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Judge Not…

Posted by Dirck on 21 December, 2011

I survived the outing yesterday, with a small bite on my arm and a pair of shoes which may never be the same again as the only marks of injury.  A Christmas miracle!

The title of this entry will necessarily put one in mind of biblical reference; this is a result of the underlying (in this part of the world) Christian basis to the current solstice observation and its effect on my own imagination.  I’m not of the faith, but I’m aware of it, and in this jolly, forgiving part of the year the more laudable aspects of that religion dance about in my head.  I had borne in upon me recently that I have been judgemental in a possibly unfair way.

I got, in a fit of whimsy, a flighter-trim Parker Frontier (pictures as yet untaken).  I got it because it available at a low low low price, because I rather like the steel with gold look of the flighters, because I hope to encourage through sympathetic magic a visually-similar “51” Flighter to drop into my hands and because I wouldn’t mind an attractive but non-lamentable-if-damaged pen to bump around with on the weekends (sometimes the TWSBI doesn’t suit, after all).  I got it for these reasons in spite of the terrible things I write about it in my site’s profile.

Well… I find that this pen, loaded with the cartridge of generally ill-regarded black Quink which arrived with it, is rather nice.  Smooth, good flow, interesting shaping to the letters… and I don’t know why.  I have some expections of fountain pens in general, but I also has a rather set opinion of Frontiers, and this example is holding to the former while working mightily to dispel the later.  I’m having a Scrooge-like moment of having my world shaken.

It may be the case that this pen, unlike my previous experience of Frontiers, has never known use before.  Whether taking an animist (previous abuse embitters the pen) or a materialist (previous abuse damages the pen) approach, this is not an altogether trivial consideration.  I don’t rate it a great consideration, though, as I’ve had a lot of thoroughly abused pens that are entirely biddable after some care.  Perhaps this late example of Parker’s Newhaven plant shows British defiance in the face of inevitable defeat, the sort of attitude that made the Battle of Maldon a source of pride; “They may be closing our plant, but they can’t make us look bad when they do it!”  I rather hope that’s the case, as it’s an approach to doom which I can honour.

I suspect, though, that this is an extremity of the individuality of complex artifacts, even in the case of mass production.  Some cars run better than their fellows, some planes drop an engine when their siblings don’t, some computers refuse to crash… why not a pen that works rather better than most of the same name?  I have a moment of self-doubt in grasping this as the true reason; it allows me to continue in my prejudice against the model while embracing the individual, which is a bad habit of thought to get into.

Whatever the reason, I’ll have to moderate the profile somewhat.  Extra work, but given the season one can take pleasure at the effort of spreading good will.

Today’s merry pen, against which I once similarly transgressed: Pelikan New Classic
Today’s ink: Noodler’s red-black

One Response to “Judge Not…”

  1. […] Today’s pen: Parker Frontier (the Flighter I mentioned a few days ago) […]

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