A message from Anonymous
What do you think Tolkien's Dwarves' religion looks like?
A reply from notbecauseofvictories

like Terry Pratchett’s, but taken seriously.

ineffable-hufflepuff:

jumpingjacktrash:

ceruleancynic:

robinade:

vrabia:

But Terry Pratchett’s is taken seriously. Like, a lot. And it’s basically all darkness-and-stone mysticism, there is nothing else.

I mean of course they have songs that go ‘gold gold gold’ and the right to kingship is handed down via a petrified loaf of bread with someone’s butt imprinted on it.

But in the same breath you’ve got the knockermen, who go down mine-shafts with no source of light on them to face fatal explosions, and the ones who come back are regarded as exponents of sainthood, because they’ve done the impossible. And they talk about what they’ve seen down there, and everyone knows seen has nothing to do with the senses, but with the kinds of things that come to you when you are alone in the silent bowels of the earth with no light. Which. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect setting for the birth of mysticism and religion, I really don’t know, man. 

And this, this seen, changes the profession from something dangerous and full of fear into something sought-after, that young dwarves volunteer for. And then you’ve got an entire category of people believed to walk between life and death at all times and not really part of the mortal order of things. You enter this profession, your family will kiss you goodbye and think of you as if you’ve left this world. 

And then there’s something that Tolkien doesn’t have - religion as politics. By tradition successful knockermen become kings. And other knockermen become fundamentalists to the point where they decree that the amount of time you spend above ground dictates whether or not you’re a dwarf. Like, literally this one thing would bring into question your own nature and, more importantly, whether or not you would belong to a community. You’ve got debates on modernity and traditionalism, the generational effects of immigration and who should rule an entire people and why. There are mentions of social practices that sound an awful lot like religion - like how when a dwarf dies their tools should be melted so they can never be used by a living one, or the fact that it does not matter if you are literally six feet tall, you can still be a dwarf if you performed certain rituals.

And the fact that all of this happens in one of the City Watch books and is pitted against champion doubter Sam Vimes and it still leaves you as a reader kind of speechless and wowed, is saying a lot. 

I will argue this always and forever: compared to Terry Pratchett, Tolkien is a pretty lazy writer. A lot of what he did strikes you as extraordinary because he tried to do it systematically and on such a sweeping scale. But going into the smaller details of his world-building, I think the only things he’s ever taken 100% seriously are genealogies and made-up grammar. Tolkien does a lot, and I say this as someone who grew up as a fan of his work. But at the level of story-telling, he builds histories, not societies. He writes with the underlying assumption that we as an audience understand how his world works, because we’ve read what he’s read and have some notions that the Shire is pre-industrial England and the whole War of the Ring thing is basically feudal warfare blown out of proportion etc. etc. Tolkien’s world is fixed, lives in its own past, moves on in forms but not in substance. ‘The King has returned’ is really more of an end of history thing, because past that point evil has been vanquished and everyone will live in peace in an ordered world. 

In Terry Pratchett’s writings history only shows up if it has to, sometimes as exposition, rarely as plot, mostly creeping up on you in the form of remarks like ‘Ankh-Morpork is built on Ankh-Morpork’. And this is because Terry Pratchett writes societies, with all that writing societies entails, including religion.

I have actually rarely encountered an author of fiction who takes religion more seriously, because what Terry Pratchett does is treat it as a source of world-organizing principles and by extension of political power. Which, underneath its substance of faith and hope and consolation, is what religion actually evolved as.

I feel like anyone trying to claim that TPratchett doesn’t take dwarf religion seriously hasn’t read The Fifth Elephant. Or should read it again.

Here’s the pertinent section of TFE:

Vimes saw the images in his mind as Cheery explained…


The miners would clear the area, if they were lucky. And the knockerman would go in wearing layer after layer of chain-mail and leather, carrying his sack of wicker globes stuffed with rags and oil. And his long pole. And his slingshot.

Down in the mines, all alone, he’d hear the knockers. Agi Hammerthief and all the other things that made noises, deep under the earth. There could be no light, because light would mean sudden, roaring death. The knockerman would feel his way through the utter dark, far below the surface.

