While casual readers of “Lord of the Rings” may be put off, “The Children of HÃºrin” does not require “Silmarillion”-grade geekery. Any midlevel Tolkien fans with an appetite for the stranger, darker corners of his realm will rapidly be caught up in the fiery saga of HÃºrin, who defies the dreaded Morgoth and is mercilessly tortured, and TÃºrin, the legendary warrior whose great deeds drag everything and everyone he loves toward total disaster. At least, they’ll get swept up in it if they can plow through the first few pages.
Initially, “The Children of HÃºrin has that ye-olde-homework feeling of Tolkien at his most laborious. Here is the third sentence of Chapter I: “His daughter GlÃ³redhel wedded Haldir son of Halmir, lord of the men of Brethil; and at the same feast his son Galdor the Tall wedded Hareth, the daughter of Halmir.” (Furthermore, none of the people in that sentence ever reappear.) I still had to refer to Christopher Tolkien’s thorough and helpful maps, indexes and appendixes every few pages to keep the geographical and genealogical nomenclature straight — and I went back to “The Silmarillion” a couple of times to figure out the historical context — but I minded that less and less as the hours grew longer and TÃºrin’s fell struggle against innermost and outermost evil grew ever more dire.
I had planned to sneer at Koutetsu Sangokushi this evening, but it’s late and I’m tired. I’ll just note that it uses many of the same motifs as Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, from the red star to the mysterious, powerful talisman, and makes them stupid. Imagine BKI as a bad video game adaptation and you’ll be close. (I think it really was deliberately modeled on BKI; there are too many parallels to be coincidental.) Koutetsu Sangokushi‘s only virtue is that it illustrates by contrast just how well-done BKI is.
These journalists – and many of their sources – show absolutely no evidence of ever having read anything Benedict has written – whether we’re talking about his books as Joseph Ratzinger or, more criminally, the homilies he preached, you know, last week.
This constant refusal to just report on what the Pope says (unless it is a phrase containing the words “Iraq,” “abortion” or “politician”) is getting more than tiresome. How many journalists reporting on Benedict in the secular English-speaking mainstream media are even making an effort to listen to and understand Benedict on his own terms?
And from the comments:
The MSM are part of the demographic mix of elites that is now 2 generations detached from religious connectivity. The idea of a spiritual or interior life is alien to them. Itâ€™s not that Benedictâ€™s theological/philosophical reasoning is different than their own. They generally never reason about a theological or philosophical framework at all. Given that, they can only write about Benedict from a pedestrian context because thatâ€™s the only context in which they live. When the MSM reports on Benedict, think the depth of the Seinfeld characters without the laughs.
I discovered that there is already a weblog named Days of grass, days of straw. Therefore, I’m going to look for another name. I’ll be skimming through Lafferty, Gene Wolfe and Cordwainer Smith when I have time during the next few days to see what sounds right and hasn’t been taken. (There already is an Alpha Ralpha Boulevard, grrr.) In the meantime, this will be a weblog without a name.
Let’s see if I can make a poll.
This is the successor to Mixolydian Mode. Expect more of the same, including the same slow tempo, for the next few months. After that, there may be some changes. Or maybe not.
I’ve got the main blogroll up. I’ll add additional links and other curiosities in coming weeks. I probably won’t be able to import the content from my old weblog, but I will see if I can at least copy all the midi files over to my new host before I cancel the old account. I spent a ridiculous amount time on them over the years, and I don’t want them to disappear without a trace.
Iin case you’re wondering, the titles of this weblog and this post are stolen from an R.A. Lafferty story. It’s included in the collection Ringing Changes, long out of print but worth tracking down.
(I suppose I ought to say “Irrashaimase,” but I speak English.) This weblog is the successor to beware the kawaii, and I’ll continue to write about anime and related subjects here. When I’m more comfortable with WordPress I’ll play around with the formatting, but for now this theme (“Barthelme”) is satisfactory.
I’ve got the Askimet and Bad Behavior 2 plugins activated. Let’s see if I get any spam comments. (Let’s see if I get any comments.) I would appreciate it if someone would try out the comment process. If there are problems, I’d rather find out sooner than later. If you can’t leave a comment, please write me at tancos at tancos dot net. Thank you.
Update: I am informed that the first theme didn’t work on smaller monitors, so I changed to a narrower one.
I see that this video is making the rounds again:
It’s being called one of the “Worst Recruitings Ads Ever”. I’m not so sure of that. To macho American eyes, the dancing sailors look ridiculous. However, these ads are for a Japanese audience, to whom military defense and entertainment apparently are a natural combination, if anime is any evidence. Sakura Wars, for instance, combines steampunk mecha with Takarazuka musicals, and in Idol Defense Force Hummingbird, the air force is a branch of the music industry. In this context, this commercial makes perfect sense.