Several years ago, waiting around at the airport for a flight to a vacation at a beach resort (browsing around for a novel to take on the flight) I stumbled across the Sci-Fantasy genre of Dungeon and Dragons. At the time, a big fan of science fiction, I also enjoyed an indulgence for fantasy wizardry novels such as The Sword of Shannara. A fair amount has been spent keeping up with the tales and adventures in that particular ‘verse..
The Dragonlance universe (as envisioned by the writing team of Laura and Tracy Hickman) then became a similar self-indulgence..
Like Tasselhoff Furrfoot, I tripped into the realm of dragon lore; and (as someone who had grown up with magical lores that included elves, wizards, warlocks, witches, faeries, gnomes, goblins, Merlin, etc.) it felt like a familiar blanket. kindred spirit. Not the watered-down, sanitised pap that Disney has been spoon feeding the public for several generations.
I started my Dragonlance adventurers smack-dab someplace in the middle of the chronicles – Dragons of Summer Flame. By the time I came to the realisation that I needed to start at the beginning of the Dragonlance ‘Histories’ I was far too deep into the lore to stop (plus, being on beach vacation resort with nothing more compelling to do) myself from being enchanted by the tales of lorekeeper.
A testament is not the same as The Testament
Not being a religious person, mysticism / spiritualism intrigues me at a certain level. Sprinkle in some scepticism and cynicism and I’m likely to say that I am a rationalist (with the tendency to have ‘irrational thoughts and ideas’ on existential or metaphysical matters). Or, if you prefer, the Ying and Yang, the Warp and Woof of Life are all intriguing. Who Am I, is as clear to me as is What Am I and When Am I? Questions that beguiles and drives us all.
It’s, perhaps, the fundamental question that drives us as humans to profess a belief in an ever-present, omnipotent Supreme Being (GOD) behind the veil of life. It’s similar to that which drives others to believe in tales of magic and mythical faeries, dragons, gnomes, dwarfs, elves, wizards, warlocks? All seek to establish the basis for certainty. To explain away the present, whether perceived as being either Order or Chaos.
Which is not altogether different than those who profess a belief in an ever-present Super-Evil Being (Devil) who works in tandem God to maintain the balance of the fulcrum that we call Life. Reality.
I’m familiar with the type of individuals who, in their mind or world-view, will fall to their knees in paroxysms of unintelligible babble at the tale of Moses heading into the hills, alone and unaccompanied; and with his account of his encounter with the burning bushes while up in the hills.
Oh! And while he was there he did manage to find time to think and put into writing ‘stone’ the ‘The Ten Principles To Having A Good Life’ – famously known as the 10 Commandments in some circles (I must add, Cecil B. DeMille and cast did a masterful interpretation of the events of that particular lore and recommend this version).
And, right there in the scriptures, the Devil is also an Angel. A fallen angel, it is stated. who walks among the believers. Belief in one necessitates the other.
And what about that Divine Tree of Life and all the lesser dieties/angels/demons, spirits and other minor players that spring to mind with such regularity? A cornucopia of Human imaginings.
To each their own. Fantasies or Beliefs. Heaven, Hell, Valhalla, Zeus – all imaginary human inventions. All of which amounts to records of the past as seen through they eyes of earlier ‘lore-keepers’. Historians.
We also know that ‘cast in stone’ doesn’t mean the same as it may have in the days of Moses and his wandering tribe. And, I suspect, that minstrels of the period would have wanted to know more about the burning bushes than the stone-age PDA ( Who needs 640KB?). But, hey, power to the people!
As an aside, Marley too saw burning bushes ( called them ‘erbs) and wrote some damn good music during his time here on Earth. Jah mon!
Since my initial introduction Dragons of A Summer Flame, countless hours immersed in the Dragonlance anthologies, if there are any conclusions I have drawn it is, The Lorekeeper, Astinus of Palanthas is the key to the entire narrative; and. Tasselhoff is the perfect foil (serendipity with a topknot and unbridled curiousity) to the machinations of Immortals. The Ultimate Historian (of any chronology I’ve ever encountered) is the ‘recorder-keeper’ of ‘Time’ [aka – Astinus the Lore Keeper)
Fancying myself as merely a ‘recorder’ of past events, viewed from the perspective of reviewing a collection of accumulated documents on a variety of subjects/topics is the result of what I (personally and modestly) consider to be a ‘database of cross-indexed publicly published views, comments, opinions or conjectures, etc., etc. All, (intent) content that is not exclusively my own (personal) is provided with as much attribution as I consider adequate (so as not to incur claims of ‘copyright’ infringement).
Acknowledging that ‘ignorance’ of the Law or ‘intentions’ is not a sufficiently valid basis of Defence – any perception of ‘violation or infringement – My self-serving intent is to provide my alternative sources of ‘referenced’ views, comments, opinions or conjectures that I ‘perceive’ as being Historical:The Present Through the Past..
The White Rabbit throughout the dialogues is (none other than) Tasselhoff. Hell of a guy!!
Go ask Alice …..
For the curious – ask me how I feel about Walt Disney Studios co-opting the rich tradition of classic lores as its own creations. Disney World! Right up there on my list of ‘not-in-this-lifetime (or the next’) places or products that I’ll not voluntarily support. My visceral dislike of anything Disney has no relationship to its ‘rumoured’ past CIA/Disney collaborations.
Those who don’t grasp that governments (globally) use the presence of mass-media to advance their agendas, some more subtly than others, (that is, those who choose to ignore the possibility that major corporations do engage in both social and political arenas) are deserving of their Disney-esque world of entertainment.
Undeniably, Bambi does get killed and Old Yeller does make one last howl before he bites the fateful bullet..So my advise, if asked about either of those two heart-warming stories by Disney, would be a) don’t play with your food; and 2) Everything and everyone die, eventually.
I lean more to the Bugs Bunny and Friends charaacterisations – Roadrunner and Wilie E. Coyote (life can be like that to some)? Pity Wilie all you may want to do. It’s deserved.
My biggest concern would be about the lousy products that ACME Company has been supplying poor ole Wilie. Equipment and products that arrive with, apparently, inadequate construction and operating documentation. Consequently, it results (WIlie’s Defence) in physical and psychological injury of Mr Coyte. (No one can be that stupid to keep purchasing shitty products from ACME Company.)
Sylvester, Tweety Bird and Granny (a trio of favourites from Warner Bros.) reminds me of the juvenile delinquents Hansel and Gretel. Seriously, who pushes the granny into the oven after breaking into her home and raiding her pantry? We ought to be thankful they didn’t have access to something like an ‘unregistered’ firearm while being juveniles.
Suck it up snowflakes!
In both cases, don’t place all your trust in little ole grannies, not all ‘tweets’ are charming or something to that effect. We know who the Sylvesters and Tweeters are.
Perhaps, the tweeters need to turn their attention toward ACME Company?