I've just come across AsciiDoc, and this is SO CLOSE to what I want: Ascii-based markup, still intelligible, and rendered into pretty CSS-compliant whatnot.
For a while now I've been toying with the idea of leaving WordPress behind and just writing all my stuff in Emacs, the way RMS intended, and converting it all to pretty HTML through <handwave>some sort of script or Makefile</handwave>. But this...this is perfect. See this? If it were a black monolith orbiting Jupiter, I would say "My God, it's full of stars!" It's clean, it's spare, it looks good, and it does not require verdammnt patching to stop it from throwing in br tags every time it sees a newline. And you know what it requires? Python! That's it!
I know what you're saying: this is like wiki markup without the wiki. EXACTLY! It's easy to write, easy to read, it looks good and it's just static: no PHP remote inclusion waiting to happen, no heavy load, just simple plain text and html. Oh yes.