Sunday, December 19, 2010


One may argue that God is society’s No.1 enemy, but He is not, in fact, as many Christians detest the sting of the conscience (don’t we all?).

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I find it surprising that, since the number of various experiences seems to be important, that science has not tried to make it possible to see what it’s like to become a toaster oven.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Flame of Arnor....

I have decided to become a Mexican, so I shall not see you for quite some time. Mexicans, please do not be offended; I love your lack of emphasis on productivity! Why else should I choose to become a Mexican? Honestly, though, there are some things in the Mexican culture that I love, like the afternoon siesta.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Little Thought on the Return of the King

It almost seems as though Gondor is a little bit like modern Christianity, doesn't it? Both Gondor and and modern Christianity are fighting hard because they recognize the threats, but they seem to have forgotten their former splendor and glory.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It is Still a Vehicle

I have just discovered a revolutionary concept! We no longer need starters in vehicles. We can have a car without the hassle of a starter! Why should starters have a monopoly on the operation of a vehicle? Why can't a car run by itself? Why does it have to rely on a key in a switch, or on the switch at all? We must all campaign to remove starters in vehicles! No more tyrants telling us how to operate our car! Cars without starters!

Let me know what you think of this.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Four Notes of Fate

Ludwig van Beethoven conveys the message of fate and human will to the whole world through his music. Much of Beethoven's life reflects this struggle between human will and fate, in fact. Beethoven was born to Johann and Maria Magdalena van Beethoven in the year 1770. His family steadily became poorer after his grandfather's death in 1773 and his father's descent into alcoholism. After age eleven, Beethoven was forced to leave school to provide for his family. His father made young Ludwig undergo vigorous musical training in hopes that he would become another child-prodigy like Mozart, but this failed. In spite of his failure to become a child prodigy, though, Beethoven went on to study music; and he made a name for himself early on. Although no credible testimonials survive of his first visit to Vienna, legend has it that Mozart said “this young man will make a great name for himself in the world” when he heard Beethoven's superb improvisational skills. But then the hand of fate struck. By 1800, Beethoven realized that he was going deaf. He was tempted to take his life into his own hands, but, as the Heiligenstadt Testament reveals, “..only Art held [Beethoven] back; for, ah, it seemed unthinkable for me to leave the world forever before I had produced all that I felt called upon to produce.…” Beethoven would not let deafness stop him from writing the music that he was called to write. He stated that he would “seize fate by the throat”. He did this through his music. After completing his famous tenth symphony, he planned to continue on by outlining his next symphony. But fate had caught up with him. On March 26th, 1827, Ludwig van Beethoven died; and was honored by the presence of ten-thousand people at his funeral.

Beethoven wrestled fate through his music. Even early on, you can hear traces of this life-conflict of his. He aggressively displayed emotional intensity in his Piano Sonata in C minor, which is known as his “Pathetique Sonata”. After he learned of his advancing deafness, he decided to start over in his composing career by writing his Third or “Eroica” Symphony. Beethoven was taking quite a few chances by displaying this fiery emotion amidst the practice of self-control in the Classical period. When the audience heard the first four notes of his infinitely famous Fifth Symphony, they were sure he was insane. However, by the time he wrote his great Seventh Symphony, the audience had caught on – they wanted to hear it again. Beethoven saved his best for last, though. The Ninth Symphony was one of the very last manuscripts to be written by the great composer. During its performance, Beethoven had to be made aware of the applause from the audience by one of the soloists: as he was completely deaf. Beethoven also wrote one opera, called Fidelio. But his struggles with fate are best portrayed by far by his nine symphonies that shook the world.

