Audiobooks – May 2024

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman

The evolution of the awards sprinkled with lots of stories of campaigns and shows in a changing Hollywood. A fun read. 4/5

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires by Tim Wu

A chronicle of the America’s Radio, Phone, Film and TV industries and how they all ended up as monopolies or cartels. 4/5

Nuclear War: A Scenario by Annie Jacobsen

A minute by minute account of a present-day nuclear war with other chapters explaining background to what is happening. Pretty good 4/5

The Shadow Puppet by Georges Simenon

After a businessman is robbed and murdered, Maigret is convince one of the residents of an adjoining apartment building is responsible. 3/5

My Scoring System

  • 5/5 = Brilliant, top 5 book of the year
  • 4/5 = Above average, strongly recommend
  • 3/5 = Average. in the middle 70% of books I read
  • 2/5 = Disappointing
  • 1/5 = Did not like at all

Audiobooks – April 2024

The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain by Ian Mortimer

England 1789–1830 written as a guide on what a visitor would see and should know and do. Quite fun. 4/5

Charles III : The Inside Story by Robert Hardman

Covers the death of the Queen through to the first year of the new King’s reign. Semi-authorised. Recommended for those with interest in the topic. 4/5

Nuts and Bolts: Seven Small Inventions That Changed the World (in a Big Way) by Roma Agrawal

Cover the development of 7 inventions their spinoffs and refinements. An easy and interesting read. 4/5

My Scoring System

  • 5/5 = Brilliant, top 5 book of the year
  • 4/5 = Above average, strongly recommend
  • 3/5 = Average. in the middle 70% of books I read
  • 2/5 = Disappointing
  • 1/5 = Did not like at all

Audiobooks – March 2024

Surely You Can’t Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane! by David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, Jerry Zucker

Covers the career of the makers (ZAZ) and the long path to writing, pitching, pre-production and making of the classic movie. As well as reactions to it. 4/5

All these worlds by Dennis E Taylor

3rd book in Bobverse trilogy . Worth it if you liked the others. The Bobs deal with deaths of their human friends and most plots are wrapped up. 3/5

The Two-Penny Bar by Georges Simenon

Following a cold case Maigret gatecrashes the weekend gathering of a group of friends when one is unexpectedly murdered. Felt a little unrealistic at times. 3/5

The Car: The Rise and Fall of the Machine That Made the Modern World by Bryan Appleyard

A general history of the car with a bit of speculation about it’s future. A smooth and interesting read. 4/5

My Scoring System

  • 5/5 = Brilliant, top 5 book of the year
  • 4/5 = Above average, strongly recommend
  • 3/5 = Average. in the middle 70% of books I read
  • 2/5 = Disappointing
  • 1/5 = Did not like at all

The 10 Thickest Books I Own

Prompted by a comment from someone I present below the 10 thickest books in my personal library. I made no correction for hardcover vs softcover. Measured at center of book with mild compression

The Books in order. 10th thickest left, thickest on right

My top 10 books ended up being a bit of a mix

  • Three Fiction: 1 Science Fiction, 1 Fantasy, 1 annotated detective series
  • One giant book of Chess puzzles
  • Two books about lots of things. 500 Villages and 100 Museum Objects
  • Two biographic books about a National Leader during wartime
  • A book of social history
  • A book looking at big trends in all recorded history

The Countdown

10th – 58mm – The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Volume 2. 1878 pages. Softcover

The tallest, widest and book with the most pages. Has the original text in the centre with notes on the outside and lots of illustrations

9th – 60mm – Villages of Britain by Clive Aslet. 658 pages. Hardcover

1-2 pages on 500 English villages. Usually covers an interesting feature, event or person

8th – 61mm – Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. 916 pages. Softcover

A book on Abraham Lincoln’s Cabinet. Basis for the movie “Lincoln” and my book is a movie branded version

7th – 61mm – The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. 1192 pages. Softcover

My much battered single volume edition I’ve had since I was a kid.

6th – 63mm – Chess 5334 Problems, Combinations, and Games by Laszlo Polgar. 1104 pages. Softcover

Mostly pictures of chess positions (6 per page) and the solution. Almost no words

5th – 64mm – A History of the World in 100 Objects. 707 pages – Hardcover

Based on a Radio Series. Each object has a couple of very nice photos and then around 3 pages of text about it and where it came from. Very nice book.

