Jamie123

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About Jamie123

  • Rank
    Kicker of chairs and knocker-overer of table-lamps
  • Birthday 10/03/1964

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    UK
  • Interests
    Sleeping. Stuffing food and drink down my gob-hole. Being annoying. Listening to unpleasant people arguing.
  • Religion
    Christian

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3127 profile views
  1. "What infinite heart’s ease must kings neglect that private men enjoy?"
  2. Jamie123

    Education works best when...

    "Don't you go picking up any bad habits off them pesky nuns!" Hahahaha!
  3. Jamie123

    LoTR Movie - Helm's Deep

    Indeed - I only just learned about this now. Christopher Tolkien made accessible a huge body of his father's writings which might otherwise have been lost: not just stuff to do with Middle-earth, but also Norse mythology and the Arthurian cycle. There's rather a nice video about him from Men of the West here:
  4. Sorry to be a pedant, but the UK is a democracy as well as a monarchy. We have elected politicians too, and they are quite as capable of disappointing as the US ones are.
  5. Jamie123

    LoTR Movie - Helm's Deep

    I hear you. I think it's perhaps because I grew up with The Lord of the Rings. I re-read it through my 20s and 30s, and it percolated into my consciousness. (Even the epigraph in the front of my PhD dissertation is from one of the songs.) So rankles me to see "Tolkien done wrong". Maybe it shouldn't, but it does! I did enjoy the movies though, for all that!
  6. Jamie123

    Balaam

    Yeah - mordorbund pointed that out too. Jewish crucifiction? That's interesting! Where did you get this information from?
  7. Jamie123

    Balaam

    Wow - you're absolutely right! The reference is tucked away in Chapter 31 - a good 5 chapters on from where the Peor incident is described (which does not mention Balaam's part in it at all!) No one could say that the Bible is especially well organized!
  8. Jamie123

    LoTR Movie - Helm's Deep

    Exactly! It's just the sequence in which the images come that sets up that (quite irrational) expectation. For me anyway. (Perhaps I'm just weird.) A couple of other things which always bugged me in Jackson's version: Why is Minas Tirith surrounded by prairie? How was the city fed? Tolkien makes it quite clear that it was surrounded by an outer wall - the Rammas Echor - which enclosed the Pelennor Fields - the townlands of Minas Tirith. The account of the battle makes several references to the agricultural nature of the land.) The outer wall of Isengard is an open arch with no gate. In the book, the gatehouse was fortified: it had an inner and an outer door, with a tunnel in and guardroom in between. I read somewhere that the Dead Marshes scenes were filmed in a car park. I can well believe it. In the book, the "tricksy lights" (as Gollum called them) were quite subtle and genuinely spooky - Sam begins by spotting one in the corner of his eye - and then sees more and more. (It's similar to the scary scene in The Wind in the Willows where Mole is lost in the forest and starts to see "faces".) In Jackson's version they're great flaming torches! I've no problem with making changes to a story in order to film it: for example I'm a fan of David Lynch's Dune, despite it being quite a lot different from Herbert's novel in places. But those changes had a purpose and logic to them. But many of the changes Jackson made to LoTR were quite crass and pointless. P.S. If you think I'm the biggest and saddest Tolkien nerd there is, I know bigger and sadder ones!
  9. Jamie123

    Balaam

    OK - First of all I'm not going to say anything about whether or not the donkey actually talked. That question's been done to death elsewhere, and if we concentrate on that we're bound to miss something else important. What bothers me more is whether he was a good man or a bad man, or somewhere in between, and what we can base that information on. Wikipedia has this to say about him: Notice that all three references here are to the NT: where in the Torah is he identified as "wicked"? OK: 2 Peter 2:15: Jude 1:11 Revelation 2:14 The first of these is very general, and can easily be squared with the OT story: it could simply refer to the fact that Balaam responded to Balak's offer of a reward. He refused to do anything that God forbade, but he was nevertheless motivated to use his prophetic powers for financial gain. He acted cautiously, but his heart was still in the wrong place. The second is similar but a bit more specific, in that here Balaam dies in Kora's rebellion. That is not mentioned in the original story, which ends with Balaam's departure. So where did the idea come from? It seems unlikely to be an original revelation from God, since Jude is comparing the actions of Balaam to the way people of his own day were behaving. He would surely have used something his readers were familiar with to illustrate his point - not to confuse the issue by introducing new never-before-heard-of information. The third is more specific still. Where in the OT does it tell us that Balaam taught Balak to make the Israelites sin? Certainly nowhere in the Torah***. Some may say "Well John was a 'revelator', so why shouldn't he be 'revelating' new facts?" But if so, how would the people of Pergamum already have heard of this "teaching" to follow it? Unless of course they were simply leading each other into sin and not associating what they were doing with Balaam - but again it would have made more sense for John to have compared their behaviour with something they already knew about, rather than choosing that moment to inject new information. I can only suppose that a lot more was known about Balaam at the time than has actually made it into the Torah. For one thing, the book of Numbers introduces Balaam without even telling us properly who he is. It's as if he was already too well known to need much explanation. (An equivalent for us might be Merlin or Robin Hood or Paul Bunyan.) Perhaps there were lots of stories of Balaam - the mysterious sorcerer/prophet who could talk to his donkey, and that John and Jude are alluding to some of these. *** OK I was wrong about this - as mordorbund and Scott pointed out, there's a reference to it in Numbers 31.
  10. Jamie123

