Well, Rob, you picked us as moderators.
That's very true, and you're good moderators. That doesn't mean that you can't be horses' patoots, though!
Maybe part of the reason why I enjoy authors like Tolkien and C.S. Lewis so much is because I can relate to them more. I was a sickly kid at times, and I did a lot of reading from a fairly early age. I developed a taste for Norse and Celtic mythologies and the stories of King Arthur, so naturally I recognized those elements in Tolkien and Lewis, who both grew up with similar interests.The Hobbit
, Tolkien's first published book about Middle-Earth, was indeed written with children in mind, but it is not
a "child's" book. Tolkien did not talk down to children; instead, he treated them like young adults (a far cry from modern times, where our self-proclaimed rulers treat adults like little children.) Hobbits are not cute and cuddly Ewoks; they are more like child sized adults who prove to be amazingly tough, courageous and resilient in the most dangerous circumstances. Many people get killed in the book, and war, danger and death are not treated lightly. As I said, this is not
a "kiddies" book.
Tolkien's famous masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings
, picks up the story a few decades after the events in The Hobbit
, and the storyline is much broader and even more adult-oriented, although kids can enjoy it, too. It is an epic tale on a classic scale, and shouldn't be dismissed as being on the level of Winnie the Pooh
. Doing so displays blatant ignorance about the subject. Would you compare Homer's Odyssey
to Mother Goose
Tolkien's writings are incredibly detailed. He created an entire world, with an amazingly complete history spanning tens of thousands of years and multiple races of beings. He invented at least five entire languages, along with the appropriate alphabets, and different calendar systems for each race. The level of detail, and the completely logiical consistency of it all, are downright mind boggling. Prof. Tolkien was a hell
of a scholar, and I would give anything to have been able to study under him.
I read The Lord of the Rings
when I was in Junior High, so it must have been in 1967 or 1968. (I didn't read The Hobbit until a year or two later.) I know some of you will be skeptical, but I was a clean-cut kid (complete with a crewcut hairstyle, courtesy of my Dad) and did not smoke pot in those days. I don't think I knew of anyone who did; pot smokers were all out there in weird places, like San Francisco. It wasn't even a subject in the city I lived in.
The rest of this is somewhat off-topic, but I want to remark on something Pils said:
That explains a lot— mainly, why those books were at the height of their popularity during the Hippie era. I used to toke up, but reading anything afterward was out of the question, because being high affected my concentration too much. I could either listen to or play music, but not read a book, because my mind would start wandering after a page or two. I finally had to quit when I got a job as an auditor, balancing the accounts for a large hotel every night. Fuzzy-mindedness just wouldn't have cut it, doing that work accurately. I'm not in that field any more, but I never got back into the habit of smoking weed.
It's funny how things can effect people differently, which demonstrates once again why "one size fits all" laws and regulations do not
work. I have a completely opposite
reaction to smoking pot; I become more
focused on whatever I'm doing. In fact, the only problem with it is that I'm harder to distract, so you have to work at it to get my attention away from what I'm doing. I've always been able to get completely engrossed in a book, visualizing the world in the book, so reading while I'm high just intensifies that ability.
I've often done my best programming when I'm "stoned", but I never am at work (anymore.) I still manage to crank out an awful lot of code and keep miles ahead of my co-workers, though.
As "Towelie" pointed out on an episode of South Park
recently: You shouldn't get high to get good ideas. You should get good ideas, and then reward yourself by getting high!