Archive for the ‘Wild Weird’ Category


So, here’s hoping the whole tree doesn’t have to go.


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I lost everything (including 25g of music that is going to be a BITCH to find and download again.) I had to get a new hard drive, and a new usb port strip, and the threw in a topper for the keyboard, too, since there was a little crack in it. All under warranty, thankfully. I don’t know what I would have done had it not been.

Now I’m wandering the interwebs searching for everything that I can reclaim. Personal pictures are pretty much out, except the ones on myspace, bme, and facebook. Most of my documents have been emailed to me by me or someone else. (It’s what you do when you don’t have a printer of your own.) Mostly, it’s the music I worry about. Some of the rare tracks aren’t easy to find, and well, that’s why they’re called RARE tracks. *sigh*

Hope you have it better, I wouldn’t want anyone to have it worse.

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Reading the latest post at Pagan Godspell triggered something in me. Ruby Sara is correct in that we are a culture obsessed with naming. Everything must have it’s label and it’s place. But that doesn’t cut to the core of what something truly is. And that is the reason for this post.

Do you, dear reader, know the Name of Fire? Any single word cannot suffice, nor even a string of them. A clinical description of the chemical process of combustion would be too cold and unfeeling, if accurate as far as science is concerned. But that is not it’s Name.

Do you know the word for Tree? The all encompassing word that tells you it’s life, from seed and seedling, to strong trunk and branches, to fallen monarch rotting to feed the earth beneath? Do you Know? I feel it within me, my animal hindbrain says “Yes, but it is secret,” and there is no way to push it past my vocal chords. No way to tell of it.

I have no idea if anyone else feels words like I do. No, not really words, that’s not right. They are truly Names. There isn’t one for “computer,” or “phone,” or “money.” Nothing frivolous. There are Names for Life, and Freedom, and Family or Friend. There the Names of the individuals you know, and each animal or plant. And then there are the overall names of groups. Like Human. You know what it is to be Human, but there is no way to tell someone of it. There is the Name, though, that I feel and cannot say.

It is like taking the cycle of life of a species (or planet, or galaxy, etc) and showing it in a single utterance. Anything and everything that specific can be, or do is shown within that sound. That, dear readers, is the best way I can illustrate what a Name is. It is the core, the root, the heart, and every possible variation or example at once. The entirety.

Maybe this is what we are trying to find again with each name that we give something, each different language gets closer and further, never hitting upon the mark our sleeping mind has set for us. Perhaps we are speaking with the wrong voice…

Goodnight, and good ponderings.

(This is something which the book The Name of the Wind was based around, I think. The human urge to name what we Know and Feel, but cannot speak. It’s why I love the story so. Kvothe is much like me in his ravenous curiosity.)

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Jeff Buckley and Poe are the perfect pairing for an October new moon. I do promise that later you will get a substantial, and enraged, post. But I needed the peace of this poetry first.

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Gladiatorial games

I find it quite silly that society today, especially American society, has such a dim view of the gladiatorial games in ancient Rome. Consider for a moment our media. In films you find the exact same violent acts that are so detested when speaking of gladiators, some that are even worse! The only difference in film and visual media is that it is fictional. Even though the blood lust of the populace is still the driving force behind their production, just as it was in Rome.

We must also consider sports, particularly contact sports. The rabid fans, the giant stadiums, the brutality that is cheered on. The same as in Ancient Rome. Human society really hasn’t changed that much. So why do we look down our noses as the frankness of the Republic and Empire in satiating the “mob” when we do so ourselves? Maybe we are far too arrogant in thinking ourselves, our society as more evolved. In some ways, yes, I won’t deny that. But violence is still violence. It is a tool used to control and that has never changed.

We are still human, and we come with all the human failings of hate, greed, murder, marginalization of peoples, etc. We are essentially no better than our ancestors, because we could end up in the same place as they were so very easily. (And by that I do not mean no modern technology.) Just because certain situations have changed doesn’t mean humanity itself has. It will take much more than good intentions, and the hard work of the best examples of us.

Change your mind about someone. Look through the eyes of someone with a different perspective. Listen, really listen, and learn. Own up to your own mistakes.

Goodnight all.

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Modern Myths

I was trying to make a list of modern myths the other day. Myth, to me, is a story that permeates a culture. It does not have to be religious in nature, merely of mythic proportions. Know that this list is only those stories that fill my life with wonder, that tell a great hero’s tale, and often tell of human failings and human success. None of these are really essential. The only essential part is the story itself. If a story grabs you by the shoulders, lifts you in the air, or floats you on a sea of emotion that is enough for myth. These are just the few that really open my eyes in awe.

The Lord of the Rings: Now, this might well count as modern myth for many of you. It was certainly written to be that for England. I admit, at times it gets a bit scholarly and goes of on a tangent, but the story overall does not suffer. And the story is inspiring. (Also, no, it is not an analogy, not for anything. Tolkien protested against that line of thinking until the end of his life. It’s greatest aspect is that it is relevant to any time period. Unfortunately that makes it look like an analogy to some people, and they ignore the author’s intentions.)

The Chronicles of Narnia: This was a staple series in my childhood, and the childhoods of many the people I know. I can’t look at a wardrobe without thinking of this series. It might not be on the same scale as the Lord of the Rings, but it was meant for children and is therefore written in a different style.

Dune: I did not read this until I was 20. I can’t imagine why no one had recommended it before then. The elements of this story are so intricate. Plots within plots! And even Paul Atreides knows he is within an epic journey, but cannot stop it from dragging him with the current. The scope of the Dune universe is such that one cannot help but feel it’s mythic power. Especially since it had a huge influence on the creation of the next modern myth on this list.

Star Wars: This is undeniably a modern myth. It has so pervaded our culture that Jedi was the stated religion of 120k people in New Zealand and Australia according to the 2002 Census there. Myth and religious practice and belief go hand in hand. Not to mention the story of Star Wars was also inspired by the work of Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, as well as the aforementioned Dune.

Kushiel’s Legacy: This is where I might get some contention from you. Jacqueline Carey’s books haven’t been out very long, compared to the above stories. The first books was published in 2001. But the aspects of the series are built upon myths within the realm of the tale. It is much like Odysseus being stuck within his own adventure when he is just trying to get home. Ph├Ędre is in much the same situation, though she is trying to save her country, her friend, a child. She is swept along and must survive kidnapping, imprisonment, pirates, etc. A third of the way through my first reading of the first book and I stopped, thinking “She has so far to go, and has already been through so much! What else can happen?” And that is one form of a good myth.

The Black Jewels: This, also, is fairly new for a myth. The first of the books was published in 1998. It is also different in that you have not one main hero, but four. Two brothers, their estranged father, and a girl who might be queen. If they can help her live long enough, that is. And that, dear readers, is a very good hook in story telling. The writing is fantastic as well. Beyond having common, well done, archetypes it has wit. Biting wit. Blade like humor always gets my stamp of approval, and it also shows how good the author is at her craft.

The Kingkiller Chronicles: I admit, only one of the books is out so far, but I will explain why it belongs here. In the Name of the Wind, Patrick Rothfuss uses every ounce of his college experience in building the story. Not only does he have a MA in English, but has numerous (really numerous,) minors attached to his Bachelors. It shows in his writing. I’m not saying that it’s dry like a thesis, not at all! It is the realism that displays his knowledge. When Kvothe and his classmates speak of Chemistry vs Alchemy within the book you can tell the author intimately knows the difference. The goals of each historically as well as scientifically. The world he’s built is detailed such that even when it is not in the book itself, you know that it is fully formed, down to the size of the wheat fields surrounding Tarbean. In every rereading I find some foreshadowing, or some detail I missed the times before. It is rich like chocolate cake, and deserves the badge of modern myth absolutely.

The Crow: Yes, I’m elevating a comic to the heights of myth. James O’Barr gave life and form to sorrow, despair, and anguish. Vengeance and justice breathed life back into Eric Draven and tied him to legend. It may not be as universal as the Lord of the Rings or Star Wars in media and culture, but it sings to people just the same. Loss is part of life, and so is part of myth, too.

Harry Potter: This I add with some reservations. It has the same visibility as others on this list, the same amount of renown, but to me it is not on the same level. This is mostly due to the writing, as the other storytellers on here are masterful with their subjects. It is also in part due to the relative lack of world building, since that is what draws me the most after writing skill. I cannot deny it is a hero’s tale. There is much fulfillment of archetypes as well. Truthfully, I can’t quite put my finger on what makes me want to not have this series on the list. So, for lack of that I will let it stay.

You might ask why I did not include certain other epics or sagas. Well, this is my list. There is no reason to not make your own. And what do I mean by “modern?” A modern myth would be one created within the last century. Peter Pan is out, since a portion was first published in 1902. Alice in Wonderland is also out. Any recreation thereof are out. New stories are what I wanted. These all qualify, even if one inspired another. I chose the tales that are of mythic proportion, to me. They stand out in a crowd (and I do have a crowd of books.) You are welcome to make your case for another story in the comments. But I may have reasons for passing over anything you think I might have missed. If you suggest Twilight, though, I will laugh. Yes, I own them. The writing and story are not spectacular. It is, in fact, quite silly. I can seen why teen girls like it, though, because it is written as if it’s by one. It is certainly not the best example of vampire literature. All of which I left off this list because vampires are not modern. They are more akin to a Jungian “collective unconscious” idea.

That said, I bid you good night.

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After drifting in and out of sleep as one does on a late morning, I suddenly startled awake. I thought someone had called my name. I heard it, even through my earplugs (neighbors, if you’re wondering.) Now I’m curious as to why the world jolted me awake? I’m here, listening, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to pay attention to. So, instead, I’m having breakfast, typing on here, and marveling at how weird my dreams are. Always with the weird.

I’ll keep my ears and eyes open, and hope to let you know what it was that was important enough to call my name. Maybe Father Oak knows…

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