There was a type of cricket that lives in the mines. It chirruped loudly in the presence of firedamp. The knockerman would have one in a box, tied to his hat.

When it sang, a knockerman who was either very confident or extremely suicidal would step back, light the torch on the end of his pole and thrust it ahead of him. The more careful knockerman would step back rather more, and slingshot a ball of burning rags into the unseen death. Either way, he’d trust in his thick leather clothes to protect him from the worst of the blast.

Initially the dangerous trade did not run in families, because who’d marry a knockerman? They were dead dwarfs walking. But sometimes a young dwarf would ask to become one; his family would be proud, wave him goodbye, and then speak of him as if he was dead, because that made it easier.

Sometimes, though, knockermen came back. And the ones that survived went on to survive again, because surviving is a matter of practice. And sometimes they would talk a little of what they heard, all alone in the deep mines … the tap-tapping of dead dwarfs trying to get back into the world, the distant laughter of Agi Hammerthief, the heartbeat of the turtle that carried the world.

Knockermen became kings.

(Fun fact: Knockers, also knackers, are mythical creatures that live/exist/dwell in mines. There are two schools of thought on the knocker: one holds that he is a malicious spirit who taps on the walls and props of the drift to cause cave-ins, and the other believes him to be a friendly and helpful spirit whose tapping and knocking on the walls is meant to warn the miners that collapse is imminent and to get the hell out. They are sometimes considered to be souls of dead miners, but whether they are tapping to get back into the world or to warn of impending danger is up for discussion.)

This isn’t even going into the whole Things Tak Wrote, or that Tak does not require dwarfs to think of him; he merely requires them to think. This kind of stuff that makes you blink and go o-oh… isn’t limited to the main Discworld books. Read The Amazing Maurice for another wonderful, creeptastic, moving description of religion: people going into the dark, alone, for the good of the clan; hearing things, coming back changed.

Aaaahhh I just fucking love Terry Pratchett ok

i honestly think terry pratchett is one of the best writers in the english language.

his greatness is disguised by genre; you’re not allowed to take fantasy seriously. but his grasp of human nature and society is a level above anything i’ve seen from even the ‘great authors’ you have to read in school. he groks people.

unfortunately, his most recent book was more like an outline than a novel; i think alzheimer’s has finally stolen him from us. :(

Pratchett’s view of religion and faith and how people work has always been stunning to me. He just seems to have a way of cracking open truths. I haven’t read his latest book, but the idea that his time with us is drawing to an end is heart breaking. (We were supposed to get a third Moist book!) 

One conversation from Hogfather has always stuck with me.

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

Susan: They’re not the same at all.

Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.

Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what’s the point?

Death: You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?

martensitemaiden: 

why was i not informed??? i wasnt going to read it but now i have to??????

jeankd:

astudyinjade:

A dick with a future

A dick with a 401k plan and retirement benefits.

jeankd:

astudyinjade:

A dick with a future

A dick with a 401k plan and retirement benefits.

Cool Wilderness Survival Tip For Bisexuals

theshriekingsisterhood:

If u are ever stranded in the woods or the tundra or the ocean or the cold recess of space alone and u need help

just whisper “Bisexuality is the attraction to same and different genders” and a monosexual will descend from the sky out of nowhere screaming “Actually!!!" and waving a flag that says "Bi = 2"

and u can borrow their cell phone while they invalidate ur existence 

"

Those who claim that sex is determined by chromosomes must not realize that sex is assigned at birth not by chromosomes, not even by gonads, but by genitals. In fact, the vast majority of us never learn what our sex chromosomes are. Sex isn’t something we’re actually born with, it’s something that doctors or our parents assign us at birth. So if sex is determined by genitals, they must be clearly binary and unchangeable, right? Wrong. Genitals can be ambiguous at birth and many trans people get gender confirmation surgery to change them. Neither chromosomes nor genitals are binary in the way that “biological sex” defenders claim they are, and the vast majority of measures by which we judge sex are very much changeable.