4th – 65mm – Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. 867 pages. Hardcover

A Science Fiction book about what happens when the Moon blows up.

3rd – 66mm – Why the West Rules – For now. 750 pages. Hardcover

A big idea history book with speculation about the future.

2nd – 69mm – Road to Victory. Winston S. Churchill 1941-1945 by Martin Gilbert. 1416 pages. Hardcover

Part of the huge 8 volume official biography of Churchill. Covering Pearl Harbor to VE Day.

1st – 72mm – Family Britain 1951-57 by David Kynaston. 776 pages. Hardcover

Part of an ongoing series of books about the social history of Britain from 1945 to 1979. Covers a lot of ordinary lives and major events are often seen via individual’s reactions rather than being covered directly.


Audiobooks – February 2024

Hollywood and the Movies of the Fifties: The Collapse of the Studio System, the Thrill of Cinerama, and the Invasion of the Ultimate Body Snatcher—Television by Foster Hirsch

Excellent. Highly recommend. 4/5

Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing by Peter Robinson

Covers the plane and the corporate culture at Boeing that lead to the failure. Well sourced and Interesting. 3/5

1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline

An overview of the civilisations of Eastern Mediterranean before and possible causes of the Late Bronze Age collapse. 3/5

The Spice Must Flow: The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies by Ryan Britt

Pretty good history of the books and TV/Movie adaptions including a little on the 1st Villeneuve movie. Fun with lots of quotes and seems well researched. 4/5

How to Fight a War by Mike Martin

Uses simple language it works though the complexity of modern warfare, addressed to an imaginary political leader. Recent enough to include lessons from Russian’s invasion of Ukraine. Highly recommend 5/5

My Scoring System

  • 5/5 = Brilliant, top 5 book of the year
  • 4/5 = Above average, strongly recommend
  • 3/5 = Average. in the middle 70% of books I read
  • 2/5 = Disappointing
  • 1/5 = Did not like at all


Audiobooks – January 2024

Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (As Told by the Hackers, Founders, and Freaks Who Made It Boom) by Adam Fisher

Weaves around 500 interviews into stories of People and Companies. Well put together and a great read 4/5

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown

A review of scientifically prove learning techniques concentrating on what really works vs what feels good. Useful 3/5

The Downloaded by Robert J. Sawyer

Two very different groups of people are unfrozen into a post-apocalyptic Earth. A group of Astronauts and a group of Convicted Murderers. Good Sawyer story although a bit on the short side 3/5

How Infrastructure Works: Inside the Systems That Shape Our World by Deb Chachra

A tour of various pieces of Infrastructure that supports our everyday lives. Mostly an introduction but with some strong opinions on funding and sustainability. 3/5

Apollo 1: The Tragedy that put us on the Moon by Ryan S. Walters

Bios of the Astronauts and the US space programme leading up to the accident and various problems that made it inevitable. Good but not extremely detailed. 4/5

The Dancer at the Gai-Moulin by Georges Simenon

The plan by two wayward youths to rob a Belgian nightclub goes awry but how does it connect to a murdered man? Interesting story that avoids Maigret’s point of view. 3/5

My Scoring System

  • 5/5 = Brilliant, top 5 book of the year
  • 4/5 = Above average, strongly recommend
  • 3/5 = Average. in the middle 70% of books I read
  • 2/5 = Disappointing
  • 1/5 = Did not like at all

Ozmoot 2024 – Day 3 – Afternoon

Arda Measured with Jackson Mitchell-Bolton

  • The Geocosmology of the Tolkien Legendarium
  • General – Cosmology of Arda
  • Overview
  • 1st and Much of 2nd age
    • Flat and Enclosed
    • Late 2nd Age
    • Changes to being a sphere
    • Valanor separated from the rest of the world
    • What the earth is now
  • What did Tolkien show us about the World?
  • 5 maps in Ambarkanta
  • Map 5 – Need to find out the scale
    • Start with main Lord of Rings map which has scale
    • Astronomy has a distance ladder
  • The First Map of the Lord of the rings
    • Extends much further especially to the North
    • Has some differences with Final Map though
    • Fitted with Published map over the First Map
    • Created Smallest, Largest and Best matches
    • 3 possible lengths of 300 miles. Length of “red line” is 400 +-7 miles.
  • The 2nd Silmirilion Map
    • Looking at features around the Blue Mountains
    • Able to get a size of Balariand
  • But the Gulf shows up on map 5 so can go direct
    • So Using map 5 the equator is 13, 15 or 17 times the reference distance.
    • Girdle of arda is 13.3 +2.5/-2.2 times the reference length
    • Length of Girdle is 6120 -+1000 miles
    • about 0.77x the size of the earth ( +0.14/-0.11 )
  • Compare to the Atlas of middle Earth.
    • 6400 falls in his estimates
  • Ambarkana Diagram III – The worth made round
    • The straight path is a little bit wobbly
    • But actual distance is only about 1% different
    • Estimated size of Ardar is about half of present day earth
  • This would imply greater there have been significant changes to the world some time between the books and the present day
Diagram III
Map 5

