LET’S RE-READ HOMESTUCK-PAGE2

>John: Play 52 Pick-Up.

I… oh. John. Really? Look at this mess! Were you that bored between the piano and now?

John, of course, decides now is a great time to head outside and check the mailbox! Whee! :D There’s a VERY out of date commercial on TV. Hi-C? And Ecto Cooler at that?? What Time Shenanigans are going on here????

>John: Exit.

You exit the house.

…………..

I’m not even going to dignify this flagrant dis-regard for the narrative rules with a comment.

Actually, no. I am. John, you’ve just completely defied the NAME OF THE COMIC. HOMESTUCK. You have LEFT YOUR HOUSE THROUGH A… House… Shaped… Object…

…Something I just noticed- the front door has a four square window underneath an arched sloping piece of rooftoppery. Why does your front door stick out of the house like this, John?? Why does it have its own cutsey little house shaped protrusion? And, something someone asked me when I pointed this out, WHY does it have such a tiny front step??

This isn’t even a proper patio! Why? Why is it like this??? Why is it–

>{S} ==>

The streets are empty. Wind skims the voids keeping neighbors apart, as if grazing the hollow of a cut reed, or say, a plundered mailbox. A familiar note is produced. It’s the one Desolation plays to keep its instrument in tune.

…I…

It is your thirteenth birthday, and as with all twelve preceding it, something feels missing from your life. The game presently eluding you is only the latest sleight of hand in the repertoire of an unseen riddler, one to engender a sense not of mirth, but of lack. His coarse schemes are those less of a prankster than a common pickpocket. His riddle is Absence itself. It is a mystery dispersing altogether, like the moon’s faint reflection, with even one pebble of inquiry dropped in its black well. It is the most diabolical riddle of all.

Uh…

“Absence diminishes little passions and increases great ones, as wind extinguishes candles and fans a fire.” -Walt Whitman

Yes, you are certain Walt Whitman said that. One hundred percent positive.

You have a feeling it’s going to be a long day.



I have the feeling that the foreshadowing is heavy in these pages.

Let’s realtalk for a moment. Ignoring the John-has-Wind-Powers foreshadowing, I’m doing this re-read with the perspective of ACT 7 Being a thing and Hussie revealing that certain imagery from it was a thing before Homestuck began. This whole sequence- >Exit >Mailbox > Absence Riddle > Stop- is repeated in Act 7. John Breaks the Rules of the Narrative by Exiting the House, and the Note Desolation Plays happens. The sequence then ends with silence.

I don’t think I need to touch upon the Lord English foreshadowing either. Which leads me straight into the fact that Of Course someone decides to be a prick and ruins the moment by suggesting a surprise be left in the mail box. Only someone as crass as a certain red cheeked Cherub would suggest a thought like this! …Or maybe someone was just being a troll. Who knows.

Moving right along, John checks the Car for mail… WHY did his Dad decide to take stuff from the mailbox and put it in the CAR? It’s a stupid concept but that’s exactly what John’s dad did! …Dads, am I right? Completely inscrutable in their shenanigans.

You don’t see any mail, but you do see a GREEN PACKAGE. There is also something underneath it that looks like a slip of paper.

Could these items have come in the mail? You don’t see anything else that’s usually in the mail, like bills and coupons. Maybe your DAD forgot to take this stuff inside.

I… suppose that’s possible? There was another package, as we’ll soon see on the next page, so it’s entirely possible that his dad left behind one of them to come back and get it later. But then again, these are small packages!

You try to get a gander through the KITCHEN WINDOW, but you can’t see a whole lot! It seems your DAD has been doing so much baking, the glass has steamed up.

God he is so weird.

A… h…. un////… um….

Look, I know this is a thing but I *Still* don’t get it. What’s with the obsession with baking in this family? I mean, BESIDES the obvious Betty Crocker inheritance line. Baking so much that the windows STEAM UP??? How many cakes is John’s dad even MAKING here??? Maybe it’s John’s Dad’s way of staying connected with his mom/John’s Nanna?

