April 07, 2011

The tales that really mattered

I like to quote Vernon Johns, an African-American pastor who was a pioneer in the civil rights movement. His father told him, "If you see a good fight, get in it."

But it seems to me that the best or most righteous fights or struggles are not the ones that you go out looking for; rather, they are the ones that come to you.

In one of the more hopeless parts of The Lord of the Rings, the sturdy hobbit Sam Gamgee expressed a similar idea. Reflecting on the adventures related in old stories and songs, he said

I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually--their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on--and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it might call a good end...I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into?

That's a good question. I wonder what sort of tale we've fallen into as well.

GREED IS IN, but that doesn't make it right.

JUST SAY NO. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller came out swinging against Republican proposals to kill Medicaid and Medicare. To their credit, acting governor Earl Ray Tomblin and WV's newest senator Joe Manchin also oppose the plan. (Note: to get to the story scroll down after clicking on the link.)

TWO MINUTE WARNING. The clock is running out on a chance to modernize WV's unemployment system.

IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING, dinosaurs probably had lice.


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