Sunday, September 18, 2022

Rings of Power (so far)


I've made it through episode 4 of series 1 of the Rings of Power.

I think it's pretty clear already that for the sake of my own blood pressure, I'm going to have to get myself into the headspace of watching this as a very pretty generic fantasy show, written by some people who had been given a list of names out of Tolkien and a very abbreviated precis of the era they're working in... which they then mostly ignored. Because what the fuck did this Tolkien guy know about TV, huh? Nothing, that's what! He was just some kinda schoolteacher or somethin'.

On the plus side, I am very pleased that it's making the racists so enraged. I do like it when racists get enraged.

Also annoying a certain group of people is making the proto-hobbits cartoon Irish, but I note that those same people are entirely silent on the fact that the dwarves are all cartoon-Scots — I guess that trope has been well enough established by now. Though I do recall reading something from one of Tolkien's letters about his basing the clannish and secretive dwarves on  stereotypes of the biblical Jewish tribes (though he didn't use the word stereotypes himself, as far as I can recall).

If you don't watch it as an accurate retelling of the Akallabeth, but as a garbled and somewhat confused construction based on a fourth or fifth-hand hearing of some bullet points from that tale, it could be worse. The pacing isn't the greatest, but the acting is okay, and the design is spectacular.

The timeline is all over the place, and the dramatis personae are also rather shaken up — Galadriel, for example, has been given a pretty huge demotion, from one of the most powerful of the Noldorin from Valinor to what appears to be an insubordinate mid-level soldier with no people skills at all. The takeover of Numenor by Ar-Pharazon has been entirely ignored as far as I can tell, but maybe something of that sort will happen later on.

I'll keep watching, because if nothing else it is very pretty.


Having now watched all of season 01 through, I think that the word that best describes it as a whole is "unsatisfying".

The changes from Tolkien's original storyline and characters have not stopped being grating, and even if I try to watch it as a generic fantasy story with vaguely Tolkienish antecedents, there is a lot of  suspension of disbelief required.

It is pretty gorgeous to look at though. I'll watch season 02 in the hope that it will start to gel into a comprehensible and believable story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

C13th Cistercian Numbering System


This is, apparently, a numbering system developed by a Cistercian monk in the 13th century that allows any number from 1 to 9999 to be written with a single symbol.

I haven't fact-checked this, but it's pretty nifty nevertheless.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Small Snow

 I thought it was a bit chilly this morning, and sure enough, when I looked out there was white stuff lying around all over the place. And just in time for us to run out of firewood.

It is spring, in theory.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Paper Towel Dispenser


We've been needing a paper towel dispenser for the back of the kitchen door for a little while, so I made one.

You don't think 32 years is too long to wait to get around to some household task, do you?

Anyway, we've got one now, so that's nice.