mardi 4 mai 2010

More quotes from FB notes

Some Chesterton ...
Friday, February 29, 2008 at 4:45pm

"For the most bitter thing in the world, the thing most full of intellectual cruelties and a hungry hatred in the heart, the most wholly malignant thing known to our humanity, is peace without love..."

"Inhuman monsters control commerce and rule continents. The only real difference between fairy-tales and modern fact is this: in fairy-tales the monsters are fought. That is one of the very many superiorities of fairy-tales."

Quoting a friend ...

Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 2:22pm

Was it right for the United States to recognize Kosovo's independence from Serbia?

Position: No

Statement: Well if you support the use of mass illegal immigration to seize other nations cultural heartlands and turn them into terrorist-haven narco-states, like poking large bears (and nuclear powers) in the eye, or just plain hate Serbs, why wouldn't you support an independent Kosovo?!

left overs from Pi day
Saturday, March 15, 2008 at 11:07am

"Pi*R squared.
Pi R not squared.
Pi R round.
Cornbread R squared."

"radius*2*pi being the circumference of a circle is surely a sign from the Creator that pies are meant to be cut into 6 even pieces -- with just enough left to allow for crumbling!!"

from wall of my friend Jerome Ullman who posted them yesterday, as should ...

My great uncle worked in a brewery and drowned in a vat of beer.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 2:46pm

... It was a slow and horrible death as he had to get out 6 times to pee.

This one is for Carlsberg brewers!

Don't buy it
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 4:59pm

"The boy lay prone in the grass, his chin resting on his hands. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a heightened awareness of the tangled stems and roots, a forest in microcosm, a transfigured world of ants and beetles and even - though he wouldn't have known the details at the time - of soil bacteria by the billions, silently and invisibly shoring up the economy of the micro-world. Suddenly the micro-forest of the turf seemed to swell and become one with the universe, and with the rapt mind of the boy contemplating it. He interpreted the experience in religious terms and it led him eventually to the priesthood. He was ordained an Anglican priest and became a chaplain at my school, a teacher of whom I was fond. It is thanks to decent liberal clergymen like him that nobody could ever claim that I had religion forced down my throat.

"In another time and place, that boy could have been me under the stars, dazzled by Orion, Cassiopeia and Ursa Major, tearful with the unheard music of the Milky Way, heady with the night scents of frangipani and trumpet flowers in an African garden. Why the same emotion should have led my chaplain in one direction and me in the other is not an easy question to answer. A quasi-mystical response to nature and the universe is common among scientists and rationalists. It has no connection with supernatural belief. In his boyhood at least, my chaplain was presumably not aware (nor was I) of the closing lines of The Origin of Species - the famous 'entangled bank' passage, 'with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth'. Had he been, he would certainly have identified with it and, instead of the priesthood, might have been led to Darwin's view that all was 'produced by laws acting around us':

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Carl Sagan, in Pale Blue Dot, wrote:

'How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths.' "

Two observations:

1) I did not have religion shoved down my throat, I did have my piety nourished by scientific books about biology, water from steam to ice, universe as seen by heliocentrism (in which I long believed)

2) I do not see that my religion, even if turning away from modern science has made God small, nor do I see modern science as the most elegant, though perhaps the most subtle approach to visible creation.

One conclusion: do not buy that book.

Sauron "good guy"?
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 at 5:06pm

"Also, I've always been disappointed that one of the big sacred cows of fantasy has not been more controversial; to my mind, because of its widespread success, it should be: Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a book I find not only utterly boring in terms of story but also deeply offensive in terms of theme. No novel so clearly, and unwittingly, highlights that history is written by the victorious. Sauron is so obviously the good guy here, and all the protagonists are total slime, liars, royalists of the worst stripe." ...

"Sauron is so clearly a democrat (perhaps even a socialist) vilified by the victorious, villainous royalists, those from whose POV we are told this story." ...

"Sometimes I think The Lord of the Rings might be an unconscious aristocratic revenge fantasy in reaction to the success of the French Revolution, " ...

Thus Claude Lalumière in SF discussion on most controversial fantasy novel - scroll down to near half.

LotR is royalist all right, but unconsciously so? No, Tolkien was a royalist of the royalists, as much as Hergé in King Ottokar's Sceptre.

Calling Sauron a socialist and a good guy says something deeply disturbing about today's anti-royalism (including socialism).

1 commentaire:

  1. To last of quotes:


    I've run across this kind of reaction before. Tolkien has been called an "anti-urban fascist" because he liked trees and Catholicism blah blah blah.

    And I love how royalist is an insult now.
    July 23, 2008 at 5:35am


    ah ...

    I reflected if it could be that Sauron had orcs and Southrons in his armies (multiracialism)

    But obviously he specialised in Maoist style workism a k a slave owners' foremanship.
    July 25, 2008 at 3:58pm