If you can't make your abbreviation pronouncible, make it SHORT. (Four letters or fewer. Really. I'll hurt you.)
Eleven years ago today, "V for Vendetta" opened, and my friend Tom Parker died. I am going to take Tommy the Memorial Bear with me to class today. There may be pictures.
And from the extreme geekery file, we have the following: I have seen a number of discussions in the last few years about a supposed plot hole in "The Lord of the Rings", namely, the matter of why Gandalf didn't just contact Eagle Air and drop the ring into Mount Doom on the fly without all of the other foolishness. The thing is, there is no plot hole (or it least, that isn't one); the simple fact is that as long as Sauron was alive, he had air superiority over Mordor. No air superiority, no eagles. No eagles, no air drop option. Duh.
Well, that's sad. Someone who has been on my friends list for a few years, a friend of a friend of a friend with whom I have a few things in common, seems to have blocked me. She's a cosplayer; I stumbled across one of her photos, and sent her a fairly innoccuous cosplay related haiku. About an hour later she responded to it with a heart; about an hour after that, she disappeared off my my friends list, and off of the friends lists of all of our mutual friends. I assume this means she blocked me.
I will NOT start being afraid of repercussions from being friendly and playful. I will NOT. But it hurts.
(April 2 update: My friend has resurfaced, all is well.)
40-odd years ago, when I was incarcerated at Wheaton College, I took a course called, "Modern Mythology". One of the many books we discussed was "Perelandra" by C.S. Lewis. We spent a fair amount of time on it, because Lewis was one of focal writers of the course, and "Perelandra" was one of his favorites among his own works. We did NOT give any significant attention to what I perceived as the two most important ideas in the book, probably because they were too disturbing for a room full of Wheaties to focus on. But they stayed with me, and have shaped my thought to this day. Lewis' arguments are compelling, perhaps beyond what he intended them to be.
The first of these ideas is that intellectually superior fraud will ALWAYS triumph over the truth in the long run.
The second is that, faced with intellectually superior evil, good must occasionally resort to violence.
In the ensuing decades, I put a lot of thought into these, and can not refute them. My heart very much wants to do do, but my head won't let it.
Tee shirt concept, free to anyone who wants to bring it to reality. Things similar to this have been done, but they never quite got there.
Anything. (left justified)
(image of the Millenium Falcon, centered left and right, facing right)
Anytime. (center justified)
(image of Serenity, centered left and right, facing left)
Anywhere. (right justified)
The fact that this was written 1800 years ago ALMOST gives me hope that humanity will survive to 2100. Almost.
The strongest witness is the vast population of the earth, to which we are a burden, and she scarcely can provide for our needs. As our demands grow greater, our complaints against nature's inadequacy are heard by all. The scourges of pestilence, famine, wars, and earthquakes have come to be regarded as a blessing to overcrowded nations, since they serve to prune away the luxuriant growth of the human race. --Tetullian (Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus (c. 160 – c. 225 AD))
So... Officially Not Going To Attend GaryCon this year. This hurts, but given my level of fatigue and the backlog of studying I need to do, it is the right choice. I REALLY hate making adult decisions...
Today is Joseph Campbell's birthday, and the Dredge offered me a couple of variations on my rant about Campbell, vocation, and employment as slavery. I have decided to refrain from reposting either, for the nonce. The man still makes my teeth ache...
On Campbell, from 2014:
"I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave."
-- Joseph Campbell, American author, editor, philosopher and teacher, (1904-1987)
Joseph Campbell is a widely read and well respected scholar whom I despise utterly, and the quotation above goes a long way to illustrate why. It's a TRUE statement, of course, but it is phrased in such a privileged, condescending way that it makes my teeth hurt. Which is to say, the statement implies that Campbell really thinks that most of us have a choice, and we don't.
OF COURSE we all want work that we enjoy that provides a reasonable amount of material comfort, but the simple fact is that if some divine hand were to re-shuffle humanity so that we were all matched up with the most enjoyable, most lucrative job we could have and still keep the engine of the world turning over... The vast majority of us would still have jobs we didn't enjoy, and a fair number of us would still have jobs that didn't provide adequate food, clothing, and shelter.
If you happen to be a member of the tiny minority who enjoy your work and can also pay your bills, you have won the game. Please shut up about it. The rest of us don't WANT to hate you, but we do find it REALLY easy.
On Campbell, from 2013:
I have always been inclined to dislike Joseph Campbell; I have tried to read "Hero with a Thousand Faces" several times, and have always been stopped in short order by a pompousity overload. ("This book makes me want to punch the author, and if I don't stop reading, I am likely to re-focus that desire on someone within arm's reach.") Today I came across the following Campbell quote, and it multiplies my feelings: ""I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave." This cavalier dismissal of a state in which 99% of the human race finds itself shows a profound ignorance of the human condition, and pretty much everything else. How does ANYONE take this fool seriously?
There is something wonderful and strange about diving into bed after a trip to the bathroom while running a high fever. You go from severely chilled to moderately chilled so quickly that you perceive it as pleasure, even though the end result (moderately chilled) is still unpleasant. There is a lesson in there somewhere.
Just found out that my friend Steve L. had a nearly fatal (as in, full code) heart attack on February 9, spent five days in a medical coma, followed by six weeks in various levels of rehab, and is now home again. He has been advised not to make long term plans. The wheel rolls on.
The waitress had a string of Greek letters, a word, tattooed on her right forearm. I asked her to pause so I could read it, and said, "Meraki?"
"You read Greek?" she asked.
"I studied it once upon a time, long ago. I still remember some of the letters. What does it mean?"
"It's not really translatable; it about doing everything you do with passion and dedication."
I smiled. "EVERYTHING is translatable," I said. "It just may not be subject to a SIMPLE translation."
It's a good word, modern Greek by way of Turkish. The simple definition, per Google, is, "Artistry." Connotatively... Artistry, craftmanship, passion, becoming the moment, soul, blood.
Yeah, it's a GOOD word.
Changed my watch battery yesterday. The watch is eight or nine years old, and this is at least the second new battery. This particular watch has worn out three bands, and I hooked it up with a twenty-plus year old band that has worn out three watches; it's kind of a competition. Anyway... While I was changing the battery, I decided to clean out the operating buttons, which had gotten sluggish. I learned two things: First, that playing with spring clips that are the thickness of a piece of paper and less than 1/8 inch in diameter is INTERESTING. Second, that the interior of a watch button can house about twice its interior volume in lint, given enough time to accumulate it.
Life in my household:
We were watching recorded television ("The Flash"), and a dead character showed up in a sort-of dream sequence to serve as The Voice Of The Other. Dementia looked at him, and said, "It's Eddie!" This was, after all, the character's name.
Eddie started to talk, and Dementia assumed a squeaky voice and said, "Tell us about it, Eddie." I did a double take, and then started laughing so hard I could barely breathe, which set Dementia to laughing as well...
After I could breathe again, I said, "Well, THAT was a high fly over the left field fence." Dementia just giggled and reset the recording for the scenes we had missed.
A PERFECTLY executed "Rocky Horror Picture Show" reference out of NOWHERE. I love my wife...