The world, how it works, surroundings, myself, etc.

Friday, October 22, 2010


I asked professors who teach the meaning of life to tell me what is happiness.
And I went to famous executives who boss the work of thousands of men.
They all shook their heads and gave me a smile as though I was trying to fool with them.
And then one Sunday afternoon I wandered out along the Desplaines river
And I saw a crowd of Hungarians under the trees with their women and children and a keg of beer and an accordion.

-- Carl Sandburg

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

One of the things I need to do before I die is to read Lord of the Rings. I finished Book 1 in the series yesterday. I'll admit I'm disappointed.

The book has so many unnecessary sequence of events, which don't have any connection to the flow of story, and seem like they've been put there to blot pages. For example, that Tom Bombadilo guy singing songs and being gay was magical and ultra-capable but sadly he doesn't have any part in the rest of the story; so why have him in the first place? Talking of songs, what's with the characters bursting into songs every now and then, sometimes for multiple pages? I skipped through every one of them except the first few ones. Oh and why do they have to address the characters with their fathers' name over and over again? Gimli, son of Gloin! Aragorn, son of Arathorn! Isn't it simpler to call "Gimli", and "Aragorn"? Will the reader forget who Gimli is unless qualified with the lineage? And why do every few sentences have to introduce 3 new nouns, unheard of before and probably won't be repeated later ever? It's not like I'm going to remember any of them. In fact, it makes it difficult to remember even the important ones.

My English teacher back in school days taught me that "good" is a actually a very inarticulate word. One uses "good" when one doesn't understand why it's good. When one does understand why it's good, one uses the specific qualification. Similarly, "great" is an even worse word, meaning that the writer wants something magnificent but can't really qualify it so. "Great" is repeated so many times in the book that it's lost its meaning. Every single character is either "great" or "dark" or "shadow". Every single one of them. Even Gollum. Great race of men! Great Elves! The great council! The great dwarves! The dark lord! The evil shadow! Give me a break.

This is indeed a series for which the movie is more enjoyable than the book. The book sure makes the movie more meaningful and understandable though. I've begun with the Book 2 and I hope it's more interesting than the first one.