Chapter 29


By: RAMOS, Alisa Carmela C. (074061)
Section A

According to the dictionary, a protocol is a form of ceremony observed by diplomats and heads of a state. It can also be considered as a code of correct conduct or a preliminary draft of a transaction. Based on these meanings, we can be able to deduce the fact that it pertains to some sort of agreement. Chapter 29 presents to us the deal that took place between Cayce and Hobbs Baranov. Protocol refers to the agreed deal between Cayce and Hobbs yet it can also refer to the process of easily obtaining standard information. Because Baranov is involved in spying and surveillance, he can access this kind information with no difficulty.


Upon reading Chapter 29, I was first struck by the word ‘de- recontextualized’. This word for me is unique in structure since it uses two prefixes. Normally, a single prefix is to be used in adding meaning to a root word. I had a hard time deciphering the meaning of the word since it has double implication. The prefix ‘de’ means reversal or undo while ‘re’ means again or all over. The two prefixes signify two opposite meanings. This word is then considered now as a neologism which refers to changing the meaning of a word or expression. An example of this is the phrase ‘404 moment’ which is derived from the famous error message when an internet page cannot be displayed. For those interested to know more about other neologisms click here.


His shoes are black, four- eyelet DMs, the ur- Martens of the first decade of punk, long since de- recontextualized into the inexpensive everyman's footwear they'd been designed to be.

Moreover, the word ‘de- recontextualized’ is used in reference to the DM’s worn by Ngemi, a salesman. The Dr. Martens, back then, is a famous footwear for workers. It emerged in the early 1960’s wherein the world was still developing technology such as the Internet. The first consumers of the air- cushioned sole boots are the postmen, factory workers and transport unions. Surprisingly, the ‘worker boots’ before was also liked by the punk, rebels and fringes of the society. This then became an iconic symbol for hardcore, grunge and pop icons. (Click here for more information) The neologism in this sense is a statement about how marketing works and interferes with history. The DM’s have been known as the standard boots for workers yet it also made a name for itself as a category symbol of society.



The next interesting topic is how Baranov reacted upon seeing Ngemi and Cayce. Hobbs instantaneously reacted with ‘Piss off’ upon hearing Ngemi calling out for him. He even gave her a scornful remark of ‘Cunt’. This term is often used as an offensive and disparaging English term for a woman. (Click here for more information) Cayce was puzzled with this expression since she doesn’t know whether this is used in reference to her, to Ngemi or about the situation. Having thought all these, Cayce kept silent about the term used and pursued with her goal. She waited patiently outside the caravan as Hobbs and Ngemi do a transaction.


The chapter highlights the significance of MI5. MI5 is considered as UK's main security defense. It is responsible for protecting English citizens against threats to national security. Hobbs Baranov is affiliated with the MI5 since he works as an espionage.

During that incident, Cayce noticed a wire/ cable that flows from the caravan towards the fences that surround the area. This object remained to be a mystery throughout the course of the chapter. As Cayce thinks about it more and more, her paranoia level continuously increases. If we are to think about it, Cayce has all the reasons to be scared since she is left alone outside a strange and restricted area. The setting of the chapter is situated in a rural part of England. This place is where Hobbs Baranov is staying. It is considered a strange nomad land since it belongs to the Ministry of Defense. Thus, it is a top secret ‘spy’ place.The place is even connected with the MI5 which is at the same level of the FBI in the United States. There is a huge possibility that whatever she is doing at the moment is being monitored by a spy. Also, the unpredictability of events contributes to the worsening case of her paranoia. Based on this, I can say that Cayce’s suspicious actions and extra precautions are justifiable.


At present, security and paranoia are considered an issue. The mystery of the cable in this chapter is left unsolved. It is possible that the cable she saw may be connected to a server or to a main outlet. This now leads to the question of safety and privacy. Because of the advances in technology, we are uncertain about the privacy of information that we send out. Once we use the technology such as the Internet in sending out messages to peers, we also allow the possibility that other users may be able to view and extract the information from our electronic mails. For those interested on reading more about accessing information from the internet, click here.Also, technology allows innovation and creation of new ideas. The picture below is a manifestation of the long extent of possibilities technology has for humankind.


