Friday, April 17, 2020

"I Was A Friend Of Jamis."

I don't know why but suddenly I feel a calling to educate you Hillbilly dumbasses about DUNE. All the reasons why you should read this book before the plague kills you and why you should be so excited about the tiny little bit we have been given about the two part adaptation of Frank Herbert's Masterpiece that is scheduled to be released this Christmas. Released in 1965 (the year I was born), it's my most favorite book ever. I once paid the gangsters at Columbia House $99 dollars to get my own copy of the 1984 movie. In BETA! That's how hardcore I am about this novel, bitches. It's like my ANTI- Moby Dick. 

You know how certain time in your life stand out in your memory more than others? It's that way with me and DUNE. Saw the movie on Toonie Tuesdays at Christmas after my first semester of Red Deer College and it destroyed my mind. I read the book in a week at my job at the local city outdoor skate shack. Then I saw the movie again two more times by myself. Then I read the book again and the DUNE Encyclopedia that I found at the Wee Book Inn in Edmonton.  Devoured the whole thing. I know everything about that world. I am THAT guy when it comes to DUNE. When you think CALVIN you should feel the dry heat of Arrakis. It's as close to perfect as I can imagine the human imagination can create...and coming from ME, the smartest kid in the room, that should at least get your attention.

Within the novel, I love the story of Jamis. He is the one who called out Muad'dib as was the tradition of his people. He is a key figure in Paul's ascendancy into Godhood. At his funeral Paul cried as he talked of what Jamis taught him. He gave water to the dead. To a desert people that was a close to a holy miracle as they had ever seen.

Jamis (10159 AG[source?] - 10191 AG) was a Fremen of Sietch Tabr, best known as the man who was bested by Paul Atreides when he and his mother Jessica were first given sanctuary by Stilgar. He was also known to be adept in playing the nine-stringed baliset.Jamis had a reputation for fighting ferociously. He was regarded as a good Fremen, but encumbered by the major flaw of faulty self-control. Undoubtedly, Jamis' greatest usefulness to the tribe lay in his superiority as a fighting man; as a raider he was formidable. Stilgar in his Chronicle pays tribute to Jamis' bravery and skill. Even though Stilgar once bested Jamis in a fight, Jamis did not hesitate to save Stilgar's life at Hole-in-the-Rock. Stilgar also spoke of Jamis sharing his water during a siege at Two Birds and of his valiant sacrifice at Bight-of-the-Cliff. When a Harkonnen patrol pinned down a troop from Sietch Tabr, Jamis drew them off so the wounded could be saved. On the other hand, the fury that sustained him in battle also crippled him, for Stilgar had further noted: "There's too much violence in Jamis for him ever to make a good leader —too much ghafla."This exuberance, however, did not always work to his detriment; it won him a good Fremen woman, Harah, for his wife. Jamis called out Geoff, her mate, and bested him. Harah spoke fondly of Jamis. She noted that he loved their children; Kaleff, Geoff's son, and Orlop, their own. He made no distinction between them and accorded the same devotion to their upbringing. Presumably he taught his sons the rules of water discipline and the Fremen way of fighting.Jamis was numbered among the troop sent into the desert by Liet Kynes' distrans message to seek the strangers, Paul Atreides and his Bene Gesserit mother. When the troop came upon them at Tuono Basin, Jamis was distrustful of the outworlders and urged Stilgar to do his tribal duty - to eliminate those not trained to live with the desert. Although he agreed with Jamis regarding Jessica, Stilgar saw value in Paul. Unfortunately Jamis never realized the breadth of that value; he attributed Paul's disarming him at the moment Jessica overpowered Stilgar to "witch-force". Burning with resentment at being bested by a mere "child," Jamis invoked the Amtal Rule once they reached the Cave of Ridges. Unconvinced by Jessica's mystical performance, he demanded the right to test her part in the legend through combat with her champion, Paul.Jessica and Stilgar tried both persuasion and trickery to convince him otherwise, but Jamis persisted. Although Jamis was an expert with the crysknife in either hand, he was no match for one steeped in the devious ways of the Bene Gesserit and trained by the likes of Gurney Halleck and Duncan Idaho. He could have had no conception of the exquisite fineness of Paul's skill. Jamis' death bought Paul his sietch name, Usul, and made him one of the Ichwan Bedwine with the manhood name of Paul-Muad'Dib. It was for Jamis that Paul 'Gave water to the dead', shedding a tear at his unnecessary death.Befiting a man of his standing, Jamis was given a full ritual funeral. Paul received Jamis' water, as was the custom, and inherited his yali, or possessions (excluding the funeral gifts), and woman, Harah. Specifically, Paul received Jamis' coffee service and a bundle of water rings, Stilgar's pick from the yali as his combat reward, and Paul himself chose Jamis' baliset, as it reminded him of his old teacher, Gurney. The whole tribe rightly mourned Jamis' passing, for indeed, they all felt the loss on the unfortunate day that his temper drove him to challenge Paul Atreides. Jamis seemed to embody the best and worst of Fremen qualities: strength, superb fighting ability, desert wisdom, tribal loyalty, dedication to Fremen dreams and ideals, and closed-minded, bull-headed stubbornness.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

I admire your fanatical devotion to the novel. I tried to read it once and failed. But then again, I love Moby-Dick.

j-swin said...

Preach on, brother man!

DrGoat said...

Cal, the scene where Paul kills Jamis was in the extended version I had on VHS back in the 90s. It got lost.
Just got done reading just 3 of the prequel books to Dune. Pretty good. Written by Brian Herbert and friend. The Machine Crusade, the Butlerian Jihad and Battle of Corrin.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

You are lying Debra. NO ONE likes Moby Dick. They just say they do to appear smart. It's useless unless you want to into the whale oil business because then it's a pretty good primer on everything you need to know.