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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.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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Entertainment and Sports

History repeats itself: Once again the National media praises a Socialist Dictatorship.

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Being like-minded is the only reasonable explanation for this behaviour.

The occasion was the Olympic games with the national media falling all over itself to heap praise upon the a leadership of a socialist regime. But instead of a murderous socialist regime in North Korea, it was a murderous socialist regime in Germany just before WWII:

“Foreigners who know Germany only from what they have seen during this pleasant fortnight can carry home only one impression: it is that this is a nation happy and prosperous beyond belief, that Hitler is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, political leaders in the world today, and the Germans themselves are a much-maligned, hospitable, holy, peaceful people who deserve the best the world can give them.” New York Times, editorial August 16, 1936

Presumably this was before the nonsensical ‘Godwin’s law’ made the mentioning of Socialist monsters of the past verboten. Curiously enough, this is primarily used by Leftists in trying to suppress discussions of their blood soaked history. ‘Never forget’ is extremely difficult when one can ‘Never Mention’ the murderous past and present of the collectivist ideology.

Back then the New York Times had a bit more balance in it’s coverage with these headlines:

100,000 Hail Hitler; U.S. Athletes Avoid Nazi Salute To Him;

U.S. Welcome Is Mixed, Whistling Interpreted as ‘Bronx Cheer’ Is Heard as Team Gives Its Own Salute.

So why are we witness to a somewhat similar display from the national media reporting on the representatives from another Socialist nation, one that hails from North Korea instead of Germany?

Could it be they are merely ignorant that they are helping that authoritarian regime and do not understand it’s true nature? A government that starves, tortures imprisons and publicly executes it’s own people?
Was it as some have suggested in these cases, cheering for the rebel or the underdog?
Perhaps it is their way somehow going after the Trump administration?

Or could it just be that they are of the same ideological mindset?

We can dispense with giving them the benefit of the doubt. These are people of allegedly high intelligence, as is most of the Socialist-Left – Just ask them. With few exceptions – namely Buzzfeed of all places – it is hard to believe they do not understand the role they are playing with the woman who heads the ‘Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Nor can they be excused of not knowing the horrors taking place in what is essentially an open air concentration camp. Again, these are people who fashion themselves as the intellectual elite of the nation, the crème de la crème of the Left, standing up for the downtrodden everywhere, except North Korea.

It’s also hard to believe that the National media is really cheering for the underdog, given that description hardly extends a Germany under the iron fist of the Nationalsozialistische deutsche Arbeiter-Partei or the Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik. It should also be clear that the national media has a history of this kind of advocacy that existed long before Trump ascended the public stage.

So, the obvious conclusions is that they are of the same collectivist mindset. No doubt if pressed, they would offer the same excuses for the starvation, oppression and mass murder used for other collectivist nations as ‘not really socialism.’ Or that the Socialism they advocate (were they truly honest about who they are) would be ‘done correctly’ in their case.

No, these were merely people cheering for their ideological brethren, and we’ll just leave it at that.

 

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Don’t mock us for what we believe

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Dont mock us for what we believe

What if, during the Grammy awards ceremony, celebrities used their spotlight to mock someone because she was a woman? What if actors stood on the stage and made jokes about someone specifically because he was black? And on top of that, the audience laughed and laughed because he’s black and they’re not! Or homosexual? Or Jewish? Make no mistake, that’s exactly what happens when they stand on stage and mock conservatives.

It is no different to trash someone who believes differently than to trash someone for what they look like. Why is it okay to mock someone for their beliefs, but not okay to mock someone for what they are? Isn’t what you believe more a part of who you are than what you look like? For example: If I tell a joke in which I mock a man for being Hispanic, is that worse than if I tell a joke in which I mock that same man for believing in God, for believing that cows are sacred, or believing he should eat only vegetables?

If anything, it should be more offensive to mock someone for their beliefs, as it’s more of a reflection of who they are than their looks. Isn’t that what MLK tried to teach us? We don’t have streets named after him because he cared what people look like. His message was, it’s the content beneath the skin that matters most. Look at who a person is, not what he is. Mocking someone for believing in conservatism is mocking who he is. In my opinion that’s worse than mocking what he is.