Oaths and Promises: A Path Through Darkness and Uncertainty with Stephen Vrettos

  • Oaths are used to obtain certainty
  • The Oath of Feanor
    • He cannot offer them safety in middle earth
    • Rallys the greater path to follow him
  • The Oath of Eorl, The Oath of Ciriom
    • Came to rescue of Gondor
    • Swore friendship with each other
    • Came to each other’s aid over the years
  • Smeagol’s promise
    • Serve the Master of the Precious
  • Why are Oaths so effective?
    • Certainty on how people will act
    • Certainty how other kingdoms will act
  • Oaths have the ability to propel their own fulfillment
    • Language in the Silmirilion – “The Oath drives them”
  • Iluvatar will enforce the Oaths are fulfilled
    • None can see how to get out of Oath of Feanor
    • Isildur’s Curse. How did a mortal man have the ability to bind the Oathbreakers beyond their deaths?
    • Seems unlikely he could do this himself even if he had magic. Even Valar could not make men immortal
    • Power of curse probably came from Iluvatar
    • Smeagol’s Oath – Frodo has no power, enforcement must have come from Iluvatar
    • Lots of discussion on this, hard to summarise

Ozmoot 2024 – Day 3 – Morning

Keynote Address with Corey Olsen

  • What is Estel?
  • Two words in Sindarin for Hope. Estel and Amdir
  • Amdir
    • Believe things are going to work out
    • Can have significant grounding and fact, analysis and reason
    • Take Glorfindel rather than Pippin in fellowship
  • Estel
    • Elrond talking this up during council
    • Trust this is the right thing to do
    • “faith” is sometimes used but Corey is going to avoid using it. Has too many associations and different meanings.
    • “trust” might be a better word
  • Estel = Trust
    • Stubbon Hope – Sam’s song in the tower. “In western lands..”
    • “I will not say the day is done, or bid the stars farewell”
    • The “Stars Forever Dwell” .. “Sam saw a while star twinkle for a while”
    • It doesn’t matter if we both dies, the shadow can’t reach the high beauty so the shadow will eventually lose
    • Trust in the Really big picture
    • Concerning Heroes – On the stair – “But so our path is laid”
    • Sam previously believed Heroes in stories were the kind of people who went out looking for them. Now understands they found themselves on a path that was chosen for them.
    • “But the people in it don’t know”
    • If they had turned back they would have been forgotten. Implies there were many others that had
    • The Unknown – on Stair after the above passage
    • Frodo opines that the people in a story don’t and shouldn’t know that what sort of the story he’s in.
    • It will change the story if the protagonist if the hero knew who it will turn out when they made choices.
    • Hope dies in Sam – Star of Mt Doom chapter – “But even as hope died in Sam”
    • Sam picks up he is in a sad story, from which he won’t come back
    • Doesn’t really fully accept that, thinks of the Shire and how he wants to see them. But his Amdir dies and he no longer hopes he will see them
    • But his Estel remains. He is walking the path because it is the path that has been laid for him.
    • Trust, what should be, shall be
    • Gandalf has a Suggestion – Shadow of the Past – Gandalf tells Frodo about the Ring
    • “There is only one way…”
    • How do you move the Ring from the Shire to Mordor?
    • “My only candidate for Ringbearer has failed to throw the ring into a fire” … “under the most optimal circumstances possible”
    • Gandalf knows that Frodo will fail – Amdir is low
    • Encouragement – Shadow of the past – There was more than one power at work
    • “Bilbo was meant to find the ring, and not by it’s maker”
    • Gandalf tests Frodo to see how affected he is by the Ring. Results not encouraging
    • Follows Estel
    • Bedrock – “Shall prove but mine instrument”
    • You can choose what you role is in the story
    • Questions
    • Q: Hope vs Despair
    • A: Despair is for those who see the future 100% . But you can lose all your Amdir but still keep you Estel . But Denethor lost both while Sam above kept Estel
    • Q: Is Gandalf’s selection of Mary & Pippin in Fellowship same as selecting Frodo to take ring?
    • A: Yes. The signs have provided two candidates. “That probably is the path”
    • Missed a couple of questions cause I was googling for a comic someone mentioned.
    • Q: Tolkien is the master of Mindfulness
    • Q: The whole book we has readers we have to have hope all the way through
    • A: Trudi gave up FoTR because Gandalf died and not much book left. Didn’t want to read “That kind of book”. She had a failure of Hope.
    • “Is this a kissing book?”

