The trailer for the upcoming Peter Jackson film, The Hobbit, was released weeks ago. It has been and gone. Critics have reviewed it – offering up their predictable and (some might say) banal opinions – and fanboys have drooled all over it, their Pepsi-rich saliva dissolving parts of it, like nerdy versions of the Alien. Yet still Johnny Fisher has not commented on it. As a prominent Tolkien expert, this represents a grievous professional shortcoming on my part, and I therefore offer up the necessary apologies:
Sorry for not reviewing the trailer for The Hobbit.
This is a personal response to a recent post by my esteemed colleague I_PWN_YER_MA_84.
Using my extraordinary powers of image manipulation, I have designed a film poster that, I hope, will provide momentum for PWN’s “Quads” project, giving vision for an ambitious director/producer partnership to take the idea into production.
I dislike the adjective awesome, and I generally refrain from using it.
When I hear it, the word brings to mind a vivid image – namely, dreadlocked Australians standing around on an extraordinarily hot beach, drinking tasteless lager out of diminutive bottles whilst cradling surfboards and attesting to their particular levels of stoked-ness at some singularly uninteresting event or achievement.
There is not a single element within that vision that does not give me the creeps, and I therefore have tried to avoid experiencing it by dropping the word awesome from my vocabulary.
It is one of the cruel realities of this world that I do not have access to the finest abacuses of ancient Persia.
The beautiful counting frames of the Achaemenids, once installed in plush palaces o’erlooking the sun-drenched gardens of Pasargadae and Persepolis, are lost to time and beyond my grasp. It pains me to admit that I shall ne’er sit astride an ancient abacus of Susa, gem of the Zagros Mountains, tallying up catch reports from dusty fishers on the Tigris.
Had I access to such primitive but meticulous counting machines – were I free to slide their ruby beads along cylindrical tracks into handy conglomerations – then I might have a chance of keeping count of the number of times I have been asked to explain the meaning of the coat-of-arms of the Fisherians.
A colleague of mine was trawling the internet last week when he stumbled upon a recently-published children’s novel called Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire. He was struck by the title, fearing that this novel might be an unauthorised re-working of my own story,Vambie Zompire: The End of Days, and so immediately alerted me. Had I fallen victim to plagiarism (again)?
Based solely on the title of the novel I understood why my friend had raised the plagiarism alarm. However, even though I had not read it, I must say I did not share his concerns that my Vambie Zompire idea had been ripped off for the story.
As I pointed out to him, even if the author was pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, it was very unlikely that a publisher would release a children’s novel centred around a night-long supernatural slaughter-fest, featuring rectal-impalement, brain-eating, and one case of suffocation with dismembered testicles.
We live in banal times. You may deny this, but you would be wrong, and stupid, to do so.
Today the dribbling masses are entertained in increasingly inane ways by increasingly moronic individuals. Pursuit of the Arcane has been abandoned in favour of the pursuit of superficial and meaningless fame, despite the fact that we are still largely ignorant to the true nature of the Cosmos and the muted whistling of star-bound chimaeras. Terrible, ultimate Knowledge lies within our grasp, but our hands have grown withered and closed, and – to continue the analogy – several of the tendons of our arms have actually snapped (i.e. making it even more difficult to grasp at our full extent).
The Young wield lipsticks and copies of “Nuts” magazine, where once they wielded telescopes and the Scouting manuals of Baden-Powell. The Old comment with ribald derision on the “packages” of tight-trousered celebrities, where once they spoke of the mystical encounters of their youth betwixt mulberry bushes, deep in fairy-ridden copses. Valiant warriors are a thing of a past; replaced have they been by heavily-armed delinquent simpletons, careering around Arab lands in mucky Jeeps on the lookout for heavily-chested desert maidens.