Stormfields

Steve Hogarth Marillion eonmusic Interview September 2019

Preparing for a fresh round of activity with a U.K. tour with orchestra that includes two nights at the Royal Albert Hall, Marillion have everything to be optimistic about. There’s also the ongoing reissues series that next sees 1995 fan favourite ‘Afraid
— Read on www.eonmusic.co.uk/steve-hogarth-marillion-eonmusic-interview-september-2019.html

“Secrets of Blackmoor: The True History of Dungeons & Dragons” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

The films tells the story of Arneson in the 1960s and the 1970s, following his war gaming club centered in the Twin Cities and out of the many colleges of the area, but especially the University of Minnesota. Convincingly, the film explains that what would be Dungeons & Dragons—coming to game stores in 1974–actually originated in Arneson’s basement between, roughly, 1969 and 1971. The war gamers, all avid and intelligent, began to experiment with actual individual personality in games. Rather than simply moving troops around a map, why not send in a spy or an assassin?

The critical question that Arneson and others began to ask during the game: “What do you want to do?” These six words transformed the game (and gaming) into something organic, non-mechanical, and deeply imaginative. “What do you want to do?”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/09/secrets-of-blackmoor-true-history-dungeons-and-dragons-bradley-birzer.html

Rush: ‘A Farewell to Kings’ Graphic Novel Tells Story of 1997 Classic – Rolling Stone

Fantoons, an L.A. studio known for creating rock-themed animation, has released a new full-length graphic novel that chronicles the making of Rush’s 1977 prog-rock classic, A Farewell to Kings. Spanning 144 pages, fully authorized by the band, and based on interviews with Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson and Kings producer Terry Brown, the richly illustrated comic offers a detailed account of the writing and recording of the LP that contained future Rush classics like “Closer to the Heart” and “Xanadu.”
— Read on www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/rush-farewell-to-kings-graphic-novel-882168/

1619, Slavery, the Founding, and All That ~ The Imaginative Conservative

For nearly fifty years, we have taught American children that the three greatest determinants in history are race, class, and gender. Virtue is scoffed at; “Great Men” are mocked; and free will is ignored. Should we be shocked—do we even have the right to be shocked—that our press, our culture, and our educators are obsessed with race? In every way, we are a far more racist society than we were in, say, 1989. Everything evil we now call “racist,” whether the thing is actually racist or not. Racist has come to be synonymous with evil and wrongdoing. Aside from the fact that this severely diminishes and attenuates the true challenges to true racism, it is also demonstrably false, especially in regard to our history as an American people.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/09/1619-project-slavery-founding-bradley-birzer.html

Tool, Fear Inoculum – Progarchy

Which is why I’m completely — and delightedly — flabbergasted by Fear Inoculum, Tool’s first album in 13 years.  Beyond being as heavy, brainy and cathartic as one might expect, this is deeply thoughtful, richly layered, compelling music — a satisfying, unified work from start to finish that also rocks like a truck full of bricks.  If this is what Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones and Maynard James Keenan have been aiming for all these years, it’s been well worth the wait, because they’ve nailed it.
— Read on progarchy.com/2019/09/01/tool-fear-inoculum/

Headlong Into Darkness: Social Media as Plato’s Cave ~ The Imaginative Conservative

And, yet, why not the opposite? Why can’t social media be about spreading the Gospel, 280 characters at a time; or about the release of information on how to adopt children from war-torn countries; or why not a Platonic dialogue; or how to get the local homeless person much needed food and shelter; or how to plant better tomatoes, or… Like almost everything technological, social media can be good or bad. Sadly, it seems to have gone the wrong direction in recent years. Much of what has happened with social media reminds me of promises made in the 1950s that television would revolutionize the teaching of children. It did, but not in the ways promised.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/09/social-media-plato-cave-bradley-birzer.html

“Battlestar Galactica,” 40 Years Later ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Second, the actors are rather stunning as well: Lorne Greene, Jane Seymour, Patrick Macnee, and Lloyd Bridges? An incredible cast. The two main characters, portrayed by then relatively unknown actors, Richard Hatch (Apollo) and Dirk Benedict (Starbuck), are, again, simply extraordinary. They give every single ounce of talent they each have to the roles, and what they have is not inconsiderable. The two leads have an excellent chemistry as well, with Apollo being the moral and serious one, and Starbuck as the stereotypical fighter jock and rogue (think Han Solo) with a heart of gold.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/battlestar-galatica-40-years-later-bradley-birzer.html