Detractors might say that you can’t change what you are (although Rachel Dolezal and Caitlyn Jenner might disagree). But if you believe in your gut, through and through, that abortion is wrong, for example, then that’s not something you can change either. If you believe in Christianity, then you base your life around it. It’s who you are and as unchangeable as what you are.

One more thing, if the Grammy awards are going to allow celebrities to bash right wingers, they should allow celebrities to bash left wingers too. We’re all about equality, right? So let’s have equal bashing time for both sides. James Woods and Tim Allen can stand up there and do their thing, then Alec Baldwin and Sarah Silverman can do theirs. Or, as an act of true tolerance and inclusion, they could allow neither, and show respect for beliefs of all kinds.

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Entertainment and Sports

XFL: The free market response to the NFL

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The NFL’s issues are numerous and mounting. Perhaps this has inspired WWE’s Vince McMahon to reform the XFL for the first time since 2001. But McMahon has learned lessons from his previous venture and wants to create a multi-platform, fan-first football league to compete that could not have existed in 2001. From the video below, the new XFL will embrace both fantasy football and gambling, something the NFL distances itself from. The XFL also seeks to be safer and have fewer penalties than NFL rules, another criticism of the NFL.

“We’re going to give the game of football back to fans,” Vince McMahon in his opening.

Beginning in 2020, the XFL will have 8 inaugural teams and a four-team playoff. The official rules have yet to be established but McMahon believes that football can be reimagined to make the game simpler, easier to learn and understand, and still fun. One of the biggest distinctions the XFL is making from the NFL is focusing on the quality of the player both on and off the field. Vince McMahon assures the XFL will have no politics or social issues, just football. The NFL has scandal after scandal and crime after crime including Marlon Humphrey strongarm robing the phone charger worth $15 most recently. Other details include a winter season. and a range of large and mid-sized markets to put teams in.

If you have any ideas for reimagining football, let the XFL know because they will be listening.


Perspective

Clay Travis Outkick The Coverage: Bring Back The XFL With These New Rules In Play

2. Draft freshmen and sophomores from college football and offer them contracts to play in the XFL.

Do you want to get immediate attention for your league? Try to entice star college freshmen and sophomores to enter your league. Remember, those players aren’t eligible to play in the NFL until three years after they graduate from high school.

How many college football players might prefer to play in the XFL for decent money over staying in college and risking injury for no financial compensation? Can you imagine the amount of interest the XFL would get from sports fans if, say, a star player on a top college team had to decide whether to sign for a decent amount of money or return to play in college for free?

Hell, if you really want to take the attention to the next level, try and sign five-star high school players and persuade them to come train for football with you full time rather than go to college at all.  Would some high school kids take a guaranteed million dollars for a three-year contract instead of going to college at all? They might. Plus, they could still consider the NFL after three years if they’ve developed into good players.

6. Put eight teams in cities that don’t have NFL franchises now.

Including several cities that have recently lost NFL franchises to relocation and are otherwise proven football markets.

My top suggestions for cities: Portland, San Diego, St. Louis, Albuquerque, Louisville, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Raleigh-Durham, Memphis, Orlando, Oakland, and Birmingham. I’m probably missing some other cities, but all of these places are good size cities with a substantial interest in football.

Make concessions cheap and play in stadiums, when possible, that are smaller and only fit around 25-30k fans at most.

9. Embrace gambling. 

Don’t tiptoe up to it, regularly talk about the line and the impact of decisions made during the game on the line during the game broadcasts.


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My Take

The NFL is imploding and has no sense of damage control. In the past, I’ve recommended solutions to the NFL that the XFL now embraces, among them are streaming and forcing players to stand for the anthem. As Roger Goodell is messing up a good product, the free market is offering a privately funded alternative that could pose a serious threat. No other league has such contempt for what the fans want as the NFL. NHL, MLB, UFC, and NBA are all better with regards to the fans. I’d love to watch a sport I grew up loving in, so McMahon is completely meeting my needs here in the free marketplace. I’m sold on the product conditionally as long as its not gimmicky. Also I’d prefer two feet in bounds rule as well as you must be touched to be down. This could be a real game changer in not just football, but sports and entertainment as well.

Football is good. Capitalism is great.

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