Abandoning the Indefensible

Even the corpocratic media has reluctantly thrown in the towel on Dem Rangz despite being more than willing to accept the sadistic defacing of Tolkien’s legacy, to endorse the rampant blackwashing, and to osculate the Bezosian backside:

I’ve come to a sad realization: The creators of Amazon’s The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power know how to create spectacle, but they don’t know how to tell a good story.

There it is, scrawled in blood on the wall. The writers and showrunners responsible for this show could have won me over with good fan-fiction. They could have tossed Tolkien’s lore onto a bonfire and I’d have been perfectly happy if they’d simply crafted an enjoyable story with characters I care about.

Unfortunately, The Rings Of Power is written so poorly it defies even my worst fears. Oh yes, I was awed and impressed by the opening two episodes just like many others. But my how quickly a badly written TV series can wear out its welcome once the shimmer fades….

Galadriel’s adventure in Númenor is honestly just embarrassing. She arrived there—after being rescued—and effectively just bullied everyone in her path like the elven version of a steamroller. The queen regent has her hands full from the moment Galadriel barges through the door, and soon she’s demanding to see the king, then asking for an army.

Miriel has to lock her up and then pack her off back to the elves just to get her to stop. Then—thanks to petals falling from a tree*—she decides to take her back and commit her people—who moments earlier were all but chanting “death to the elves!”—to a war in a strange land? Everything taking place in Númenor is just a shortcut for the plot. Move the plot forward at all costs no matter how many characters are butchered in the process. (I wrote about the hilariously bad Black Speech spy note recently which is another great example of the shoddy writing in this show)>

Instead of actual character drama, the creators of Rings Of Power simply make everyone bicker and argue with one another all the time. Whether that’s Isildur and his father and friends, Elrond and Durin, Nori and the village elders, Bronwyn and the village idiots, or Galadriel and, well, everybody—all anyone seems to do is argue.

The people Galadriel wants to go save are evil and stupid and some of them seem ready to throw in with Sauron at the drop of a pin. But for some reason we’re supposed to care about Galadriel’s quest to go fight to save them from the Enemy?

As an aside, here’s a thought for those producing future films and television series: if casting a cute blonde with a mild case of resting bitch face in the place of an ethereal blonde beauty is enough to functionally derail an A+++ production, imagine how much you are lowering the odds of your own little project being successful if you submit to the creative death by diversity that the Hellmouth is presently demanding?

It’s never a good sign when the most entertaining thing about a production is the commentary on its ongoing immolation.

Anyhow, back to A SEA OF SKULLS. Lodi is discovering he’s got a new task at hand, and he’s not very happy about it….

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BIC Digs Deeper

Bounding Into Comics contemplates whether my explanation of the reason the mainstream media is attacking Tolkien in the aftermath of the catastrophic debacle of the Amazon subversion is well-founded in light of the original Tolkien texts.

Arkhaven Comics publisher Vox Day recently explained why he believes numerous media outlets, so-called Tolkien academics, Tolkien influencers, and others are attacking J.R.R. Tolkien. There are numerous pieces of evidence of media outlets, so-called Tolkien academics, and others attacking J.R.R. Tolkien. Most recently, Deakin University Lecturer Helen Young accused Tolkien of racism, anti-Semitism, and orientalism in The Conversation.

“Fascinating, is it not, that a high fantasy writer could foresee today’s transhuman global technocrats in the 1940s? It’s because their goals are no different than they were back before the dawn of recorded human history: to be like God.”

Indeed Tolkien saw that evil because he also wrote in The Silmarillion, “Sauron with many arguments gainsaid all that the Valar had taught; and he bade men think that in the world, in the east and even in the west, there lay yet many seas and many lands for their winning, wherein was wealth uncounted. And still, if they should at the last come to the end of those lands and seas, beyond all lay the Ancient Darkness. ‘And out of it the world was made. For Darkness alone is worshipful, and the Lord thereof may yet make other worlds to be gifts to those that serve him, so that the increase of their power shall find no end.’”

