think the last paragraph is okay because the reference is such a stupid stretch. Or...is it?
01/6/2005 anonymous: It was certainly intended to be...
01/6/2005 qualcomm: yeah but did you at any point consider leading this into a life insurance pitch?
01/6/2005 Litcube (4): A heart warming tale of Snorgshank's redemption. Also, last paragraphs are fat targets for people to sling their poo at, but I'm going to keep my poo in my hand right where it should be.
01/6/2005 scoop: Let me tell you what bothers me with these kind of incongruous, ultra-current, kitschy endings. They imply that the rest of the piece is not really worthy of any condiseration. "All that that other stuff before this, isn't funny, it's the fact anyone would think that it is funny is really funny. We're all so above this aren't we?!" It's a self-conscious pose, whether intended by the author or not, and it reeks of insecurity. (Not to impute that trait on the author, just saying what it looks and feels like.) It takes the natural satire implied in the material and reduces it to a sort of prop piece. It gives the impression that the real irony is that this whole conceit of satire is in fact too serious to be taken seriously.
01/6/2005 qualcomm: i don't quite understand what you're saying, guy. i don't think the last graf is meant to satirize the humorous intentions of the rest of the piece, but rather, the almost-nonexistent serious intentions. (on another note, congratulations on spelling "too" correctly!)
01/6/2005 qualcomm: oh, on third reading, i think i see what you're saying. you're talking about the jarring transition from straightforward satire to the last graf's more "postmodern," norm macdonaldy satire, right? the form satiring the very idea of satire? if so, i don't think that's such a bad thing in theory, it just wasn't done that well here.
01/6/2005 scoop: If that's the case then it's still annoying for the same reason. I need someone to tell me that the barbarian/ogre Enemy Mine schtick isn't serious? Invoking a real situation like Afghanistan seems clear to me as a above the fray comment on how cynical the narrator is or whatever. Whether it's the seriousness or the satire it's undercutting with its flippant modern day reference the result feels the same to me. For the record my irritation with this ending has nothing to dowith my Afghan heritage.(on another note, congragulations on being a big fat jerk, jerk.)
01/6/2005 qualcomm: incidentally, for those who ever questioned this short's authorship, the author of this short is partial to jj alliterative names. as in jeremy jervins.
01/6/2005 scoop: Qualcomm: Didn't see your last post. I think it's an OK thing to do in theory, if that's what you're setting out to do. But I don't think, after reading it, that the author was aiming for that. It feels like he finished the short, ended with the ellipses and then tacked that on to make sure it was "cool" or somehting. In doing so he inadvertantly watered down a lot of the rest of the thing. Also just want to take this chance to reitierate my feelings about you, you jerk.
01/6/2005 scoop (4): Despite my botheration at the ending a lot of funny moments. And I'm not trying to harsh on anyone's mellow. That's not who I am, know what I mean?
01/6/2005 Mr. Joshua: Tree: I get the feeling that the *authors* are trying to ignore your provocations. Maybe selectively doling out a few 1 star ratings to some of their high-concept shorts which nobody understands anyway would get their attention.
01/6/2005 anonymous: I thought of the last graf as just another joke...something along the lines of turning the "author" into an annoyingly self-righteous teenager idiotically trying to force his bleeding heart agenda where it doesn't fit. Not that I thought it through even to the point of articulating this...I just threw it in there b/c I thought it was amusing. I'm not saying it worked, but I also wasn't consciously trying to discredit the rest of the short, be "cool", above the fray, etc. SO THERE!!!!!
01/6/2005 scoop: It's cool, author. It's cool. Hey, your fucking mellow is sacred to me. You hear?
01/6/2005 scoop: Hey TREE a man of conviction would began the one-starring campaign with the pristine shorts in the Top Rated Shorts section below. Especially PennyPulaski and Showdown II. If you think Qualcomm's an ass hole, wait till you get to know that Mr. Pony. He's a fucking souless monster. While your at it, nail Snow's with a one too. He was particularly mean to you yesterday. Mean, mean, mean!
01/6/2005 qualcomm: where is the flesh-hole, exactly?
01/6/2005 qualcomm: by the way, author, since you've clearly drunk deep from the qualcomm fountainhead, what say you vote on your source material? cool, guy?