While it is true that gender and sex are different things, and that gender is indeed a social construct, sex isn’t the Ultimate Biological Reality that transphobes make it out to be. There’s nothing intrinsically male about XY chromosomes, testosterone, body hair, muscle mass or penises. If an alien civilization found earth, they wouldn’t look at a person with a penis and say “Oh, that must be a male, sex based on genitalia is the One Universal Constant.” Sex, like gender, is indeed socially constructed and can be changed.

"

mothlikestars:

I’ve just cried laughing at the comments on a Jamie Oliver recipe, there was a typo on the website and everyone put 13 lemons into a pasta sauce and didn’t even question it. Imagine eating 13 lemons, the recipe was for 4 people, imagine having that much trust in Jamie Oliver.

moniquill:

knitmeapony:

kelsium:

You can tell a girl she’s smart her whole life, encourage her in school, buy her a chemistry set, send her to math camp, help her apply for college scholarships in STEM fields, and she’s still eventually going to walk into a classroom, a lab, or a job interview and have some man dismiss her existence, deny her funding, pass her over for a promotion, or take credit for her work. How about you work on getting those assholes out of power and quit telling me not to call girls pretty.

Hello for fucks sake, I’m so tired of this post. That commercial is not about not telling girls they’re pretty, it’s about making sure that you don’t tell girls they’re pretty to the detriment of telling them that they’re smart, and not discouraging them from doing things because you are so busy encouraging them into their “appropriate” gender role.

If you actually watch the commercial, the girl in question is discouraged from using power tools because it’s too dangerous and more suited to her brother , discouraged from playing with things on the beach because they don’t want her to get too messy, and generally speaking encouraged into being pretty instead of being scientific, rather than pretty along with being scientific.

This is a very real problem, and something that many people don’t even realize they’re doing. Bring awareness to it is very important, and part of fighting a systemic problem where girls are shunted away from STEM fields.

Tell girls they’re pretty all you want, just make sure you’re not doing it while discouraging them away from the science or math that they love.

…And that post isn’t about NOT telling girls that they’re pretty. It’s about how girls and the training they get, be it positive or negative, is only part of (and not even the greater part of) the equation that leads to lack of representation of women in STEM fields - that post is about how no amount of changing how we talk to girls about STEM things will fix this if we don’t talk to boys and men about how they treat girls and women.

moniquill’s tag: 

theviolentflame:

Sweden’s twitter account is pure gold.

theviolentflame:

Sweden’s twitter account is pure gold.

Examples of scary Ableism

andreashettle:

bittersnurr:

Women with disabilities twice as likely to be abused, women who are institutionalized are 10x more likely.

You can be easily forceably hospitalized for mental illness, (even if you aren’t mentally ill), They can also do it if they don’t agree with your diagnosis and force you off your medicine.

Politicians publicly express opinions similar to nazi germany

That isn’t godwins law because it actually was a thing that happened.

You can also be forcibly sterilized

disabled people comprise the world’s largest and poorest minority group and are trapped into poverty by the system.

You can totally kill your disabled kid and get away with it.

So will the police.

These examples were things i thought of off the top of my head and googled. Feel free to shove these into google and see all the other articles on it if you don’t like the sources.

These again, were things i thought of off the top of my head. Feel free to add to it and I’ll put it in the post.

The World Report on Disability, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank in September 2011, documents that people with disabilities are more likely to be excluded from education, employment opportunities, basic health care, and so forth.  WHO and the World Bank are both about as official as you can get for sources of information.

Also browse through the many links you will find at http://gdrl.org for many many more examples and publications and reports and studies on the situation of people with disabilities around the world.

For more anecdotal information, you can read more about ableism (known as “disableism” in the UK) in the words of people with many different disabilities via the posts collected in the 2013 edition of the annual “Blogging Against Disableism Day” (BADD) event: http://blobolobolob.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/blogging-against-disablism-day-2013.html.  And you can also browse posts contributed for past BADD events in these archives: 200620072008200920102011 and 2012.  Each year sees more than 100 people blogging on the topic from more than 100 different perspectives.  And although there are some repeat contributors, there are also new writers each year as well.

A message from Anonymous
What do you think Tolkien's Dwarves' religion looks like?
A reply from notbecauseofvictories

like Terry Pratchett’s, but taken seriously.

ineffable-hufflepuff:

jumpingjacktrash:

ceruleancynic:

robinade:

vrabia:

But Terry Pratchett’s is taken seriously. Like, a lot. And it’s basically all darkness-and-stone mysticism, there is nothing else.

I mean of course they have songs that go ‘gold gold gold’ and the right to kingship is handed down via a petrified loaf of bread with someone’s butt imprinted on it.

But in the same breath you’ve got the knockermen, who go down mine-shafts with no source of light on them to face fatal explosions, and the ones who come back are regarded as exponents of sainthood, because they’ve done the impossible. And they talk about what they’ve seen down there, and everyone knows seen has nothing to do with the senses, but with the kinds of things that come to you when you are alone in the silent bowels of the earth with no light. Which. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect setting for the birth of mysticism and religion, I really don’t know, man. 

And this, this seen, changes the profession from something dangerous and full of fear into something sought-after, that young dwarves volunteer for. And then you’ve got an entire category of people believed to walk between life and death at all times and not really part of the mortal order of things. You enter this profession, your family will kiss you goodbye and think of you as if you’ve left this world. 

And then there’s something that Tolkien doesn’t have - religion as politics. By tradition successful knockermen become kings. And other knockermen become fundamentalists to the point where they decree that the amount of time you spend above ground dictates whether or not you’re a dwarf. Like, literally this one thing would bring into question your own nature and, more importantly, whether or not you would belong to a community. You’ve got debates on modernity and traditionalism, the generational effects of immigration and who should rule an entire people and why. There are mentions of social practices that sound an awful lot like religion - like how when a dwarf dies their tools should be melted so they can never be used by a living one, or the fact that it does not matter if you are literally six feet tall, you can still be a dwarf if you performed certain rituals.

And the fact that all of this happens in one of the City Watch books and is pitted against champion doubter Sam Vimes and it still leaves you as a reader kind of speechless and wowed, is saying a lot. 

I will argue this always and forever: compared to Terry Pratchett, Tolkien is a pretty lazy writer. A lot of what he did strikes you as extraordinary because he tried to do it systematically and on such a sweeping scale. But going into the smaller details of his world-building, I think the only things he’s ever taken 100% seriously are genealogies and made-up grammar. Tolkien does a lot, and I say this as someone who grew up as a fan of his work. But at the level of story-telling, he builds histories, not societies. He writes with the underlying assumption that we as an audience understand how his world works, because we’ve read what he’s read and have some notions that the Shire is pre-industrial England and the whole War of the Ring thing is basically feudal warfare blown out of proportion etc. etc. Tolkien’s world is fixed, lives in its own past, moves on in forms but not in substance. ‘The King has returned’ is really more of an end of history thing, because past that point evil has been vanquished and everyone will live in peace in an ordered world. 

In Terry Pratchett’s writings history only shows up if it has to, sometimes as exposition, rarely as plot, mostly creeping up on you in the form of remarks like ‘Ankh-Morpork is built on Ankh-Morpork’. And this is because Terry Pratchett writes societies, with all that writing societies entails, including religion.

I have actually rarely encountered an author of fiction who takes religion more seriously, because what Terry Pratchett does is treat it as a source of world-organizing principles and by extension of political power. Which, underneath its substance of faith and hope and consolation, is what religion actually evolved as.

I feel like anyone trying to claim that TPratchett doesn’t take dwarf religion seriously hasn’t read The Fifth Elephant. Or should read it again.

Here’s the pertinent section of TFE:

Vimes saw the images in his mind as Cheery explained…


The miners would clear the area, if they were lucky. And the knockerman would go in wearing layer after layer of chain-mail and leather, carrying his sack of wicker globes stuffed with rags and oil. And his long pole. And his slingshot.

Down in the mines, all alone, he’d hear the knockers. Agi Hammerthief and all the other things that made noises, deep under the earth. There could be no light, because light would mean sudden, roaring death. The knockerman would feel his way through the utter dark, far below the surface.