He continued, “And Ar-Pharazôn said: ‘Who is the Lord of the Darkness?’ Then behind locked doors Sauron spoke to the King, and he lied, saying: ‘It is he whose name is not now spoken; for the Valar have deceived you concerning him, putting forward the name of Eru, a phantom devised in the folly of their hearts, seeking to enchain Men in servitude to themselves. For they are the oracle of this Eru, which speaks only what they will. But he that is their master shall yet prevail, and he will deliver you from this phantom; and his name is Melkor, Lord of All, Giver of Freedom, and he shall make you stronger than they.’”

The reason Tolkien is being subverted and attacked today is because he clearly saw the nature of evil and its objectives, which have not changed since men began building the Tower of Babel. The entire course of human history is one of repetitive waves of would-be immortals desparing at the Law of Nature, rebelling against their Creator, and sacrificing massive quantities of innocent mortals to evil supernatural beings in inevitably futile attempts to transform themselves into gods and thereby escape death.

Everything evil that is not driven by hedonism, greed, and attention-seeking is driven by fear of death. And the more one satiated one is of the first three, the more completely one succumbs to the fourth. Tolkien knew this, he wrote about this, and that is why the evil would-be immortals of today want him to be forgotten.

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The Original Mary Sue

The 1973 Star Trek fan fiction by Paula Smith that introduced the now-inescapable Hellmouth trope, most notoriously exhibited by Not-Galadrial in Dem Rangz o’ Powah.

A Trekkie’s Tale
“Gee, golly, gosh, gloriosky,” thought Mary Sue as she stepped on the bridge of the Enterprise. “Here I am, the youngest lieutenant in the fleet – only fifteen and a half years old.” Captain Kirk came up to her.

“Oh, Lieutenant, I love you madly. Will you come to bed with me?”

“Captain! I am not that kind of girl!”

“You’re right, and I respect you for it. Here, take over the ship for a minute while I go get some coffee for us.”

Mr. Spock came onto the bridge. “What are you doing in the command seat, Lieutenant?”

“The Captain told me to.”

“Flawlessly logical. I admire your mind.”

Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott beamed down with Lt. Mary Sue to Rigel XXXVII. They were attacked by green androids and thrown into prison. In a moment of weakness Lt. Mary Sue revealed to Mr. Spock that she too was half Vulcan. Recovering quickly, she sprung the lock with her hairpin and they all got away back to the ship.

But back on board, Dr. McCoy and Lt. Mary Sue found out that the men who had beamed down were seriously stricken by the jumping cold robbies, Mary Sue less so. While the four officers languished in Sick Bay, Lt. Mary Sue ran the ship, and ran it so well she received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Vulcan Order of Gallantry and the Tralfamadorian Order of Good Guyhood.

However the disease finally got to her and she fell fatally ill. In the Sick Bay as she breathed her last, she was surrounded by Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Mr. Scott, all weeping unashamedly at the loss of her beautiful youth and youthful beauty, intelligence, capability and all around niceness. Even to this day her birthday is a national holiday of the Enterprise.

Ironically, the original Mary Sue is a more developed character than most despite the short length of the piece; at least she has a moment of weakness. Sadly, she lacks purple eyes; that was a later development. As was a particular facility for sexual performance, that, too, was a later development.

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Knowing When to Walk Away

The Forge and Anvil is closing down:

I strongly feel I have to turn away from the religio-political non-fiction writing I’ve been doing for more than a decade. I greatly admire people like Razorfist or Jon Del Arroz, who’ve managed to both work in the creative sphere, but simultaneously provide commentary on the issues. Yet again, I simply do not have the time to do all that. Writing is not my job. And I have a family I’m taking care of.

I very much desire to focus all of my creative talent on the Bovodar stories. (Notice how you still haven’t seen the sequel to Bovodar and the Bears? It’s because I’ve been doing Forge and Anvil. Episode 1 of a two-part sequel is complete, though unedited. It’s called “Bovodar and the Dragons.”) I listen to podcasts about properties like Lord of the Rings or Babylon 5, I watch Deep Space 9 reviews by Razorfist, or I’ll watch something about the Farscape saga, and I say to myself: “I should be doing that. Why am I so behind?”

