Thursday, January 03, 2008

Not the Potter

In 1978, Elvis Presley's former songwriter and lyricist Noah Leslie Kaminsky unexpectedly announced that he would be launching a solo career following the tragic death of the King. The response to Kaminsky's own release of Sweet Caroline was surprisingly positive. As a young man studying at Erasmus Hall, Kaminsky took part in SING! and sang in the school choir with Barbra Streisand, who was then spelling her name "Barbara." However he had turned to songwriting in the mid sixties, apologising "My voice is unadorned. I don't try for perfection. I try to be honest and truthful and soulful with the voice I have. If I make mistakes in notes, or there are cracks in notes, I don't fix them. That's the way it is."
In 1642, the spies of King Charles intercepted Member of Parliament Henry Pym just as he was fleeing London. The rebel parliamentarian was brought before the king, who declared Pym a traitor and had him executed in order to quell the rebellious streak that the legislature had been showing. This has the opposite effect, and Parliament and the king were at war the next month.
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Stephen R. DonaldsonIn 1968, Stephen Reeder Donaldson languished in Vietnam. By inclination a conscientious objector, he had been compelled to serve in the armed forces.

Much later, and after dropping out of his Ph.D. program and moving to New Jersey in order to write fiction, Donaldson made his publishing debut with the first "Covenant" trilogy in 1977. That enabled him to move to a healthier climate. He now lives in New Mexico.

Donaldson's two year compulsory military duty would be the deep undercurrent of his escapist fantasy writing. In “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever”, the protagonist was a leper struggled with disempowerment in a Land he did not really believe in.
Stephen R. Donaldson - Unbeliever
Unbeliever
Golden boy with feet of clay,
Let me help you on your way,
A proper push will take you far -
But what a clumsy lad you are! ~ ”Golden Boy”.
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In 1974, US President Richard Nixon refuses to hand over materials subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. In fact the materials contained explosive evidence about the Kennedy assassination that Tricky Dicky was honour bound to protect.
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In 1914, actress and future First Lady Sarah Mayfield Reagan was born in St. Joseph, Missouri. She married B-movie star Ronald Reagan in 1940, and although they experienced some troubles in the late 40’s, rode it out with him for the sake of their children. Their marriage settled down considerably after Reagan entered politics in the 1960’s, and she became First Lady in 1981 after her husband won the presidential election of 1980.
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In 2001, President-elect Ralph Nader, who had been chosen by the people in the biggest election shocker in a century, was assassinated before he could assume office. Although there was some constitutional question about it, the Vice-President-elect, Nader’s running mate Winona LaDuke, took the oath of office later that month and became the first woman president in American history.
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During, the 1940s the father of Psychohistory, Isaac Asimov had proven that without intervention, the House of Romanov would soon fall giving way to a barbaric interregnum of one hundred years before a Second Tsarist Empire would arise. He concluded that it was too late to prevent the fall of the House of the Romanov. Secretly, Asimov put in place the Asimov Plan to reduce this interregnum to as little as a decade, by setting up Foundations within continental Russia...
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In 1970, from the Second Foundation, Channis wrote - “So he (Asimov) created his Foundations according to the laws of psychohistory, but who knew better than he that even these laws were relative. He never created a finished product. Finished products are for decadent minds. His was an evolving mechanism and the Second Foundation was the instrument of that evolution. “. The Second Foundation at Tsarskoe Selo maintained the plan, a complex series of mathematical models, kept in the Prime radiant. “The Asimov plan is neither complete nor correct. Instead, it is merely the best that could be done at the time. Over a dozen generations of men have pored over these equations, worked at them, taken them apart to the last decimal place, and put them together again.”. The wider scope of the plan is revealed by Channis, and it is stated the purpose of the Second Tsarist Empire, will be to accept a ruling class populated from the mental scientists of the Second Foundation. Without control of emotion, the models show all Tsarist Empires will ultimately fail, regardless of the level of technology.
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Nelson MandelaFaith”, Nelson told me once, “you must never lose your faith.

”Have I lost my faith? Or has it been stolen from me? No. I think it lies slain somewhere behind me, like the butchered corpses of the family I left back in Natal.” ~ Samson Zola.

In Laura Resnick's dystopia, years of civil war had torn apart the dream of a Rainbow nation. Samson Zola prepared to assassinate the President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. Even though he loved him like a father, he saw the need to return South Africa to its people.
Nelson Mandela - Alternate Tyrant
Alternate Tyrant
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Sauron [new fear] was not of mortal flesh, and though he was robbed now of that shape in which he had wrought so great an evil, so that he could never again appear fair to the eyes of Men, yet his spirit arose out of the deep and passed as a shadow and a black wind over the sea, and came back to Middle-earth and to Mordor that was his home.

There he took up again his great Ring in Barad-dur, and dwelt there, dark and silent, until he wrought himself a new guise, and image of malice and hatred made visible; and the Eye of Sauron the Terrible few could endure. ~“Fall of Numenor”
In 1918, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was demobilized from the Lancashire Fusiliers and began working in earnest on the Middle-earth stories.

A good deal had been written while Tolkien was laid up in a military hospital and at home with trench fever.

No long suffering from combat tension, Tolkien was not gripped with a new kind of fear. Not longer fearing death, he wondered if he still wanted to live.
Balrog
Balrog - Tolkiens Phantasm
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George MonckIn 1662, General George Monck became Lord Protector after Parliament's refusal to restore Charles Stuart to the throne, focused the country toward fighting a war to the finish. The Royalist rebels in England were defeated in 1664 (all but in the South East) and Scotland was conquered in 1665. In the United Provinces dropped out of the war in 1664 and Ireland was conquered by 1666. Spain dropped out of the war in 1667 and France finally gave up attemtpting to invade England in 1668. The Commonwealth gained recognition from these nations, and also gained territory in North America, taking Cuba and Hispaniola from Spain and Acadia from France (though they handed back New Netherland as a condition for the Dutch dropping out).
George Monck - Lord Protector
Lord Protector
When Monck died in 1670, the British Isles returned to a system of total domnation of Parliament. The Commonwealth didn't have a head of state or Government, all MP's were nominally equal. Several factions formed all the same.

The British didn't get involved in Continental affairs for the rest of the century, instead increasing their naval power, safeguarding their colonies (the Commonwealth and the Dutch fought another brief war in 1677-1679 that came to nothing), increasing their trade and turning themselves into a 'great nation' through men like Isaac Newton and Christopher Wren.

In 1700, the Commonwealth did begin to get involved in Contiental affairs once more when the King of Spain died and stated that he wished for Philippe de Bourbon, Duke of Anjou to succeed him. Philippe was the grandson of Louis XIV, and Parliament feared that Louis would control Spain and her colonies, thus making her a rival for British colonial amitions.

The war began in 1702 and ended in 1713 with a victory for the alliance of the Commonwealth, the United Provinces and the Holy Roman Empire.

During this period, life in Parliament became extremely chaotic and even verged on violence and civil war. The factions in Parliament (the radical aristocrat Whigs, the traditionalist republican Mosstroopers and the ultra-puritan Roundheads) hated one another and came to blows very often. After one particularly violent episode in 1714, when some leading Moostroopers called in the guard to arrest some of their opponents, many leading Whigs called upon the British hero John Churchill to return and impose order. He did.
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