bloodygranuaile: (jack the monkey)
I have discovered I can get through my freelancing a lot faster if I put a movie on. It stops me from wasting time "multitasking".

Yesterday I watched most of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and today I finished it and watched all of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. I put them on on the basis that they are the longest movies I own, and that I would be less distracted by something 'comfort movie' like that I had already seen a billion times.

This mostly worked, except that I am basically reawakening all my high school fangirliness that I had left behind for the past couple years to wibble about the new nerdy fantasy things. You guys, there are SO MANY AWESOME QUOTES in these movies. So many that I had forgotten most of them! And there are even more terrible in-jokes that I had with all my friends! Many of which were based on shit we found on the Internet!

I think next week I'll watch Notre-Dame de Paris, and then my brain will implode into period/pseudo-period silliness and fandom even worse than it did in April when every premium channel decided to premiere a new medieval costume drama at the same time.

Can I go to grad school for "becoming Tolkien"? Is that an option? Can I make my own program? It would involve linguistics, learning nine languages, medieval literature study, calligraphy, medieval history study, world religion and mythology, language construction, and creative writing. Final project is to translate, adapt and film a version of Beowulf (or another ancient epic) that doesn't suck.
bloodygranuaile: (Default)
I really, really wish I'd brought my copy of The Silmarillion to school with me. Oh well. If I make it to Spring Break I can hole up and read it at home.

In the meantime, I am getting as close as I can by listening to "Nightfall in Middle-earth" and reading a book I borrowed from Keen called "J.R.R. Tolkien's Sanctifying Myth," although at the moment I've just read the back cover and the introduction and it has served to make me rather depressed, as it has reminded me that, despite the fact that I am a very bad Catholic, some form of "noble Christian ideals" have indeed made their impact on me, probably less from Church than from reading so many things coming out of the European Christian tradition, and the fact remains that they make better stories and are so much more uplifting than anything I actually believe in, as I am agnostic and cynical. No, I don't believe in fate. I just like fate. The things I believe in, or rather my general lack of belief in anything other than people's own responsibility to not make other people's lives more hellish than necessary, makes for dreary existential stories. This is why I like fantasy. I think the only stories where I really fully agree with the worldview *and* like the piece are Ibsen's social dramas, namely "A Doll's House".

I remember reading "the Telling" and liking the idea of the Telling, but not really liking the book that much. Ursula LeGuin's carefully inclusive bits of backstory--namely that the main character is Anglo-Hindi and this isn't mentioned until halfway into the book, and the bit about her girlfriend--flat-out annoyed me. It made me feel like the book was being written about our current society instead of telling its own scifi tale, which, to be honest, was not something I wanted to read. Yes, I read fantasy largely for its escapist value, or rather a combination of sheer escapist value and its value for being able to have a standard and a model with which to try and look at the real world in a less disorganized way. There is no inherent meaning in the universe. Myths give us one. And personally, I wish there was, because I like the idea of people having something to work for greater than their own gratification, of having some sort of destiny that I will find or that will find me instead of messing around trying to assemble a coherent education and carreer path out of absolutely nothing except my own wants. And I like the idea of being tall and proud and pure and wise better than being likeable, friendly or popular anyway. I would like to think that being descended from the Celts means anything besides being pale and square-jawed.

And I realize that likely everyone who reads this is, if they didn't already, going to think I'm competely out of my mind on this one: I like reading books with no sex in them whatsoever. When I've been hanging out with one-track-minded teenagers for too long I have a tendency to shut the computer off, shut myself up at home and watch children's movies and read children's books and Victorian books and Tolkien, and get snappish and pissed off if anyone within ten years of my age level tries to talk to me because it's only possible for the conversation to go on for maybe ten minutes with my less sordid friends and ten seconds with some other people I've known before we come back to "earthy" subject matter. Sometimes, I'm not going for "earthy." I'm going for the idealized, the epic, the above-that, even if it's only that way because its intended audience was six years old, or dangerously repressed.

Despite popular opinion, I am not dangerously repressed. It's just that certain mundane things, after a while and in certain moods, make me horribly, ferociously depressed: sex, the Internet, brand names, commercials, certain political issues, vulgarity, plastic, computers, cars, sneakers, flip-flops, television, mind-altering substances, Ikea furniture. Some of these strike me as depressingly modern, others are depressingly "grown-up," some are just depressingly crude and pointless. At various times, every single one of these has made me want to barricade myself in my room and not come out until I've finished the entire History of Middle-earth series. Some of them I never, ever want to have anything to do with; others I only sometimes don't want to have anything to do with.

At any rate, I want my books to be above them. I like the idea that there is something "above" the pointless and mundane, that it can be anything other than uptight posturing to try to hold to an ideal "above" them, that the "noble Christian ideal" of behavior, even if there is no Christ, is something worth holding to in addition to something to be made fun of for.

However, I'm not sure I really believe that, and that kind of upsets me.

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