Kunskapens Pris: Balladen om den vilsne vandraren
Spring finally arrived over Easter, and I had a really fun long weekend!
- Role-playing game: started a new campaign in Mutant: Year Zero. The characters are members of a small mutant community living in the centre of a bombed-out and almost depopulated Stockholm where the sea level has risen 8 metres. Our first session involved wolf people and a dangerous robot that had fallen from the sky…
- Movie: At the suggestion of game group member Roland, we watched the fine Swedish short film Kunskapens Pris: Balladen om den vilsne vandraren (2007, “The Price of Knowledge: Ballad of the Lost Wanderer”). It’s set in the world of the Mutant RPG and was directed and designed by the brother-in-law of an old Tolkien Society buddy of mine. Neat!
- Movie: Avatar 2: the Way of Water (2022). I enjoyed this movie for its consistently incredible visuals. Not for its characteristically American preoccupation with fatherhood, family, New Age Gaia Hypothesis environmentalism and the Vietnam War. Grade: good!
- Book: Tolkien’s Silmarillion (1977). There were two important reasons that it couldn’t find a publisher until after The Lord of the Rings became a best-seller. One was that LotR created a genre and an audience for Sil. The other is that Sil is by far not as good a read as LotR or The Hobbit. Sil is not a novel and not an epic. It is part mythology, part heroic legendarium, all written by a young 20th century academic who would only later become a successful fantasy novelist. You need to approach it on its own decidedly odd terms. Much of it is beautiful, but some of it is just patently silly. Sil is an almost Biblical crazy-quilt of tangentially related writings, not all of which are even complete. Chapter 22 on the Ruin of Doriath abruptly breaks down into terse synopsis. This book does not reward a focused read-through. But any fantasy reader can enjoy picking it from the shelf every year or two and reading a chapter at random.
- Movie: Sabrina (1954). Audrey Hepburn, 25, is the chauffeur’s daughter who can’t choose between the rich brothers William Holden, 36, and Humphrey Bogart, 55, and this really hasn’t aged well. Nor had Bogart, come to think of it. Grade: OK.
- Geocaching: renovated a cache of mine that’s been in continuous operation since 2006! Strange how time flies.
- Book: S.J. Gould’s Eight Little Piggies (1993). Re-reading an old favourite essay collection. Makes me curious to read more about current advances in palaeontology and evolutionary biology!
- Boardgame: Mosaic: a Story of Civilization (2022). Good game but way too long. The deluxe edition that we played weighs 12.3 kilos!
- Concert: Jayhawks at Nalen, supported by I’m Kingfisher. A great gig that was made even more enjoyable by my son accompanying me!
Dear Reader, what did you do for fun over the long Easter weekend?