Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A way with words

Sorry that posting has been so light here recently.  I've been reading The Lord of the Rings, which has cut into my blogging time somewhat.  It seems like every time I think about posting something it gets put on the back burner or I just end up snarking about it on Twitter instead.

At some point I'd like to do a writeup comparing what I liked about the books versus what I liked about the Peter Jackson films, but for now I just wanted to mention a passage from The Two Towers that jumped out at me.  I was quite taken with the way Tolkien chose to describe the general awfulness of the Dead Marshes:
It was dreary and wearisome. Cold clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of the livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers.
It's such a horrible place, a filthy disgusting place, yet the way Tolkien describes it sounds so poetic.  I love that contradiction.

Some people prefer The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings because the pace of The Hobbit was much quicker and it was far less verbose.  I've heard more than one person half-jokingly complain that Tolkien describes every blade of grass seen on the way to Mount Doom.  But when you can write as well as Tolkien writes, I really don't mind you taking a few extra words to describe the scenery.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Where will it end?

It's maddening to watch this vortex of scandals swirl around President Obama month after month without any of it sticking to him in any meaningful way.  The same media that desperately tried to find a scandal in every single word that came out of George Bush's mouth--even if they had to invent a few of his words themselves--can barely be bothered to acknowledge any part of Scandalpalooza.  There would be a cacophony of outrage from them the likes of which the world has never seen if even one of these many scandals had happened under Bush, but now most in the media can't even bring themselves to raise an eyebrow at something as brazen as a Watergate-style break-in.

Impeachment might be too much to hope for after the debacle that was the Clinton impeachment, but I'd like to think Obama has more to worry about here than a decline in his poll numbers; after all, he won't be able to run for a third term anyway.  Still, it would be nice if we could get an investigation into these scandals that goes somewhere other than in circles.  If this were a Coen brothers movie someone would have been run out of town on a rail by now.

And in the meantime, much to Obama's delight, we've all been tearing ourselves apart over immigration reform and freaking out over the Zimmerman trial; not that we should never talk about those things, but when we do they seem to have a way of sucking up all the oxygen and then nothing else gets talked about.

Are we really going to sit here and accept this inept corruptocracy as our new normal?  I hope people wake up.  I hope someday this godawful nightmare will finally be over.  But what will it take?  It seems like we keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and when it does we just find ourselves waiting for the other other shoe to drop.  I shudder to think how bad things may have to get for America before they finally start to get better again.