Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"A sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises!"

Yeah. That last post was awkward.

How 'bout those Mets? Even better, how about some amazin' Joseph Campbell instead? You can struggle to ford a river you were never meant to cross, or you can simply walk alongside it until you reach the spring. My boots may be soaked, my scars bared, but I finally know which way I'm headed. Tempus omnia sanat -- I'm back in the quarry and will speak of it no more.

Look -- a real, live article about Ron Paul! It puts forth all the various permutations of each possibility and the respective sub-likelihoods of the good doctor winning the nomination. Is the process yet another Rube Goldberg contraption or is it decided by who receives the most votes? Call it hyperbole, but the 2012 election comes down to the Constitution of The United States of America vs.insolvency, fiat currency, more government, less rights, continued meddling and endless war.

There are McCharges that Paul's foreign policy amounts to isolationism. Bearing in mind our military and intelligence capabilities, however, I believe it is utterly impossible for this nation to be isolationist. At any given moment, from any location on the planet, the President of The United States of America can launch a cruise missile at anything, anywhere. Compromising our global reach has never been on the table. The only difference would be a foreign policy that shapes global presence, not the other way around.

Besides, focusing on your founding principles isn't sticking your head in the sand, it's acknowledging that we shouldn't even be in someone else's desert to begin with. Can you imagine the Chinese doing the same in the Gulfs of Mexico or St. Lawrence? Furthermore, if your house were to catch fire, would you keep watering your neighbor's lawn? Unemployment, immigration, civil rights, healthcare, crumbling infrastructure -- and we're more concerned with giving money to the people killing our service members? Ah, the lamentations of empire...

From the Irony Department: Prince called Sinead's seven hours and fifteen days all the way back in 1985. I'd like to hear his prognostications on The Bear.

Speaking of bruins, I did not spot Beorn in the recently released trailer for "An Unexpected Journey". I'm guessing he'll show up in "There and Back Again":


At least ten million of those views are probably mine, and Bombur easily has the second-greatest mustache of all time. I'm so thankful for the little sneak peek back into Middle Earth! I haven't touched on Tolkien much lately, but this certainly stokes the fires. His works contain the same tales of fidelity, senseless hatred, humility, perserverance, despair, laugh-'til-your-belly-hurts mirth and blessed deliverance as any holy book. No, I do not bend a knee to its tales or characters, I'm merely stating the professor borrowed from myriad religious influences. Aren't they all, Tolkien's included, messages of hope? I defy anyone with even a single tear duct to be unmoved by Samwise's speech. All of us have uttered Frodo's words at one point or another, and yet here we are.

One aspect of his work which fascinates me is the relationship between Gondor and Rohan. I've asked this before, but I find the answer changes: Which one would you choose? Minas Tirith was the shining city, its people strong and proud. The children played in Pelennor Fields, tossing pebbles that would've been precious stones elswhere. Rohan? A defeated Saruman summed it up best when he verbally skewered King Théoden (and then rightly skewered himself at the foot of Orthanc):
"A man of Rohan? What is the house of Rohan but a thatched barn where brigands drink in the reek and their brats roll on the floor with the dogs? The victory at Helm's Deep does not belong to you, Théoden, horsemaster! You are a lesser son of greater sires."
Gondor's glory came from the sea, Rohan's inconsequence from a sea of grass. Whereas Aragorn's people could trace their lineage back to the storied Numenoreans, Eorlingas were regarded as "half men". Sandwiched between savagery and snobbery, reviled on one side and not good enough for the other, their existence was a no-man's land between the nobility of Gondor and the wild Dunlendings.

In the end, no amount of finery or forebears could keep the Great Gate from being destroyed. In that eleventieth of eleventh hours, all appeared lost. The race of Men would falter, just as Elrond scoffed to Gandalf upon the Fellowship's arrival in Rivendell. But in stepped the men who weren't good enough, from whom nothing much was ever expected or sufficient. When the Westfold fell, did Gondor not ignore Rohan's call? And yet, it was these very same unwanted people who answered Gondor's plea. It was the barely tolerated who galloped headlong into the breach, and the fairest among them who felled the Witch-king. If that's not a message of faith, hope and courage, I don't know what is.

We're all on our own journey, and each and every one of us carries our own ring. Some of us don't know why and some never will. Sometimes we can't see the end, we want to turn back, we're physically and emotionally exhausted and we probably shouldn't @#$% kill anyone along the way, lest they not fulfill their journey. All we can do is make the most of our remaining time, hold our heads high and carry on. There is bonafide evil, to be sure, but it's not the only game afoot.

Our timelines aren't peppered with random coincidences, they're interwoven with a complex design we're not privy to. Since I'm on the Designer's side, I am resolute in believing tomorrow's joy dwarfs yesterday's sadness by orders of magnitude.

Or would it be, 'dwarves'?

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