I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations.
“The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is better than the first, and flows with a tighter, more focused narrative. The characters all come into their own, the scope and details of the world are more fully fleshed out, and we learn more about Obann and its history.”
Hey! I’ve just discovered the wildest, wackiest, wooliest fantasy ever!
What if the government made everybody equal? I mean really, really equal. We all get exactly the same income, whether we work or just sit around playing video games and getting high. If I clerk at the corner convenience store, I get just as much as a brain surgeon. If I sell hundreds of my books, I get the same money as someone who sells millions. Wouldn’t that be absolutely wonderful?
Even better, what if everything was free? Why should we have to pay for stuff? Why not force Big Business to give us all no-show jobs?
These must be good ideas. After all, they’re shouted up by college students and their professors, and we all know how smart they are. I think those Occupy This and Occupy That folks must be on to something. Or are they just on something?
No matter–let’s just go ahead and set up the guillotines, and the gulags, and the firing squads, and all the rest of the instrumentality of Utopia.
If we can micromanage the earth’s climate by taking away people’s air conditioners and toilet paper, surely we can make everybody equal.
A review of Lee Duigon The Thunder King (Vallecito, CA: Storehouse Press, 2011)
$14.00 289 pp ISBN: 978-1-891375-56-9
Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz
Like the second book, the third one in the Bell Mountain saga adds more plot elements to the mix and provides deeper discussions of their significance. Perhaps there are some critics who may judge the result to be too advanced for a juvenile reader, but, in the immortal words of Mortimer Adler, “We need something over our heads to lift us up!”.
We learn more about the significance of the ringing of the Bell and about the decadence of t he Temple, especially that of its First Prester, who is first in wickedness, not in piety. And we see ever more clearly the parallel between the teaching in the Secret Scrolls and the doctrines in the Bible, and between the history of Obann and the history or Israel and the Church.
But it needs to be borne in mind that the story is a fantasy — a story in its own right — not an allegory. As the biographical sketch of the author on the rear jacket makes clear, Lee Duigon loves both fantasy literature and sound theology. And, contra much of popular opinion, there is no discord between the two because, after all, God is the greatest story-writer of all — history is His Story, because it is His fantasy that became reality when He created the world. Amen!
For most of my life, I was an avid baseball fan. I was a walking baseball encyclopedia. My wife and I went to games at Yankee Stadium, got autographs, collected vintage baseball cards, stayed up far later than we should have, listening to games on the radio–oh, yes, we were fans!
But now? Phooey!
The seats we used to favor at the ol’ stadium, which once cost us $15-$20, were up to around $275 each, at the start of the season. But even if we could afford to go, who wants to pay to see some guy with a 6.00+ ERA start “a critical game” in the late season? Once upon a time, the Commissioner of Baseball would have investigated a manager who did that. And if one of the workhorses on your pitching staff had an ERA of 6.00, your team wasn’t doing anything, anyhow.
And what’s all this talk about “seeds” and “rounds” and whatnot? Did Rocky Colavito ever have to wonder what kind of “seed” his team would wind up being? I mean, it sounds like one of those stupid college “sports” where they vote to decide who’s the “national champion” and several Congressmen get upset and vow to pass a bill regulating the process of determining the national college championship, blah, blah, ad nauseum.
If I may be serious for a moment, I’d like to pose a question.
Given the tens of thousands–maybe even hundreds of thousands–of churches that dot America’s landscape, why is our nation’s Christianity so weak?
What has become of the preaching of the Cross? (“For the preaching of the cross is, to them that perish, foolishness”–St. Paul, I Cor. 1:18) How did we wind up with such a flabby, comfortable, timorous Christianity that was utterly powerless to stop our culture from melting right in front of us?
This week is, I think, “Banned Books Week,” in which liberals like the American Library Assn. celebrate and honor books that were objected to on account of their filthy content or their total unsuitability for young readers: while totally ignoring the fact that the Holy Bible is by far the most banned book in America.
Our nation’s leaders have blurred the line between fantasy and reality so you can hardly see it anymore.
Item: Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, says we need a “national starting salary” for public school teachers–$60,000. Teachers should be paid “the same as engineers,” babbled the secretary. Is the man insane? Or is he just anticipating union dues from hundreds of thousands of highly-paid teachers flowing into the campaign chests of the Democrat Party? Gee, the world’s most expensive public education system is–let us put it as charitably as possible–a shameful failure. Better throw more money at it!
Item: An official report by a NASA panel headed by somebody named Shawn Domagal-Goldman has recommended that we go back to living like 12th-century peasants so that potentially hostile space aliens won’t spot our carbon footprint and come over and conquer us. Maybe we should also get rid of electronic communications, especially TV and radio. Haven’t you seen this exchange a thousand times in 1950s science fiction movies? Terrified Earth Person: “But how is it that you speak our language?” Bug-Eyed Space Monster: “For many years we have monitored your radio transmissions…”
Item: Maxine Waters, a member of the United States Congress, recommends that the government “tax the banks out of existence.” How can we even comment on such a statement by a person in a position of responsibility and leadership?
Item: Former Vice President and almost-president Al Gore said recently that “climate change deniers” are “like racists,” ignorant, bigoted, superstitious, evil, blah-blah… and they should be treated like racists. Chimes in The Democrat (what else?) Examiner, climate change deniers should be “ostracized and marginalized” until they repent of their “moral failure.”
Are all these people crazy? If they believe the fantasies they put out there, the answer is yes. But if they say all these wacky things and don’t believe in them, isn’t that even worse?
Okay, now I’ve seen everything–a “secular humanist Sunday school.” It’s going to be just a few miles from my home, according to the local paper.
Sponsored by a Temple (“A Temple of what?” you ask), the curriculum will emphasize “social justice” and “diversity” while pretending to be Jewish. “Social justice” is the art of using the government to force other people to finance your charitable impulses. And I think by now we all know what “diversity” means–uniformly Leftist thought.
As a lowly fantasy writer, I never could have imagined anything as goofy as a Judaism without God. Nor could I ever have imagined any need to set up a Sunday school for the teaching of a world view that already saturates our culture. It’s like building a zoo where people can go and see squirrels, pigeons, dandelions, and mosquitoes.
The real world today is infinitely more irrational than anything we fantasists dream up.
They changed everything. So at this writing I don’t know how to send email, or reply to email–and this new keyboard is the worst example of built-in silliness I’ve ever seen. Two days ago I could do all those things, and more. But now I can’t. I’ll have to learn everything all over again.
Wouldn’t it be great if they made cars like that? If every time they brought out a new model, you had to go back to driving school?
(I absolutely hate, loathe, and abhor this keyboard!!! It was obviously designed for elves, not human beings.)
All I can ask is that my dozens of readers please bear with me while I try to orient myself…
Mobs have trashed London, and you’re writing about a couple of kids trying to climb a mountain to ring a legendary bell. We’ve got a Marxist in the White House, and you’re writing about imaginary kings of an imaginary country.
What good does that do?
These are questions that I sometimes ask myself. I suspect every fantasy writer since L. Frank Baum has done the same. (For the video-game generation, Baum’s the guy who wrote The Wizard of Oz. “The what?” Oh, never mind…)
In fairness, fantasy is not the only thing I write. I tackle the old burning issues all the time. But to this day I’m not sure of having changed one person’s mind with any of my columns. No one has ever written in to say, “Oh, now I see! Gee, I was totally wrong to be a socialist/atheist/Darwinist nudnick–thank you so much for setting me straight.” Nope, I’m afraid that doesn’t happen.