Yet Another Graphomaniacs Compendium
Sunday, January 13, 2002

Wizards.


Wizards, it seems are somewhat in the news recently, and I've had some good news. A Wizard of Earthsea is going to be made into a mini series for the SciFi channel,
so it will make it onto the small screen, if not the big screen, as it probably deserves to. I think Ian McKellen would make an excellent Sparrowhawk if the third book - The Farthest Shore, was ever filmed. Just as CS Lewis's Narnia books (no wizards in there, only a rather nasty witch) were a Christian allegory, the Earthsea books were a Taoist allegory. I did not realise it at the time, as I was not exposed to Taoism until I was in my twenties, but they gave me a much more realistic moral compass than the one that was pushed on me in a convent shcool with rather strict ideas about what kids should be educated about. Sometimes, knowing an alternative exists is what is necessary to keep you sane. Natural law and Original Sin did not sound realistic doctrines to me: about as realistic as expecting girls who knew nothing of contraception not to become pregnant when they became young women, as so many invariably did.


The books brought two concepts to me that seemed to be ignored by the well meaning nuns who would have been my guides to life: one, that good and evil are not easily distinguished absolutes. Second, that evil and death and darkness are not powers in themselves, but a lack of power, a lack of light, of life, or love, and one could not exist without the other. Resonalce harmonizes sound. When all in the world know beauty to be beautiful, then ugliness exists. It was the moral equivalent of the artists form and ground, or the mathematcians true and false.



It came to me that a recognition of your own capacity for selfishness, violence and greed is just as important as meaning well, that meaning well in your actions was not enough. Sometimes it was safer not to act, or not to talk rather than attempt to do the right thing. Ironically the nuns themselves were living examples of this: they put great effort into educating the deaf, and made huge efforts at a time when the education of the deaf was seen mostly as a lost cause. However, they banned sign language and used entrely oral means to educate their pupils, which was slow, labor - intensive, and above all, opressive.



Those who know do not talk, those who talk do not know. As a rule of thumb it seems to be true. So I will shut up.



posted by John Connors at
Sunday, January 13, 2002

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A miscellany of topics that intersest me: deaf culture, game design, politics as soap opera, the cyborg condition and the experience of learning to hear again. Other topics presented are speculative fiction and imaginary cities. There are appearences of snippets of work in progress, public rants, pointless posts and Mish the Mouse.




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