Beethoven's lyrical melodic lines and powerful accents bring to mind the dramatic and hostile aspects of the struggle with fate, while his slow, somber themes inform us of the deep wounds fate inflicts. The rhythmic motifs illustrate this continual battle. One particular practice of Beethoven's that enables him to portray the underlying element of fate is his treatment of the bass line. Until Beethoven, composers in the Classical era wrote the bass line in the cello and doubled it an octave below with the stringed bass. Beethoven departed from this practice, and wrote independent parts for both instruments. Another rather different and somewhat odd characteristic of Beethoven is his treatment of sonata form. On some occasions – in his early piano sonatas, for example – Beethoven departed from the normal use of this form. He used what has been called “binary sonata form”. In binary sonata form, the boundary between the development section and the recapitulation section is somewhat uncertain. When listening to this in Beethoven's music, one might come away with more of a sense of turmoil created by this unclear boundary – A chaotic struggle between the will of the composer and that of fate.

The four notes sound. Instantly, fate has struck its blow: Beethoven was going deaf. He started sketching his Fifth Symphony as early as 1804, around the time he realized that fate had dealt him the blow. By July of 1809, he had finished it, and presented the score to the publisher E.T.A. Hoffman. Hoffman was a contributor to one of the most respected music journals in Germany at the time, and had nothing but praise for the work. The review he wrote was twice as long as his other reviews, and contained extravagant and pictorial language about Beethoven's work of early Romanticism – it was the largest piece of writing ever written on a work of Beethoven at the time.

Undoubtedly, Beethoven's Fifth Symphony was one of his most important works: perhaps the most important of all. Beethoven's Fifth marked a major turning point in the composition of his symphonies. Perhaps with the exception of his third, Beethoven's symphonies had been mostly written in the style of musicians in the Classical Period before him. His techniques were moderated and somewhat under control. While composing his Symphony No.5, Beethoven seems to have uncontrollably unleashed his self-expression into his music. The self-expression Beethoven displays in this piece and his use of Classical techniques undoubtedly set the pace for the Romantic era to follow. This is more than likely the reason why Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is so important, and why it is remembered so well today.

The theme of fate seems so prominent in Beethoven's life, but it is much more prominent in the first movement of his Fifth Symphony than it is in his other works. One only has to hear the violent first four notes to understand that this piece is about the harsh blows inflicted by fate. The four note motif is so striking that is easily recognized around the world. Even if you happen to miss the opening statement, you can still hear the motif throughout the entire piece. During the exposition, the motif is often stated in other voices, even while other material is being played. At the beginning of the development section, we hear the opening theme stated in F minor. Then, the material breaks down into the development of the motif. Even though the development is chaotic, you can still hear the motif interspersed between the other developed material. The recapitulation is signaled by the chords in the woodwinds answered by the strings, followed by a loud repetition of the motif. Once you pass through the recapitulation, the loud statement of the motif signals a change from the end of the recapitulation to the beginning of the coda. The coda is a long one, and is almost a re-development section. This re-development returns to the main theme, once again, with a loud restatement of the motif. The piece ends with a violent series of chords alternating between dominant and tonic, creating a dramatic close to seal the end of a journey of fate.
An element of Beethoven's music that seems to jump out at you is his continual use of harshly loud accents (called a sforzando). The first of his symphonies where this can be clearly observed is in the opening two chords of the “Eroica” or Third Symphony. In addition to the harshly accented chords that leap out from the material, many of Beethoven's themes seem to naturally accent themselves, whether or not this is indicated in the music. This supports the partly mythical-seeming connotations of fate with Beethoven. Something that may not appear fate-oriented, however, is Beethoven's ability to weave lyrical melodic material into material that is contrastingly rough and aggressive. However, when Beethoven mixes this melodic material into his rough and accented music, as he does in the fourth movement of his Sixth Symphony, it becomes all the more fateful. But in his earlier works, there is more of a contrast between smooth and rough, and this is openly displayed in the first movement of his Fifth Symphony. During this period in time, Beethoven still used sudden dynamic contrast, but he also began to use crescendos and decrescendos effectively. Again, the smooth transition from loud to soft and soft to loud is more prominent in his later works. This period may be more of a transition from Classical to Romantic: and so Beethoven's Fifth is a pivotal point in this transition. Another characteristic of Beethoven that may play a factor in moving from Classical to Romantic may be his ability to move into polyphonic texture at any time. While he uses this texture sparingly at this point in time, the texture can appear anywhere and lead to any place in his music. The rough accents, contrastingly smooth and lyrical melodic material, contrasting and smooth changes in dynamics, polyphonic texture jumping from nowhere: these all add to the sense of fate perceived in Beethoven's music.

