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Last post of 2015

31 Dec

Started in on my Christmas reading. That is, reading the books I got as presents. First one is kind of a cheat since it’s just a ebook I bought with a gift card and is a book I’m rereading. Hogfather by Terry Prachett is a bit of an odd duck in that it’s not really one of my favorite Discworld books, but it has some of my favorite insightful moments in it. This one in paritcular, near the end where Susan is talking about the situation with her grandfather, who happens to be Death.

“Thank you. Now…tell me…”

WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF YOU HADN’T SAVED HIM?

“Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?”

NO.

“Oh, come on. You can’t expect me to believe that. It’s an astronomical fact.”

THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.

She turned on him.

“It’s been a long night, Grandfather! I’m tired and I need a bath! I don’t need silliness!”

THE SUN WOULD NOT HAVE RISEN.

“Really? Then what would have happened, pray?”

A MERE BALL OF FLAMING GAS WOULD HAVE ILLUMINATED THE WORLD.

They walked in silence for a moment. “Ah,” said Susan dully. “Trickery with words. I would have thought you’d have been more literal-minded than that.”

I AM NOTHING IF NOT LITERAL-MINDED. TRICKERY WITH WORDS IS WHERE HUMANS LIVE.

“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need…fantasies to make life bearable.”

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

“So we can believe the big ones?”

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

“They’re not the same at all!”

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—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU 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.

“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”

MY POINT EXACTLY.

She tried to assemble her thoughts.

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Reading 2015

 

2 responses to “Last post of 2015

  1. Eric Elliott

    January 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Yeah… this is wonderful. As so NOT understood by most people.

     
    • Griffin

      January 1, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      This part right here changed how I looked at holiday traditions. It actually changed my mind on holidays and other ‘kid superstitions’ being just adults lying to kids and we shouldn’t do it. I’m not entirely convinced that it is the best way to do it, but I’m not as certain about it as I was before.

      “Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”

      YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

      “So we can believe the big ones?”

      YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

       

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