At this point in my life, I was supposed to have a symphony of books out there. A trilogy of Hobbit-styled books, some adult novels expanding upon my created universe, a “Silmarillion” that described the ancient genesis of the world I’ve been building. Perhaps have a videogame by now. Comics. A cartoon or two? Etc. But I don’t. I’m like George R.R. Martin, who stubbornly refuses to finish A Song of Ice and Fire. I’ve got an entire “Dune trilogy” in my mind that no one but me knows about. And it’s not put out there because I’ve only one life, and I’m only one man. Bilocation is not something I can do.

So I will turn back to what started this whole journey. The fiction. The very fiction I set out to do from the outset. The non-fiction was an interruption and a tangent, but the fiction will have to resume.

I think he’s doing the right thing, and probably at the right time too. Always know when to walk away. I stopped writing syndicated game reviews after seven years, stopped writing political columns after 12 years, and walked away from recording and publishing contracts after two albums. In each case, it was the right decision to do so and I’ve never regretted it.

Even though I walked away from Alpha Game at precisely the moment that the SSH was beginning to break out into the mainstream, it was the right time to shut it down there. I’d explored the subject to the depths of my interest and it was best to leave it to others to delve into the various ancillary elements and applications that interested them.

Don’t ever phone it in. Once you get to the point that you’re just phoning it in, it’s imperative to find something else on which you can focus more enthusiastically.

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It’s Not MY Fault!

Rape Rape attempts to avoid taking the blame for the disastrous end of Game of Thrones.

The legendary HBO saga ended back in summer 2019, and there’s no doubt most fans were disappointed by the dud of an ending we got.

Well, Martin wants people to know he was pushed “out of the loop” as the show progressed by showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.

“By season 5 and 6, and certainly 7 and 8, I was pretty much out of the loop,” Martin told The New York Times. When asked by The NYT why Benioff and Weiss iced out the man responsible for creating “GoT,” he responded with, “I don’t know — you have to ask Dan and David.”

A rep for the two men didn’t give a comment to the Times.

For those of you who might not remember, there was serious outrage about the ending of “Game of Thrones.” Fans had invested nearly a decade of time into the series expecting some kind of epic conclusion. Instead, we got a mini-UN meeting, Bran became king, Arya became Dora the Explorer, Jon went north and Sansa became queen in the north. The only part of the conclusion that made sense was Sansa’s storyline.

The rest of it was laughably bad, and the backlash was immediate and brutal.

Strange. He wasn’t so hot on giving all the credit to Dan and David back when the show was well-regarded. If he didn’t like the ending – which he reportedly gave them – perhaps he should have just, you know, finished writing the books.

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Beyond Cringe

Whenever anyone, most probably though not necessarily a Boomer, waxes on about how cool the literary mediocrities known as the Beat Generation were, note that this is what passed for the epitome of cool to their twisted little minds. It’s apparently the most exciting and most dramatic moment of ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac, which is to say, Neal Cassady’s big night out on Folsom Street in San Francisco.

«Come on, Galatea, Marie, let’s go hit the jazz joints and forget it. Dean will be dead someday.
Then what can you say to him?»

«The sooner he’s dead the better,» said Galatea, and she spoke officially for almost everyone in the room.

«Very well, then,» I said, «but now he’s alive and I’ll bet you want to know what he does next and that’s because he’s got the secret that we’re all busting to find and it’s splitting his head wide open and if he goes mad don’t worry, it won’t be your fault but the fault of God.» They objected to this; they said I really didn’t know Dean; they said he was the worst scoundrel that ever lived and I’d find out someday to my regret. I was amused to hear them protest so much.

Roy Johnson rose to the defense of the ladies and said he knew Dean better than anybody, and all Dean was, was just a very interesting and even amusing con-man. I went out to find Dean and we had a brief talk about it. «Ah, man, don’t worry, everything is perfect and fine.» He was rubbing his belly and licking his lips.

The girls came down and we started out on our big night, once more pushing the car down the street. «Wheeoo! let’s go!» cried Dean, and we jumped in the back seat and clanked to the little Harlem on Folsom Street.

