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"the most improper job"

Happy birthday to nekrokedeia, the design editor we have to thank for all of those gorgeous Valancourt Books book covers. May you have a fabulous day and a wonderful year to come!


Lots of interesting things have been posted lately, so I have several new links to share with you today:

* Weird Tales posted a list of "The Weirdest Storytellers of the Past 85 Years."

* On the dystopian front, the site io9.com posted "Paradise Is A Lie: A History Of False Utopias."

* SFSignal invited science fiction authors to discuss this question: Is Science Fiction Antithetical to Religion? I think this is best paired with StarShipSofa's excellent podcast on Religious Themes in Science Fiction.

* Revolution Science Fiction posted a list of "Sci-Fi Love: Star-Crossed Couples." (My vote would go to John Fitzgerald Byers and Suzanne Modeski from The X-Files and The Lone Gunmen.)

* And last but not least, I offer an example of what happens when you mix The Goonies and The Pirates of the Caribbean:




The quote of the day...

"Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people... The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, in a letter to his son Christopher in 1943

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
travisprinzi
Mar. 28th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Many of my readers will be quite grateful for the Tolkien quote! We've been having a discussion on "How Would Harry Vote," and the same sentiment has been reflected multiple times in the comments.

My wife was blasting "The Goonies R Good Enough" just the other night.
eldritchhobbit
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:05 pm (UTC)
Actually, listening to your terrific podcast is what brought this to mind. :) The larger quote goes like this:

"My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) or to 'unconstitutional' Monarchy…. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remain obstinate!... Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people... The most improper job of any man, even saints, is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity."

Your wife has excellent taste! :D

Edited at 2008-03-28 01:05 pm (UTC)
travisprinzi
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes! I remember reading that recently in...Pearce? Shippey? Probably both.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:50 am (UTC)
In his collected letters, it's #52. And you're right, I think it shows up in Pearce's Tolkien: A Celebration, among other books...
manzanas_verdes
Mar. 28th, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
1. that io9.com link just fell from heaven especially for me. Yes, I am a bit deluded, would explain my strange fascination with utopias...

2. As of now, I'm pretty convinced Tolkien is one of my personal heroes. It is depressing, somehow, that men who share this or similar viewpoints in terms of power are not political leaders, but then again, they're not precisely for their conceptions, I think. Still, man of genius.
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:48 am (UTC)
He's one of my personal heroes, too. :)

sittingduck1313
Mar. 28th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
Regarding the science fiction/religion thing, here's something Howard Tayler (creator of Schlock Mercenary) posted on such thoughts.

http://www.schlockmercenary.com/d/20001117.html
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
Wonderful! Thanks so much for the link.
agentxpndble
Mar. 28th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC)
Reese and Sarah, The Terminator

Other than Richard and Elise (Somewhere in Time) it just doesn't get any better than this. :-)
eldritchhobbit
Apr. 1st, 2008 11:47 am (UTC)
:)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )