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Three bloggers

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:40 pm
by Lúthien
I came across a blog sometime ago titled Notion Club Papers, referring of course to that most enigmatic of Tolkien’s unfinished works.

It is the personal blog site of Professor Bruce G. Charlton of the University of Buckingham, and I am both extremely interested in this guy because I find myself agreeing with practically everything that he writes about Tolkien and the Inklings and extremely ambivalent because I am mystified by some of the other stuff he writes (he has quite a series of blogs, all listed on his profile, linked at the bottom of every blogspot page). For one thing, he thinks that political correctness is the root of all evil, while I find it merely silly and a possibly unavoidable by-effect of moral politics.

It’s just that I have some trouble aligning these two things, but I couldn’t even tell you why.
Of course Tolkien himself was also rather conservative but that seems to be a conservatism of altogether another order than today’s variety.

Still I’m inclined to send the man a mail. He is in any case a very interesting character, I would like to know what he thinks like.

I found the other two blogs linked on the first one. I’ll describe them later, I need some sleep.

The urls are: ... -opuscula/ ... ey-matter/

Re: Three bloggers

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:32 am
by Meneldur Olvarion
I found the second one ( about a month ago independently whilst taking a break from researching the status of the port of openVMS to x86 (my version of the holy grail ;) ). The other one I hadn't seen.

What do you think of them, as I haven't had time to do more than peek?

Re: Three bloggers

Posted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:20 pm
by Meneldur Olvarion

I started to read some of the articles on the ljagilamplighter blog, and one of the ones that caught my eye was this one, "Superversive Literary Blog — Deeper Magic From Before The Dawn Of Time", for much the same reasons as you've mentioned: I both agree and disagree with the points made.

So, we be goin' along fine, den' all ov a sudden... WTF!!!
[...] Let me use an example: In the movie, Polar Express, the young man doubts the existence of Santa Claus. He wants to believe, but he doesn’t want to be fooled, bamboozled. There are two ways a Christian can take this.

1) This movie encourages belief in an idol, Santa Claus. It does not talk about God or Jesus, and thus takes away from the true meaning of Christmas. It is blasphemous.
Beep, beep, beep...blasphemous my ass! This is one of Elanor's favorite movies and I like it myself, so I will explain in greater detail.

To backtrack a bit, we have a 3D cloth doll of Saint Nicholas of Myra which seems to have been based upon this picture:


It isn't as clear, of course, as it is made of cloth and has a porous surface, but if you have seen that picture before (as I had before we found it years later in a curio shop in Etowah, Tennessee) the original inspiration is obvious.

Well, Elanor has always held a firm belief in Saint Nicolas to this day, both the saint and the present deliverer. Dineen and I, on the other hand, have always thought of this particular doll as a representation of Tulkas, for whatever reason. I myself have even had a few Salvia-assisted conversations with him around Yultide which were quite funny -- Tulkas really does laugh a lot as described in the Valaquenta.

Anyway, the idea that the film mentioned presents the whole Christmas aspect in a blasphemous manner is, I believe, an error of logic. Let's say we have two objects of topological genus 1: a coffee cup and a refractor telescope. They are obviously both the same genus despite the fact that the telescope is more complex and has added structures to enhance its function & etc (even if the coffee cup has some gold ribbons tied on the handle fo' bling, yo! ; ). So, too, the internal magic of storytelling is the same whether using implicit or explicit Christian beliefs. Or, anyway, that is how I see it.

Re: Three bloggers

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:37 pm
by Lúthien
Well spoken, as always :)

People ... wah. They surely amaze me ... sometimes it's in a positive sense, but oftentimes there's these WTF! moments where suddenly some weird-angled bigotry or jackassery pops up, leaving me to think "oh well, forget it then ... sigh".

Maybe these folks are even harder to understand than people that I full-out disagree with - like, say, Richard Dawkins, or one of those fundamentalist, or one of those people who wallow in pitch-black pessimism (like Thomas Ligotti): they have at least a degree of inner consistency. But that guy above ... one moment it's like "hmmm yeah, that makes sense .... hmmm ... hey, wait, WHAT??"