“She was not conquered”: Morwen and Motherhood in Middle-earth with Ilana Mushin

  • Revisit 16-year old essay on Woemen in Tolkien
  • Mother of Turin, wife of Hurin, Daughter of Baragund
  • Sends Son Turin to Doriath but decides not to to accompany him
    • Long road, she is pregnant and safer with few in group
    • Hope Husband still alive
    • Would not take charity
  • Mother in Anguish, fingers bleeding as Turin leaves ( “Sorrows of Turin”)
  • Other scholars have noted that some of the problems of Turin are blamed on her
  • Often scholars are negative towards her
  • Tolkien and mothers
    • Tolkien lost mother early, often much read into this
    • Most left out of the story
    • Sometimes just genealogical
    • When acting as mothers sometimes they are sacrificing themselves
    • Later stories (and versions of stories) by Tolkien tend to have more women or expanded roles (eg Galadriel)
  • Morwen
    • She is present in the 1920 version, so not a product of later writing
  • Pride
    • More maternal desperation
    • Words and deeds rather than he imputed thoughts should be looked at.

To Enter the Perilous Realm or Not to Enter? That is the Question with Trudy Shannon

  • Our Tolkien heroes are always given hard choices and usually choose them
  • Aldarion and Erendis
  • Tolkien most explicit about Faery in “Smith of Wooten Major”
  • Aldarion
    • Think of Numenor has the land of humans and middle Earth as the Land of Faery
    • Aldarion goes to middle earth
    • After Aldarion returns he has grown in statue and his eyes look far away (similar to Smith). He cannot explain exactly what he saw (like Smith)
    • He keeps going back (Like Smith) and becomes a great fiend of the Faery King
    • Does not pass on his “passport” to faery directly
  • Erendis
    • Invited to middle Earth by Aldarion
    • She rejects the invitation immediately
    • Not open to possibility of adventure. No way she can walk this road
    • Remember Tolkien always gives his characters choices
    • Says she loves the Woods of Numenor. But late grows to hate their sight
  • Diamond
    • Given by Aldarion to Erendis
    • Taken as her Bethrothal gift
    • Not 100% obvious if it is magical
  • Not a happy ending
    • Withdraws from Kings count, moves away from trees, Stops wearing diamond
    • Unrecognised by other people
    • May have tried to reconcile with Aldaron or perhaps voyage to Middle Earth
    • Neither has a Fairy Story ending
  • Conclusion
    • Us here at Ozmoot may already be partially in Faery
  • Q: How does the star on the brown connect to Aragorn?
  • A: The Hobbits have a vision when they are with TomB, but it is a tradition that goes back to this story, but Tolkien is interested in how stories replay though the generations
  • Q: How autobiographical? Separate interests between Tolkien and his wife
  • A: More communication than seperate interests
  • Q: Are there more parallels to Aragon the Star wearer?
  • A: Perhaps some. Is it mainly a political sign.

