* The Onion has done it again: "Novelists Strike Fails To Affect Nation Whatsoever."
* My J.R.R. Tolkien course is currently studying The Hobbit and analyzing the 1977 made-for-TV film The Hobbit by Rankin/Bass with music by Glenn Yarbrough. There is one aspect of the soundtrack I find particularly interesting. Glenn Yarbrough underscores "the mercy of Bilbo" (his sparing of Gollum, which affects Middle-Earth so powerfully in The Lord of the Rings) in a song he wrote for The Hobbit entitled "The Old, Fat Spider." In this song, he reworks the tale of Bilbo and the spiders to bring attention to Bilbo's quality of mercy. (Oh, and the song is compulsively singable, as well.) The lyrics to the song are my quote of the day:
I met an old, fat spider, spinning in his tree.
I said, "Hey, old, fat spider, I bet you can't catch me!
You've grown too fat, you lazy lob.
You're just an old Tom Noddy!
Hey Attercop, hey Attercop, you can't catch anybody!"
And then the old, fat spider, he spun a final thread.
I said, "Hey, old, fat spider, it's time that you were dead!"
I drew my sword to cut his silk, to kill the old Tom Noddy,
But then I thought, "I'll leave him be. He can't catch anybody."
I met I met an old, fat spider in his spinning tree.
His web was old and tattered. He could hardly see.
I shooed a fly into his lair to feed the old Tom Noddy,
'Cause how can you kill a spider who can't catch anybody?