There was a type of cricket that lives in the mines. It chirruped loudly in the presence of firedamp. The knockerman would have one in a box, tied to his hat.

When it sang, a knockerman who was either very confident or extremely suicidal would step back, light the torch on the end of his pole and thrust it ahead of him. The more careful knockerman would step back rather more, and slingshot a ball of burning rags into the unseen death. Either way, he’d trust in his thick leather clothes to protect him from the worst of the blast.

Initially the dangerous trade did not run in families, because who’d marry a knockerman? They were dead dwarfs walking. But sometimes a young dwarf would ask to become one; his family would be proud, wave him goodbye, and then speak of him as if he was dead, because that made it easier.

Sometimes, though, knockermen came back. And the ones that survived went on to survive again, because surviving is a matter of practice. And sometimes they would talk a little of what they heard, all alone in the deep mines … the tap-tapping of dead dwarfs trying to get back into the world, the distant laughter of Agi Hammerthief, the heartbeat of the turtle that carried the world.

Knockermen became kings.

(Fun fact: Knockers, also knackers, are mythical creatures that live/exist/dwell in mines. There are two schools of thought on the knocker: one holds that he is a malicious spirit who taps on the walls and props of the drift to cause cave-ins, and the other believes him to be a friendly and helpful spirit whose tapping and knocking on the walls is meant to warn the miners that collapse is imminent and to get the hell out. They are sometimes considered to be souls of dead miners, but whether they are tapping to get back into the world or to warn of impending danger is up for discussion.)

This isn’t even going into the whole Things Tak Wrote, or that Tak does not require dwarfs to think of him; he merely requires them to think. This kind of stuff that makes you blink and go o-oh… isn’t limited to the main Discworld books. Read The Amazing Maurice for another wonderful, creeptastic, moving description of religion: people going into the dark, alone, for the good of the clan; hearing things, coming back changed.

Aaaahhh I just fucking love Terry Pratchett ok

i honestly think terry pratchett is one of the best writers in the english language.

his greatness is disguised by genre; you’re not allowed to take fantasy seriously. but his grasp of human nature and society is a level above anything i’ve seen from even the ‘great authors’ you have to read in school. he groks people.

unfortunately, his most recent book was more like an outline than a novel; i think alzheimer’s has finally stolen him from us. :(

Pratchett’s view of religion and faith and how people work has always been stunning to me. He just seems to have a way of cracking open truths. I haven’t read his latest book, but the idea that his time with us is drawing to an end is heart breaking. (We were supposed to get a third Moist book!) 

One conversation from Hogfather has always stuck with me.

Death: Humans need fantasy to *be* human. To be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape.

Susan: With tooth fairies? Hogfathers?

Death: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.

Susan: So we can believe the big ones?

Death: Yes. Justice, mercy, duty. That sort of thing.

Susan: They’re not the same at all.

Death: You think so? Then take the universe and grind it down to the finest powder, and sieve it through the finest sieve, and then show me one atom of justice, one molecule of mercy. And yet, you try to act as if there is some ideal order in the world. As if there is some, some rightness in the universe, by which it may be judged.

Susan: But people have got to believe that, or what’s the point?

Death: You need to believe in things that aren’t true. How else can they become?

huntersonahotelbed:

oh my fucking god

so i’m reading this harry potter fic

and every now and then there are words like “arseented” and “marseaging” and “arseistance” and i was trying to figure out what the hell is going on

finally i got to the word “parse” and figured it out

they’re american so after they wrote it they did a find and replace to change every “ass” to “arse”

i can’t stop laughing omg

theatrefetish:

Things girls look for in a boy:
•Day Man
•Fighter of the Night Man
•Champion of the sun
•Master of karate and friendship for everyone

prewars:

smallgovernment:

at this point I’ve nearly forgotten that pirating movies and software is illegal

autisticfandomthings:

No one is “anti-science” for opposing eugenics.

Opposing efforts to eradicate people like you because doctors don’t consider people like you to be valuable is not being “anti-science”. It’s being anti-eugenics.

Everyone should be anti-eugenics.