Out we jumped in the warm, mad night, hearing a wild tenorman bawling horn across the way, going «EE-YAH! EE-YAH! EE-YAH!» and hands clapping to the beat and folks yelling, «Go, go, go!» Dean was already racing across the street with his thumb in the air, yelling, «Blow, man, blow!» A bunch of colored men in Saturday-night suits were whooping it up in front. It was a sawdust saloon with a small bandstand on which the fellows huddled with their hats on, blowing over people’s heads, a crazy place; crazy floppy sponren wandered around sometimes in their bathrobes, bottles clanked in alleys. In back of the joint in a dark corridor beyond the splattered toilets scores of men and women stood against the wall drinking wine-spodiodi and spitting at the stars – wine and whisky.

The behatted tenorman was blowing at the peak of a wonderfully satisfactory free idea, a rising and falling riff that went from «EE-yah!» to a crazier «EE-de-lee-yah!» and blasted along to the rolling crash of butt-scarred drums hammered by a big brutal Negro with a bullneck who didn’t give a damn about anything but punishing his busted tubs, crash, rattle-ti-boom, crash. Uproars of music and the tenorman had it and everybody knew he had it. Dean was clutching his head in the crowd, and it was a mad crowd. They were all urging that tenorman to hold it and keep it with cries and wild eyes, and he was raising himself from a crouch and going down again with his horn, looping it up in a clear cry above the furor. A six-foot skinny Negro woman was rolling her bones at the man’s hornbell, and he just jabbed it at her, «Ee! ee! ee!»

Everybody was rocking and roaring. Galatea and Marie with beer in their hands were standing on their chairs, shaking and jumping. Groups of colored guys stumbled in from the street, falling over one another to get there. «Stay with it, man!» roared a man with a foghorn voice, and let out a big groan that must have been heard clear out in Sacramento, ah-haa! «Whoo!» said Dean. He was rubbing his chest, his belly; the sweat splashed from his face. Boom, kick, that drummer was kicking his drums down the cellar and rolling the beat upstairs with his murderous sticks, rattlety-boom! A big fat man was jumping on the platform, making it sag and creak. «Yoo!» The pianist was only pounding the keys with spread-eagled fingers, chords, at intervals when the great tenorman was drawing breath for another blast – Chinese chords, shuddering the piano in every timber, chink, and wire, boing! The tenorman jumped down from the platform and stood in the crowd, blowing around; his hat was over his eyes; somebody pushed it back for him. He just hauled back and stamped his foot and blew down a hoarse, laughing blast, and drew breath, and raised the horn and blew high, wide, and screaming in the air. Dean was directly in front of him with his face lowered to the bell of the horn, clapping his hands, pouring sweat on the man’s keys, and the man noticed and laughed in his horn a long quivering crazy laugh, and everybody else laughed and they rocked and rocked; and finally the tenorman decided to blow his top and crouched down and held a note in high C for a long time as everything else crashed along and the cries increased and I thought the cops would come swarming from the nearest precinct. Dean was in a trance. The tenorman’s eyes were fixed straight on him; he had a madman who not only understood but cared and wanted to understand more and much more than there was, and they began dueling for this; everything came out of the horn, no more phrases, just cries, cries, «Baugh» and down to «Beep!» and up to «EEEEE!» and down to clinkers and over to sideways-echoing horn-sounds. He tried everything, up, down, sideways, upside down, horizontal, thirty degrees, forty degrees, and finally he fell back in somebody’s arms and gave up and everybody pushed around and yelled, «Yes! Yes! He blowed that one!» Dean wiped himself with his handkerchief.

How very incredibly exciting. Note that the intrepid duo followed up this fascinating public performance by abandoning the girls and running off with the black saxophonist, then getting picked up and spending the night in a hotel room with “a tall, thin fag who was on his way home to Kansas.”

Anyone who praises the work of the Beat Generation is either a) lying or b) hasn’t ever actually read any of it. It doesn’t even rise to the level of mediocre, it’s downright awful in terms of style, story, and characters, and that’s without even getting into the degeneracy and malignant narcissism of the subjects. There is nothing of the Good, the Beautiful, or the True in it. Their works are considerably closer to case studies in mental illness than anything approaching either fiction or biography.

