Improving on Tolkien

The Amazon Abomination tries, and succeeds, to improve upon the late, great grandmaster of high fantasy. Needless to say, it doesn’t go well.

They are trying to improve Tolkien.

They are not succeeding.

Mithril now has an origin story. According to Celebrimbor, there is a legend of an Elf warrior fighting a Balrog for a tree in which one of the Silmarils is lodged. The fight was so titanic (and cliché) that it forced the power of the Silmaril through the tree’s roots, into the ground and created the Mithril.

No. It didn’t. Mithril’s origin story is that the Dwarves found it and dug it up.

Here is a brutally quick history of the Silmarils.

Feanor created three jewels of literally unsurpassed beauty, within them was the light of the two trees of Valinor. Manwë’s wife made the jewels sacred so that no one evil or mortal could touch them without withering and dying. Morgoth coveted them so much, that he killed the Trees in order to steal them. Then he took them to his fortress of Angband. Their light burned him but he couldn’t part with them, so Morgoth put the Silmarils in a crown that he wore upon his head.

Feanor and his sons made a terrible vow to recover them. Their clan committed untold crimes against the rest of the Elves to fulfill this vow. Great wars, Kinslayings, and misery were the result.

Beren stole a Silmaril, and gave it to his wife Luthien, when she died again (don’t ask) it passed to their son Dior. When the sons of Feanor killed him it fell into Dior’s daughter, Elwing’s hands. She flew with it to her husband and they sailed with it to Valinor to beg the aid of the Valar.

When Morgoth fell after the War of Wrath, the remaining two Silmarils were taken by Eanwë, the herald of Manwë. The last two sons of Feanor snuck into the Valar camp and stole them. Eanwë caught them but apparently decided to let the holy jewels pass judgment on them and gave one to each of the brothers.

They were so tainted by the crimes they had committed in the pursuit of these jewels that they were horribly burned and withered by the Silmarils. Maedhros threw himself and his Silmaril into a fiery pit. Maglor cast his into the sea and apparently spent the rest of his immortal life singing songs of lamentation.

So, of the three Silmarils, one of them is now the North Star, one of them got chucked into a volcano and the third was pitched into the sea. None of them was ever, at any time in a god damned tree, ever. Their locations were always accounted for in the legendarium.

As for Mithril, this is blatant idiocy. The Silmarils never worked that way.

Mithril is just a precious metal. Now it is super rare and worth ten times its weight in gold, but it ends there. It’s not magical and never was.

Well, at least they’re trying to tell a story of some sort. Even if it is an incoherent one that is completely inconsistent with canon.


Please Don’t Hit Us

The Eu declares it is not at war with Russia:

The European Union is not at war with Russia, but it will continue to support Ukraine in its fight against Moscow, EU foreign policy spokesman Peter Stano said on Wednesday. The statement came hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of troops.

Speaking at a press conference, Stano was asked whether the EU is in a state of war with Russia, given that earlier Vladimir Putin had claimed that Russia is facing “the entire Western military machine” in Ukraine. The foreign policy spokesman replied in the negative.

“Of course we are not in war with Russia. We are supporting Ukraine’s legitimate, justified fight to defend its people and its territory,” he said, adding that Kiev is protecting not only itself, but also European democratic values.

And then promptly turned around and announced new sanctions – that will totally work this time – in response to Russia announcing it is willing to respect democratic self-determination in four former Ukrainian provinces.

The EU has agreed to slap new sanctions on Russia “as soon as possible” over plans to hold referendums in the Donbass republics and Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine on whether to unite with Russia, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said on Wednesday.

Apparently “European democractic values” mean “anti-democratic values”. But this preemptive refusal to accept the will of the Novorussian people isn’t a surprise, given the way the EU also refused to recognize the will of the Catalonian people.

Unfortunately for the EU, unlike tango, it only takes one to war.


Amazon’s Pants are on Fire

Unlike Tha Rangz o’ Powah, which apparently are not being watched anywhere nearly as much as Amazon is trying to claim. The Dark Herald busts the Bezos machine on the Arkhaven blog.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “numbers don’t lie?”

Accountants say that all the time… When they want a good laugh.

Amazon is proudly claiming they have 25 million views for Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, on its very first day of streaming. That is a nice ROUND number, isn’t it?

“25 million people viewed it.” Always be careful with the exact wording.

We can start with I don’t believe it for a second.

Warner Brothers is, for their part, claiming 25 million for the first week of House of the Dragon, and Warner Brothers put the first episode up for free on YouTube. Realistically, House of the Dragon has had way better public reception than Rings of Power. And ain’t it funny that Amazon had the exact same ROUND number?

So, where did this massive overnight number come from?

Well, it came from

UPDATE: OWWwwww! Samba.TV has released its metrics on Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and they are b-a-a-d. Amazon was claiming a huge number for it’s first day. Samba.TV uses the first three days. On its first three days, the Rings of Power only got 1.8 million US views.

I didn’t buy the 25 million number myself. But an average of 600k/day? I also wasn’t expecting anything that cataclysmic. This looks like it is going to be a downright proverbial failure.


Grifters, Grifters Everywhere

Was talking to [REDACTED] Bear at the festival and he said most conservatives are doing it, but Gavin is the one who was caught. Apparently Tim Pool pulled the same stunt, but years ago, and while he was “being detained” the YouTube livestream was left on for hours and holds some kind of record for the amount of money collected from superchats in one stream.