But you can see what’s on the table just beside the window. It looks like the mail is there! Included among it is a RED PACKAGE, some BILLS, your DAD’S PDA, and an envelope that appears to be suspiciously labeled with the SBURB LOGO. Could it be???

Unfortunately, the window is locked.

Unfortunately, John did not pay attention to the foreshadowing well enough. This is only ONE of the two Disks he requires! The Window is LOCKED, and John has no way of reaching through… Gee, if only he had some kind of ghosty windy power, hm? That really would have come in handy. But then again, sticking ones arm through a window might not be such a good idea.

This brief respite is now over, for John must now {S} Enter.

Your DAD sees right through your costume! You don’t know what you were even thinking with this foolish ruse!!!

You unequip the CLEVER DISGUISE. Your DAD wields a dreaded ARTIFACT OF CONFECTION. He stands between you and the mail.

There is only one way to settle this.

…Through a {STRIFE} match! :D

John quickly tries to abscond, but finds that he cannot. There is no retreating from this confrontation! Not yet anyways.

John takes the full BRUNT of a pie tin to the face with his disguise, and then captchalogues it.

Everything in your SYLLADEX is pushed back a card. The SMOKE PELLETS are ejected from the deck.

Yes! This could just be the distraction he…!

Nothing happens.

What a huge letdown.

…Those Smoke Pellets didn’t do a thing because they weren’t ruptured by being ejected. You have to really wanna set them off- product safety is key for a prankster, after all. You don’t want your smoke pellets going off just because they hit the floor!

“When two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield.” -Oscar Wilde

Wise words by a man who likely could resist everything but temptation.

The CAKE forces COLONEL SASSACRE’S TEXT out of your SYLLADEX.

Foreshadowing for Derse V Prospit AHOY!

Sassacre you beautiful bastard.

PFWOOOM! Smoke, as it is rendered on the next page, is suspiciously breezy looking. John’s also playing with FAKE!Fire here… later, he will play with real fire.

John then takes the PDA, the SBURB CLIENT, and the RED PACKAGE…. and then he takes a cake with an arm stuck in it for Kelptomania reasons. Surely THIS item will come in handy someday soon! But no, it just causes trouble because John merges all the cards together and makes a mess.

You pause at the juncture and head down the hall. You are going to need something to clean up the mess you are about to make by dissecting this CAKE.

To the left is the BATHROOM. To the right is your DAD’S ROOM. It is locked, and you are forbidden from ever entering. He has secrets.

Ah, John’s dad’s ROOM. As Voidy of a thing to John as long as it is untouchable.

John enters the bathroom to get a towel. He pauses to look out another window.

You enter the BATHROOM. You can see your BACK YARD from the window. The jewel in its crown is the SWING SET which has provided you with years of joy. There is also a SPRING-MOUNTED POGO-RIDE, which has been responsible for more than one painful injury, and has provided you with years of lament.

No Slide? What Back Yard is complete without a Slide? Not a very good one, I’d say! :P Also interesting is the fact that John’s yard isn’t fenced in on any side at all, the back yard might as well be part of the side yard is part of the front yard without a fence to delineate partitions! I’d say this was foreshadowing, but I’m really just riffing on John’s earlier tire swing comment to lament my own lack of one. See, not every page has to be a serious thing that is taken seriously!

Anyways, John cleans off his foolish attempt to make a double decker cake, and his sylladex shoves the mutilated pastries into the toilet. I’d say this was an accident, but really, John, I deep down suspect you shoved everything into your sylladex like that intentionally.

>John: Admire ‘Failure to Launch’ Poster

You’re not usually into chick-flicks, but Matthew McConaughey’s cool charisma could salvage any heap of smoldering wreckage.

This is your “McConaughey Wall”, a casual shrine to an amazing actor. The film above that one is a lot better, you think.

CAN YOU SEE HER? I WANT YOU TO PICTURE THAT LITTLE GIRL. [chokes up] NOW IMAGINE SHE’S WHITE.

You got us Matthew! Your smooth talking exposed our latent racism! Damn you are good!