    Modern Secret Combinations

    Well, as someone who grew up watching Thunderbirds, I can tell you exactly what the deal with those pens is...
  11. Jamie123

    Education works best when...

    Having thought about it a bit more, I think the wisdom of this poster may be deeper still. In education, there is often a big difference between the lesson intended, or the lesson perceived by the shallow-minded, and the actual take-home lesson: Intended lesson: If you do as you are told by older, wiser and better people, and follow all the rules they have laid down, then you will not come to any harm. It's quite easy isn't it? Follow the rules and you'll be happy. Disobey the rules and...that's when the problems will start. Actual Take-Home Lesson: "Older, wiser and better" people disagree with each other profoundly, and some of them are even at odds with themselves, and the rules they set down contradict each other. Thus whatever you do you'll get something wrong. And knowing this this is a valuable education. Kids were once told "speak when you're spoken to" and "don't answer back" - precepts so cliched that no one notices that they contradict each other. "Don't answer back" puzzled the heck out of me as a kid. What was I supposed to do when a teacher spoke to me? Ignore him? What it really meant (though it was too much to expect any adult to explain this) was something like "When I tell you to do something, do it and don't argue". But what if the instruction made no sense? Like for example if you were told to report to Mr. Bloggs' office, and you happened to know that Mr. Bloggs was home sick. If you pointed this out to the teacher, was that still "answering back"? And if you went to Mr. Bloggs' office and sat there all day waiting for someone you knew full well wasn't coming, they'd accuse you of "not using your common sense" - but to use your common sense would entail "answering back" - so which precept should you obey? In short, the rules don't always help and you have to think for yourself and take a risk that you might be wrong. Learning this is part of growing up, so being taught that "good little boys" and "good little girls" can live forever in peace by following an all-encompassing set of rules, by people blinkered enough to think that that is genuinely the case, and learning for yourself that this is actually a bunch of baloney, may not necessarily be a bad thing. [End of rant]
  12. Jamie123

    LoTR Movie - Helm's Deep

    Am I the only person who was bothered by this? It's actually a few years since I last saw this movie (which I'm not totally 100% a fan of anyway) so I might be remembering it wrongly. But anyway... During the siege at Helm's Deep we see a close-up of defenders on the wall. A boy pushes a bolder over the battlements, which drops down (presumably) onto the people below. But at the very instant it falls, the movie cuts to King Theoden (Bernard Hill) talking either to Gandalf or Aragorn. I always expected that bolder to come down on one of their heads - and it always bugged me when it didn't. Though it makes no sense, the continuity (is that the right word?) sets you up to expect it - and when it doesn't happen you think "what happened to that bolder?" Am I the only one?
  13. Jamie123

    Sixteen Sodium Atoms

    As kids, my brother and I used to love the Adam West Batman. We would also make up our own silly Batman stories (as if the real thing wasn't crazy enough) in which Robin and Batgirl were a pair of mischievous 10-year-olds, playing pranks on Batman and/or trying to steal "batmobiscuits" (bat cookies) from the "batmobiscuitbarrel". Our Batman was also a terrible show off, always too busy posing in his pimped-up Batmobile to catch any villains, and always getting embarrassed or knocked off his perch by Robin's antics. Happy memories.
  14. Jamie123

    Education works best when...

    You're a hard woman Anatess... *shudder*
  15. Jamie123

    Education works best when...

    Intentionally or not, it's beautifully true. When you're a kid, your teachers tell you to do one thing, and your parents tell you to do another. And they both punish you for doing what the other says.