succumbing to peer pressure

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

RotK (and other ramblings) much stuff. So I'm in Texas. And it's lovely and beautiful and 70 degrees out. I'm feeling a little disconnected since I'm not getting my daily dose of lefty blogs and new york times online and whatnot. Finally got around to skimming through all the stuff I missed on atrios and his little paragraph about RotK and the subsequent hundreds of comments got me to composing my own little post about LotR. I went to see the midnight showing last Tuesday night and although the friends I went to see it with are nice and all, I really missed the cleveland gang immediately afterwards and have since really wished that I could sit down with someone and discuss the whole thing. Hopefully before leaving Texas I will have the opportunity to be a total geek with my cousins. Anyway, in an attempt to order my thoughts on the subject, I have this:

The movie was very good, but I need to see it again to form any sort of coherent opinion. Return of the King is my favorite book of the trilogy, and I've come to love the movies just as much, so even though I know things must be left out and condensed for the sake of a theater audience, there are so many things in that book that I would have loved to see. So I spent a lot of the movie wondering how Peter would do a certain thing, or if he would include a certain subplot, etc. So I think a second viewing, watching the movie for the movie itself, will be much better. I've heard rumors that the extended release will be 4 or 5 hours long, which I really hope is true, because I would seriously love a huge epic treatment of the whole book. A commenter over at Atrios mentioned how much she missed the secondary love story, of Eowyn and Faramir and I completely agree. She (the commenter) went back and read those sections of the book immediately after seeing the movie and just cried and cried. I finished re-reading the book a few days after seeing the movie and cried felt so much like the end of a Footlighters show or something...Another commenter from Atrios was the requisite nay-sayer, criticising the quality of the writing of the novels and questioning how intelligent people can get so excited about such garbage. To him I offer the same thing I said to Carrie - please just accept that this particular story is not your cup of tea and refrain from the need to rain on other's parade. I don't know why these stories speak to so many people, but for me, they touch on the big, idealistic, often over-simplified qualities that I find sorely lacking in my day to day life - people who are truly noble and honorable and good and self-sacrificing for a larger cause.

Tangentially, it makes sense to leave the scouring of the shire out of the movies, since it is somewhat anti-climactic after the business with the ring, but after re-reading that part recently, it sort of seemed to capture the whole point, or at least, one of the major points presented in the stories. Here are these 4 little hobbits, who lead these completely isolationist sort of lives, who are virtually helpless at the beginning of the story. And at the very end, when Gandalf departs just before entering the shire, he says he's not worried about them anymore and he knows they can take of themselves now. Which is true. They are rather undaunted by what they discover is happening in the shire. Maybe this felt a little closer to home than the first time I read it, maybe I'm reading too much into a simple story...I dunno, I guess I'm just trying to say that I really love these books and movies for very personal reasons and while they are lots of fun to discuss, I think it's rather silly to attempt to debate their worth on a purely intellectual basis when they clearly strike very emotional chords for people. /end inarticulate rambling

In other news, the parents and I have been discussing financial issues, particularly one child potentially receiving more or less financial support from parents than the other child. This isn't something that has ever bothered me, but Dad and his siblings are going through some ugliness due to this particular topic (his brother and sister are barely speaking to each other at the moment, for a variety of reasons, but stemming from her belief that their parents supported him financially longer than they supported her, and therefore he should receive less financial support now...leaving Dad somewhat caught in the middle). Anyway, this explains why Mom and Dad always went to such lengths to explain various large gifts that one child may receive and another not, or why they were so careful that certain "milestones" happened at the same age for each of us (Brad got a really nice bike at 12, so I knew I had to wait until I was 12 to get a nice bike; he was allowed to fly to Boston alone to visit our aunt at 14, so I was also allowed at 14, etc.). And it explains why a couple of nights ago they waited until Brad was asleep to tell me they're giving him money for a new car and wanted to make sure I was ok with that. All of which is very nice and thoughtful...but it was never the monetary imbalances that I minded growing was the emotional ones...but, as I say about the current disagreement between my aunt and uncle - nothing that happens now will ever correct things that happened then, so what can possibly be gained by holding on to that hurt and anger? And Dad has clearly improved on his parents' parenting when it comes to financial gifts, so perhaps there's hope that I can improve upon both the financial and emotional stuff.

All right, enough random thoughts for now. Happy Holidays to all! :-)