I have not seen this movie so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of this line. Mostly, this is just quick set up for the incoming Sylladex shenanigans.

We also see a poster for “A Time To Kill” and I make no comment on this other than the fact that it caught my attention.

>{S} John: Check Pesterchum

You Proceed to Click the Pester Icons with Gleeful Abandon! BWEE! BWOO! BWEE BWOOBWEEBWOOBWEEBWOOOBWOOBWEE…

— gardenGnostic [GG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] at 16:34 —

GG: hi happy birthday john!!!!! <3
GG: helloooooo??
GG: ok i will talk to you later!!! :D

Hi Jade!

This is the CHEERFUL FRIEND! :D You know that friend, the one who’s always grinning and laughing and just generally makes you feel great just by talking with them?

— turntechGodhead [TG] began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] at 16:40 —

TG: hey GG is looking for you why are you even so popular all of a sudden
TG: is today some sort of special occasion or something
TG: did you do something to curry favor with ladies
TG: did you break your leg on a puppy or some shit
TG: dude what are you doing
— turntechGodhead [TG] is now an idle chum! —
EB: i discovered a comet that is going to destroy the earth, and it was named after me.
EB: now i am famous, and everyone wants to talk to me a lot.
TG: no stop
TG: just no
TG: dont talk about your awful stupid movies or make references to them
TG: your gross man-bro crush on matt macconahay is an unsavory thing to behold
EB: mcconaughey.
TG: sounds like a noise a horse would make
TG: ie dumb

More Horse References. Dave, do you have a thing for Horses? …Oh, wait. Dang it I just remembered the BEAUTIFUL PONY BIB.
Also METEOR FORESHADOWING. John, you’re veering dangerously close to the fourth wall here.

TG: equally dumb are all those pictures of that clown youve got hanging up
EB: those are my dad’s.
TG: i was talking about nick cage
EB: oh, what?! no man, cage is sweet. so sweet.
TG: ha ha so lame
TG: you dont even like him ironically or anything this is like for real isnt it
TG: hahaha
EB: i do things ironically sometimes.
EB: what about what i sent you for your birthday?
TG: no those are awesome
EB: what? no, they’re stupid, which was the joke. the IRONIC joke. get it?
EB: wait…
EB: you’re actually wearing them, aren’t you?
TG: im wearing them ironically
TG: because theyre awesome
TG: the fact that theyre ironic makes them awesome
TG: and vice versa
TG: are you taking notes on how to be cool?? jesus get a fucking pen
EB: you do realize they touched stiller’s weird, sort of gaunt face at some point.
TG: ew yeah

TG: oh well

We’re told that Dave’s thing is IRONY. And also that he’s wearing a birthday gift of BEN STILLER SHADES. Also,Nick Cage. That’s all there is to say on the matter. Dave tells John to open the RED PACKAGE, and then further tells john to bone up on data structures. Come on Dave, can’t you tell by now that John just doesn’t DO the whole ‘working in the structure of things’ thing? Instead of looking up DATA STRUCTURES, John’s first impulse is to go to MSPAINTADVENTURES.COM.

The new adventure is ok, but you’re not sure if you like it as much as the last one.

This is a feeling a lot of people had about Homestuck after Problem Sleuth… and then continued to have about every single Act of Homestuck that followed the last one. “Act 4 sucks compared to Act 3!” “Act 5 has TOO MANY TROLLS!” Ect. Ect.

You decide it’s time for less meta, and more beta.

You insert the CD and install the SBURB BETA.

Alright, Fine, John. FIIIIIIIINE. I’ll leave the Meta Alone. (FOR NOW)

>John: Bone up on data structures.

Ooh. The First Oil Retcon I’ve noticed in this Re-Read so far! We also find out there’s a programing language called DIS*. Or.. Disasterisk. Carrat Cake, and TILDE-ATH.

These are not things that should need to be pointed out for what they are. PUNS.

You turn to the back inside cover, where a free FETCH MODUS is included in a plastic sleeve.