And let’s not get started on the gay Jewish pedophile who tried to pass off his juvenile odes to mental illness and degeneracy as poetry. The self-styled greatest minds of his generation sure look a lot more like Dumb and Dumber, don’t you think? From an artistic perspective, Ginsberg was nothing more than the male Lena Dunham of his day, although we are fortunate that, unlike Dunham, he did not have access to Hollywood budgets or video production equipment in his youth.

I’m not a big fan of the Generation Z habit of labeling everything “cringe”, but if the concept applies to anything on this planet, it applies to the fake, gay Beats and the Boomers who idolized them.

UPDATE: I think this very positive review of Kerouac’s book sums up both its quality and its appeal very well.

One The Road is the best book i have ever read.

Indeed.

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Interview with Susan Cooper

An illuminating 1999 interview with the author of THE DARK IS RISING series.

RT: The books comprise a series. Did you find that what you had written in the earlier books committed you to directions that you subsequently regretted, or wished you had more freedom to change?

SC: No. It was wonderful. It was like writing a symphony, in which each movement is different and yet they all link together. I wish my imagination would give me another shape like that because there are all kinds of satisfactions inside it. Things link together, an early book leads to something in a later book. When I wrote the first book, of course, I didn’t envision a series, but later, when I first had the idea of writing, not just the second book, but the whole sequence, I drew up a plan on a piece of paper. I had little notes written down: I had the four times of the year–focused upon the solstices, Beltane, and such festivals–I had places, and, very roughly, the characters who were in each book. I remember that under The Grey King there was a boy called Bran, but I didn’t know who he was. So that was the only thing that limited me.

There were things I had to remember from early books that had to be either resolved or referred to in later books. Once in a great while some particularly bright child will write me a letter saying, you never said what happened to . . . . But I didn’t find it restricting. No.

RT: Are there any particular details you would like to change, looking back in retrospect?

SC: I would like to have developed the three Drew children more fully in the first book. They develop as the series progresses, but they’re very corny kids’ book characters in Over Sea, Under Stone, it seems to me. I hadn’t gotten to know them.

RT: As the series progresses, Jane in particular grows more interesting, doesn’t she?

SC: Yes. Jane is someone I always wanted to write about again. Silver on the Tree suffered from being the last book where I was tying up all the ends. It has too much in it. My head was going off in all directions. Its structure is not terrific. There was even more in it, but I took some out. Of course when you’re dealing with the substance of myth, which is the fight between good and evil, I suppose, you have to provide the ultimate, terrific, enormous climax. It’s almost impossible.

I’m not promising anything, not yet, but I am optimistic that we may eventually be able to release a Castalia Library edition of the series. And if so, the bar will be a fairly high one to clear, as the Easton Press edition is arguably the most beautiful set that Easton has ever produced.

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A Fascinating Observation

How much literary “assistance” was being provided to GRR Martin by his assistants?

One of the assistants to George R. Martin left him to write the sci-fi series The Expanse. When he left was when George R Martin began spinning his wheels in terms of getting stuff done and/or quality. Is there a connection? I don’t know. I do like how in this interview, the assistant says Martin was a great mentor not in writing but in getting deals with Hollywood and other studios.

It wouldn’t be a massive surprise to learn that Martin, rather like FW Dixon and JK Rowling, eventually turns out to have been a committee effort. Although it must be admitted that his complete inability to finish his once-popular series tends to support the idea that it was solely his own work.

Then again, the fact that he has multiple “assistants” raises the question of what, precisely, those assistants were doing? While there’s nothing wrong with having co-writers and collaborators, a dependence on them tends to significantly reduce an author’s ability to write on his own.

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The Four Eras of Villainy

Alexander Macris provides a typically astute analysis of the evolution of the concept of the villain from ancient to postmodern:

In the introduction to his magisterial opus After Virtue, Alasdair Macintyre describes postmodern society as having fallen into a dark age, a post-apocalyptic state. But this is not the apocalypse of Mad Max. The apocalypse has destroyed, not our technology, but our morality: “We possess simulacra of morality, we continue to use many of the key expressions. But we have… lost our comprehension of morality,” he explains. Postmodern society does not know what good is.

