Friday, March 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes Vol. 33

Still hosted by Conversion Diary.

1.     So, I completely failed the ‘7 Posts in 7 Days’ challenge: it completely slipped my mind last weekend. Bitter failure!

2.     We’re finally in Lent! My Lenten commitments include limiting snacking between meals, limited types of snacks available (basically fruit, nuts, and cheese-and-crackers), soup for dinner most nights, and at least one hour of deplugging every evening (which does not count drive times, exercise, or any other time that I couldn’t be on computer anyway).

3.     Finished A Princess of Mars last night during one of those deplugged times. I loved it, though it does get a little undisciplined towards the end (and then…the Green Martians suddenly become allies with the good Red Martians, but now the bad Red Martians have a million men, and…). Super-romantic and with lots and lots of monsters and sword fights. And it has a simply gorgeous ending line.

4.     Also found and read Red Nails, the last of Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. It was deliciously pulpy, with lots of monsters, magic, good-looking women, and stabbity stabbity action.

5.     What struck me most about these pulpy works (Burroughs and Howard) is how, well, decent they are. The heroes slaughter bad-guys by the hundreds, but they also meditate on things like honesty, family, kindness, friendship, self-sacrifice, and so on. John Carter would “willingly depopulate all of Barsoom” for Dejah Thoris, but he wouldn’t tell a lie to save himself from death. Conan’s a barbarian, but he’d never attempt to ‘force himself’ on Valeria (even if she weren’t currently threatening to stab him). The Natural Law is strong in these stories, by Crom it is!

6.     So, I went and saw Frozen after work today, since everyone’s been raving about it for four or five months. Honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. I’ll probably do a full review soon, but I thought it seemed rather jarringly put together, as though they came up with a bunch of different ideas and then put them all in without thinking whether they meshed. That, and the natural symbolism of the story was almost completely absent, with no one's "cold heart" being melted. It’s not bad, just…not great.

7.      Ending with another quote:
“If someone had told me I would be Pope one day, I would have studied harder.”
-Pope John Paul I.

 Vivat Christus Rex!

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