My favorite author died today. Sir Terry Pratchett was a humorist/satirist and fantasy author. He was outright robbed by other fictional wizarding school stories, but he said it himself “I think of folklore in much the same way as a carpenter thinks about trees.” The man had a sword forged from meteorites!
Terry was infinitely quotable, so here are a few of my favorites:
“Give a man a fire and he’s warm for the rest of the day, set a man on fire and he’s warm for the rest of his life.”
“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
“Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.”
So what does this have to do with the Indefensible Middle Ground? Directly nothing, but so much of my adult life has been wrapped up in his fantasy world, the Discworld – which if you just scratched the surface was really a mirror of our own. In his world he could setup parody and satire without fear of libel. It was and will always be brilliant and creative, and showed the best of human nature, even if that “human” was a turtle that forgot it was a deity, or a troll with a cooling helmet on.
One of his most loved characters was Death, actual scythe and robe death – who hated his job, and tried to quit. So I’ll end with a quote from Death (Death never had quotes when he talked, and always in block caps):
DON’T THINK OF IT AS DYING, said Death. JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH