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About Jamie123

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    Sleeping. Stuffing food and drink down my gob-hole. Being annoying. Listening to unpleasant people arguing.
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  1. Jamie123

    Neil Peart

    Having thought it over some more I'm finding this more interesting than ever. The Israelites looked forward to the promised land, knowing full well that none of their generation would enjoy it. The adults of Childhood's End had an inkling of what their children would become but feel nothing but despair. What is the difference? I think the difference is continuity - the Israel that left Egypt was not the same as the Israel that crossed the Jordan, but the one merged gradually into the other. Family relationships were not severed. Of course in the book the sudden severing of the adults from the evolving children was the only way the Overlords could protect humanity from destruction but the tragedy and sense of loss remain. It's rather like what Paul would describe as "birth pangs". That's what makes Childhood's End such a powerful book.
  2. Jamie123

    Neil Peart

    That's why it's a challenging book. It makes you think about things like this. Certainly the adults "left behind" see nothing meaningful in what their children collectively become, but you might also ask how "meaningful" a butterfly is to a caterpillar. Perhaps you've noticed things I've missed about personal salvation early in the OT, but I've only ever noticed that dimension much later in the Bible. I agree absolutely. They were the sort of people who had great hopes for their children, which greatly eclipsed what they hoped to enjoy for themselves.
  3. Jamie123

    Neil Peart

    The Marillion song has nothing whatsoever to do with Clarke's novel. I read Childhood's End in my 20s - rather than nihilistic, I saw it more as "something must be lost before something better can be gained". The "something better" of course is for the race a whole - not for the individual - which is something I struggle with. But it's exactly what you get if you look at the Pentateuch from the perspective of those who first received it. God's promises were for Israel, and by extension for all humanity, but there was no indication that the generations alive then would participate in the final result.
  4. Jamie123

    The Oedipus Complex

    It depends which version you go with. It's a while since I read Sophocles, but I seem to remember he makes Laius the aggressor: Laius tries to stab his son as his chariot passes, whereupon Oedipus retaliates. Later he justifies his parricide by saying "I killed a man who sought my death." In other versions Oedipus is a sadist for sure: he waylays his father and "just to be a jerk" has his own horses drag him to death. (Rather like the dog in National Lampoon's Vacation.) Nasty nasty.
  5. Jamie123

    Neil Peart

    The music and the lyrics are sad and depressing, which only helps to emphasize the "eucatastrophic" moment when By-Tor appears. (Oddly enough in the previous album - Fly By Night - By-Tor was the villain, not he hero. I can't explain that.) There's a similar effect in the Marillion album Misplaced Childhood - near the end of Side 2, when the exceptionally dark Blind Curve segues into Childhood's End. That album has always moved me to tears.
  6. Jamie123

    The Oedipus Complex

    My 15-year-old daughter made an interesting observation the other day: Isn't it ironic that Sigmund Freud - when looking for a name for this condition (wanting to have sex with your own mother) - named it after a man who slept with his mother by accident, and when he learned what he'd done, was so disgusted that he blinded himself? He'd have done better to have called it the "Totally-The-Opposite-Of-Oedipus" complex. P.S. This is not the only place where classical metaphors are misused: a few years ago, people were using the term "Cassandra" to describe someone who falsely inflates the seriousness of a particular problem, causing attention to be misdirected away from other more important concerns. That is totally the opposite of what Cassandra (daughter of Priam of Troy) did - her warnings WERE real, but she was cursed such that they were NEVER ACTED UPON.
  7. Jamie123

    Neil Peart

    I'm sure this has been mentioned already, but I just found out. Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Rush, died this January past. (Shows how much I keep up with things!) He was only 67! As a teenager I was transfixed by his songs. I could (and probably still can) recite most of his songs. I think my all-time favorite has to be The Fountain of Lamneth cycle from Caress of Steel - one people don't talk about much, and more subtle than the later and better-known 2112 and Hemispheres. But I loved all of them. Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio, Subdivisions. I'll always associate Subdivisions (and the whole Signals album) with my first year at college. Music is cheap these days. You just download it for a small fee or naughty-naughty listen to it for free on YouTube (until the copyright owner has it taken down). In those days it wasn't. You had to save up for weeks and weeks to buy an album, and you agonized over which one to spend your money on. I'd think: "I really want my own copy of Hemispheres - I love listening to that at my friend's house - but...but...If I get that I can't afford to get the Archives collection..." etc. But anyway, rest in peace Neil. You were a great man, and a big part of my adolescence.
  8. Jamie123

    Fireworks Mishaps

    Many years ago, before I was married, a friend and I used to organize a firework party each year. She (my friend) would provide the food, and I would supply the fireworks. She was a foster carer - mostly of young kids - but one particular year had two teenage foster-sons living with her. They were both nice and (as far as I knew) sensible lads, so I thought it would be a splendid idea to give them the job of setting off the fireworks. Anyway, at first it went fine. But then they came to a firework which they weren't at all sure what to do with. Well like I say they were sensible boys, so naturally they read the instructions...printed on the side of the firework...using a match for light! Well as soon as I saw what they were doing I ran straight out into the garden in front of everyone, in full Basil Fawlty* mode. Quite apart from the damage to two silly boys, I shudder to think what would have become of my friend if two of her charges had been blown sky-high! Lesson: If you're going to trust teenagers with explosives: (i) don't assume anything - explain it to the as if they were five, and (ii) keep a very close eye on them! *If you don't know who Basil Fawlty is, check out...
  9. Jamie123

    Atlantis......... Was it real?

    There's a theory that the tale of Atlantis is a much-distorted account of the volcanic eruption on Santorini around 1,500BC. https://www.greeka.com/cyclades/santorini/sightseeing/santorini-volcano/atlantis/ But other cultures have myths of sunken islands and continents: the land of Lyonesse for example appears in the Arthurian legends. (St. Michael's Mound in Cornwall is supposed to be the last fragment of that country.) (If you've read Jack Vance's Lyonesse novels, you'll know he combined it with other mythical lands like Ys and Hybrasil, and placed it in the Bay of Biscay - but Vance's stories (fun though they are) are about as consistent with real myth as they are with real history. Also in Thomas Hardy's Wessex stories, the Scilly Islands are called "Lyonesse".) There are also sunken lands we know to have existed. The Dogger Bank for example, now a shallow area of the North Sea, was once "Doggerland". (It wasn't called that then of course - who knows what the people of the time called it - if they called it anything at all.)
  10. OK, to make up for it here's a (different) clip from the far superior BBC version from the 1980s. (N.B. The guy with the extra head on his shoulder was naff even then.)
  11. Careless talk costs lives... (The BBC version was better but YouTube doesn't seem to have it)
  12. I think the theory is that guilt and innocence are no business of anyone but the jury. Even a judge is not supposed to opine on whether a person is guilty or innocent. The most he/she can say is whether or not a "reasonable jury properly instructed" could find a person guilty based on the evidence presented.
  13. If the taser was unloaded, I imagine the sensation would be pretty much the same. Firstly he'd have had difficulty incapacitating anyone with an unloaded taser. The taser had been fired twice during the altercation...though I suppose in the heat of the moment he might have lost count.
  14. The same could happen here. The CPS (as we call it here) doesn't prosecute all cases the police sent it. Firstly there has to be a "reasonable chance of a conviction", and secondly the case has to be "in the public interest". (In theory anyway - though with some of the charging decisions they make, you wonder what kind of weed they're on.) But I think if I shot dead a man who was pointing an unloaded taser at me, I think it's very unlikely I wouldn't be facing a jury.