Now on LotR re-read: open thread, verse & what would you do? edition; and a long review of David Anthony Durham's Acacia.

(Hi from Montreal, where I am entirely behind on all Internet things but seem to have managed my first panel reasonably well. Now, to the grocery store.)

Now at, I say controversial things about the battle at Helm's Deep!

We're discussing the movie of Fellowship over at

I appear to have not linked here to the last three LotR re-read posts: Fellowship II.8, "Farewell to Lorien"; II.9, "The Great River"; and II.10, "The Breaking of the Fellowship".


May. 5th, 2009 10:18 pm

An extremely mixed bag, today:

Of the recent attempts at suppressing discussions of racism that I'm aware of, I think literally and repeatedly ripping down an entire protest display takes the cake. The poison-filled cake of racism, privilege, and oppression, that is. (This was a student protest at the University of Minnesota Twin-Cities Dance Program, ripped down by other students, and the university administration's response was to call the destruction "the changes made by another group of individuals." And . . . nothing else. That would be the icing on this particular cake.)

(Edit: okay, my metaphor got away from me. The protest is actually about pervasive institutional problems, in which context the administration's non-response is more than just icing. But the ripping down (because it will help the discussion! Um, wtf, over?) just infuriates me.)

[ profile] sparkymonster has a helpful summary with more. Support the students through their petition, passing the word about the protest, or joining this Facebook group.

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Baby sloth!

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[ profile] tool_of_satan has an interesting thought on what gives LotR its quasi-mythic feel in this thread on the non-European epic fantasy post:

This is a complicated question, but I think part of the answer is Tolkien's use of deep time. Things that happened thousands of years ago have direct consequences that the characters need to deal with, and there are people around who were actually alive back then, mixing with the mortals. Furthermore, we (and the hobbits) are told much less than everything about the ancient people and events - the critical bits, of course, and there are allusions to many other things, but one ends up feeling there are many other stories that could be told, which I think helps make the ones that are told feel more real. (I haven't read the Silmarillion or any of the other posthumous volumes, I should note.)

(Underlined emphasis mine.)

For me, I suspect this may be a matter of the golden age being twelve: it's certainly de rigueur these days for epic fantasies to build or at least suggest elaborate historical and mythological backstories for their worlds, and I mostly feel like they're, well, there because they're de rigueur, and I'm not sure the underlined detail of the execution is enough to make the difference. But I'm also not very interested in epic fantasies now, so my reactions might have been different, back in the day.

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There's a reboot of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime and you can watch it free and legally, with official subtitles, at Funimation. (I recommend a downloader like Orbit, because the streaming is very rocky.) I've been watching but don't really have an opinion yet; it's based closely on the manga which I've been reading, so it's familiar enough that I don't know how it'd look to a new person or in comparison to the first anime. Well, okay, the first episode was filler and kinda dumb, but the manga rocks so I have hopes.

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Songs that make me happy lately: "Toe Jam," by the BPA featuring Dizzee Rascal & David Byrne (ETA: YouTube video of version we actually like; NSFW (but rather clever) for happy dancing naked people with black bars over women's breasts & people's pubic areas); and "Say Hey (I Love You)" by Michael Franti and Spearhead (choose song title in sidebar).

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I've also watched the pilot of Leverage and enjoyed it. I am morally certain that it was pitched as "Ocean's Eleven meets Robin Hood," and indeed the wish-fulfillment is blatant, but my love for capers is fierce, and I suspect that these lawless elites aren't going to be violent, which makes it easier for me to take. Note that the aired order is not the intended order; see this blog post from the creator for the proper order ('ware spoilers after that in the post).

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Two Dreamwidth invite codes; comment if you want one; if necessary, will pick at random and ask for e-mail.

(Decided against crossposting (and asking people to comment only there) until a few more wrinkles are ironed out. Am filtering out people here who are fully cross-posting, and have adjusted LJ "friends" list to try and match DW access/subscribe lists. Now going to look for missing subject pronouns. Goodnight, everybody.)

I kind of suck at remembering to post links to new chapter discussions here, huh?

Fellowship II.5, “The Bridge of Khazad-dûm”, last week; Fellowship II.6, “Lothlórien”, today.

A very long discussion of the very long chapter "The Council of Elrond" is now up at

Cutest baby in the universe has a mild sinus infection and is thus disrupting parental schedules like whoa. (Seven-month developmental post coming, honest.)

Best Emmy ever is on FaceBook.

(Chad has news about his book forthcoming, which is why.)

And I'm not feeling so great myself, but I have a brief that absolutely positively has to be written by Monday, so, whee, off I go!

(Though I did manage a new LotR post, on Fellowship I.12, "Flight to the Ford." Also, go look at [ profile] con_or_bust and spread the word!)

In lieu of a chapter discussion this week, have an open thread: What missing scene would you like to read in the text of The Lord of the Rings?

A post on the second-to-last chapter of book I of Fellowship, "A Knife in the Dark," is now up at Look, plot and progress!

Today, chapter 10 of Fellowship, "Strider." Last week, which I never actually posted a link to here, chapter 9, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony." And you can now see all the posts in this shiny index.

The first completely-new LotR re-read post, on chapter 8 of Fellowship, "Fog on the Barrow-downs," is now up at

(I swear I thought I posted this yesterday evening. I guess I'll blame the sleep deprivation for that as well as for mixing up Merry and Pippin in the post . . . )

My post about chapter 7 of Fellowship, "In the House of Tom Bombadil," is up at (and has been extensively added to and re-written from its original version).

My re-read post for chapter 6 of Fellowship of the Ring, "The Old Forest," is up at

And in other re-reading news, [ profile] leighdb has started a Wheel of Time re-read, which is already a lot of fun. Go check it out!

(P.S.: yay, President Obama!)

The post on chapter 5 of Fellowship, "A Conspiracy Unmasked," is now up at

Forgot to mention yesterday that the post on chapter 3 of Fellowship is up at

Probably because I was distracted by the discovery that SteelyKid's first tooth had broken through the gum. Sort-of-yay, teeth . . .

Discussing the narration's assertion that Tolkien was a translator of a Middle-earth manuscript, now up at

Meanwhile, I hope those of you affected by winter storms are keeping safe and warm. I left work early and, because I was a mighty (and a lucky) hunter of Christmas presents during my lunch break, may not need to go out again this weekend, which will be nice. I just hope my parents are able to make it here tomorrow afternoon, as planned . . .

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