Being unable to understand good leaves society unable to understand evil; and so instead society pathologizes it. Evil becomes a psychological state that results from personal trauma, from some crucial moment when the world failed to show someone compassion, empathy, or trust, or left them exposed to the world’s cruelty. Every postmodern villain is a victim. Behind every figure of terror we find a terrorized figure.

Darth Vader appears as a towering tyrant in Star Wars IV. But the prequels reveal that Anakin Skywalker was a victim: enslaved as a child, separated from his mother, forbidden to marry the woman he loved, rejected in his aspirations by the Jedi council, dismembered by his former mentor, and then involuntarily made into a cyborg by his new one.

Hannibal Lechter appears in Silence of the Lambs as the quintessence of villainy, brilliant, cold, manipulative, remorseless. In the sequel Hannibal, we learn that he’s a victim: During World War II, the kind and gentle young Hannibal was forced to eat his sister by cannibal soldiers.

Lord Voldemort appears in Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone as the most powerful and evil sorcerer in the Wizarding World. But later we learn Tom Riddle was a victim, the product of abandonment by his mother. J.K. Rowling even says “everything would have changed if Merope [his mother] had survived and raised him herself and loved him.”

Kylo Ren enters Star Wars VII as a dark Jedi so powerful that he can halt a blaster bolt in mid-air. But Star Wars VIII reveals Ben Solo was a victim who felt abandoned by his father and betrayed by the paranoia of his mentor, Jake Skywalker.

The Joker, most infamous and vile of all of Batman’s foes, is revealed in his eponymous 2019 movie to have been a victim, too. Arthur Fleck is a mentally ill bastard rejected by his birth-father and humiliated by his coworkers.

Postmodern culture stops at nothing in its relentless transformation of villain into victim. Cruella de Vil is the most recent example. She appears in One Hundred and One Dalmations as a wealthy socialite whose life goal is to murder puppies so she can wear their skins. But the 2021 movie Cruella reveals that she, too, is a victim: Her birth-mother abandoned her and her adopted mother was killed by a pack of vicious dalmations. (I’m not making this up.)

The postmodern villain, then, is just a moral cripple. Psychological trauma has ruined the villain’s ethical system just as spinal trauma might ruin a person’s nervous system. We are meant to feel bad that they do bad. It’s not their fault.

I have to admit, I’m naturally prone to writing medieval villains, although I tend to put a modern spin on their self-perception. Anyhow, read the whole thing, it’s an interesting piece that will provide you with a useful analytical reading tool.

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We Are Wizards

Or we might as well be, insofar as the denizens of the Hellmouth are concerned. Vox’s First Law meets Arthur C. Clark’s First Law on the chans.

Were Sherlock Holmes to kill a hotel room full of three people, he’d enter using a secret door in the hotel that he read about in a book ten years ago. He’d throw peanuts at one guy causing him to go into anaphylactic shock, as he had deduced from a dartboard with a picture of George Washington Carver on it pinned to the wall that the man had a severe peanut allergy. The second man would then kill himself just according to plan as Sherlock had earlier deduced that him and the first man were homosexual lovers who couldn’t live without each other due to a faint scent of penis on each man’s breath and a slight dilation of their pupils whenever they looked at each other.

As for the third man, why, Sherlock doesn’t kill him at all. The third man removes his sunglasses and wig to reveal he actually WAS Sherlock the entire time. But Sherlock just entered through the Secret door and killed two people, how can there be two of him? The first Sherlock removes his mask to reveal he’s actually Moriarty attempting to frame Sherlock for two murders. Sherlock, however, anticipated this, the two dead men stand up. They’re undercover police officers, it was all a ruse.

“But Sherlock!” Moriarty cries “That police officer blew his own head off. look at it. There’s skull fragments on the wall, how is he fine now? How did you fake that?”

Sherlock just winks at the screen, the end.

This is retarded because Sherlock is a smart person written by a stupid person to whom smart people are indistinguishable from wizards.

Any sufficiently advanced intelligence is indistinguishable from wizardry.

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