Open Thread: Tree under Tree


I have misplaced my camera.  Hopefully.  The alternative is that I lost it somewhere I'll never find it again.  Anyway, the image is from 2011 when I had no presents at my house (pretty much standard fare) and I therefore put a Christmas tree under my Christmas tree (not usual for me.)

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Saturday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: I Did Not Do Any of These Things for the Sake of Pleasing You

[Narnia Content Note: Rape, Forced Marriage, Non-consensual BDSM, Self-Harm, Racism, Violence]

Narnia Recap: Shasta and Bree have met up with Aravis and Hwin. Bree has demanded Aravis tell her story.

Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 3: At the Gates of Tashbaan

Chapter 3 is one of the flashback chapters that Lewis loved so much; we saw a similar one in Prince Caspian, and there will be a lot of parallels that I want to bring up. But let's get started.

First, Aravis notes her lineage: She is a noble woman, the only daughter of her father, with a deceased elder brother and a surviving younger brother.

  “MY NAME,” SAID THE GIRL AT ONCE, “is Aravis Tarkheena and I am the only daughter of Kidrash Tarkaan, the son of Rishti Tarkaan, the son of Kidrash Tarkaan, the son of Ilsombreh Tisroc, the son of Ardeeb Tisroc who was descended in a right line from the god Tash. My father is the lord of the province of Calavar and is one who has the right of standing on his feet in his shoes before the face of Tisroc himself (may he live forever). My mother (on whom be the peace of the gods) is dead and my father has married another wife. One of my brothers has fallen in battle against the rebels in the far west and the other is a child. 

She also has an Evil Stepmother because (a) adult women are evil in this series and (b) Lewis was nothing if not willing to rip off other fairy tales for material.

Open Thread: Giant Lego Giraffe


Two things tie for coming to mind first.  One is that, even though the person said, "Lego giraffe," it's actually made out of Duplo blocks.  Of course, Duplo is a Lego product line, so I guess there's wiggle room there.  The second thing is that my brain really, really wanted to call this "Giant Lego Elephant".  No idea why, but it's been really persistent about this.  Swapping out words for vaguely related words (Amsterdam for Istanbul, acorn for pine cone, window for mirror, apostrophe for asterisk) is pretty standard for my brain, but it usually doesn't try quite as hard as it's been trying here.

This area was originally a dirt field.  Just a field of dirt.  Not even grass grew here.  Commerce didn't even try.  Then they plopped down a transit station (is a subway still a subway when it's above ground for the last few stops?) and all sorts of buildings sprouted up, and with them a giant duplo giraffe.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Open Thread: Ball in a Bush


And then chris the cynic remembered that she was supposed to make an open thread.

Pink two weeks in a row.  Saw this walking on the sidewalk today.  I wasn't previously aware that soccer balls grew on, or rather in, whatever that bush is.


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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Repost: Syllogisms that Demand a Verdict

[Ana's Note: By popular demand, this is a re-post of an old deconstruction, partly to have content while I struggle with my ongoing disability challenges and partly so that newcomers can comment on old conversations.

The original post is here. I have not edited the content. It is interesting to me in retrospect that I first encountered Lewis' trilemma in the apologistic works of Josh McDowell, to the point where for a long time I wrongly assumed that Lewis would not have been associated with the trilemma because he'd been talked up to me as a better thinker than that.]



Narnia Recap: Edmund has eaten and drunk the White Witch's magical food and is now compelled by an unnatural hunger for more magical food -- he will obey her orders unquestioningly in order to procure more Turkish Delight. The Witch has also ordered Edmund not to tell anyone of their meeting together. Now he has met up with Lucy and they return to the wardrobe door and step out of Narnia.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, Chapter 5: Back on This Side of the Door

