Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Woke gremlins sit jabbering on their shoulders

Harley J. Sims has an entertaining mercatornet piece on Amazon's invasion of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Tolkien’s Middle-earth has been colonized by a media giant and its woke gremlins

More money, less quality: why Amazon’s version of Middle earth is stale, boring, and lame.

There are a few reasons why fantasy exists and why it is so popular, but I imagine most people would agree it’s because of escapism. Escapism doesn’t require fantasy – we can escape into any imaginative circumstance from sports to sci-fi – but fantasy offers a kind of escapism further removed from reality than other genres.

Often set in alternative worlds, it can present belief systems, languages, cultures, and forces of nature far different from our own. Even physical laws – i.e. ‘the science’ – can be left behind, allowing for immersion in truly exotic waters.

The whole piece is well worth reading for the way it highlights the cultural damage done by entertainment behemoths.

Fans of The Lord of the Rings will recall Gandalf’s advice to Frodo about the One Ring – “Keep it secret. Keep it safe.” Well, the same can be advised of fantasy in general, and it was a lot easier to follow it before the genre became as ubiquitous at is now. Though the memory of those days is rapidly disappearing, there was a time when what are now-multi-billion-dollar properties belonged to the realm of geeky outsiders – intensely imaginative types and introverts – whose interests didn’t jive with what was popular. A lot of it had to do with the literary nature of fantasy – reading and obsessing over its details requires uncommon patience and intelligence as well as a tenacious sense of escapism. Now that the material has been popularized by film and other more immediately accessible media, what were once tranquil properties have become prime stomping grounds for the entertainment giants, as well as the woke gremlins that sit jabbering on their shoulders.

Put another way, reality has invaded the fantasy. Our 21st-century Zeitgeist, with all the hubris of its self-righteousness and revisionism, has possessed the body of Tolkien’s work, thrusting aside its old soul no less sickeningly than the demon did the little girl’s in the Exorcist. It intends to impersonate what we love, and to teach us why we suck for not enjoying what it pukes at us.


Sam Vega said...

I wonder how film makers choose the stories and themes for their output. If they were genuinely creative, they would be able to make up their own stories and ideas from nothing. Or perhaps see possibilities in little-known or niche works which would then be skilfully popularised.

But they tend to pick on the books and earlier films that are already popular and have a following. Hoping to piggy-back on another's success.

It all seems a bit lazy to me, but I suppose such vast sums of money are invested that they have to play safe. The problem is that happy memories of a special book get trashed when a committee has jumped up and down all over it so as to squeeze every last dollar out of it.

A K Haart said...

Sam - I'm sure that's it, huge financial risk so they hope to piggy-back on another's success. They probably know that real fans may not like it, but they aren't the target audience. It's an old story where the flavour and charm of the original are lost.