February 4th, 2002


...Where the Shadows Lie.

Recently one of my friends, a computer wizard, paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently installed Windows XP on my PC. I told him how happy I was with this operating system and showed him the Windows XP CD. To my surprise he threw it into my microwave oven and turned it on. Instantly I got very upset, because the CD had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is unharmed.'

After a few minutes he took the CD out, gave it to me and said: 'Take a close look at it.' To my surprise the CD was quite cold to hold and it seemed to be heavier than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription, an inscription finer than anything I had ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:


'I cannot understand the fiery letters,' I said in a timid voice.

'No, but I can,' he said. 'The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:

One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

It is only two lines from a verse long known in System-lore:

"Three OS's from corporate-kings in their towers of glass,
Seven from valley-lords where orchards used to grow,
Nine from dotcoms doomed to die,
One from the Dark Lord Gates on his dark throne
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie.
One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie."'

Ya couldn't have just said all this on Thursday guys?

"This has nothing to do with what we think of you as performers."
"This is NOT meant to be a cut on you in any way."
"We're building a whole new troupe, and we feel that in order to be faithful to our vision, we have to start from scratch and build from there."
"What you do in the audition will in no way outweigh what we know you are capable of."
"The audition will be more for chemistry of the cast than anything else, so if something unspeakable were to happen it would have no reflection on your talent, only on what we want going forward."
"We know this isn't easy for you."
"WE wouldn't appreciate being in this position, and we thank you for putting up with us."
"You don't HAVE to be excited, because we know it's going to be hard for the next two weeks, but don't freak out."
"We're not asking you to respect us any more or any less for what we're doing."
"You are all talented performers and GREAT people, but we have to separate that out to do what we feel we need to do."

Ten points. No big deal. Four days ago they would have saved ten people ALOT of worry, though.

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