   BECAUSE THE GAME OF HIDE-AND-SEEK was still going on, it took Edmund and Lucy some time to find the others. But when at last they were all together (which happened in the long room, where the suit of armor was), Lucy burst out:
   "Peter! Susan! It's all true. Edmund has seen it too. There is a country you can get to through the wardrobe. Edmund and I both got in. We met one another in there, in the wood. Go on, Edmund; tell them all about it." [...]
   And now we come to one of the nastiest things in this story. Up to that moment Edmund had been feeling sick, and sulky, and annoyed with Lucy for being right, but he hadn't made up his mind what to do. When Peter suddenly asked him the question he decided all at once to do the meanest and most spiteful thing he could think of. He decided to let Lucy down. [...]
   And Edmund gave a very superior look as if he were far older than Lucy (there was really only a year's difference) and then a little snigger and said, "Oh, yes, Lucy and I have been playing -- pretending that all her story about a country in the wardrobe is true. Just for fun, of course. There's nothing there really."

Open Thread: Balloon Light


Pink Balloon in front of a white light.  It's not as easy to photograph as you might think.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: The Horse and Her Girl, a Tale of Princess Aravis and her courtship by King Rilian

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Violence, Rape and Rape Culture, Cissexism]

Narnia Recap: Shasta and Bree are being chased by a lion, and have been railroaded into another horse and rider.

Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 2: A Wayside Adventure

That was a longer pause than I'd intended; I'm sorry. How is everyone? Making it through the winter okay so far? It's already dipped below freezing here in Texas (during November!) and I have lost the ability to can. But otherwise I'm doing well, despite a strange parrot-like need to squawk "BUY MY BOOK!" every two minutes. I'm sure it'll pass.

I said before that Chapter 2 is difficult for me, because it's... not wrong, but it's not right for me. Part of this is because I have so much investment in the series at this point that I read passages a certain "this way" rather than an alternative "thus way". (Incidentally, that was part of the reason why I was committed to going through these in the order I read them as a child and not in the "canonical" order.) So, for instance, today we meet Hwin, the girl-horse of this book.

There is nothing stopping you from viewing Hwin as a socially savvy female horse who is a mistress of manipulation and capable of maneuvering the horse and humans around her into peaceable company. Indeed, I think the book would be much improved by such an interpretation. What is stopping me from that interpretation, however, is the belief that Lewis intends Hwin to be a shining example of good femininity and he would have rather torn out his own eyeballs than agree with me that social manipulation can absolutely be good.

No, no, these are books about manly men blurting out whatever inconvenient truths cross their manly minds while the good ladies hang back and deferentially follow their lead. If you let a woman manipulate men, then the next thing you know she's leading him about on a leash (literally, in the case of Edmund!) and cats are lying down with dogs, et cetera. And I think this is an important point when the very last book, The Silver Chair, was predicated on the horror of a man being manipulated into actually buying the pretense of chivalry and thinking that he should defer to all his lady's wishes when everyone knows--most especially the men practicing the chivalry!--that such devotion to her will and wishes is a romantic game of pretend, not something you actually do.

So, slipping back into this, when we last left our heroes, they were being chased by lions because that is how god railroads you back onto track in life:

   Shasta now gave himself up for lost and began to wonder whether lions killed you quickly or played with you as a cat plays with a mouse and how much it would hurt. At the same time (one sometimes does this at the most frightful moments) he noticed everything. He saw that the other rider was a very small, slender person, mail-clad (the moon shone on the mail) and riding magnificently. He had no beard.

Fundraising: Monthly Donation Reminder and Thank You

For those of you who have requested it, here is a monthly reminder to donate to Ramblings here and/or make sure to renew donation subscriptions that have lapsed. (Subscriptions can be canceled through Paypal at any time.) I want to reiterate that I don't want anyone to donate if that donation would create financial hardship for them! But if you can afford to donate, every little bit helps.

If you enjoy the open threads that Chris the Cynic posts for us, please consider donating to at Stealing Commas here. The open threads take a lot of spoons to write and format, and I am eternally grateful to Chris for donating time and attention in order to help our community grow and thrive. 

This is also my monthly heart-felt thank you to all of you who do donate now or in the past; I cannot strongly enough express my appreciation for those who have the ability to contribute and make the choice to donate to support this space. Thank you, thank you, thank you. When I started blogging in 2011, I never truly believed I would last this long. I love you all.

Cup Of Coffee by Petr Kratochvil