In addition, the chapter also mentions about a calculator- watch which Ngemi uses. It is not given much attention yet I think it is worth knowing. At present, many are not knowledgeable that calculator- watch exists. But if we try to research about it, we will find that it actually existed since 1970s. Casio produces the most number of calculator- watches, thus, making them the leading market supplier. This product combines practicality and usefulness in a single material. This is also a proof that given our contemporary society, old technology is often dilapidated and is being replaced by newer ones. Human beings are insatiable when it comes to the materials they use. They keep on asking for more and for better object performance.



Sunlight, through a few small holes in the metal skin, shafts dramtically in, giving the space the look of a Ridley Scott set scaled for dolls.

Furthermore, the setting of Hobb's place is defined as something that may look like a 'Ridley Scott' set. Ridley Scott is a known director who is credited for movies such as Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator. More than being a director, he is recognized for his stylish visuals and detailed set. To have a glimpse of Ridley Scott's works, click here. Although this is not given much attention, it still presents to us the notion of visual aesthetics. It is described in way that the audience is able to imagine and vividly picture the setting. From this, we can see how aesthetics is higly valued.


Also, it is interesting to note how Baranov scared Cayce by showing her his gun and even pointing it at her. From this, I assertively proclaim that Hobbs Baranov is a bully. He used the gun as a kind of threat to intimidate Cayce yet she showed no signs of fear upon seeing it. She matches the toughness of Hobbs by her willingness to buy the Curta from Greenaway. The wittiness of Cayce is evident in how she was able to manipulate and convince Baranov by using the Blue Ant Visa card.

Ill give Ngemi the calculator. But if you don't give me the address…. It goes into the canal, at Camden Lock.

She also indicated that if Baranov doesn’t give her the address, she’ll still buy the calculator but will throw it. Because of this, she was able to compete with Baranov’s toughness. Eventually, Cayce finds out that the gun doesn’t work. Towards the end of the chapter, she also finds out from Ngemi the impossibility of Hobbs having a real gun. The gun which is used as an object of fear is considered as a symbolic threat in this chapter. As she discovers that the threat isn’t real, she begins to feel infuriated.

Benj Carabuena

Decades have gone by and there have been different fashion trends that became a hit for the youth. I just remember the time when Doc Martens became the fad of my generation before, that we would pair it up with relax fit jeans, plain round-neck shirt, and chain that is connected to the wallet and belt holder one’s jeans. This get-up is more of a rocker/punk get up. But in this chapter, Ngemi was wearing it because DMs is known for its durability and this signifies that Ngemi is really a person who is always on the go, who keeps on walking and walking. Based on Wikipedia definition of Dr. Martens, “Dr. Martens is a footwear, clothing and accessories brand, and the footwear products are most often known as Doc Martens, Docs or DMs. The footwear is distinct because of its air-cushioned sole (dubbed Bouncing Soles), developed by Dr. Klaus Martens of Germany. The boots and shoes have been especially popular among skinheads, punks, grungers and members of a few other youth subcultures (Wikipedia)”. File:Dr_Martens,_black,_old.jpg]]

Hobbs-Baranov only lives in a trailer. In this trailer, he already has his bed, kitchen, dinning area, and the usual things that can be seen in a house. From the text, it looked like that Baranov has lived there for a long time. In this trailer, this is where Ngemi gave Baranov his share of his money from they’re previous transactions. Also, inside the trailer, it feels safe and secured that no one will see you. While Ngemi and Barnov are inside the trailer, Cayce went around the trailer and found a wire that was connected to Baranov’s trailer. ustrip132.jpg

In this chapter, I find it full of suspense because Hobbs-Baranov pointed a gun at Cayce and threatened her. Cayce have never looked at a barrel before and it was Baranov who did it first to her. He did this because he wanted to squeeze Cayce of whoever sent her there. But Cayce have negotiated with Baranov that she can get what he wants, the curtas, in replacement of the information the Cayce wants that Baranov can get, and they both agreed to it. In the end, the gun that was pointed to Cayce does not work, and Ngemi told Cayce that people in England don’t have guns. That gun came from a boot sale which he bought from a boy, and this gun is usually used to be as starter guns. revolver.jpg

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