Category Archives: Pastiche


The most beautiful land I've ever stormed
Crimea, Crimea, Crimea, Crimea….

All the beaches and dachas and woods where my army swarmed
Crimea, Crimea, Crimea, Crimea….

I've just annexed all of Crimea,
And suddenly Ukraine
Will never be the same
To me.

I've just held a vote in Crimea,
And suddenly I've shown
How vain a threat or drone
Can be!

Take by force, and we're there in person.
By decree, and we're edging toward Kherson….

I'll keep occupying Crimea!

The most beautiful land I've ever stormed:

Taffer Style

This is a relatively self-indulgent post, but hey– blog!

I was once, and remain, a rabid fan of the gaming franchise that began with Thief: The Dark Project, continued with Thief II: The Metal Age and Thief: Deadly Shadows, and will soon resume with 2014's Thief. These are the high water mark in first-person, hybrid, potentially non-violent, stealth-based, story-rich games.

A recent discussion of satire, parody, and pastiche in the comment section of another thread here reminded me that I wrote a handful of Thief-themed pastiches back in the early aughties. To share them with others who might like them, to store them in our database, and to revisit them with wistful nostalgia, I reproduce them below. Each is set to the theme of a pop song. Note well: these are only meaningful if you've played the games, and they're best read with the corresponding tunes playing in the background. 🙂 The songs are Barbie Girl, All Star, Mickey, We Didn't Start The Fire, Uptown Girl, Cheers, and U Can't Touch This.

In one sense, the message of this post in a nutshell is "Ain't I a clever chap!" But if you, too, love the Thief games, then in joining the nostalgia perhaps you'll revisit some fond memories of your own.

Continue reading Taffer Style

What can change the nature of a song?

Ilya Somin gets to the heart of the matter:

The sole evidence the prison officials have submitted on this point [the connection between D&D and gangs] is the affidavit of Captain Muraski, the gang specialist.  Muraski testified that Waupun’s prohibition on role-playing and fantasy games was intended to serve two purposes. The first aim Muraski cited was the maintenance of prison security. He explained that the policy was intended to promote prison security because cooperative games can mimic the organization of gangs and lead to the actual development thereof. Muraski elaborated that during D&D games, one player is denoted the “Dungeon Master.” The Dungeon Master is tasked with giving directions to other players, which Muraski testified mimics the organization of a gang.

Ahem.  Apologies to Sondheim….

Dear NPC Muraski
You gotta understand,
It's just our daily maskey,
No need to bust a gland.
Our DM tokes a stogie,
His house rules are in vogue.
Drizzt Do'Urden! Natcherly we're rogues!

Gee, Captain Muraski, we're very upset;
We haven't tried the 4th edition starter kit yet!
We ain't no gang members,
We're headed true north,
Gather the party, venture forth!

Venture forth!

Venture forth! Venture forth!
Ere we venture forth!
We must gather all, then venture forth!

Dear kindly Judge, your Honor,
The warden ain't a fan.
Despite his high speed broadband,
He won't hook up our lan.
We just use pen and paper,
So whatcha gonna ban?
Creepin' kobolds!  That's a bogus plan!

Captain Muraski, you're nerfed in the brain;
This boy don't lead a gang, he runs a fictive campaign!
His imagination, it oughta be curbed.
He's dramaturgically disturbed!

We're disturbed, we're disturbed,
Roll to save or curb!
But there's still no need to be perturbed!

My cellmate is barbaric,
My friend's a mage arcane.
We'd better bring a cleric,
The new guy is insane.
That lifer is a ranger,
For thieves you won't look hard,
And on death row I hear there's a bard!

Capped Captain Muraski,
You've gotta admit,
You didn't roll your twenty for a critical hit.
You're some expert witness, no wonder you're pimped.
Too bad your theory's fully gimped!

Fully gimped, fully gimped,
They can't say you skimped,
But your testimony's badly gimped!

Gee, Captain Muraski,
No need to be lame,
It's not a mimicked gang,
It's just a role-playing game.
Hey, Captain Muraski,
Would you like a clue?
Gee, Captain Muraski,
Pike you!