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The Friday Fight: Florentine

Will McLean writes: “Florentine was first used as a term for a weapon style within the Society for Creative Anachronism circa A.S.2 (1970 AD) to describe a fighting style involving the use of two pounds of spinach and a pair of salad forks. Later the spinach was either discarded or eaten (feasts often started late in those days) and the term came to denote any two-weapon style, or, alternatively ‘what medieval knights would have called fighting in tournaments with two weapons at once if they had ever done such a thing, which they didn’t.’ The style is sometimes referred to as ‘Too many swords.'”

For those interested in fighting with too many swords, Lukrain offers a number tips.


Ross Mackenzie calls us back to simple living:

Thanksgiving . . . is, perhaps fundamentally, the season of hope. In this season, maybe the current condition of the global economy will focus Americans on essentials: family, nature, eternal verities, a new frugality, a simpler life. With its focus on money and “things,” materialism diminishes our appreciation for what we have. It fosters frustration, exasperation, even anger at what we don’t, and a redefining of wants into necessities and have-to-haves.

He quotes historian Paul Johnson, who says the financial crisis is result of a moral one. “We are traveling along the high road to incompetence and poverty,” Johnson states, “led by a farcical coalition of fashionably liberal academics on the make, assorted eco-crackpots, and media wiseacres.”

And here’s a story of self-reliance.

In other news, a Wal-Mart stock clerk was trampled in New York by a crowd of early shoppers. A pregnant woman was also knocked down. The crowd took down the front doors too. I think the store should have been closed and all of the shoppers thrown out of their ears.

By the way, I’m thankful for you. I don’t think I’d still be here, if I were the only one in this room.

Sir Henry Taylor’s ‘The Hero’

This poem is a bit humanistic, but it strikes a resonate chord for today. The men we remember today were some of those good men we hear about often, the good men who did something in order to keep evil men from prevailing. This is “The Hero,” by Sir Henry Taylor.

What makes a hero?—not success, not fame,

Inebriate merchants, and the loud acclaim

Of glutted Avarice,—caps toss’d up in air,

Or pen of journalist with flourish fair;

Bells peal’d, stars, ribbons, and a titular name—

These, though his rightful tribute, he can spare;

His rightful tribute, not his end or aim,

Or true reward; for never yet did these

Refresh the soul, or set the heart at ease.

What makes a hero?—An heroic mind,

Express’d in action, in endurance prov’d.

And if there be preeminence of right,

Deriv’d through pain well suffer’d, to the height

Of rank heroic, ’t is to bear unmov’d,

Not toil, not risk, not rage of sea or wind,

Not the brute fury of barbarians blind,

But worse—ingratitude and poisonous darts,

Launch’d by the country he had serv’d and lov’d:

This, with a free, unclouded spirit pure,

This, in the strength of silence to endure,

A dignity to noble deeds imparts

Beyond the gauds and trappings of renown;

This is the hero’s complement and crown;

This miss’d, one struggle had been wanting still,

One glorious triumph of the heroic will,

One self-approval in his heart of hearts.

Tolkien Postcard Found While Razing Tolkien Home

The team taking apart one of Tolkien’s homes found a postcard in the fireplace. Reporter Mike Collett-White writes:

The postcard was addressed to Tolkien at the Miramar Hotel in Bournemouth, where he and his wife Edith often stayed. [It is dated 1968.]

It is from “Lin,” which Malton [the demolition man] believed could be fellow fantasy author Lin Carter who wrote Tolkien: A Look Behind ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ published in 1969.

Depicting a scene from Ireland, it reads: “I have been thinking of you a lot and hope everything has gone as well as could be expected in the most difficult circumstances.”

The circumstances in question are not described in this report.