Due to Beethoven playing a major role in the transition from Classical to Romantic, he almost has more in common with composers of the Romantic period than he does with those of the Classical. However, Beethoven's roots were in the music of the Classical period, and therefore many trends of the time influenced his music. The importance of the symphony at the time must have left a large impression on him, as he went on to expand it considerably. Although he made vast expansions to it, Beethoven drew heavily on the sonata form that was in standard use at the time. Also, Beethoven's music was mostly homophonic in texture, as was a good deal of the music during the Classical period. However, Much of Beethoven's transition to Romanticism might be linked to his teacher, Haydn. Haydn influenced Beethoven in a large number of ways: Haydn used syncopation, abrupt contrasts in dynamics, unconventional modulations, and accented chords that surprised his audience – Beethoven used all of these techniques, and developed them further. Beethoven also appears to have drawn from the music of Mozart as well. In some of his works, Beethoven seems to have similar phrasing, and his use of the orchestra sounds as though it might be a development of Mozart's style of orchestration. Mozart, like Haydn, also frequently used syncopation. So, both of these musical giants seemed to have influenced Beethoven quite heavily. But, in his genius, Beethoven took both the styles of Haydn and Mozart to new heights that even they had not imagined. This shaped the music of Beethoven to become what we hear today.

Beethoven's determination to conquer fate has left us with some of the greatest music in history. Perhaps his music would not have taken the shape it took had Beethoven not been struck deaf. Perhaps what Beethoven called fate lead him to compose the very music of the struggle with fate that he did. In the end, Beethoven left us with astonishing music, and perhaps even a whole new era of music.


Medforth, Budden, and Knapp, Raymond. Ludwig van Beethoven. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.

Cassedy, Steven. Beethoven the Romantic: How E.T.A. Hoffman Got It Right. University of California, San Diego.

Sherrane, Robert. The Classical Period: Ludwig van Beethoven. ipl2.

Song, Moo Kyoung. The Evolution of Sonata-Form Design in Ludwig van Beethoven’s Early Piano Sonatas, WoO 47 to Opus 22. University of Texas at Austin: 71, 72, & 115.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Italian Food, Marketing, and Modernism

While the subject is Italian food in society, this paper offers some insights on moderism (you can trace its roots in humanism, if you think about it), marketing, and the cultural upheaval of the sixties.

Friday, October 15, 2010


Here is a good breakdown of our emotional associations with the word "tolerance".

Monday, October 11, 2010

G.K. Chesterton

If you could sum up the whole of G.K. Chesterton's work in a sentence, what would you write? Witty? clever? charming?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Little Story

This is a little story. I'll start it, and you continue it in the comment section. Don't let it die!!!!

It was no ordinary feast. The guests knew this. All of the Elves and Dwarves made merry amoungst themselves. All at the expense of one poor creature.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Symbolism of J.R.R. Tolkien

“For reasons which I will not elaborate, that seems to me fatal. Myth and fairy-story must, as all art, reflect and contain in solution elements of moral and religious truth (or error), but not explicit, not in the known form of the primary 'real' world. (I am speaking, of course, of our present situation, not of ancient pagan, pre-Christian days...)”

- J.R.R. Tolkien in a letter to Milton Waldman

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien stated in the second edition of “The Lord of the Rings” that he did not prefer allegory. Instead, he preferred what he called “applicability”. Nevertheless, there are beings, objects, and places in Middle Earth that strike us as representations of Catholic beings, objects, and places. I shall try to explain a few of these.

