Monday, April 30, 2012

(The Great 100-ish Day, 100-question Star Wars Blogathon, #64)

It's quiet out there.

A little too quiet.

I was going to talk a little bit about the origin of the phrase "a little too quiet," a well-known trope, but in investigating where that phrase came from, I ran across a link to "The Hounds of the Morrigan," which had a reference to the Celtic Goddess of War in it; apparently, in that book, whenever the Celtic Goddess of War focused on something, her ears absorbed all the sound around her, so her enemies would know she was focusing on them because things would get...a little too quiet.

Then I wondered if that was an invention of the author or the "real" (?) stuff of myth, so I went to look up the Celtic Goddess of War, and I found this site which lists not one, not two, but 10 gods/goddesses of war, including Banba, whose particular godhood was dedicated to repelling invaders, as well as being the deification of soil.

Celtic mythology also has innumerable gods and goddesses dedicated to sex, fertility, and love, which is the way to go with a religion, if you ask me, and which include Achtland, who as a mortal found no man could satisfy her, so she married one of the Tuatha de Danann, a sort of cross between Irish gods and Tolkien's elves.  After that, it was said, she found "great delight" ... in brushing her husband's long silken hair.


Anyway, that all got me thinking about the lasting impact of what we do and say and write, something that's on my mind a lot.  That book, The Hounds of The Morrigan, sounds inventive -- but was released something like 20 years ago, if not more.  I frequently wander through bookstores and libraries and look at all the books I've never even heard of and wonder if those authors wonder the impact of what they're doing, if those authors put their books out there hoping they'd be Twilight or Harry Potter or Great Expecatations, only to find out that they're...


That's the kind of thoughts I get when I give a WHAMMY! question and nobody answers.  There were 990 pageviews yesterday, and two comments.  I don't imagine that what I'm doing here is Great Expectations, or even Twilight, but I do wonder, sometimes, when we throw these ideas out into the air, do they land?  And do they take root when they do?  Think of all the things humans create and briefly talk about and then never visit again, and consider how many of them you will remember for a week.  A month?  A year?

Ten years?

Fifty years?

Does the likelihood of being remembered-- that's the best way to measure an impact, isn't it? -- increase as we increase our output? Or does a greater volume mean a weaker impact?

The amount of things we're throwing into the universe as ideas grows exponentially.  In 1977, when Star Wars was released, there were 47 other theatrical releases.  There were 48 movies released in 2011... by April, 2011.

I saw recently an article in Entertainment Weekly that noted that Titanic had the most consecutive weeks at number 1 at the box office, followed by Beverly Hills Cop.

Beverly Hills Cop.  Really?

Sweetie's explanation for that, which I buy into, is that there were fewer movies then on fewer screens, so it was easier to stay at number 1.  (Four of the top 5 in that category were released between 1980 and 1990).

I still remember Beverly Hills Cop.  And Star Wars.  But was the impact of those movies heightened because there was so little competition?

Anyway, that's my musing today, brought on by the eerie quiet amongst the competitors on the Blogathon:  Consider whether abundance equates with lack of concern.

And then answer question #64, worth 24 points:

What was Grand Moff Tarkin's homeworld?

UPDATES/RULINGS: Because nobody answered the WHAMMY! question, I have not penalized Andrew for wagering but not answering, especially since it was unclear whether he would be the only person entering.

I'M EXTENDING THE DEADLINE BY ONE WEEK!  Write your blogfest entry! The Tri(?)weekly Blogfest Challenge -- prize is $10 -- is to post something on the theme of "Han shot first, but Time-Traveling Elvis shot second" by April 29.  Leave a link to your post in the comments to this post. You'll get 100 points for posting it, plus 5 for mentioning the blogathon.  Get it in by next Sunday, whatever day that is.

You can get 1,000 points by mentioning the Yellow Hill fundraiser on your blog; here's the post where I explain that, and you can  click here to go directly to the Yellow Hill fundraising page.  If you don't want the points, you can in the alternative link to/mention it and get a free book of mine.(Find my books here.) (If you've done this, leave me a link and I'll get you the points.)  This one ends in a week.

And I'm going to put another bounty out: 500 points if you get Julian Darius, or anyone from Martian Lit, to leave a comment here. 

Here are the Star Wars Blogathon standings; check your point total here. 

Will it help drive up participation if I post more Leias in bikinis?   Because I'll do that:



Sharkbytes said...

Interesting musings. I'm trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month. My alphabet is at

Erin O'Riordan said...

Does it really matter if the ideas land when we throw them in the air? Face it - we're going to keep throwing out ideas whether anyone's going to read them or not. It's what creative people do.

Your post about Celtic goddesses caught my eye precisely because tomorrow is May Day/Beltane, a traditional Celtic holiday. We're celebrating the fertility of the god and goddess?

Which goddess? Doesn't matter - there's really only one in European mythology. She's the mother of all living things. (As keeper of the animals, she's called Lady of the Wild Things.) She gives birth to us, she's there for us when we die and she takes us to the afterlife, where there's always the possibility of reincarnation.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Wilhuff was from Eriadu.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I would have done the Whammy except I had to go meet my sisters yesterday so I wasn't sure when they'd show up vs. when the question would show up. I don't know why Andrew didn't answer since he would have been guaranteed the points and taken the lead.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

Over 900 page views and two comments. It does make you wonder. I have no idea what Grand Moff Tarkin's home world is.

Briane P said...

@Erin: You're right about how we'll just keep on going. But I still wonder, sometimes: I used to host a college radio show that had an extremely limited audience. How limited? We wondered. We had a contest once where caller 10 was to get some free albums, and nobody called in.


After that, I'd go do my radio show every Saturday morning and read the PSAs and play the music, but I wondered: Am I doing this for myself?

I like to think that my idea reached at least one person.

@PT: Why not get your sisters into the Blogathon? (As someone who doesn't talk to 99% of his family, excuse my inability to deal with family dynamics.)

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Ha ha. Neither of my sisters blog. The one hates all things Star Trek or Star Wars unless Scott Bakula is involved. But my niece does have a thing for Darth Vader. Too bad she's 1 and can't read yet.

Andrew Leon said...

Wait! I did answer. I emailed you!
I will go back forward it to you so you can see the time stamp.

Andrew Leon said...

But back to your question...

I feel the same way. So many people live and die, and, at the end of it all, no one even knows they lived. I don't really want to be that. I want to have made a difference somewhere. And I wouldn't mind being remembered later. Seriously, I hope school children in 40 years are being tortured by having to read what I've written. But, even if not, I know that there are -some- kids who think my book is the best book ever, and I have to kind of go off of that even when it feels like nothing is happening anywhere. Like when I have months like March when I didn't sell a single copy of my book. Not that April is much better.

Rusty Webb said...

You got very deep on me again. If a pond ripples and no one is there to see it... is it still a pond? Wait, I may have said that wrong. Anyway, I thought I was disqualified from the whammy so I didn't bother. The past two weeks haven't been kind to me Whammy-wize. I'm afraid I've got Post-Whammy-Performance-Anxiety.

The possibility of failure is now crippling to me... It's horrible.

And I'll go out on a limb and say the answer for this post's question is actually Wookies.