The Lord of the Rings (cont.)

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archive Thru March 2002: Archive thru January 2002:The Lord of the Rings (cont.)
By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, January 01, 2002 - 03:29 am: Edit

The Blackbird leaked everything like a sieve till it got up to speed, then the skin heated up, the seals expanded and worked perfectly, and of course it went like a bat out of hell. The real top end and altitude capabilities of the SR-71 have never been revealed.

The Titanium skin annealed itself every time, and just got stronger.

Too bad some lamebrain at Lockheed had the tooling destroyed! There won't be any more Blackbirds. And it will be a hard act to follow.

By Don_Walsh on Tuesday, January 01, 2002 - 03:24 am: Edit

Hah, my buddy Dean Barrett also did Mandarin at DLI, mid 60s, and got sent to Thailand with ASA which is Army Security Agency. COMINT and crypto. All supposed to be very hush hush, but the first time Dean went to Patpong for a drink, the very first bar girl said "You look like Army. Special Forces? Or Crypto?" He about fell off his stool.

Anyway, USAF with Mandarin skills in a RC-135, you were doing SIGINT, as they wouldn't need a linguist for ELINT and other folks were doing the COMINT. The distinction between signals intel and commo intel is a vague one to some people but not so to thee and me.

Kadena AFB is still there, for the time being anyway.

And Jay, that base you are thinking of is Fort Gordon, GA, home of the Signal Center and School and also the MP School and the CID.

By Thegreenimp on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 10:30 am: Edit

No, I was never at Kadena,......my ex-day gig involved engineering design modeling (model maker)for some defense related things, and other related projects.
I did the engineering gig till I got tired of the grind, and went creative, now I just model on the computer.
I still follow odd things that move through the sky, though historical research is more to my liking these days.
Good thing about the Habu's leaking fuel, was that zip fuel didn't burn so easy.
What a magnificent plane, especially considering the time it was conceived in.
Jay

By Artemis on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 10:12 am: Edit

"At least they didn't have you stuffed in an old EC-121"

We were stuffed, just that it was RC-135s. There was no way you were getting out of that aircraft in an emergency - the parachutes were pretty much for show, I thought.

"Habu's are fascinating up close, you should see how they leak fuel on the ground, till they get warmed up"

I did see it. We went right past their hangars on the way to our own aircraft, which were parked out in the open on the tarmac. If I remember correctly, the Habu were parked on a grate, under which was a sump to catch the fluids. They were supposedly limp as a noodle until they got to altitude.

"Black Jet's are a longtime interest"

I saw an enormous solid black C-5 or similar BIGASS aircraft one day in Georgia, apparently on approach to that fort (Signal Corps headquarters) near Augusta. Always wondered what the hell that thing was. Never saw anything like it overseas.
"(remember NOLA)....though now I just do vintage rotary wing research"

I remember we had conversation, but that's about it. Sorry, I was VERY drunk. Had a great time though ... good to hear from you again!! Were you stationed at Kadena??

By Thegreenimp on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 09:56 am: Edit

At least they didn't have you stuffed in an old EC-121........Habu's are fascinating up close, you should see how they leak fuel on the ground, till they get warmed up........Black Jet's are a longtime interest.....(remember NOLA)....though now I just do vintage rotary wing research.
Jay

By Artemis on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 09:54 am: Edit

I wrote:

"It was the first time in my life I was good at something and somebody actually seemed to give a shit"

I have to take that back. My grandmother used to give me money for showing her A's on my report card. Between her and Doctor Wu lay a lonesome road, though. I didn't respect either of them as I should. Too soon old and too late smart.

By Artemis on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 09:49 am: Edit

"Kadena,.....Large aircraft with funny projections"

Yes, hog-nosed birds. SR-71s were also there at the time. Quite a thrill to see them do touch and go on the big runway. They come floating in from over the ocean like a flying black needle, light as a feather. Then the pilot kicks in the afterburners and that fucker shoots straight up into the clouds so quick you miss it if you blink. They called them "Habu" after an indigenous pit viper.

" starts with an e"

? Not our (SAC) aircraft.

"Interesting Flying machines."

I guess, but when the Electronics Warfare Officer announces weapons radar has locked upon your aircraft, you'd pretty much prefer to be almost anywhere else than on board. Also when those assholes eating Kimchee go to farting ...

By Thegreenimp on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 09:11 am: Edit

Kadena,.....Large aircraft with funny projections......starts with an e.
Interesting Flying machines.
Jay

By Artemis on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 08:04 am: Edit

"Were they trying to shovel you into ASA, Artemis? A common fate of intelligent draftees."

I don't know what ASA is. An Army operation? When my birthday came up in the lottery (I drew number three), it was only a matter of time until the Army came calling, so I joined the Air Force, figuring to avoid Vietnam. Of course, that scheme didn't work. Yes, they only risked language school on the top half of the top one percent, intelligence-wise, of recruits. The fact I was from a two-language family (French/English) didn't escape their attention, either.

"Boring duty, listening to intercepts and translating them."

