At length Gandalf spoke. ‘Hail, Théoden son of Thengel! I have returned. For behold! the storm comes, and now all friends should gather together, lest each singly be destroyed.’
Slowly the old man rose to his feet, leaning heavily upon a short black staff with a handle of white bone; and now the strangers saw that, bent though he was, he was still tall and must in youth have been high and proud indeed.
‘I greet you,’ he said, ‘and maybe you look for welcome. But truth to tell your welcome is doubtful here, Master Gandalf. You have ever been a herald of woe. Troubles follow you like crows, and ever the oftener the worse. I will not deceive you: when I heard that Shadowfax had come back riderless, I rejoiced at the return of the horse, but still more at the lack of the rider; and when Éomer brought the tidings that you had gone at last to your long home, I did not mourn. But news from afar is seldom sooth. Here you come again! And with you come evils worse than before, as might be expected. Why should I welcome you, Gandalf Stormcrow? Tell me that.’ Slowly he sat down again in his chair.
-The Two Towers
In the recent post on Westminster Abbey I mentioned that all English kings up through William the Conqueror (for instance, Ethelred the Unready and Edward the Confessor) were given descriptive titles rather than numbers after their names.
If only modern politicians had more descriptive names. …
In the old days, such names consisted of one word. This could be limiting. It’s a little hard capture Ron Paul without calling him something like Ron the Crotchety Old Foreteller of Doom — which is not exactly a prescription for a successful candidacy nowadays.
…and I am frustrated, because Ron Paul clearly should be named Stormcrow, but apparently my bandwidth is too limited to get a signal across the Pacific Ocean from my terminal in Asia to Ex-Army’s web server (presumably) in the Western Hemisphere.
Ron Paul should be known as Stormcrow, because people hate him when he tells them bad news. I have been posting this as comment, but it is probably lost in the unreliable ocean of TCP-IP signals. In theory, one can have a reliable network as an abstraction layer on an unreliable network, but in practice, the Internet often just seems very unreliable.