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Today is the anniversary of the birth in 1892 of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
Several people have made the mistake of asking me, “Tom, have you seen The Hobbit or are you going to?”
I say “mistake” because these unfortunates did not realize until too late that what they thought a simple yes/no question would produce from me instead a long, vehement rant against Peter Jackson and all his works, usually delivered from a crouched position and with a great deal of hissing.
Many friends of teh decanter, of course, know all about Robbo’s long-standing hatred of the Jackson LOTR franchise, the abusive liberalities in its adaptation, the appalling instances of miscasting, etc. Indeed, ancient friends may even recall that my very first substantive blog post way back at the beginning of the Llama Days was a satire concerning the Fellowship moovie. Having descended through the first three films from dissatisfaction to outright loathing, I have no desire to do so another time, nor to pay money to the Jackson Empire for the privilege of doing so.
I’ve heard all the pro-Jackson arguments, of course, about artistic license, about “vision”, about the challenges of translating print to screen.
My answer to that is go write your own damn book.
Speaking of mistakes, here’s another: If you’re going to type a column criticizing the content of a book for its apparent politickal incorrectness, it’s not a good idea to admit you haven’t actually read it. Just saying.