The first of these are the Angelic beings mentioned in the Silmarillion. Tolkien writes that there was Eru, or Illúvatar, and that he brought the Ainur into being as an “offspring of his thought”. Tolkien quite clearly means for Illúvatar to be understood as God, and the Ainur as the angels. Among the Ainur are the Valar, which can be understood as the Archangels. Among the Valar is Melkor, who desires his part in the Music of the Ainur to be greater, and wishes to have the power to bring things of his own into being. Melkor then rebels. He is Lucifer, and Tolkien takes how he seeks to undo the work of God and brilliantly puts it into his own world. The other Valar, in Tolkien's own words, “built lands and Melkor destroyed them; valleys they delved and Melkor raised them up...”

So, we see how Tolkien clearly makes his world a Catholic one. But, is he writing a literal account of our world from our sight, or is he using images to help us come into a more real understanding of the images in our life? I will use the following as an example for this:

A common parallel drawn between Frodo and his journey to cast the Ring into the fires of Mt. Doom is one that compares it to Christ carrying His cross to Calvary. While that comparison is one that is easy to see and grasp, we might make a different one. Since Tolkien preferred applicability to allegory, comparing Frodo to the humble soul carrying his own cross might be more of an answer that we can relate to and apply to our lives. Frodo is small in stature, and the most unlikely choice to carry the Ring. But, if you think about Frodo, the fact that he is small is the reason that he is in fact, the very best choice. How can we apply this to ourselves?

Think of the Ring as sin. Men, who are battered the most by the enemy, succumb most easily to the Ring's influence – despite their strength and ability to keep the enemy at bay. Elves and Dwarves are also tempted by it. Why, then, is Frodo not tempted? The answer is this: Frodo is too small to even think of it. He isn't seeking glory by triumphantly overcoming it. But, he isn't afraid of it, either. We can apply this concept of the Ring to sin.

While Tolkien does indeed include the concrete Catholic representatives in his world, he actually gives us something more Catholic and Christian than this. What Tolkien does can be compared to Christ's parables. The Pharisees gave the Jews the images of the law, and they understood them as just that. Christ told the Jews how to serve God by showing them how His Commandments applied to their lives.

Maybe this is why Tolkien preferred applicability to allegory.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Look

I guess the new look is here to stay. YAY!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Quote

Do you know how long that so-called "weekly quote" has remained the same? Yes, that's right, pretty much since this blog was started. So, I promise.... no, wait, I sound like a politician. I will change it this weekend, guaranteed. Oh, now I sound like a salesman.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lewis' Life

Just want to take some time to recognize a very intelligent, very amusing comic strip.

Where Should This Blog Go?

READERS: If you are reading, what kind of material would you like to see on here? Do you like the diverse material, or would you prefer to see something strictly Tolkien (back to our original roots)?

Reader or Follower?

Are you followers reading this blog, or just following it? Are you authors authors, or writers? Do you say anything worth saying, AGP? or do you just rant to get your voice on the internet?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off Topic

I would like to take the time to give a brief apology to our readers. We have gotten way off topic since this blog was founded, and I'm sorry if that causes any confusion. However, our blog description does say that we present the world through Tolkien's eyes. Now, that may be a bit of a false statement, since our eyes are completely different from those of the great Tolkien. But, that doesn't stop us from trying!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Asked For It

The biggest and most obvious falsiety of the tolerance only movement is that it tolerates absolutely anything and anyone - except Christians and Christianity. And if there are any people of the tolerance movement reading this, they will more than likely be intolerant of this statement.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Warning

If no one posts anything on here, I shall post my Facebook sayings very soon. You will all go mad if I do that. :-)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Admission of Wrong

Have you ever had to confess a wrong to someone, and ask for forgiveness - and really meant it? You have to give something up, don't you? It is very humbling. It all comes down to the fact that you realize that forgiveness is something you have to ask for, and not something that you own. Forgiveness is something that has to be given by someone.

The Price of Freedom

What if you were guilty of murder and sentenced to death, and someone offered to pay the price for you? Would not that person be worthy of your love?

Looking at Evil with an Evil Lens

Have you ever read J.R.R. Tolkien's "Silmarillion"? Have you ever found yourself looking at the world from the point of view of the evil in it, like Hurin? What good is knowledge of evil if all you see is the evil? Always remember that Christ has triumphed over evil, and that you can, too.

Pleasure and Satisfaction

The more we please ourselves, the less happy we seem to become, and the more convinced we are that we are happy: we become less and less satisfied. Who alone can bring perfect peace in the midst of turmoil? Who alone can bring perfect love in the midst of hatred? Who alone can show perfect mercy while being perfectly just? God satisfies our desire for goodness, because He alone is completely good.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

A Three Eyed Alien

Have you ever tried to be 100% original and think up something that doesn’t exist? No, I mean something that doesn’t even contain one trace of already existing things. One could dream up a three-eyed alien with a mouth in its forehead, and of course it doesn’t exist. BUT, mouths, eyes and foreheads exist. I’ve tried to come up with something that has no pre-existing qualities every once in awhile for a few years now, and I just can’t do it. It always has to have something pre-existing.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why I Don't Post Anything Anymore (OOOH! Feel the Irony!)

I'm not sure I can articulate the reason, but here are some thoughts:

In youth, we are interested in truth. As we age, we become interested in reality.
(Monsignoir Ronald Knox)
(Note, reality here means the same as truth, only the whole of it apprehended by the whole self, not merely intellectible part of it by the intellect.)

Eventually, there will come a time when nothing interests you except souls.

The Christian faith is a thing made for living and fighting, and, as such, it must have a certain element of routine...on the whole the normal view of Christianity (as opposed to the novel one) might be the saner of the two.
(GK Chesterton)

In this is my wisdom, that I know I am not wise. (Socrates) In a conversation, the wisest ought to do most of the talking. (Peter Kreeft, and Gandalf too!)

Tell me what you think, you thirty followers.

Somebody write something.... please. If you don't write something, I'll post all of my Facebook sayings on here.

We have nearly thirty followers now. It's summer, so you have no excuse for not posting anything. Seriously.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ding Ding Ding! Let Round One Begin!!!!

Okay, it's time to stir up the hornets' nest! How and why is syncopation bad? Music has a direct effect on the brain, so, what are the effects of syncopated music? And while we're at it, what are the effects on the brain that listening to the musical "Wicked" causes?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Crazy Idea

Hey everybody! I just got this crazy idea of a weird way of putting a story together. I will start by writing a sentence, and then you can add to it by continuing in the comment section. Here it goes:

The grey hills steamed with a mist: not a dull, dreary one, but one as if it were going off to war.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Enormous Controversy

Pope John Paul II. After some research, I discovered a few things about him that I did NOT know. Read for yourself. It sounds as if he was a man with good intentions, but wasn't very well rooted.

Sunday, March 21, 2010 wanted a post?

How about this question for discussion: Is it possible to read The Lord of the Rings too many times?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Difference Between Following and Reading?

Have you noticed that on average there are about twice as many hits on the reaction "didn't read it" than there are on the others combined? I suppose that means what is being written isn't worth writing? We need some fresh material on here. I am currently hindered as to the amount of time I can spend writing posts, so someone else will have to do it. :-)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Myers-Briggs or the Four Temperaments?

Myers-Briggs seems to be the dominant personality theory out there. But is it really much more than an elaboration on the Four Temperaments? Perhaps MB is just an attempt to make the Four Temperaments fit as a personality indicator (remember that the Four Temperaments are separate from personality)?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Christian Films

A little advertising for

Everest Films

Everest Films is a group that "...started with a simple desire: to save our present culture from destroying itself, and to win souls for Christ."