Hey, everybody. I know that our blogger/reader relationship has been pretty hot and heavy over the past couple of months. But before we go on, I need you to know something:
Before last Friday, I had never seen The Lord of the Rings.
Hush, baby. Ain't no need to be upset. I realize that I associate myself with the title of "nerd," and I know that most people consider Peter Jackson's trilogy to be a hallmark of nerd culture. And in all actuality, I had seen some of the movies before. A friend lent me the extended editions over the summer, and I quickly lost interest. A word to the wise: If you have something you love that you want to share, keep the extended/director's cut/special editions to yourself - unless you want to be a terrible person (love you, Shannon). Yet, I want to say that there's no problem with the fact that I had been kept in the dark for so long. If this blog's readers actually left comments, that statement would get me in some trouble.
Let's take a time out real quick. I very much enjoyed the three films, even though next to nothing interesting happens for most of the second movie. I say that because I believe that I've developed the persona of a one who only looks for negative aspects of art to point out. But come on, we already discussed this.
I must note that from what I have perceived, the lifeblood of The Lord of the Rings franchise is its excess of homoerotic tension. Almost every scene in The Two Towers features two or more male characters conversing with text straight out of the Nicholas Sparks Novel Writing Handbook. They exchange stares that last a little too long but feel a little too right. I found myself on the edge of my seat, just waiting for a Hellbenders-esque moment to arrive. If that's what keeps people coming back for each installment, I get it. Most people already know my views on such hot-button issues.
However, I'm not here to tell you that the films were as good as I expected, or that the extended editions feature Pippin and Merry doing some heavy petting (special features, indeed). I would like to address the fact that had I still not seen The Lord of the Rings, I wouldn't care, and neither should you. And that's just okay.
|"It is okay, Sam. It's natural."|
Somewhere along the line, our society realized the greatness of the art it was putting out, and fabricated the idea that all of it should be taken in. Haven't heard Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon? You don't know true music. Haven't read the complete works of Jane Austen? You must not appreciate literature. Nerds have become the worst offenders: If you missed out on a certain film or comic or game, your "nerd cred" immediately comes under the microscope. And in my professional, high-brow opinion, those people can suck it.
I've never seen an episode of Star Trek. I've never picked up a copy of Sin City, film or comic. I will probably never read Game of Thrones, or any of the Martin books. Most of all, I don't see any of this in a negative light. I could talk for hours on the importance of art, and why we should care about it. Even so, I recognize the sheer mountain of art available, and even more the unlikeliness that any one person could absorb it all. The most we can ask for is that we all take in as much as we can and enjoy it. If not, we'll spend all of our time regretting what we haven't seen, read, heard, or done.
The next time someone mentions to you something similar to "I have never seen The Lord of the Rings," pretend they're me. By that, I mean you should sympathize and then offer them the DVDs, monetary recompense, and/or sexual favors. Just like The Golden Rule says.
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