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    Musings by EzloSpirit
    • So I've maintained a multipurpose blog on Tumblr on and off for over six years, now. My Tumblog is very unorthodox for the site, though: I don't post memes, I rarely post images, and I very rarely reblog anything. I don't really use Tumblr for the social blogging features so much as just a traditional blogging platform because I like(d) the text editor (before it became less likeable).

      I thought I would cross-post some of my more insightful musings and thoughts from EzloSpirit's Hub in this thread. Feel free to respond to anything you read here.
    • Astika Parva: A Convergence of Anecdotes
      (originally posted 13 May 2019, ~2.45 AM EDT)

      So during my current break from reading Romance of the Three Kingdoms, of which I have read 87 of 120 chapters over the course of almost five years, I decided to start another classic epic from Asia: The Mahabharata. This is one of the two prominent ancient epics in the Hindu tradition, the other being The Ramayana, which I had the delight of reading in full as part of a course on fantastical literature early in my junior year of college. The Mahabharata is…astronomically longer, comprising eighteen books (as opposed to The Ramayana's seven). Those books, called parvas, are split into narrative parts, confusingly also called parvas, which are in turn divided into chapters or "sections," which range anywhere from less than a page to about thirty pages (on my Pixel 2 XL).

      Tonight, I finished the fifth…I'll call it, "sub-parva," known as Astika Parva. This narrative comprises a walloping forty-six sections (13-58), which luckily average only about three Pixel 2 XL-sized pages each. Astika Parva is told, generally speaking, non-linearly through a collection of anecdotes revolving around the advent of the Naga (snake) race and a series of curses that leads to their near-extinction at the hands of a vengeful king and their subsequent salvation at the hands of a holy man (Brahmana) who was destined to save them.

      As I implied, the narrative jumps around quite a bit, first starting with the birth of Astika, who ultimately saves the snakes. Then it jumps back to the two wives of a god-touched Brahmana named Kas(h)yapa, one of whom gives birth to the first snakes and the other of whom gives birth to the Lord of Birds, Garuda. The narrative branches off here and follows the exploits of Garuda as he goes to supernatural lengths to save his mother from servitude after she lost a wager to her sister. Meanwhile, the mother of the snakes has cursed her children for initially refusing to deceive her sister into losing the wager, and the narrative jumps to the origins of the king who will be the one to carry out the curse by invoking a massive sacrifice of all snakes, including detailing, over the course of several sections, the act of a snake prince that would be the king's impetus for seeking revenge, though he does not know it yet. Then, it retells in more detail the anecdote from the start of Astika Parva, of the events leading up to and including Astika's birth, before all of the disparate plotlines of the sub-parva come together in absolutely glorious fashion in the climatic narrative of the sacrifice itself.

      It was incredibly hard for me to tell where this story was heading, if anywhere in particular. But towards the end, the whole thing made sense, and I realized the significance of just about every section in the ~100-page narrative.

      It's always a wonderful feeling when a story comes together in the end, and I felt compelled to share this with you after 2 in the morning lol.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by EzloSpirit ().

    • Detective Pikachu: A Spoiler-Free Mini-Review
      (originally posted 20 May 2019, ~12.50 AM EDT)

      I saw Detective Pikachu today. It was wonderful. The pacing was perfect, and it was far more than just fanservice. In fact, I'd be willing to call it the best Pokémon movie ever, as far as plot and character development. It didn't make me cry like The Rise of Darkrai, but I can admit that even that film, my favorite Pokémon anime movie, has pacing issues. And some of the humor in Detective Pikachu was very Hollywood—particularly the pee and fart jokes—but Ryan Reynolds' delivery is basically flawless, and the script doesn't go overboard with juvenile humor (even despite, or perhaps because of, its target audience, whatever exactly that is lol). I haven't finished the 3DS game yet—I just got to Chapter 5 today—so I can't yet say for sure how closely the film follows it, but the movie is much darker than anything in the first four chapters of the game. That said, I apparently successfully solved the mystery of Tim's father in the game after Chapter 1, while the movie does a far, far better job of keeping it a mystery by withholding a lot of details about Det. Goodman that the game blurts out in the exposition. I appreciate that!

      Basically, this movie imagined a world with real Pokémon, and it was the best kind of world in which to immerse myself for almost two hours, like the imaginary world of my childhood put on the big screen. Also, there was a Togepi. If there hadn't been a Togepi, I would have sent expletive-laden hatemail to Warner Bros. Glad I can forgo that. Because that Eggy was cute!