Mr. Sensitive

July 4, 2010

July 17 – Artist’s Rendering

Congrats, guys.  I’d like to borrow Superman’s headdress sometime if he lets you keep it.  And the chick on the left.

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March 28, 2010

Zero Is Goldberry

Filed under: Siblings (More Interesting Title to Come) — lbej @ 10:39
Tags: ,

I did a post about the pitfalls of attempting to be exceptional, and my sister went a different way with it in the comments.  One of the underlying assumptions she makes–in her response to me, and in life in general–is that it’s virtuous to just enjoy being yourself, to enter the world and leave it making no account of yourself to posterity.  I strongly disagree.  By the blood of our people are your lands kept safe, I would say.  The self-satisfied existence of the Bohemians I know and love is only possible because exceptional people invented their computers and their digital cameras and their music players, because exceptional people invented cars and electric lights and refrigerators and electronic data storage.  To put it inelegantly: if you artsy-farters want the luxury of doing nothing, someone has to do something.  If no one had ever tried to become better than those they saw around them, you could still spend your lives picking flowers, but you damn well couldn’t blog about it.

The point is that there are pitfalls in striving to be better, but it is absolutely necessary for the improvement of human living standards and is unambiguously virtuous.  I want to be nice about this, because I am not nice and it is an interesting exercise for me to attempt it.  Here is what I have decided:

My sister is Tom Bombadil.  Powerful and egotistical, yes, but never contemptuous of others and genuinely bemused by their preoccupations.  He’s fun to be around and he seems always to be in the right and in control.  But if Sauron were to defeat all of his other enemies and focus his power on Bombadil alone, Tom would be destroyed.  Sauron would destroy him because that’s what Sauron does, and if the only way to do that would be to destroy the very Earth from which Bombadil draws his power, that’s what Sauron would do.  I wonder if Bombadil would still smile then?  I think he would, actually, which would really piss off Sauron.  But if the White Council and the Rangers and the men of Gondor didn’t care so much about Sauron and the fate of the wider world it would eventually cost Bombadil, even if he was still defiantly disinterested at the very end.  As the Council of Elrond concluded, one shouldn’t expect Bombadil to solve the problems of the age, not because he can’t, but because he just won’t.  That isn’t he does.

I say all this because I’ve known artsy-farters who are disdainful of strivers and I find that offensive and disingenuous.  No one should have been surprised that Tom Bombadil didn’t show up on the Pelennor Fields, and no one should resent him for it.  But I don’t like to think of him sitting in his little house and laughing at those who did choose to fight.  I would resent him for that.

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