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MZA Swampthing Naming Issue

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In a place far, far from here, there had for many centuries lived a wise sage and master of lesser virtues. Generations of faithful, if slightly puzzled disciples, collected the wisdom that oozed from him. It was believed that these lumps of well-masked insight may bring enlightenment to the unwary student. (Significant scholarly effort has gone into cultivating the required unwariness, but that process is documented elsewhere.)

Though much of Swampthing's wisdom has been lost, fragments of text survived that are estimated to be at least 84 centuries old. The true origins of the Books of Boing, as the collection is known, have vanished in the mists of time. It is generally accepted among scholars that various sages, scribes and political groupings of ancient times have, through innumerable transcriptions and translations, introduced subtle changes dictated by the needs of time and place. Still, the primal wisdom of the great sage lives on in the Books of Boing, enriched maybe by the peripheral insight of those whose editorial touch lingers yet.

Scholars are divided on the Naming Issue as the small, but bitter controversy surrounding the naming of the Swampthing texts is known. Two schools of thought, often referred to as literalists and Wongists (the latter named after the notorious scholar Yoo Aah Wong) dominate the ongoing debate. The former maintains that the name has been correctly preserved throughout history and that it has profound significance to the serious student. The Wongists, on the other hand, are of the opinion that it is an obvious copying error and that the title should read Books of Being. There are any number of splinter groups holding various less extreme positions.

One of these splinter groups are the boeingists, who formed their doctrine around a viewpoint recently suggested by the Turkish scholar Idi Yot. He insists that the intended title of the collection of wisdom was in fact Hooks of [the] Boeing, and that it was a philosophical treatise on the art of using the ancient fishing, hunting or smoking implement known as the boeing.

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