This one is dictated by the logic of a QUEUE DATA STRUCTURE, operating on a “First In, First Out” method, rather than a “First In, Last Out” method of a STACK.

Queue Modus!

Items captchalogued in your SYLLADEX are no longer immediately accessible. You can only use the item on the bottom card, and must wait for items on upper cards to be pushed back to it.

For instance, the RED PACKAGE is now inaccessible. You can only use the RAZOR at the moment.

This modus doesn’t strike you as a significant upgrade to your previous one. In fact, it almost seems more inconvenient. You figure you might as well give it a chance though.

JOHN. */Facepalm*

>John: Switch back to Stack Modus.

You suddenly wonder if this is even possible. You don’t even remember if you ever had a physical card for the STACK MODUS.

*/X2COMBO!*

You find this all to be a little abstract and you’d prefer not to think about it too much.

>John: Put down razor.

Put it…

Down?

You’re not quite sure you understand.

*/X3COMBO!!!*

I knew this was coming and yet…

The Meta…. It Beckons.

The second CAKE causes the RAZOR to launch out the front of your SYLLADEX.

Oh good lord.

THAT BEAUTIFUL FACE.

You wish the RAZOR would have failed to launch.

WELP.

John then proceeds to stuff his sylladex full of junk without thinking it through first. Seriously, John. Just TAKE THE ITEMS OUT FIRST rather than FORCIBLY EJECTING THEM FROM THE SYLLADEX! >_<; Holy shit it’s a FIRST IN FIRST OUT MODUS why did he stuff his inventory full of stuff?? SRSLY JOHN!!

You examine the package. It is from one of your internet chums.

It’s bound in packing tape though. You’ll need something sharp to open it.

Ah, of course! The RAZOR! It’s all so simple, you wonder why you didn’t…

…But then again, logic was never really John’s strong suit was it?

But still, John, just take out an item, recaptchalogue it at the end of the modus. You didn’t have to put yourself through this torment.

…DOOF.

Let’s take this from the top.

> John: Captchalogue glass shards.

…John, no, this strikes me as a bad idea.

You take three GLASS SHARDS in quick succession and duck for cover.

Your SYLLADEX rains devastation on your room from above.

And now that your cards are packed with glass, you probably don’t want to do that again any time soon.

…John. JOHN. WHY did you do this. SURELY there was something else in your room that you could have used for this!? But no… glass shards.

Through Broken Glass, etc. etc.

John gets A BUNNY!

It is a STUFFED BUNNY. Much like the one held hostage briefly by Malkovich’s Cyrus “The Virus” while taunting hard-luck protagonist Cameron Poe. And strikingly similar to the one scooped up from the soot of a burning Vegas strip by Cage’s Poe and offered to his daughter, a gesture symbolic of a tattered exterior surrounding a heart of gold. Poe wasn’t much to look at. But he was a good man.

But no, it is not merely LIKE that bunny. According to this NOTE OF AUTHENTICITY, it is the VERY SAME BUNNY.

This is so awesome.

Good for you, John. GOOD FOR YOU.

— tentacleTherapist began pestering ectoBiologist [EB] at 17:08 --

TT: It looks like you managed to retrieve the beta. Excellent.
TT: I'm going to try to connect.
EB: whoa ok but i just got the most awesome present.
TT: The rabbit?
EB: SO SWEET.
TT: I've heard tales of this wretched creature often. Its Homeric legend is practically ensconced in the fold of my personal mythology by now.
EB: ha ha, what?
TT: Why don't we focus on the matter at hand?
EB: oh the game, ok.
EB: i don't really know how this works. what am i even looking at here?
TT: You are running the client application. I am running the server, so I am the host user. I have established a connection with you. This is sufficient for us to play the game.
EB: oh, ok then.
TT: Why don't we get started?

It is now 5:08 P.M., and we’re finally getting down to business. To Defeat. DERSE’S AGENTS!!!!

…Okay, that didn’t work out so well as I thought It Would.

> John: Press [ENTER]

SBURBAN JUNGLE. Still the best Install Theme Song there is.

Welcome to SBURB.

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