Mankind's only alternative 8   FEB.   23  
Mankind's only alternative

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

Kino Korner April 22, 2004
Bad Hobbit
By John Dolan Browse author Email
Page 5 of 7
After enduring Sam's weepy bootlicking love scenes, you start to see Gollum's point of view. "Nasty fat hobbit, we hates it, Precious, yesss, always kissing up to Master..." Jackson's Gollum is a decent creation. It would almost have to be; Gollum is by far the easiest character to translate to our Philistines' sensibility, for the simple reason that he's a 20th-c. character, the only one in the whole trilogy. Parachute Gollum into J. Alfred Prufrock's neighborhood and he'd be right at home.

In fact, the middlebrow move would be to make Gollum a sympathetic character -- the same sort of formulaic value reversal that lead half-baked poets to call Judas the only decent apostle, and half-bright screenwriters to turn Hannibal Lecter into Jodie's best pal.

You can count on Jackson to swallow and pass along that sort of lame received idea. Sure enough, Return of the King opens with poor Gollum, still a wee hobbit, falling under the Ring's spell, strangling his brother and ending up the desiccated voice we all love. Poor little murderer! Saint Gollum, right up there with Saint Gacy.

Tolkien, of course, would have been disgusted at this crap. He knew exactly what he was doing when he made Gollum talk like Eliot's Londoners. He hated our world -- hated it advisedly.

That's what's most deeply wrong with Jackson: he reconciles Middle Earth with this world. This is wrong; the two worlds are enemies, and should remain so. Most of us are so slackly accretive in aesthetics and ideology that the rigor of Tolkien's counter-earth is hard for us even to imagine.

Tolkien was not only a genius but a man of honor, ttwo traits which distinguish him from C. S. Lewis, the canting prig who is often and wrongly associated with Tolkien. Tolkien was a brilliant poor boy from nowhere, from a genteel failed Catholic family -- a pariah with a huge mind, from a steely generation that walked into machine-gun fire without complaint. They were unlike us; they kept their word. He married without love simply because he had made a promise. He and his wife treated each other decently, without love. They raised a large family, in something like domestic happiness. He survived as a Catholic in a deeply anti-Catholic university culture, and kept the faith as a living oxymoron: an English-nationalist Papist. On retirement he moved to a dull seaside town he hated, again because he had promised his wife he would.

And in his spare time -- when not translating, lecturing, editing, tutoring or learning roughly a dozen languages on his own, he quietly started writing layer after layer of lore, inventing whole languages, sanding away at his stories so that they would age and blur as real lore does, and even sketching key scenes from his new world -- sketches which remain the only decent illustrations of LOTR.

Now you see why Jackson's shrinklit version of this giant's life work is so very popular: because it tells us this cold, superior being was a weepy, sly, ignorant schemer, just like us. And he was not.

Jackson's deep, unconscious hostility to Tolkien's tale is the product of envy.

Tolkien's generation was so far superior to us that even now we feel it, and hate them for it. If you saw Cameron's film, Titanic, you saw a work very close in tone to Jackson's Tolkien. Pope, another English Papist Prometheus, actually predicted Cameron's film almost 300 years ago in his essay, "Peri Bathous, or the Art of Sinking," forecasting that future epics would pander to base middleclass tastes by "sinking" the high poetry of Epic to the mob's level.

And Cameron, never having read Pope, rang in the new millennium by doing so -- very literally creating an "art of sinking." And those who sink, in this vile film, are the European elite of Tolkien's generation. Cameron's script first vilifies them as cowards -- our vice, not theirs; in fact, the one vice of which they were demonstrable not guilty -- then gloats over the Supermen's slow drowning.

The heroine is a survivor, in our trademark Gollum style: she says, "I'll never let go," just as she lets go of the hero's hand, letting him sink into the deep. She shows up as a 100-year-old populist crone with a cute habit of telling sexually explicit stories, effectively assuring the audience that the colder and higher world that died in Flanders never really existed. Titanic is one long gloating savor of our betters' extinction. It's a very happy film.

SHARE:  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit

Browse author

JunkYard :

Hezbollah Cuisine Has Come To Town! :

Indie In Moscow? :

Georgia in the Crunch :


Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442