As Jim Croce once said, there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to once you find them. My relationship with blogging in a nutshell. I think I’m going to have to resign myself to posting just once a month. But that doesn’t mean I won’t have something to post about!
Like what I’ve been learning about medieval Irish history. It might not sound cool right away, but it’s actually really interesting! I love medieval stuff anyway so maybe it’s just me. But anywho–so far I’ve just learned about the sources from which we find information about the early medieval period in Ireland. Sadly, there’s not nearly as much evidence to examine as from other places, but what there is is interesting. Specifically, the annals! So basically, some people (most likely monks, because it was the monks who were literate at the time) chronicled what was going on around their monastery, about whoever was in power in their area (and consequently about their wealthy patrons). The really early years in the annals are all drawn from other early sources (including An Ecclesiastical History of the English People by the Venerable Bede), but some time in the 700s AD, if I remember correctly, they finally started recording events contemporarily. What’s really interesting about the annals, though, is that there are several different sets, some of which overlap to the point of having the exact same entries, and in other places differ or contain events not found in other annals. Historians and others have discovered that this is probably because all the annals had an original annal, called the Chronicle of Ireland, as their source. However, this chronicle got copied, and the copies got taken to different places. So some copies recorded events in one area of Ireland, while others recorded events from different areas. Even where the annals differ (or perhaps I should say especially) they give an insight into Irish history, as they show, for instance, the political affiliations of each area.
Sometimes the contents of the annals are interesting, like when a battle is being described, although of a lot of the earlier entries are kind of boring–they just record that so-and-so died. But they are still kind of fun to look at! So if you’re interested in reading them click here!
Oooh! And I finally finished Trigun. It’s one of my favorite–ok so far it is my favorite–anime series of all time! I just absolutely love the themes of repentance, redemption, and respect for life that run through the whole thing. Specifically regarding Wolfwood, Vash (yes, Vash himself) and Knives. Wolfwood is, of course, quite conflicted after meeting Vash and learning his view of killing. Then, after Vash gets upset with him for killing Zazie, he becomes extremely flustered (especially as we find out he’s working with the Gung-Ho Guns! *gulp*). In the end, he decides to accept Vash’s view and fight that way against his mentor Chapel the Evergreen. He defeats the man without killing him, but not without being mortally wounded himself (though I think it was not Chapel himself, but Legato manipulating Chapel, who wounded Wolfwood). He dies, perhaps appropriately, in a church. Wolfwood’s last thoughts are about whether he, too, can be redeemed, since he has found out that he has been mistaken all his life. He doesn’t answer his own question, nor does the series definitively present an answer (except perhaps in the way it ends and in the way it supports Vash’s beliefs), but I kept yelling at my computer, YES! Wolfwood, you can! It pained me that he didn’t necessarily get that answer, but to know that he repented of his past actions and wanted redemption is a good start.
I also like that Vash begins to realize that he’s important too! He learns to care about himself, in a way. When does this happen? Strangely enough, after he kills Legato. At first, he’s in a slightly delusional stupor, hardly able to cope with the fact that he killed a man, and intentionally at that. He allows himself to get beat up, but when he hears Meryl echo Rem’s words, that sparks something in him. He finally recognizes that he, too, can repent and accept the redemption offered him. He stops being quite so angsty, remembering that his own view about forgiveness applies to himself as well–because as much as Vash has a good view on life and does his best, he’s not perfect, so he’s going to make mistake.
And, of course, Knives gets ‘rescued’ by Vash in a sense. Although precisely how knocking him out and taking him into a town full of people is going to help, I have no idea. Perhaps Vash destroyed the two guns Knives made? Or maybe he’s just going to try to talk some sense into him (but since when has that worked)? But, generally, the idea that it presents I like–that even Knives, villain that he is, has that chance to repent.
Last thought before I move on: I was bothered at first by the comments Wolfwood made about his cross-gun-thing. You know, the whole, dang this thing is heavy, and he says, “That’s because it’s full of mercy.” Thought of literally speaking, that’s not the best thing: I mean, I suppose you could think of it as a mercy to kill certain people, but that’s not a right way of thinking. However, if you take the comment figuratively, or perhaps the better word is symbolically, and connect it with Christ, then it takes on a new meaning. That is, Christ died on the cross for our sins. The weight of the sins of the whole world was in the cross, unimaginably heavy. But God, being merciful, bore that weight, and died on the cross, because He loved us. So thinking of the cross as a symbol of Christ’s sacrifice that shows His mercy makes sense. But that connection isn’t actually solidified until the exchange between Milly and Vash, and Vash’s fight with Knives. Vash remarks on the heaviness of the cross-gun, and Milly gives the same response Wolfwood gave–it’s full of mercy. Then, when Vash is fighting Knives and has lost his own gun to his brother, finding himself defenseless, he hears Wolfwood’s voice telling him to use the cross-gun (essentially reminding him he has it). Vash does use it–but not to kill his brother. To save him–to be merciful and offer him another chance. It is not anywhere near exactly the same as Christ dying for us, to offer us the chance to repent, but it is very similar. And it’s just kind of cool to think of the comment in that way!
Okay, contrary (or in an exception to) what I said at the beginning of this post, I actually will be posting again soon. That’s only because what I wanted to say about Les Misérables would make this post unbearably long to read. So. Look forward to it!