Hello and good morning.
It’s the first Thursday of Spring in the northern hemisphere, and of Autumn in the southern, so I’m writing my more traditional Thursday blog post, though there will be little to set it apart from all those that I write on any other day. For that, I apologize. I think my writing must grow tedious after a while (if not sooner). My own words are nearly always tedious to me, as is my own thought.
I’m sitting at the bus stop, today, because yesterday I decided to re-try a pair of shoes I haven’t worn in a while. They are quite nice in that they are lightweight, and also because they are porous, and so “breathe” well. However, after my eleven miles of walking yesterday, they gave me several new blisters, albeit small ones, and that’s terribly frustrating at this stage.
I’ve treated the blisters, more or less, but they are still annoying, and today I’m wearing my Timberland boots, which at least didn’t give me blister when I last wore them. But they definitely don’t have the porosity of the other make of shoe, and they are heavier as well, though for boots they are remarkably light.
I threw away the shoes I wore yesterday, and the other pair I have like them. I don’t want to be tempted to try them again after a few days. They had done their time, in any case, and the soles were getting rather worn. They weren’t bad shoes, by any means, but for longer walking—at least if you’re using my feet, about which I have no choice—they seem to cause trouble, even after long months of use.
I know, I know, this is all very boring, and again I apologize. I’m a boring person; what can I say? At the very least, I’m certainly not pleasant. I’m just a glitch in the program, a flaw in the crystal, a smudge on the written page, a grain of sand in the bottom of a shoe, or a spot of bird droppings on an otherwise beautiful painting. I might be a curiosity for a bit, and even, from certain angles, seem to add something here or there, purely by chance. But after a while, there’s only so much interest anyone can have in looking at feces on a canvas or tolerating the effects of buggy computer code.
Before long, everyone who is very close to me much of the time gets weary, and they go away, to save their sanity or their mood or whatever. Apparently, I’m something of an emotional toxin or allergen. I’m even allergic to myself, frankly—which makes me a sort of mental autoimmune disorder. Well, I can’t change the nature of reality, I suppose.
This Saturday is the 25th of March. According to Tolkien’s calendar, that is the day on which the One Ring fell into the Cracks of Doom and was destroyed, causing the final downfall of Sauron. It’s an auspicious day. Regrettably, there are no handy volcanoes in Florida—nor anywhere reasonably close to Florida, as far as I know.
I think I’ve heard that people in Japan sometimes throw themselves into Mount Fuji, but I may be misremembering that. Anyway, falling into an active volcano is not a peaceful sort of thing, unlike what happens to Gollum in the end of the Peter Jackson movies. One doesn’t have a soft, gentle landing on the surface of the lava, to sink slowly into it, apparently not even quite realizing what’s happening. No, this is molten rock we’re talking about. It is much denser than any flesh, and a human—or other animal—will not sink into it at all.
The initial impact of a fall onto lava seems likely not to be much gentler than a fall onto solid rock. And then, of course, it is very hot, searing and boiling the flesh that hits it almost instantly. There are YouTube videos in which you can watch this demonstrated (not on a live creature, but on a bag of stuff that’s roughly the same composition as a living animal), and it pops and skips about, flaming and sputtering like splashes of water dropped onto a very hot pan bottom. Only worse.
One wouldn’t suffer for long in such a situation, of course, and it would certainly be quite spectacular, though I doubt a participant would appreciate the spectacle.
But anyway, though the Ring might of course first rest gently on the surface of lava before melting into it, Gollum would not sink at all. He would, rather, be incinerated violently. In this, interestingly, the makers of The Rings of Power, seemed to understand volcanoes better. They trigger the initial eruption of Orodruin by rerouting a river so that its water flows through underground tunnels before emptying into the lava chamber and boiling explosively, setting the whole thing off.
It wasn’t quite a realistic depiction of such an event—I think if water fell on a flat, placid lake of lava such as we see in the show, it would certainly boil, and probably explode, but I don’t think it would trigger a general eruption like we saw, since it was above the magma, and would remain so, because of comparative density. But they had to make it clear what was happening, so I guess we can give them some slack on that front.
Also, I don’t think the surface of the lava would actually be red hot liquid, unless it was actively flowing. If it were exposed to the air, as it seemed to be, I would think it would crust over a bit, with the very surface darkening. But I might be wrong about that. I suppose that depends on just how hot it was. I’m no volcanologist or geologist or whatever, so if anyone out there is an expert, I would welcome your input.
It doesn’t really matter, though. I’m not going to be encountering any volcanoes, I shouldn’t think. And though I have often toyed with idea of going to stand before the entrance to the Palm Beach courthouse, dousing myself in lighter fluid and gasoline, and setting myself on fire, I don’t think I have the willpower to do it. It’s an intimidating prospect. It would be hard for people to ignore, I have to admit, and maybe it would make people stop and think about the horrors perpetrated upon so many people by Florida’s badly managed criminal justice system, and the flawed priorities of such systems in general in the modern world.
More likely, people would just think I was crazy. They would, no doubt, be correct, as far as that went. But that wouldn’t necessarily mean my other points were wrong.
Anyway, I don’t expect that I’ll do that; I’m a bit too much of a coward. But it would be nice if something momentous happened this Saturday. I won’t be at work, so I won’t be writing a blog post, which means I’ll basically be lying around with nothing of interest to do.
What else is new? Hopefully the rest of you are enjoying the beginning of the new season, whether it’s Spring or Fall. Some major holidays are fast approaching, at least among the western religions. If you celebrate them, and have family and/or friends with whom to share them, I hope you look forward to them and enjoy yourself tremendously. You might as well.