Things Better Left Unvisited:
Exactly What It Sounds Like, Mates
Guess what! TBLU is not dead! It liiiiiiiiiives!
And thunder rolled, and lightening struck, and things... got rather clichéd very quickly, so I'll stop that nonsense.
And get right into the serious nonsensing. Which means I have to pick on the so-called morality of woodlanders and other goodbeasts yet again.
Salamandastron. Quite literally my favorite tale of all the older ones, and the very reason I set my other fanfiction, Tales of Iffrit, about sixty seasons directly following it. Among all the books I have read, it ranks second or third, under Taggerung and probably Legend of Luke as well. There is a very special reason that I prefer this to, say, Mossflower or Bellmaker. It's very simple, and a theme that runs so very deeply in this and pretty much all my other Redwallverse-related thingies.
Racism. How many of you knew that was coming (answer: All of you)?
Sure, there's racist beasts. But that's not what I'm getting at. I am paying particularly close attention to who isn't racist. At least at first. And, contrary to what the woodlanders and Salamandastron natives feel about themselves, there's more than one way to wrongly judge...
Did anyone find it... disturbing, or strange, how much emphasis the judgement of Mara badgermaiden and Pikkle Ffolger upon Klitch and Goffa had to do with appearance? I am not talking about specie; Pikkle and Mara were both surprisingly tolerant of the "vermin" who presented themselves civily.
I'm talking about how much their trusting the ferret and weasel, and the degree to which they favored each, had to do with their freaking clothes.
*They Totally Judged Those Guys Based On Their Clothes*
"Hello there!" the bright blue-eyed weasel in the snappy and stylish yellow tunic said as he came over the sand dune and saw the two protagonists. Looking up, the badgermaid Mara and the young hare Pikkle Ffolger saw him sliding down together with a ferret in less impressive and more piecemeal garb.
"I say, good to bally meetcha, ol' chap!" Pikkle greeted the weasel with incredible enthusiasm. The ferret, Goffa, kept his mouth shut and shuffled, not being a freaking conniving liar and only a paid pawbeast.
"Hi," Mara stared dreamily into Klitch's eyes, fantasizing about having sweet sweet miscegenation with the supposed inferior species. Then she looked over at the ferret.
"Ew! That ferret is obviously shifty-looking," the narrator the Great Jakes said unashamedly, "See? Look! His clothes don't fit perfectly and aren't in season! Logically, those dressed poorly must be less trustworthy!"
"Wow..." Mara squinted oddly up at the voice in the sky, creeped out by the freaking messed-up logic it would take to actually believe that. Goffa suppressed a sob as he flipped through the latest issue of Mossflower Fashion.
"Baaaaaah..." he moped, "All I ever wanted was to have a belt and shirt that match..."
"Too bad! You're just some minor vermin character that gets killed instead of the Big Bad, so your feelings don't matter!" Klitch grinned cheerfully. Mara and Pikkle, obliviously still paying attention to the clothing thing, completely ignored the ominous, douchebaggery-announcing statement and skipped merrily on with their two new "friends".
Mara and Pikkle didn't judge the two based on their species until after it was revealed that they were working for an army led by an utter bastard (which is normal). What's weird is that they seem to like Klitch more and largely ignore Goffa simply because one is dressed better than the other. Apparently in the Redwallverse, having hand-me-downs is a sign of a scuzzball.
Geez, what keeps them from utterly despising some of the other woodlanders? Arguably, the goodbeasts tend to have much poorer quality clothing than the vermin leaders.
What in Hellgates is that all about then? I thought one of the core messages of Redwall is that the industrious poor know better than the snooty richbeasts.
THEN Mara's adoptive daddy gets all racist... which brings us full circle on this fubar carousel of unwarranted judgement.
And damn it all if Urthstripe wasn't right all along! Every freaking time!
Here, have a cookie. Time to go fume in the corner about race relations in fantasy novels and how they effect today's youth...
More may follow. If you like, you may leave an as-of-yet unanswered bit of unusual Redwall yore as a suggestion, but it is more than likely I'll cover the grand majority of oddness and unmentioned unmentionableness.