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12 May 2005

Suppress All Labyrinths!

A very odd thing, and I think it's worth some pizza from Z'grdyq's House-o-Sausages and Pizza at the corner of 12th and E. Swèéêë in Ciudad Vleeptron.

From a very interesting History of Medieval Cathedral Labyrinths on the Boston College site:

Around the year 1200, as the Cathedral of Chartres was being built, a large labyrinth about forty feet across was set with dark blue and white stones into the floor of the nave of the church. Similar labyrinths were placed in other French Gothic cathedrals, such as Amiens, Saint-Quentin, Rheims, Sens, Arras and Auxerre. Around the 18th century, all of these labyrinths, except the ones at Chartres and Saint-Quentin, were suppressed. The labyrinth at Amiens was later restored in 1894.

These cathedral labyrinths were laid out according to the same basic pattern: 11 concentric circles that contain a single meandering path which slowly leads one to the center rosette. The path makes 28 loops, seven on the left side toward the center, then seven on the right side toward the center, followed by seven on the left side toward the outside, and finally seven on the right side toward the outside, terminating in a short straight path to the rosette.

You win the pizza right away if you actually know The Truth about why these Labyrinths were suppressed in the 18th Century.

I don't think it's a French Revolution thing, I am guessing the suppression pre-dates the Revolution. Otherwise the writer would have just blamed it on The Revolution.

(By the way, I have added a special protective circuit on my Heathkit TM-212 Time Machine to prevent me from ever accidentally landing in Paris during The Terror. If you have a Time Machine, and you are reasonably sane, you should do the same. I like to visit potentially deadly volcanos, but no way am I going anywhere near Paris during The Terror. I'll send you the Terror Avoidance Circuit diagram if you want it.)

So my ignorant guess is that the suppression of Cathedral Labyrinths was a pre-Revolutionary thing.

You can take a break from the Vleeptron PizzaQ Honor Code on this one. (But if you surf and find a pre-ready Answer -- PLEASE let me know WHERE!)

So. Pretend you are a Government Functionary of the Bourbon Absolute Despotic Monarchy.

(All Louis' troubles started when he pissed away all his money on Fancy Living and cheerleaders and extra virgins and had to ask the almost non-existent parliament, the Estates-General, for more money. They imposed tough conditions on the money. One condition was that Louis and his wife had to have their heads removed from their bodies.)

Pretend you are The Deputy Royal Minister of This or That.

WRITE A CONFIDENTIAL MEMO explaining why Medieval Cathedral Labyrinths must be immediately suppressed and eradicated.

Make it convincing. Be really serious about the need to suppress Cathedral Labyrinths, how it is absolutely immediately necessary for the welfare of France, or Louis, or Marie Antoinette, or all of the above.

But if you think this was a Revolutionary Thing, then pretend you're a Citizen Official of the Revolution, one of those Blood-Dripping Homicidal Maniacal Bureaucrats behind Fen
être 9, and write your CONFIDENTIAL REVOLUTIONARY MEMO to Citizen Robespierre or Citizen Danton or Citizen Marat or one of those cats.

Style counts. It has to look Authentic. Many educated people try to make a nice living by forging historical documents and selling them to idiots and well-endowed libraries and museums. So also pretend you are a Historical Document Forger, and you wish to use your Document to separate a prestigious museum or private library from a lot of Euros or Pounds or Swiss Francs or Dollars. It has to look or smell or be convincing, at least convincing enough to swindle idiots. (This turns out to be not nearly as hard as you might think.)

Feel free to write it in 18th-Century French, you can maybe get Extra Pizza Points for that. That sure would impress the poo out of us rubes here on Vleeptron.

But English -- well, feel free to pretend your Document is a translation of The Original Memo of Labyrinth Suppression. You translated it quickly and crudely, though accurately, to give the Director of the Stickney Library a little taste of what you got to sell.

Maybe this doesn't grab you. But maybe you know some Troubled Person who would just go apeshit with glee over this challenge. Please pass this PizzaQ onto your Troubled Friend or In-Law.

Vleeptron will post The Best Responses. Or probably All Responses. So send them to so we can keep them from getting perdu in the labyrinthine Comment Sewers of Vleeptron.



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