Tuesday, August 14, 2007
FROM DAEMONS TO DEAMONS
I don’t remember reading many books and gaining my own vision of the story before seeing the movie; There was Battle Cry, based on Leon Uris’ first book and my incentive for joining the Marines before finishing high school. There was Payton Place, Life According to Garp, To Kill a Mockingbird and of course the classics we read in school. I never read Lord of the Rings. But in general, my reading is pretty much off the best seller map, following traces in the spaces of a flexible curriculum so attractive to my irrepressible curiosity. Among such ponder wanders I fell into the imaginary world of Philip Pullman following the opening page of The Golden Compass when the little hero, Lyra Belaqua, her daemon, Pantalaimon and I set out upon an adventure in a world where humans can speak with the rest of the animals. I read the entire enthrallogy plagued with that sappy hope that the world could be that way some day. What can I say, I’m a sap.
I have begun rereading the trilogy in preparation for seeing the movie version due out in December — I hope they don’t make it Xmasy. I wonder if the reread is to bolster my memory of my version against any omissions or contradictions? Can I let my version go sufficiently enough to immerse myself in the movie’s version? So far these considerations loom with the flies on the wall of my mental asylum as I literally revisit a beloved land before developers move in to make of it what they will — or leave it in its virgin state. Riiiiight. Previews are promising.
Speaking of saps, I would like to say something in defense of the etymology of the word fool and of often gladly being one when the time is ripe. Originally a fool was defined as one capable of being fond and found favor as compassionately wise council to authorities. The negative campaign against this definition was waged by the blood thirsty righteousness of traders, raiders and crusaders against conscientious objectors refusing to rape, pillage and murder. Today, our leader has no compassionate wisdom at his side, no daemon — all that is on the other side against his war, the seventy percent who see the simple fact that we cannot achieve peace or make friends with the people who’ve survived our killing of their loved ones every day for four years. The thirty percent who stick with this madhouse regime, are hoping to share in the loot, or at least get eaten last. Congress critters cry that to call for a compassionate end to the killing bodes termination of their precious careers and every one of ‘em say they’re nobody’s fool.