December 18, 2021

From Gerald R. Lucas

Recent Indulgences covid-19: day 631 | US: GA | info | act

I started the second season of The Witcher today, and even after the provided synopsis, I realized I had not remembered much of season one. I remember it had a lot of boobs and monsters and a surly dude who looks like superman with long, grey hair. After some YouTube help, I remembered a bit more—enough to start the next season. I’ve made it through three episodes, and its fun. I guess with The Wheel of Time, this is my holiday of fantasy. Since xmas is the capitalist fantasy, it seems appropriate. While I like both of these series, neither comes close to Games of Thrones.

I’m nearly finished with Breakfast of Champions, and I think I’m gonna read the Dune saga again. Yeah, all six books. I first read Dune in high school after seeing Lynch’s film at DeSoto Square Mall—I was probably a sophomore. The film was cool enough to get me interested in tackling such a big book. I loved it—devouring the whole series. I taught Dune about 10 years ago, but I really have no recollection of what was even said—this journal post gives a clue, I guess. I listened to several discussions via the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast on my drive back from Florida. Yeah, the host isn’t the best, but the discussions were pretty good. I listened to one that reviewed the new film, one that tackled the Lynch film, and one on the novel—all with the same panelists. (I also listened to their panel on a few ’80’s films and part of the discussion on Asimov’s Foundation series. I turned the latter one off since no one was interested in discussing what a crap book the first one is.) Thanks for the inspiration to get into this series again. I think Kip’s even going to read Dune with me.

I think Dune and at least the first two or three books in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire share a quality that makes them stand out from the rest: they both build rich, complex, and nuanced worlds, but don’t throw all of that complexity at the reader at once. The style of the writers’ implies a complexity that will, if you are patient and perceptive, reveal itself eventually. I think both Witcher and Wheel are also complex, but we’re expected to rationally understand too many things at once which bogs down the narrative and makes it a bit cheesy. Does that make sense? I think Martin is less consistent than Herbert in this—as I remember, the entire Dune sequence is able to carry a similar poignancy—maybe a subtle complexity—throughout. I need to read some criticism on Dune.

We checked out the xmas light display downtown last night, but Henry was in a mood. I guess I was a bit moody, too. We started at Fall Line with a couple of beers. I want to like this place, but it’s so slow. Standing behind indecisive people sampling every beer on the menu drains my already much depleted holiday patience reserves. That, and no one seems to be wearing masks anymore as the country railroads toward fascism. Merry xmas. Maybe this is why fantasy is so appealing right now?