Ozmoot 2024 – Day 2 – Afternoon

Tolkien, Faith, and the Final Eucatastrophe with Elizabeth Lyon

  • Tolkien’s Catholic faith is well known to most of us
  • It is easy to look past through it’s familiarity
  • What is evidence it made it’s way into his fiction?
    • Often appears in his letters
    • Appeared in “On Fairy Stories” re subcreation
    • “I am a Christian which can be deduced from my stories”
  • In what way did his faith shape his fiction, especially LOTR
    • Where is the religious sensibility in the book?
    • The LOTR is infused with the same light that illuminates the man who wrote it
  • What of March 25th?
  • The date of the destruction of the Ring
    • The Catholic Annunciation. Date of the Conception of Christ
    • First day of the new age of middle earth
    • Annunciation day was the start of the New Year in most European countries in Medieval times. Celebrated as a new beginning
    • 25th March is sometimes also marked as the date of the crucifixion
  • The aftermath – On Mount Doom
    • Like a passion – A merging a triumph and tragedy, sorrow and joy
    • But the tale goes on
  • Resurrection
    • Still to come. Not until the end of each character’s journey
    • Renewal of the Shire
    • Hope for final healing for most of our characters, but offstage
  • The Mirror of Galadriel
    • His work is a mirror to the real world and a person’s view of it
    • Especially the quotes where she says what it may or may not show
  • Questions
    • Q: What did you think he didn’t duplicate the final battle?
    • A: Don’t really know. It was not complete when he died
    • Q: Do you like the generally positive and hopefully writing of Tolkien
    • A: I read widely but Tolkien helpped me at a difficult stage in my life. Reads other things though

Memories of Another Land with Peter Kenny

  • Galadriel
  • Three brothers who all perished in the first age. Touch by grief early
  • Denies Feanor tresses of hair but gives them to Gimli
  • Comes to Middle Earth
  • Comes into contact with Mellian and Celeborn
  • Video of the poem with various pictures added
  • 2nd version online

The Future of Creative Writing: Lessons From Tolkien with Julian Barr

  • Close reading of fiction engage the motor-cortex of the brain
  • How are things for authors these days?
    • Writing can feel like taking a vow of poverty
    • Most authors make also zero money
  • How does Tolkien’s literary career give lessons to today’s authors?
  • Creative angle
    • Your voice matters. His own perspective of philology was unique
    • But he wrote to be read. To his friends and family
    • So many people want to write a book but worry their perspective is too strange. But reads crave a different voices
    • ChatGPT creates fairly bland and generic words
  • Have good people around you
    • eg Inklings
    • Encouragement, educated feedback, Good reviews and recommendations to others
    • Writing is a lonely art. May be responsible for depression in authors.
    • The most productive authors lift each other up
    • rejection happens to everybody. Tolkien was rejected
  • Cultivate relationships with your readers
    • Tolkien did more so than most authors
    • Requests for details about Gandalf and the Necromancer feed into the LOTR
    • Probably mostly enjoyed others who liked Arda
    • Use social media. Connect with others. Give and don’t take. Don’t just do marketing
  • Build a portfolio with the eye to the commercial
    • Art need not exclude commerce
    • Tolkien created all sorts of works, no initial market for them
    • Tolkien knew that people liked Hobbits so he eventually did that
    • But danger of writing the same book or series and nothing else
    • Can you another name if other books are significantly different
  • Advances aren’t everything
    • A third of Australian authors reported not getting any advances. That might not be as bad as it sounds
    • A failure to earn out an advance can be a big black mark
    • The LOTR had no advance and got 50% of the profits instead
  • Patience and Persistence are a key
    • In 1937 Tolkien had the desire to write fiction full time
    • He didn’t achieve his desire until the last years of his life
    • He didn’t get serious money until the 1960s
    • Many budding authors disappointed with the life
    • The ones who make a living hold on through the dark times
  • Questions
    • Q: How do you find your own inklings
    • A: Join a writers group. Ads with writing societies. Very hit and miss. Signum lso has groups around it’s creative-writing classes
    • Q: What is you writing process?
    • A: Write every day, just a little bit

