Responses to assorted things
- Sorry, I'm on digest form...it's a pain to respond to each post individually...
> So far we've had little luck in getting any usedErnest: take them to the library. Or, if you want to try for money, try selling them through amazon.com. Though amazon won't let you list everything. I've been selling quite a few of my books through them and I get a better deal than the used bookstore (and why am I doing this horrible thing??? not because I don't love books...but that's another story)
> bookshops to take the bulk of them, even for free; Dale has managed to get a
> few hundred dollars for some of his books, mostly large hardbacks on
> nonfiction subjects.
> What bothers me most about the Harry Potter books, morally speaking, is thatI'd make a case that even more, he's rewarded for his actions, even when wrong. I think the books are really fun and neat, as themselves, but as moral teachers....well, they definately make the case for situational ethics. In fact, I suspect that no matter how badly Harry and friends might break a "rule", their adults will reward them for it, simply because they are Harry and friends and so they are on the good side, right? So they couldn't possibly do anything seriously amiss. Whereas the same actions for others would get them in trouble, and keep them there.
> Harry often seems protected from the consequences of his actions.
Rowling's a good writer, smart, and knows a thing or two about the classics and myth. She's able to repackage it all creatively and with originality. But she's no Inkling.
> Has anyone here read the "Left Behind" books? It's hard for me to go a weekI'll admit, at the exhortions of a co-worker (who'd pillory me if I harangued her to read about my version of her religion), I gave the first book a whirl. After half of it I was looking for a paper-shredding cat, or plant, or a whole litter of cats or grove of plants that would eat the book. It's badly written and, IMHO, shows a pretty weak understanding of the true message of Revelations. It's also mind kandy. The books are just bad, Ernest. I'd personally sit down and re-read the Fionavar books again before reading another paragraph of the Left Behind books.
> without seeing one, if even only on a supermarket bookshelf, and of course
> if you go into a Christian bookstore, as I do now and again, you're likely
> to find a third of the story devoted to "Left Behind" books and spinoffs.
> And judging from how many "Left Behind" books have come out so far, I can
> only conclude that the Rapture, when it happens, is going to take a heck of
> a long time to happen. Dash it all, I'm sort of curious. So, just what are
> these books like? Anyone?
I have no problem calling the Narnia books or the series with Ransom (my mind just drew a blank on the series title) Christian. I'd call them Christian and then embrace them to my heart. I take comfort, too, that they have a lot to say to the non-Christian, and the non-Christian need not even be drawn to being Christian to have found reading them worthwhile. I unreservedly call LOTR not just Christian but also Catholic, and consider that a high compliment to both. But there again, one need not be such to find meaning from the book.
FINAL BIT (responding to somebody somewhere):
I can handle Theoden's treatment in LOTR. I can handle Eowyn, though her treatment gets curiouser and curioser. I can handle Elrond and Arwen, and Aragorn falling into the river. (I read somewhere that Vitto Morgenstern took a highly active role in reading LOTR and arguing with the writers on how to treat certain things. To some extent I ponder a first, faulty reading on the part of the writers and actors....) What just TOTALLY BROKE MY HEART and I can't forgive is Faramir. I don't see how that helped advance the story as a film at all. (which, Vitto not being even peripherally involved with those scenes, makes one wonder if he was helpful or harmful....perhaps more helpful, excepting where he probably wasn't involved...ack, justifications.)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Gina Vick" <gmvick1@...>
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 3:52 PM
Subject: [mythsoc] Responses to assorted things
> I'd make a case that even more, he's rewarded for his actions, even when
Yes, exactly. I don't think that Rowling even quite realizes that this is
what she is doing, but I suspect that she has fallen into the error so
common among writers working with a continuing character--they fall in love
with their heroes, and work hard to ensure that they will come out on top of
> I'll admit, at the exhortions of a co-worker (who'd pillory me if I
harangued her to read about my version of her religion)...
Ugh, tell me about it. As much as I console myself with the notion of "mere
Christianity", some persons' idea of Christianity scare the living daylights
out of me.
> The books are just bad, Ernest. I'd personally sit down and re-read the
Fionavar books again before reading another paragraph of the Left Behind
Ouch! Well, I found part of the first "Left Behind" book on Kazaa, and I
have no qualms about "stealing" a book I have no intention of buying, even
used. It's a bit like watching part of a bad movie on TV; you're curious
enough to spend a half-hour with it, but not curious enough to buy or even
> What just TOTALLY BROKE MY HEART and I can't forgive is Faramir. I don't
see how that helped advance the story as a film at all. (which, Vitto not
being even peripherally involved with those scenes, makes one wonder if he
was helpful or harmful....perhaps more helpful, excepting where he probably
wasn't involved...ack, justifications.)
The fellow on SpareOom I mentioned before, who tried gamely to defend the
butchering--ah, alteration of Faramir, argued that it would have been
well-nigh impossible to compress the lengthy chapter in which Faramir and
Frodo talk, and Faramir slowly arrives at the real nature of "Isildur's
Bane" and the hobbits' reason for being in Ithilien, into a few minutes. He
maintained that Jackson preserved the essence of the passage: Faramir is
tempted to seize the Ring, forebears, and lets Frodo go.
I don't agree. As soon as J-Faramir (Jackson's Faramir) hurls Frodo into
some dungeon in Henneth Annun and declares, "The Ring goes to Gondor," I
groaned, and when he says later, "Bring message to my father that I bring
him a mighty gift," I wanted to yell at the screen--here was _Faramir_
saying the _very words_ of Denethor's that warn Gandalf, and us, how little
he is to be trusted with the Ring! Worse, when J-Faramir relents and lets
Frodo go in Osgiliath, the scene doesn't even make sense in the context that
the movie has set up, because J-Faramir has just seen J-Frodo practically
offer the Ring to the Nazgul, so why would J-Faramir release the Ring to
such an unreliable custodian?
> because J-Faramir has just seen J-Frodo practicallyOn the Tolkien mailing list, I came to this conclusion. Faramir lets Frodo go
> offer the Ring to the Nazgul, so why would J-Faramir release the Ring to
> such an unreliable custodian?
*because* of the power that it has over Frodo, and the power that the Nazgul has
over Frodo because of the ring. He sees (rightfully) that if he takes the Ring
Gondor, it will not avail anyone else to attempt to use it. Better Frodo succeed
or fail in his quest, than for Faramir to bring the destruction of his city as a
"gift" to his father.
I felt Faramir was butchered as well, but unlike frodo or Aragorn, the end
result seems to be what the book intended: Faramir realizes that the ring's
power is ultimately destructive (as it is destroying Frodo), and he will not
bring it to his city.
Jason M. Abels
"The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_