Here’s the best of the internet, at least the bit of it I’ve seen.
As an aside, when I share an article or even a pin, it’s not because I necessarily agree with everything said or even the basic point. I share what I find thought-provoking or in the case of humor, amusing. Obviously my own biases affect my perspective on these things, so you’ll probably see more stuff I agree with here than that I disagree with. But ultimately, I share things because I think they’re worth considering or enjoying – not because I think the author is ultimately correct.
Favorite Blog Posts / Articles
A scientist talks about why the approach to GMOs flies in the face of established science.
Sweden has free university tuition but, paradoxically, students graduate with even higher debt than in the U.S. (It’s because they still must pay living expenses, and culturally their parents aren’t expected to support them.) This article looks at the many ways this arrangement nudges Swedes toward adulthood and how the financial arrangement isn’t as unmanageable as it seems.
Reading this, I found myself wishing we had something more like this in the US. It doesn’t seem so bad to me.
A very interesting review of a book tracing the history of profanity. Those Romans were real potty-mouths – but, interestingly, literal potty-talk wouldn’t have been potty-mouthed at all.
A theologian’s take on the relationship of Christianity to Plato, and in particular the drive to “de-Hellenize” Christianity. An interesting (and short) read.
Best of This Blog
It’s not that I don’t appreciate what veterans try to do. I may disagree over whether a certain war is worth the cost in blood and dollars, but I really do respect the impulse to do what you think is in America’s best interest, even being ready to leave your family behind for such a long stretch of time and put their lives on the line.
The thing is, when you boil the whole situation down to praise, you tend to whitewash the true complexity of the situation. In my experiences teaching veterans at Fordham, I’ve seen that many of them struggle with moral injuries from their time in combat. [...] The trouble is the stories aren’t mine and I don’t feel comfortable sharing them. Since I’ve just finished watching the television series “M*A*S*H” and that show is at least our shared cultural history, even if it’s fiction, I’d like to share a few stories that remind me of the bits of grey that need to be remembered when we memorialize soldiers.
More than once I’ve seen people asking who in their right mind would pay for fanfic? There’s a sense that not only is fanfic priceless, it’s also (apart from the sentimental value of a well-chosen gift) worthless. Fanfic does have that friendship component, and I don’t want my fannish friends to think I’m not appreciative of that friendship. But at least for me, I want my stories to be objectively good, the kind of thing anyone who at least understood enough Tolkien to get the backstory would appreciate.
If we get the doors open and plug up the dam on the Sirannon so the water rises a little, the pool will start draining into Moria. How do you think the Watcher would fare against a drenched Balrog?
One of my own personal favorite characters is Denethor, and so much of what we see of him comes through Pippin’s eyes. Pippin is a hobbit and his interaction with Beregond over the whole ernil i pheriannath thing shows he’s much less hung up on protocol than a Gondorian would be. I can easily see him thinking Denethor is harsh and distant simply because he’s not well acclimated to the culture, and so the Denethor we see at the page becomes one man’s imperfect observations of him, retold to other people (Frodo + Sam) who never met him and who only ever heard of him as the harsh ruler who would have put them to death in The Two Towers, and again as the man who nearly immolated his son. Imagining that this is simply one take on his story opens up real possibilities, both in my fanfic but even more generally as a reader.
Fan-poster for Catching Fire. Spoilers, but really quite well done and gets at the heart of the story.
Things That Make Me LOL
Gale knows his anger at Madge is misdirected. On other days, deep in the woods, I’ve listened to him rant about how the tesserae are just another tool to cause misery in our district. A way to plant hatred between the starving workers of the Seam and those who can generally count on supper and thereby ensure we will never trust one another. “It’s to the Capitol’s advantage to have us divided among ourselves,” he might say if there were no ears to hear but mine. If it wasn’t reaping day. If a girl with a gold pin and no tesserae had not made what I’m sure she thought was a harmless comment. (from The Hunger Games, just before the first reaping.)
Groovitudes (nothing to share)
Have a good week, all!