I'm sworn not to talk about the duty. If I did, I'd have to kill you. It was anything but boring. Keep in mind, I was not a ground pounder, I wore the silver wings.

"Were they teaching you Russian, or Chinese?"

They were teaching some thirty languages, but the biggest classes at the time were in Vietnamese, for obvious reasons. Russian was probably second. There was a lot of Korean being taught, as well as Thai, Cambodian, Laotian, etc. in much lesser quantity. I was taught Chinese Mandarin. Students were not given a choice as to language. Screeners from the school came to boot camp to pick and choose the candidates. I wanted Russian. Dr. C. K. Wu, who had come from DLI, told me I would be happy with Chinese. I can still see him up on his podium in the old WWII-vintage classroom building at DLI, with his crew cut, bull neck, and thick glasses, beaming down at me like a Cheshire Cat after I had nailed a particularly difficult passage. He would say:

"Mr. ****** in boot camp, he want to be Russian linguist, but I convince him Zhonguo Hua is for him, now he ace number one student!"

It felt fucking great. It was the first time in my life I was good at something and somebody actually seemed to give a shit.

"And where abouts in my part of the world were you living, and when?"

Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, with frequent ventures to other places. While Nixon was president.

By Luger on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 06:42 am: Edit

> There isn't any Thai BATF, and I know where Artemis >lives now. Anyway if he did live in Bkk he and I >would have already joined foces and taken over the >world, without even having to cast any Orc army or >anything.

Damn, damn,damn! But, that may not happen, since only one hand can hold the ring at the same time?

By Wormwood on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 05:57 am: Edit

I idea(s) used in Star Wars came from old samuri movies. "The Hidden Fortress" by A. Kurosara is in the credits of the first Star Wars movie as the source of the idea.

Sure ideas were stolen for other sources but not so many they needed to be acknowleged in the film's credits.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 05:42 am: Edit

There isn't any Thai BATF, and I know where Artemis lives now. Anyway if he did live in Bkk he and I would have already joined foces and taken over the world, without even having to cast any Orc army or anything.

By Luger on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 02:26 am: Edit

> Were they teaching you Russian, or Chinese?
>
>And where abouts in my part of the world were you >living, and when?

I heard he still lives there. In Bangkok that is.
He translates documents from Thai to English for the Thai-BATF. Maybe you should send him some gallons?

:-)

Luger

By Luger on Monday, December 31, 2001 - 02:22 am: Edit

>I think that's what Tom Bombadil was. There was one >(I dimly recall) who laughed a lot and who married >another that had a way with plants (made the trees >that lit the world before there was a sun and a >moon.)

Yavanna,who created the flowers and trees, married with Aule.

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 07:41 pm: Edit

See, we learn things every day. I didn't know Artemis went to DLI, which is the second best language school on the planet (FSI is the best) and I didn't know he has lived in SEA, either.

Were they trying to shovel you into ASA, Artemis? A common fate of intelligent draftees. Boring duty, listening to intercepts and translating them. Were they teaching you Russian, or Chinese?

And where abouts in my part of the world were you living, and when?

By Mr_Rabid on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 07:07 pm: Edit

"I will post it here if anyone is interested."

Oh heck yeah! Please do!

By Chrysippvs on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 05:07 pm: Edit

"You should maybe think about translating the literature you mention for the masses."

Honestly I would if it hadn't been already and done well. For instance I would love to make a Terza Rima translation of Dante, it would be a real challenge and would be true to the voice of Dante. I found out it has already been done and done well. However, I am sure I will send up doing some translations but don't think I am an expert in these languages, it would take a lifetime to learn, master, then translate something like Dante to any degree of academic and poetic honesty. I simply don't have the lifetime to do it in...

I will, however, be doing a verse translation of the old enlgish poem "The Wanderer" sometime this Spring, I will post it here if anyone is interested.

Side Note: For a great, and I mean great translation of Dante and Vergil check out the Allen Mandelbaum translations. I enjoy them, they are not always 100% accurate but as Horace once said wonderfully said "Nec verdum verbo curabis reddere fidus interpres (As a true translator you will take care not to translate word for word)."

- J

By Mr_Rabid on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 02:28 pm: Edit

Justin, I think you have not seen past the end of your nose on this one. You have a great facility for learning new languages.

Most people find it a terribly difficult pain in the ass.

I, for instance, have forgotten just about all of my Japanese from disuse, and it took me a good year and a half to learn it in the first damn place.

You should maybe think about translating the literature you mention for the masses. The language itself is beautiful, but the content is the main thing. You could bring that (and also perhaps an interest in learning the languages) to lots and lots of people.

I tried to read Dante in Italian, but the poetic metaphors came out in literal translation something like 'Dog the umbrella! Fort! Donuts they said, fie!'

I am very grateful someone rendered it in English.

By Mr_Rabid on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 02:21 pm: Edit

"That's true. And as I never finished the Silmarilion, I can't say whether Tom Bombadil's immunity to Sauron's power was ever explained in that chronicle, either. Anyone know? "

When the world was made Iluvatar (God, that is) sent some of his heavenly back-up singers to make sure everything went OK. I think that's what Tom Bombadil was.

