Hello and good morning! Welcome to another Thursday and—almost, but not quite, by definition—another episode of my (usually) weekly blog post.
First, let me apologize for missing last week without a word. I ate something that really didn’t agree with me* early in the week, and for most of the rest of the week I was quite ill. I considered getting online last Thursday to jot out a quick message to the effect of, “Hey, I’m sick, so I’m not making a formal blog post this week,” but I didn’t even have the gumption for that.
Again, I apologize.
I haven’t been completely idle over the last few weeks, however. In fact, I’ve been rather absorbed with creating/producing/performing my latest—and probably best so far, at least in production quality—song. It’s called “Like and Share”, and I’ve posted it here on this blog, and as a video** on Iterations of Zero, and on YouTube here. As the name no doubt suggests, it’s a song that deals with social media, and as my nature no doubt suggests, it deals with the dark side of such media.
Sorry; I am who I am.
Though I always say words to this effect, this time I really, really, REALLY would like to know what you think about the song, so if you have a moment, please take a listen. It doesn’t sound dark or anything, in case you’re worried. Apparently, it’s got something of a sixties feel. My sister—to whom I owe a tremendous debt for listening to various drafts and letting me know about balance issues and clarity issues and whatnot—said that if George Harrison and Pink Floyd had made a song together, this would be it.
Now…she’s my doting older sister, so she’s going to tend to be generous; I don’t want you to get your hopes up unreasonably based on her statement***. Still, I do think it’s pretty good as far as it goes. But I am needy, in my own weird little way, so if any (or all?) of you could take four minutes and thirty-seven seconds’ to listen, and then a moment or two more to make a comment either on my blog(s) or on YouTube or on Facebook (it’s also posted there), I’d be deeply grateful.
Seriously. I’m begging.
As is usual when I’m in the final throes of making one of my songs, I’ve missed about two or three days’ worth of editing on Unanimity, but I’m back to it now with a vengeance. It’s coming along and tightening up nicely. I’m not yet getting bored of it, and most importantly (to me) I still like my main characters a lot.
It’s very hard to enjoy a story, even a good one, if one dislikes the characters, especially the protagonist(s). I think the closest thing I know to an exception to that rule is The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Though I find Thomas Covenant at least somewhat sympathetic (some of the time) and almost always interesting, I am by no means surprised when some people say they absolutely loathe him. However, essentially all the other characters in the books are so moving and inspiring—especially Mhoram**** and Foamfollower—that even if you passionately hate Thomas Covenant, you can still really enjoy the books. Also, the villain of the series, Lord Foul, is probably my single favorite bad guy of all time. It doesn’t hurt that he speaks so eloquently that you might think him to be channeling Shakespeare himself.
It doesn’t hurt that he actually speaks, come to think of it. The one serious dissatisfaction I’ve always had with The Lord of the Rings is that Sauron isn’t really a character. I know, I know, that makes him all the more menacing—like a force of nature, rather like Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones. Just imagine if we were able to read a conversation with Cthulhu! Probably his voice alone would drive an interlocutor mad.
And indeed, in LotR, when Pippin interacts with Sauron via the palantír, we’re told that his laughter is like daggers, and I don’t think it’s meant metaphorically. Still, Lord Foul achieves the unquestionable status of absolute worst guy in his universe, and a definite force of pure evil, even though we meet him as a character—a person—very early in the books. Just take this, one of my favorite quotes from the end of his initial interaction with Thomas Covenant:
“Do not forget whom to fear at the last. I have had to be content with killing and torment, but now my plans are laid, and I have begun. I shall not rest until I have eradicated hope from the earth. Think on that and be dismayed.”
Yes, a character can use the proper objective form of a commonly misused pronoun and still be fundamentally evil. Actually, there are probably those who think that anyone who uses that form is evil, but who would entertain such nonsense?
Anyway, before I go off on too many tangents, I think I’ll wrap things up for today. Thank you for reading, apologies for last week, and I do hope that you’ll take a bit of time to listen to and comment on my new song…and even, if you’re so inclined, to “Like” and “Share” it. This is not straightforwardly ironic, perhaps, but given the rather negative attitude the song conveys toward some aspects of social media, perhaps it really would be ironic to do so.
I think that if you can achieve real irony in any given day, then surely that day hasn’t been wasted.
*It thought, for instance, that Shakespeare was a mediocre writer and that mathematics and science are boring.
**As usual, the “video” portion is just a static image of the IoZ logo (see below), so don’t get your hopes up…or, alternatively, don’t be afraid; you won’t have to watch me singing.
***I personally get a sort of Simon and Garfunkel vibe from it, but that’s mostly because of the harmonization.
****I quote Thomas Covenant himself here: “You’re making a big mistake if you ever assume that Mhoram is helpless.”