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Amazon, please don’t make a TV series about Tolkien’s Middle-Earth

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I just finished reading “The Hobbit” to my 8-year-old boy. He enjoyed it thoroughly, and probably could have read it himself except for some difficult wording and arcane language (Tolkien, for example, had a habit of using the word “queer” in its correct definition).

He didn’t want to watch the film version until he had read the book. And that’s the proper way to do it with timeless literature like Tolkien.

There’s an entire universe of lore associated with Middle-Earth, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s prolific writing. Hollywood has already hacked this up pretty well, changing key characters and storylines in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, offending many devoted readers. I won’t even get into how badly “The Hobbit” was botched (LOTR was not botched, only marred).

Now Amazon wants to capitalize on the Tolkien universe by turning it into a Game of Thrones killer. It’s an awful, terrible idea, akin to making Dungeons and Dragons into a movie. Oh, yes–that was done, and tanked horribly at the box office.

Of course, Amazon new series won’t be the first new narrative set in Middle-earth. The most recent example is the 2014 video game Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (and its newly-released sequel). The game drew players in by using the familiar setting of Mordor, a familiar timeframe (between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), iconic characters like Gollum and crucial elements like the Rings of Power. But it also starred entirely new characters, expanded Tolkien’s mythology and told an entirely new story.

Two things here.

First, making a movie is different than making a video game. Making movies based on video games generally results in bad movies (“Mortal Kombat,” “Warcraft,” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Super Mario Brothers,” “Resident Evil,” shall I go on?). Making a TV series based on a richly explored mythology described in literature of which movies have already been based is even worse than making a movie based on the video game.

I guarantee whatever Amazon comes up with will be terrible.

Second, Tolkien would spin in his grave. He’s already spinning, after what Peter Jackson did with “The Hobbit,” but he’d spin even faster.

If Amazon wants to mess with Middle-Earth, why don’t they just create a whole new place and populate it with dwarves, elves, orcs, and hobbits. They can come up with a dark lord like Sauron and play it out like a good Dungeon-master.

But Amazon, please don’t make it the Middle-Earth that Tolkien created in painstaking detail (read “The Silmarillion”), and don’t use characters in LOTR.

I don’t want my grandchildren learning about Bilbo and Frodo like it was Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble.

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ prequel will need to forge its own identity

https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/14/amazon-lord-of-the-rings-prequel-not-for-purists/When rumors broke that Amazon was hoping to turn J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings into a TV series, many felt that CEO Jeff Bezos had found his own Game of Thrones. We’re still many years out from seeing a final product, but the first steps were taken today: Amazon just announced that it is producing a multi-season series based in Tolkien’s Middle-earth. But if Bezos really wants to emulate HBO’s wildly popular adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Amazon’s series will likely end up feeling rather foreign to Tolkien devotees.

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Entertainment and Sports

Amy Schumer is important in her own mind

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Amy Schumer is important in her own mind

It’s bad when entertainers-turned-political-activists like Colin Kaepernick feel that their opinions are superior to the opinions of others because they have celebrity status based on something other than their governmental acumen. It’s worse when entertainers-turned-political-activists like Amy Schumer support other activists by propagandizing their fans through social media.

That’s what Amy Schumer just did. She also attempted to shame all Caucasian football players for not supporting their brother by kneeling.

Her latest display of activism came in the form of an Instagram post declaring to the world she will not be doing a Super Bowl ad this year. Mainstream media, on cue, took to the airwaves with this “blockbuster” story while social media echoed her sentiment like sheep.

The biggest parallel between Amy Schumer and Colin Kaepernick is that neither had the chops in their former professions to make it big, so they turned to activism to inflate their egos and justify their celebrity status.

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Friday thought. I wonder why more white players aren’t kneeling. Once you witness the truly deep inequality and endless racism people of color face in our country, not to mention the police brutality and murders. Why not kneel next to your brothers? Otherwise how are you not complicit? I think it would be cool if @maroon5 backed out of super bowl like @badgalriri Did. I personally told my reps I wouldn’t do a Super Bowl commercial this year. I know it must sound like a privilege ass sacrifice but it’s all i got. Hitting the nfl with the advertisers is the only way to really hurt them. I know opposing the nfl is like opposing the nra. Very tough, but don’t you want to be proud of how you’re living? Stand up for your brothers and sisters of color. And the hottest thing a guy can do is get down on one knee. Not to propose but to reject the treatment of his teammates by this country. Anyone who says its disrespectful to our military please read up on the fact that a lot of veterans are proud of what @kaepernick7 is doing and fully support him. What are your thoughts?

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Democrats

As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints, #MeToo fixates on the GOP

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As USC sex abuse scandal grows to 500 complaints MeToo fixates on the GOP

The #MeToo movement was supposed to be about protecting and empowering women. Its origins were righteous and it delivered results. No, those origins weren’t with Alyssa Milano, though she’s become the face of the modern version of the movement. The original #MeToo movement started a decade ago. It wasn’t a hashtag. It advocated for victims.