They strode the world as gods. They often had skirmishes with Melkor (Morgoth) who always lost.

To them, the rings of power were what they were to Morgoth- tools. No more menacing than a hammer.

I think that's what Tom Bombadil was. There was one (I dimly recall) who laughed a lot and who married another that had a way with plants (made the trees that lit the world before there was a sun and a moon.)

By Artemis on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 11:40 am: Edit

I was in language school (Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California) at a time when the LOTR books were the rage among some classmates, bohemian types who for one reason or another didn't want to be in the military (almost all of us had been drafted). So I picked up "The Hobbit". I thought it was childish, a children's story, which of course is exactly what Tolkien intended. I quickly dropped it. Later, while living in SE Asia, I revisited it, and then read the other three books, and was happy I did. I would recommend them to anybody who hasn't read them. Hell, I might read them again myself.

By Petermarc on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 10:14 am: Edit

that's pretty much what i meant...i think it is impossible to believe that star wars was created independently of knowledge of LOTR...obviously there is more depth to the ring story, but i haven't read the books and have only seen LOTR in dubbed french...maybe it is safe to say all stories of this type follow and have followed the same structure and philosophy since ancient greece,or longer, due to a shared humanitarian mental link which was brought to this planet and spread about...

By Artemis on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 08:07 am: Edit

Don wrote: "I think petermarc was arguing that the Jackson film(s) are influenced by Star Wars, and I was arguing the negative of that"

I know, that's why I spoke in Peter's behalf; I don't think that's what he was arguing at all. Peter wrote: "this story (LOTR) seems to be the base for star wars and would have been even more incredible had it been released before those movies"

See, Peter said SW was influenced by LOTR, not the other way around, BUT that the release of Star Wars might have robbed LOTR of some of its power by putting that *sort* of thing (epic battle between good and evil) on the screen first.

SW came "fustest" but not "mostest", to borrow the words of CSA Cavalry General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

As for Machen - it's obvious Lovecraft was influenced by him without hearing Lovecraft say so. I was rather asking your opinion of Machen's work. As far as I'm concerned, Poe and Lovecraft's best efforts put together come up well short of Machen.

To All: Sorry about not using the SPOILER alerts, but I assume everybody here who cares has read LOTR, and there are no surprises in the movie that aren't in the books.

By Verawench on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 07:53 am: Edit

The ending of "Fearless" was to me a disappointment because its atmosphere had set me up to expect some delicate fatalist outcome. Instead this "return to normality" stuff... It's a beautiful movie, though. "Shopping for dead", i still want to do that. And what an inflight feature it would make! Teehee.

By Luger on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 07:14 am: Edit

>Tom Bombadil's immunity to Sauron's power was ever >explained in that chronicle, either. Anyone know?

Bombadill is not mentioned in Silmarillion, or any other books from the "old ages". Tolkien was several times asked about who Bombadill was, but he never gave a clear answer.
Who Bombadill really was is often discussed in Tolkien newsgroups, and there are many guesses ranging from Aule to Illuvatar himself, but it is just guesses.

Luger

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 06:46 am: Edit

Marc, I like Fearless too. Jess B. convinced of his immortality. And the thing had me in suspension of disbelief, nor did I see the ending coming. It WAS very touching, despite all the much overdone going-into-the-light imagery.

By Don_Walsh on Sunday, December 30, 2001 - 06:42 am: Edit

That's true. And as I never finished the Silmarilion, I can't say whether Tom Bombadil's immunity to Sauron's power was ever explained in that chronicle, either. Anyone know?

I mean, not even the White Council dared deal with the One Ring themselves. And we know their true natures. ("And Gandalf stood revealed...") For all that they were fallible and fallable (e.g., Saruman of Many Colors) and vulnerable to the One Ring and its Lord. (Or even the single Palantir that snared S.)

Yet Bombadil could not only touch the One Ring, and not be touched by it, he did it effortlessly and treated it as a joke. So, he was something that predated the First Age and answered to a different power than did the White Council or the three races of men, elves and dwarves. An elemental, clearly, of singular power. More powerful than those who could wrestle with a Balrog? The Balrogs were fallen powers like Sauron and subservient to Sauron and thus ultimately, originally of the same order as the Council's members. Although as I recall they were fairly sodding dim.

Aye, old Tom's an enigma.

By Anatomist on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 11:48 pm: Edit

Tom Bombadil was especially interesting because he seemed to be extraordinarily powerful, but only in his own space. He put the ring on without disappearing and thought it was a big laugh. Next to throwing the ring in the sea and destroying it, giving the ring to Tom was the only halfway seriously considered option. It's too bad they couldn't include him.

K.

By Marccampbell on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Vera,

I thought the ending of FEARLESS was one of the most inspiring I've ever seen.

By Admin on Saturday, December 29, 2001 - 10:19 pm: Edit

Grand Opening!

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