Superman never made any money for saving the world from Solomon Grundy

Monday, March 30, 2009

99 and 44/100 % Walaka-free!

This is mostly a link-farm today; I'm thinking about a number of things, but not ready to write about any of them yet.

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

Stolen from Journalista who got it from Kung Fu Monkey.

Somebody I know would just love a tall glass of flaming water. Check out the story and be sure to watch the video.

Justine Lai has a very challenging art project; I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. Link goes to the artist's statement; the "works" page is very NSFW.

Well, whaddaya you know - there's finally a search engine that seems to have improved upon the mighty Google: Clusty clusters your search results three different ways to make sorting through the hits easier. It's cool to find something new that isn't part of the GooglePlex; how long do you think it will be before they assimilate it?


Juliet said...

Nice. I need to send that one to Lon's friend who is re-reading Atlas Shrugged... and who is also a J.R.R. Tolkien fan... and has a pre-teen boy at home.

lowcoolant said...

Atlas Shrugged IS a fantasy. But there's nothing childish about wishing death on others, or wishing you could escape to a secluded valley with like-minded individuals while the rest of the world burns. The heroes are loaded with murderous tendencies and there's a real hateful streak present that can't be associated with children.

Everyone wants to be around people who they get along with. People who remind them of themselves. To me that novel is just a really strong example of the desire for kinship, maybe written by a very lonely person. That theme defies an age group.

Lord Of The Rings represents a completely opposite idea - different races and backgrounds uniting against a common enemy. There's compromise, learning about others, changing your mind, stepping outside your comfort zone, etc. The Sesame Street set of values.

In Atlas it's simply us-versus-them and no one has to overcome anything or really change their way of thinking. You're either with us or against us. Sociopathic abandonment blossoms like a planet-sized black rose until everything falls apart. Dwarves would never pull that on each other.

The two stories represent opposing world views, and to some degree our two major political parties. You can like both for the plots and characters, but chances are you can't simultaneously relate strongly to both books. If Legolas was anything like Ragnar Danneskjold he would have simply walked off and let his elven race fall to Sauron.

People who badmouth Atlas Shrugged almost always miss the common elements of the heroes in that story. Because they simply aren't like those heroes. Just like I could never understand what motivated Aragorn. However, writing off a different way of thinking should be my place, not an admirer of LOTR trying to diss Atlas.

Walaka said...

Your apologia is fraught with assumptions that I don't accept, "a real hateful streak present that can't be associated with children" and "Everyone wants to be around people [...] who remind them of themselves" foremost among them. So, let's pursue it in RL sometime, since a short answer here is impossible.