Want to have your pressing questions answered by Isley Unruh himself? Send all queries HERE, and I will get to them as soon as I can on a future Mailbag Monday!
Welcome back to Mailbag Monday! On the first Monday of every month, I take the time from my busy blogging schedule to answer all of my reader’s most pressing questions! Sure, I might have begged, bribed and cajoled my readers into sending me these questions in the first place, but, that still totally counts as reader mail!
This month I answer the following questions:
- “Have you heard the “Pretty Girls” song??”
- “In Conan’s big prayer, he says “no one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. why we fought, or why we died.” So is Crom not omnipotent? Or since Conan has no tongue for prayer, does he have an imperfect understanding of Crom?”
So, without further ado, it is time to dig into the old Mailbag to see what kind of things have been on my readers’ minds in the last month!
“Have you heard the “Pretty Girls” song?”
I haven’t! What is this “Pretty Girls” song? Is it pop? Let me check…OH MY GOD BRITNEY HAS RELEASED A NEW SONG!!! There is no way this can’t be good, I mean, it’s Britney, bitch, right?? Let’s give this sucker a play:
God. Damn. It. Britney. You know, fool me once with “Chillin’ Wit U,” but, damn girl, this shit will not stand. We all know you are better than this. Your last album was, at least, more than half songs that anyone with a pair of ears and an all consuming love of your music would call “pretty good.” You keep putting out songs like “Pretty Girls” and you are going to end up some kind of has-been laughingstock.
Though, I’ll admit, that synth bell part at 1:00 wasn’t a bad little minor key melody.
“In Conan’s big prayer, he says “no one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. why we fought, or why we died.” So is Crom not omnipotent? Or since Conan has no tongue for prayer, does he have an imperfect understanding of Crom?”
Good question, Crom is a religious studies subject that is often misunderstood! First of all, so we can make sure we are working with as much knowledge as possible, let’s take a look at two most important passages from our central text, Conan the Barbarian. What’s that? What about Destroyer? Please, let’s not troll shall we? First, a conversation between Conan and Subotai:
[I pray] to Crom… but I seldom pray to him, he doesn’t listen….He is strong! If I die, I have to go before him, and he will ask me, “What is the riddle of steel?” If I don’t know it, he will cast me out of Valhalla and laugh at me. That’s Crom, strong on his mountain! …Crom laughs at your four winds. He laughs from his mountain.
And second, the passage you mention, Conan’s prayer to Crom:
“Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That’s what’s important! Valor pleases you, Crom…”
I really don’t think it is a matter of Conan not knowing Crom very well. From these passages, you can see that Crom is not some kind of Omnipotent Judeo/Christian deity who knows and sees all. Rather he’s some old warrior dude who is also kind of a dick. As if the Valhalla thing wasn’t clue enough–Crom is pretty much just a childless Odin.
One can sit there and laugh about silly barbarians worshiping non-omnipotent Gods…but what’s sillier, trying to get some asshole alpha male with sweet powers to let you into his password protected club, or pretending an omnipotent deity is out there and it actually gives a shit whether you kiss its ass or not.
Finally, because I still have hundreds of old saved search terms to wade through, the rest of this space is devoted to quick replies to the more ridiculous web searches that lead people to this website:
Snappy Solutions to Silly Searches
Punisher max vol. 2 ennis?
Punisher Max is, by far, the greatest Punisher comic book you will ever read. However, sadly, volume 2 (Kitchen Irish) is, by far, the worst of the 10 volumes of Ennis’ superlative run. I mean, I’d read it anyway just to be a completist, but, Kitchen Irish is sadly the only weak link in what was otherwise a brilliant comic book.
Best lord of the rings chapter?
Probably, and I realize this is an obvious choice, Book V, Chapter VI, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Not only is it a pretty sweet, epic, badass battle, but I always had a soft spot for that whole last ride of Theoden. I’ve heard that SOME people think the battle scenes are boring, but those people are wrong. And, at least, in the book, there’s no elephant surfing or ghost tidal waves.
Half sleeve vest for summer of metal bands?
I don’t know…I really can’t support a half sleeve vest for summer. I mean, you are already basically wearing two shirts with a patch vest, one made out of heavy denim or leather, so you really want an absolute minimum of fabric on that thing. Hell, my “Greek Black metal of the Early to Mid-1990s” vest has a mock turtleneck zip up thick collar on it, and that thing is hot as FUCK. I mean, I suffer through it anyway on account of how KVLT that vest is, of course.
Your selection does have my third-favorite passage:
‘But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.’
Here’s my second-favorite:
Book I, Chapter 12, Flight to the Ford
‘Ride on! Ride on!’ cried Glorfindel, and then loud and clear he called to the horse in the elf-tongue: noro lim, noro lim, Asfaloth!
At that moment there came a roaring and a rushing: a noise of loud waters rolling many stones. Dimly Frodo saw the river below him rise, and down along its course there came a plumed cavalry of waves. White flames seemed to Frodo to flicker on their crests, and he half fancied that he saw amid the water white riders upon white horses with frothing manes. The three Riders that were still in the midst of the Ford were overwhelmed: they disappeared, buried suddenly under angry foam. Those that were behind drew back in dismay.
But here’s my very favorite;
Book II, Chapter 5, The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm
‘You cannot pass,’ he said. The orcs stood still, and a dead silence fell. ‘I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udûn. Go back to the Shadow! You cannot pass.’
‘Fly, you fools!’ he cried, and was gone.