January 07, 2011

With a friend like this...

I have this friend named Jeff who is really a nice guy. On the surface anyway. In fact, he's an ordained Methodist minister. But what kind of friend is it who knows that someone is an addicted to something and gets them going on a binge?

The addiction in question is one of several of mine, to wit reading Tolkien. It's not an everyday thing. I can go years or even decades without touching the stuff, but when something gets me started again, I can't stop myself and have to re-read the whole Ring cycle.

It all started innocently enough when we were musing, as we often do, that working for social justice in WV is a bit like being stuck in the early part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Dark lords rising, sinister forces threatening Middle Earth, damage being done that can never be undone. Many defeats and fruitless victories.

But then he tempted me with books I had not read on Tolkien's life and work and before you could say "Attercop!" (something giant spiders in The Hobbit hated to be called) I was hooked again. Now I'm several hundred pages into the whole thing again with more than that to go.

Thanks a lot, pal...

MIXED SIGNALS. Although jobless claims rose a bit last week, new job growth in the private sector surpassed expectations.

IT COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE. Despite a serious downturn, government policies--particularly those related to the Recovery Act--kept millions of Americans from falling into poverty.

NO SURPRISE, BUT STILL IMPORTANT. The wealth gap between the richest one percent and everyone else has gotten bigger in the Great Recession.

UPPER BIG BRANCH. More water problems have been found by investigators of the Massey mine disaster.

HAST ANY PHILOSOPHY IN THEE, SHEPHERD? These may be hard times for philosophy in an age of academic budget cuts, but it seems to be doing just fine at one community college.

PLAY ON. There's a movement to bring back imagination to children's play.



Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I share your addiction to Tolkien, although I may be more addicted. For many years I reread The Trilogy (and the Hobbit) about once every couple of years. Over the past few years, I've added to my addition re-watching the Lord of the Rings films each Christmas season. Unfortunately, this last December was an exception: my DVDs of TLOTRs somehow were put int6o stor4age during my October move from house to apartment and I've yer to locate them.

Jeffrey said...

Lembas, anyone?

Margherite said...

Working for social justice anywhere (Alabama is about par with West Virginia on most measures) is going to be a lot harder without the inspiration of Judy Bonds. http://creekkeeper.blogspot.com/