Ozmoot 2024 – Day 2 – Morning

Corey’s Fun and Spontaneous Textual Discussion Exercise with Corey Olsen

  • Do a close comparison of some passages
  • Passages picked at random
  • Random 1/4 chance
    • theme, character, language usage, special topic
  • Review a LOTR Passage
  • Choose a LOTR passe – D20
    • roll 6 = Book 2
  • 10 Chapters in Book 2
    • Chapter 3 The Ring goes South
    • Paragraph 36
  • ” The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil. With you and your faithful servant, Gandalf will go; for this shall be his great task, and maybe the end of his labours. “
  • Elrond starts with the number, but only has 7 mapped out
  • Emphasis on Gandalf,
  • Shall, Shall, But Gandalf gets a “will”
  • 2 have chosen to go with you from the start. One is Faithful Servant Sam and the second is Gandalf who has been working on this great task for a long time
  • Gandalf is going in service
  • Speaking in a register
  • Not symmetrical description of the two groups
    • Walkers not riders
    • But still paired
    • “The Nine walkers” is not an epic name
  • “The end of his Labours” will go over Sam’s head, but links things to the longer story.
  • Callback to the Labours of Hercules and similar myths
  • “set against” but not a symmetrical group
  • Company vs Fellowship. The Fellowship bit evolves during Book 2.
  • “Faithful servant” rather then just servant. Lots of recent betrayals
  • Now compare two passages
  • Book 6, Chapter 5, Paragraph 12
  • “In this house, lady. He was sorely hurt, but is now set again on the way to health. But I do not know–“
  • Spoken by the Warden of the House of Healing to Eowyn
  • An unexpected turn for Eowyn. She is trying to get out of the house and going over the head of the Warden
  • He is pushing back and saying Faramir might not be available. She cuts right though that and demands to see him
  • He is unlikely to really not know his condition
  • She is using her ( foreigner, royalty, female) position to intimidate him and cut him off.
  • Passage 2 from the hobbit, chapter 18
  • “No!” said Thorin. “There is more in you of good than you know, child of the kindly West. Some courage and some wisdom, blended in measure. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. But sad or merry, I must leave it now. Farewell!”
  • Thorin is living Eowyn’s dream
  • Thorin has gone back on his earlier bad actions. He knocks down the wall he has created and directly rallys his former enemies
  • It’s interesting that Eowyn is forbade a heroic death in the text where Theoden, Thorin, etc are granted it. Especially when so many of those seem redemptionary (theoden feels guilt for inaction under Wormtongue, Thorin for his greed in betreyal of the lake men)
  • “I honestly don’t think that we can really criticise her for being so reckless when Rohan and even broader society holds the heroic sacrifice to high in respect” – Cassidy Winter
  • The Battle has just been won, Bilbo did not participate in it. But Thorin is what you are has lasting and meaningful value
  • Eowyn is about to have a similar conversion after he conversation with Faramir
  • She embraces life and see a new way to make a contribution
  • Need to remember both are members of collectivist cultures. Less individualistic that modern western culture
  • “I think the big difference is that they had achieved their redemption and their death appears to be a reward of some kind. Her death is what she’s seeking as escape, rather than redemption”
  • Thorin’s death is part of he redemption arc, but if he had lived he would still have been redeemed. Although probably screwed up later
  • Contrast Boromir’s death is a important component of his arc
  • Thoeden’s death is at the end of his road, he would have died soon anyway. this is the death he would have chosen
  • Eowyn is still restless, whereas Thorin is at peace and has accepted what he has accomplished. But has moved away from what he originally wanted.
  • “Child of the kindly West” would not make any sense to original Hobbit readers
  • Exclamation mark at the end of “Farewell!” by Thorin could be read comically.
  • A benediction of a King on his deathbed
  • Especially since Bilbo had kinda Betrayed him just recently
  • Looking at the characters rather than the specific passages, both characters have long been pursuing a specific goal, and only find peace when they turn away from that goal. or rather, starting a new trajectory along the way that is very different to what they thought they wanted in the beginning
  • A Tolkien passage and compare to a non Tolkien passage
  • Leaf by Niggle
  • Passage about visitors and other duties preventing Niggle working hard enough his painting. Many Responsibilities that he must not neglect. eg his Garden
  • Tenson with all his friends and relatives coming to visit. Although he visited them during the Winter so it is reaonabily fair.
  • But he meets all his obligations. The Dilemma is all internal
  • All his friends see him as a good person (except maybe the garden) they don’t see that in his heart he just wants to do painting.
  • “Passages” is an interesting turn of phrase when describing a picture. It’s more typical for text.
  • Neglected Garden = Great Scholarship of Germanic Philology .
    Painting = LOTR
  • 2nd Passage is from Dune
  • Fewer people have read Dune than LEaf by Niggle, comparatively few rooms in which that would be true.
  • Scene at the end of the Feyd-Rautha’s fight in the Arena
  • He has arranged for a great spectacle but this didn’t happen because slave’s death was clean
  • Contrast been the attitude of Feyd and his opponent. The Atredies only has a single minimal chance to do something. Feyd doesn’t care about this person it’s just his small part of his plan
  • Social responsibility
  • Contrast Wants and desires
  • Parallel is between Niggle’s paining and Feyd’s ambition for brutal supremacy over the universe
  • Parallel they are both wasting time on fun projects rather than what they should be doing