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law ~ The Imaginative Conservative

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. And, to be certain, they are logical as well as honest. They promote good order in the society, in the family, and in the community.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/burning-bushes-smoking-mountains-law-bradley-birzer.html

The Horrors of Modern Public Opinion ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Even if the Allies should utterly defeat the Axis, Dawson feared that the poisons of power and centralization will remain. “The sufferings that the occupied countries have endured have weakened the whole tradition of civilized order and have accustomed men’s minds to violence and lawlessness,” he wrote a year later, in 1945. Because the democracies themselves were forms of totalitarianism, their party politics would especially descend into thuggery after the end of the war, thus permanently dividing Republicans from Democrats and Tories from Labour. We will no longer see our opponents as opposition, but rather as the enemy in a stake for total control of each respective society. Political opponents will call not for victory over their opposition, but rather for the complete “liquidation” of the opposition. “Every election,” he predicted, would become “a potential civil war.” Even as of 1945, broader commentaries identified fascists as “right wing” and democrats as “left wing,” thus creating artificial distinctions in the race for total control. “The result of this division is to obliterate the distinction between constitutional and totalitarian parties, and to force every shade of political opinion into alliance with some extremist totalitarian party which inevitably tends to become… predominant.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/christopher-dawson-modern-public-opinion-bradley-birzer.html

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II ~ The Imaginative Conservative

The irony, Dawson noted, is that the allies, ostensibly at least, waged their war against fascism. What is this thing the enemy propagated through extreme violence? It is, Dawson stated, “an attempt to transform the modern society into a purely dynamic organism, and to fuse community, party and state as a unitary mass driven by the aggressive will to power.” Dawson cautioned against the identification of fascism with authority. Instead, he claimed, one must identify fascism with power. Authority, as opposed to power, was the proper acquiescence every society (and its members) gave to those who ordered and secured a healthy society. Thus, as examples, a judge had authority because he decided things with wisdom; a teacher had authority because she taught her students the good, the true, and the beautiful; a policeman had authority because he upheld the law. Authority, as properly understood, was vital to a free society as were natural rights, Dawson argued. Authority, when used well, protected social freedoms, justice, and law. When violated, though, authority easily became power, a “poison” that seeps through societies, destroying all that it cannot corrupt. Power is, in essence, raw and naked force.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/becoming-enemy-world-war-ii-christopher-dawson-bradley-birzer.html

On Writing, Economics, and Writing About Economics ~ The Imaginative Conservative

I am not a professional economist. Nor have I played one on TV. My own academic background is in literature, philosophy, and then theology, where I earned my doctorate writing about soon-to-be-saint John Henry Newman and the threat of Hell. My knowledge of economics has come out of interest and necessity. My interest is because my own liberal education, no matter how flawed it may have been or dilatory I was in study, convinced me that all knowledge is one, and that to truly have a view of the world, one must have a sense of the importance and place of all subjects. Though economists have often overstated the importance of their discipline, I have nevertheless been impressed with the ways in which economists, though often dismissed with Macaulay’s gibe about being a “dismal science,” have often come, as William McGurn has observed, to the same practical conclusions about freedom and human dignity that theologians and moral philosophers have.

The necessity in my interest in economics is because I am married and have seven children. Though the sums needed to raise them are often overstated, my experience is that they do cost money. “Economy” comes from two Greek words, oikos (home) and nomos (rule). While many of us tend to think of economics as involving titans of industry, IPOs, international deals, and world-scale decisions and players, economics in its original sense is all home economics.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/writing-economics-david-deavel.html

J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Beren and Lúthien” ~ The Imaginative Conservative

As with all of Tolkien’s great tales of the First Age, the story of Beren and Lúthien transformed dramatically over sixty years from its first imagining and version in 1916 and 1917 to its relatively finalized version in 1977’s The Silmarillion. During those six decades, it appeared as a long tale of the Lost Tales, as a summary in the 1926 Sketch of the Mythology (written for Tolkien’s beloved professor from King Edward’s, R.W. Reynolds), as a radically ambitious poetic lay, The Lay of Leithian (1925-1931), and as an essential story within the various versions, including the final version, of The Silmarillion.

Yet, the essence of the story has remained the same in all of its many versions. Or, as Christopher so wisely put it, “The fluidity should not be exaggerated: there were nonetheless great, essential, permanences.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/jrr-tolkien-beren-and-luthien-bradley-birzer.html

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