Just to be clear, the police do not simply respond blindly to calls as if they have no idea that they have ever been there before. Most public figures at genuine risk of being SWATted have already alerted the local police to the possibility, their address is already known to the police and flagged accordingly, and any attempt at SWATting will result in a telephone call, or at most, a visit from a squad car to confirm that everything is all right rather than an emergency response.

Anyone who gets SWATted multiple times is almost certainly faking it.


UPDATE: Apparently Mr. McInnes is on work release from his secret FBI prison.


He Should Have Listened

Jeff Bezos didn’t listen to his son:

Being one of the richest people on the planet, Jeff Bezos is not used to being told what to do. But when Amazon announced it was creating The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, which is likely to become the most expensive television series ever made, he received a blunt order from his son: “Dad, don’t fuck this up.”

Sorry, Jeff. A verdict is in. And you done fucked it up.


Past success sows the seeds of future failure


Thank You For Your Service

They watched the Amazon Abomination so you didn’t have to subject yourself to it.

  • I got 18 minutes in before I had to switch it off. The writing is so awful and cliched that at points I thought I was having a stroke. I love Tolkien and I hope Amazon loses a fortune for what they have done because this really isn’t good entertainment.
  • It genuinely felt like a parody. Tolkien reimagined by Human Resources Equality and Diversity branch.
  • Why describe the entire episode? It was cr@p anyway.
  • Oh lawdee dem rangz
  • I’ve loved everything The Lord of the Rings for decades now but I had trouble getting through the first episode of The Rings of Power.
  • I tried to start the lord of the rings trilogy last night (for no reason at all). i got the best sleep i had in months.
  • The diverse cast is encouraging to me, but Tolkien would have wanted it to address the pressing social issues of our time such as climate change and vaccine hesitancy.. let’s wait and see before passing judgement.

Black elves, black hobbitses, and black dwarfs. Checkmate, racists!


TikTok On the Clock

We’re going to owe an apology to the dead generals of WWI, whose famously idiotic refusal to reconsider their preferred strategies and tactics led to massive quantities of unnecessary bloodshed suddenly looks like military genius compared to the European generals of Clown World.

TikTokers and YouTubers could help the EU drive a wedge between the Russian government and the people, Germany and France have reportedly told other members of the bloc.

Ideas on how its members could influence Russian citizens were formulated in a document circulated ahead of this week’s high-level EU meeting in Prague, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The plan is meant for discussion behind closed doors, but the news agency said it had studied the document.

Berlin and Paris suggested enrolling popular video bloggers on platforms including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Telegram, and VK to help disseminate EU-funded teaching courses on “media literacy,” according to Bloomberg. The courses will supposedly explain to Russians why they should dismiss “Russian propaganda” and trust “independent information” that counters what the Russian government says.

This is a vivid demonstration of how those who possess the ability to influence others confuse it with the possession of actual power over others. It also underlines the complete helplessness of the European elite in the face of Russian economic and military power, to say nothing of their failure to grasp the comprehensive collapse of their neo-liberal ideology.

At this point, who can possibly take these lunatics seriously? How is every single government in the European Union not getting voted out of office in the next election?

“We’ve sent in the Redditors! We’ve provided our proxy troops with more money, weapons, and supplies than the US Marines ever had in the South Pacific! Nothing is working! What else can we do?”

“What about the Americans?”

“What about them? They want us to send in our troops before they’ll commit any of their own forces.”

“The sum total of our combined militaries couldn’t stand up to the Chechens, forget the Russian regulars!”

“Well, who else is there?”

“Guys, guys, you’re going about this all wrong! See, this is an INFORMATION war. We don’t need soldiers and artillery and ammunition. What we need is EDUCATION! Education and choreographed dance routines!”

“O. M. G. You are SO right!”


“You don’t… you don’t mean – “

“I do indeed. Send in the TikTokers!”

“Checkmate, Putin!”


Definitely Fake, Probably Gay

You can safely ignore any concerns about the so-called “arrest” of Gavin McInnes. It’s just a “hilarious” attention-seeking stunt by a pathological narcissist. We can all return to our previous state of completely ignoring him.

Of course, it would actually be funny if he is ever arrested at some point in the future and no one bothered to pay any attention to him because everyone assumed it was just another “hilarious” prank.


Doubling Down on Ukraine

The US military is now reportedly disarming its own forces in order to continue arming its proxy forces in Ukraine:

  • I’m getting word from team guys that they’re being forced to turn in their Carl Gs to send to Ukraine. This removes a very important item out of an operator’s kit.
  • Have your bravos prep your Carl Gs for turn in. I’ve fought back on it as long as I can. Grp CDR said tough shit. SECDEF is sending them to Ukraine.
  • Not just SF you didn’t hear it from me, but HIMARs systems slated for my regiment were sent there along with most of the ammo allotted to the regiment for training this year for both Tubes and Rockets. Apparently it’s also happened to the other Marine Corps Artillery Regiments.

On the down side, this is an abjectly stupid policy that cannot possibly end well. It will accomplish nothing but render the US military unable to perform its responsibilities. On the plus side, it looks like Russia will soon be in a position to force reasonable terms that the rest of the world can live with without ever having to invade Europe or engage directly with any NATO forces. This is an unusual form of attrition warfare that appears to be remarkably effective.