The Little People and the Horn-Cry of Buckland with Lauren Brand

  • Dedicated this talk to her father
  • Climate change is not a comfortable topic
  • The Hobbits in LOTR is just getting on with their lives. But their world is in threat of change. And not in a good way. Lots of bad reports just in the Shire
  • Kubler-Ross Stages of Grief approach to seeing people’s “Climate Grief”
  • In the first Chapters of The Lord of the Rings
  • Denial
    • Sam and Ted’s discussion in the Green Dragon
    • “I won’t take Dragons now”
  • Anger
    • Frodo and Gandalf talk about the ring
    • I would have done away with it
  • Bargaining
    • Will you not take the Ring
  • Depression and Fear
    • This Ring, How on earth did it come to me
  • Acceptance
    • I cannot keep the right and stay here.
    • I should like to save the Ring if I could
    • as long as the Shire lies begind safe and comfortable
  • When the Hobbits get back to the Shire
  • Denial
    • Cottons hiding away
    • Hob Hayward going along with it
  • Anger
    • Criticise the system
    • Hob Hayward anger at the sneaks in the ranks
    • Bargaining
    • Robin Smallburrow tries to explain why he is a Shirrif
    • No way to resign position
  • Depression
    • Sam breaks down and cries at the sight of Hobbiton
  • Acceptance and Empowerment
    • Tooks shut off their borders and did Guerilla actions
    • Fredagar Bolgar join band of rebels
    • Will Whitford, Lobelia,
    • 4 Companions. Lots of things
  • Lessons from the Hobbits
    • Ignore they Nay sayers
    • Seek out information fom relaiable sources
    • Join with others
    • Share the burdon
    • Blow the horn and get angry
  • Recommended reading and viewing
    • The Lord of the Rings
    • The Big Switch by Saul Griffiths
    • The Fully Charged Show
  • Questions etc
    • ” Lobelia Sackville-Baggins as Gina Rineheart was not a comparison i expected to hear today “
    • Can grief make you stronger not weaker?
    • Nienna’s grieving
    • Peaceful vs Violent actions

Lamentations in a Troubled World with Trevor Bowen

  • The song of the Ents and Entwives
  • Growing apart by separate interests
  • Sadness for a lost relationship
  • Loss and separation without hope of reconciliation
  • The Lament for Boromir
  • People at movie screen booed at his first appearance
  • The heroic character is undone by his virtues
  • He escaped in the end in death. Died in state of grace
  • Aragorn composes a poem for him at the end
  • Technical details of Laments
  • Galadriel’s Lament corresponds to Catholic Lament
  • The Lament of the Roharim
  • Inspired by the “Lament of the Wanderer”
  • Theoden speaks some of the lines in the Movie. Contrasts himself with his great ancestor
  • Courage to do what is right even against unbeatable odds
  • Frodo’s Lament for Gandalf
  • an emotion mechanism to manage grief
  • A way to move forward and accept new challenges and responsibilities
  • List of various other Laments in Tolkien
  • Songs do lots within Tolkiens writing give the world a depth and history
  • List of Tolkien’s joys and sadness
  • Throughout the LOTR a profound melancholy pervades
  • Everything is worse than what came before
  • Lamenting the diminishment of the glorious past
  • The Long Defeat
  • How does Lament have meaning in our own lives?
  • Pandemic, Wars, instability, inflation, etc
  • Media brings it from places of war into our daily lives
  • Samwise “There is still some good in this world and it is worth fighting”
  • Question: What hope is there for Frodo and War Veterans?
  • Answer: Frodo had vision from the start (in house of Tom B) that he wouldn’t make it back fully.

Trust is Unbroken/Broken: A Troubador Struggle with Ilana Mushin and Phil Menzies

  • The Lay of Leithian
  • Finrod vs Sauron in songs of power
  • Just describes the song battle but doesn’t have any lyrics
  • Inspiration
  • Les Miserables – The confrontation
  • Pocahontas – Mine, Mine, Mine and Savages
  • Stray Gods (Role playing Musical)
  • Structure
    • Rythm 6/8 vs 4/4
    • Where to start/end
    • Mapping the songs
    • F# major vs G# minor
    • ebb and flow / tuf-o-war
    • Finrod – woodwinds
    • Sauron – brass and electric guitars
  • Listen for character themes and fall theme discussed yesterday
  • Song played here