01/6/2005 TREE (3): scoop..Pony seems like a level headed fellow so far and Mr snow has just been repeating what he has read/heard previously sorta made me think he is a friend of the rid's. I also should refer you to previous comments I have made re qualcomm...he is not an asshole just misunderstood. Mr J I can't in good concience go around 1 starring shorts just "cuz I can" however I am sure the past will provide some stunningly shitty prose from many of them. Give me time. I also think this short should have stopped after 3rd graf. Beyond that becomes flavourless.
01/6/2005 The Rid: TREE: I don't think Snow would appreciate being lumped in with me, seeing as he's an author and I'm not. Just a guess, but...
01/6/2005 TREE: Thats kind of like the point. What a fuckin "dicknut"
01/6/2005 Mr. Joshua: That's the kind of outside the box thinking that scares these fucks, TREE. 12 others goosestepped this baby into a perfect 4 rating until you came along and upset their little self-congratulatory tea party. As for the 1 star thing, that's cool...forget I mentioned it. I know that you are a man of integrity, unlike a lot of these *authors*, who swap four and five star ratings as a matter of course. See you on the board tomorrow.
01/6/2005 The Rid: I smell THUNDERDOME!!!
01/6/2005 Mr. Joshua: Hey Rid, why don't you go kiss Snow's ass some more?
01/6/2005 The Rid: Yikes! I'm outta here!
01/6/2005 TREE: HA HA HA ...That fuckin Rid cracks me up. Always last to comment makes sure several authors in before him. No risks at all. Have a pleasant evening Mr. J and take care of Gerald
01/6/2005 qualcomm: hey, tree, let me just put aside all of our past rancor to say: don't be fooled by mr. joshua's baiting. he's trying to encourage you to act like a pain in the ass. i've known him for 32 years, so trust me on this. you can take my word as someone who, even while openly anti-you, has always been relatively straight with you. and now, as there is no morality in alliance-building, i offer you this piece of intelligence only because your acting like a pain in the ass serves neither of our interests, only joshua's.
01/6/2005 Mr. Joshua: That's bullshit, TREE. QC's whole theory is based on his beef with my preference of Harpo to all the other Marx brothers.
01/6/2005 TREE: I assumed would only be to Mr J's benifit. I do enjoy stirring things up. Do not look for me to go on a 1 star rampage QC I don't think would benifit anyone for that crap to get started. I honestly think the rid is using ogygen that could be put to better use. I would not put my faith in any alliance built long distance anyway so you have no worries re that. Thanks for being relatively straight with me I shall attempt to be a bit straighter with you. I hate to say it out loud but 75% of what I put out there is just to cause controversy...yes even when I compliment your massive brain power. I also will be stealing "fucknut" for my dailly conversations. Thanks
01/6/2005 TREE: come on Mr. J an alliance has little value if the others know about it. Also Harpo was nothing without his brothers
01/6/2005 Mr. Joshua: Maybe qc just wants in our alliance. I'm ok with having him if you are.
01/6/2005 TREE: I don't know it would be mean of us to gang up on the others with that kind of firepower. Who would go up against him? ok ok ok ask him if he has anything else in his bag of vocabulary as good as fucknut and maybe we can make a deal.
01/6/2005 TheBuyer: 'two lumps of dried orc shit' sounds like farmer jargon, cracked me up.
01/6/2005 TREE: Your from POCO for christ sake. The only farmer you know has his windows blacked out and a lot of high powered lights.
01/6/2005 Jon Matza: TREE, you finally found a role that suits you on acme --being the willing tool/gofer of an infinitely smarter sociopath who despises and openly mocks you even while he flatters you & gets you to carry out his dirty work. Surely NOW you'll start getting some respect around here...
01/6/2005 Litcube: Leave PoCo out of this.
01/6/2005 TheBuyer (5): ya, five. got better as the day went on.
01/6/2005 cuntry: Man, there's gotta be a forum for this shit. I would take a "user feedback" book to bed any day. Or at least stick it in the bathroom. Jimson?
01/7/2005 John Slocum: I never saw the evidence right in front of my face that this was Matza.