Today’s #MeToo movement is one part women’s advocacy, nine parts political commentary against conservatives. The far left has appropriated the movement to no longer be about sexual misconduct by individuals. Instead, it’s about stopping Republicans in the upcoming election. But don’t take my word for it.

Milano, who helped bring Hollywood into the mix and did some great things a year ago to get the #MeToo movement ramped up for women, has tried to separate her #MeToo leadership role from her push for Democrats in the upcoming midterm election. These efforts have proven to be impossible. With the elections so close, she has leaned towards the latter. She hasn’t abandoned #MeToo by any means, but it’s clear her passion is for the political side of her agenda.

As such, the intermingling was inevitable even if it wasn’t intentional.

Here’s the problem. #MeToo needs her a heck of a lot more than the Democrats do. Political candidates have the resources and voice to get their message out. Milano’s reach is a drop in the bucket on the political front. For the #MeToo movement, her voice can actually make a difference, raise awareness, and inspire women to act.

Her desire to influence a few political races has drawn her away from a true calling that actually needs her voice.

You won’t see her talking about the massive USC sexual abuse incidents that have affected literally hundreds, perhaps thousands of impressionable women for decades.

Nearly 100 additional women sue USC over gynecologist’s alleged sexual misconduct

https://www.foxnews.com/us/nearly-100-additional-women-sue-usc-over-gynecologists-alleged-sexual-misconductMore than a dozen women appeared at a news conference Thursday to announce the new lawsuits on behalf of 93 women against the university, bringing the total number of accusations against Tyndall to about 500 current and former students.

“I am part of an accidental sisterhood of hundreds of women because the university we love betrayed our trust,” said Dana Loewy, who alleged that Dr. George Tyndall assaulted her during an examination in 1993.

Perhaps the worst part about Milano’s actions is that she willfully ignores abuse accusations made against Democrats. Why isn’t she calling for people to believe Sherrod Brown’s accuser? Where are the Tweets condemning Keith Ellison?

Why hasn’t she said a word about Katie Brennan?

Why isn’t Katie Brennan’s #MeToo accusation getting national attention?

http://noqreport.com/2018/10/15/isnt-katie-brennans-metoo-accusation-getting-national-attention/It’s the type of story that should have received national attention immediately. It was sourced by a respected major news outlet, the Wall Street Journal. Both the accuser and the accused are high-ranking public official in New Jersey’s government. The accused stepped down two weeks ago when approached by WSJ for comment. Katie Brennan’s story is a major newsworthy scandal.

As of Monday morning, a day after the story officially broke and four days after it was leaked to other major news outlets, both mainstream media and the #MeToo movement are essentially silent.

Being a good Democrat has taken Milano’s focus away from the #MeToo movement. She has helped turn it into a political tool at the expense of victims whose voices are not being heard. Sadly, politicians will use her while victims slip by silently.

Politicians have turned the #MeToo movement and Alyssa Milano into their proxies. They justify it by claiming they’ll be better for women in the long run. Sadly, the real movement is suffering because people like Milano bought their sales pitch.

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Entertainment and Sports

Here’s how polls have reacted since Taylor Swift endorsed Phil Bredesen

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Taylor Swift just gave Marsha Blackburn the fundraising boost she needed to win in Tennessee

There is still plenty to debate about the effectiveness of political endorsements by entertainers. 2016 demonstrated that a unified Hollywood was not able to make a dent in President Trump’s momentum. Some say their incessant crying actually riled up more Trump supporters than Hillary Clinton supporters.

The latest major entertainer to throw her hat in the political endorsement arena is singer Taylor Swift. She stayed focus on her home state of Tennessee by endorsing Phil Bredesen for Senate. That was a week ago. How has the endorsement played in the polls?

Let’s just say the Bredesen campaign is trying to stay positive by pointing to internal polling since public polling is abysmal.

Tennessee Senate race poll: Marsha Blackburn leads Phil Bredesen

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/10/15/tennessee-senate-race-marsha-blackburn-widens-lead-over-phil-bredesen-new-york-times-poll/1646568002/Republican nominee Marsha Blackburn has widened her lead to a commanding 14 percentage points over Democratic rival Phil Bredesen, according to the latest major public poll of Tennessee’s U.S. Senate race.

But the Bredesen campaign is pushing back in a memo to supporters that highlights recent internal polls taken by the campaign that show the race is still tight.

There has been plenty working against Bredesen since an October 3 poll put him at down by 5-points. He faced backlash for claiming he would have voted for Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed. Then, an undercover video by Project Veritas revealed his staffers and volunteers claiming he didn’t really mean it. The combination of lies, bad press, and Swift’s endorsement have made his poll numbers plummet.

Entertainers should entertain. They are entitled to their opinions, of course, but attempts to use their clout to sway politics is only effective if they take the time to get directly involved. Most do not.

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