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Old 11-01-2007, 10:39 AM   #161
Sauron the White
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Kath ... as I said to davem earlier, of course there are posts which find fault with the movies and that is good and proper. The thing that drives me to distraction is the opinion, voiced in many different ways and guises, which says "the books were not like that".

Perhaps thats because a move is not a book and vice versa.

I too find fault with the movies as movies. I absolutely loathe the scrubbing bubble green army of the dead as they wash clean the Pelennor of the enemy. In fact, loathe is too sublime a word for how I feel about that scene. I am no fan of bodily noise jokes in any film so seeing burps and gasseous explosions was not of my liking either.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:39 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
Alatar.... you post before my response to William came up after I posted. So here is one directed to your response to me... (this is getting complicated and where do I get a scorecard?)
Why won't everyone just take turns...me first.

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I have always associated readers - and I mean avid readers - with those of higher intelligence. No data here to support that. No surveys or longitudinal studies bearing that out. Just my basic hunch and premise that I steer by. Avid readers seem to be the more sharper knives in the drawer.
Knives are great for cutting, but useless when brushing one's teeth. I've worked with learned (note that I'm pronouncing the word with two distinct syllables - learn - ed) persons with advanced degrees who I would not trust to comb the dog or wash the car. Either they would spend/waste hours discussing the subtle issues, never getting to the work at hand, or get themselves hurt. Others without the desire to read 'stupid books' can be great problem solvers. With the mixing of DNA, results can vary (by design!).

So your hunch may be biased by your experience.

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Thus, I am a bit taken aback when I see those same intelligent beings prone to the same prejudgments and blinders that we (or I) normally assign to the more educationally challenged amongst us.
How open-minded?!? Coming from a commoner background and working with persons from the ivory (and other bone coloured) towers, I've come to realize that we are all one big family and all prone to the usual issues.

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You seem to be saying that its okay to have prejudices and bias since that is part of the human condition ... and besides..... we were all confortable with our quaint ways long before you hit our sleepy little town ... so if you dont like it here .....
Nope. Understanding that a bias exists does not mean that I condone it. I try to understand why people think thus, and know from familial experience that some hold dearly to views that are illogical, contradictory and otherwise crazy/foolish/harmful, and that try as I might (and I've quit trying), they will continue to hold onto these.

You are welcome in my town, but if you continually are trying to change a person's viewpoint time and time again even when your best arguments have failed, I'd have to start wondering after your sanity, as, well, you know that old saying.

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or as Matthewm once told me "just leave".
How nice of him.

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I do enjoy the exchange especially with you and several others and will stop at currying favor by naming names. It is fun and works the mind a bit and right now I need all the mental exercise that is available to me.
Much agreed. If we all loved the movies as you do, it'd be a slow day at work.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:40 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
Which speaks directly and in support of something I have said here in other posts --- longtime readers of LOTR were indeed handicapped by thier voluminous knowledge of the books when they went to see the films. It did not help them but instead hampered them. In this case, too much knowledge can be a bad thing.

I do wonder what constitutes the TOLKIENIAN MENTAL UNIVERSE.
Why should that be a 'handicap'? There was no reason the movies had to oversimplify Tolkien's work, excise central themes & characters & replace them with, frankly silly & certainly unnecessary scenes & motivations. Neither was there any necessity for stupid running gags about 'Dwarf-tossing' (or the whole Denethor human torch marathon). Of course, the former might not have grated on so many of us had we not known the books, but the latter would have annoyed me anyway - whether I'd read LotR first or not.

Anyway, I think 'handicap' a strange term in this context. These movies are hardly high art. Its not as if those of us who don't care for the movies have missed much - yes, Jackson et al put Minas Tirith, the Shire, etc, on screen, but they already existed in my mind anyway, so I didn't actually need to see them - not to mention that my own versions are different to Jackson's. Arguing that knowing the book was a 'handicap' because it prevented me truly appreciating the movies is kind of equivalent to arguing that having a good palate is a handicap because it prevents one truly appreciating a greasy burger from a dirty all night diner.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:45 AM   #164
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Alatar ... lets look at our common ground --- if that exists.

Bias exists in everyone. Agreed?

We should accept that. Agreed?

We should try to realize our own biases? Agreed?

We should strive to overcome our biases. Agreed?

I guess thats why I keep coming back again and again much to the chagrin of matthewm... I view overcoming bias as an ongoing sturuggle and a very good thing which advances the individual.

You might say I am here to help you become a better person.
And to a lesser degree, you help me to improve if indeed you can find any faults that need work.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:55 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White
you sitting before the screen making comments to yourself "the book was not like that".... or "that did not happen in the books"..... or "the wrong character is speaking those lines"..... or "what happened to my favorite character of _______" .... or "they combined several events together" ..... or "they left out some stuff" .... or any one of ten thousand other objections that basically mean "when I compare the medium of the book to the different medium of the movies, they end up different". As they say these days.. "DUH?"
As people here are continuously trying to point out, (by and large you can find that in my last post too), the problem is with the message of the movies, their substance. Let me ask you, do you agree that many persons, including those from the fanbase, find the concept of Hollywood-style depth (or philosophy, or morality), as seen in PJ's films also, as amusing, if not downright hilarious? This is a mass-targeted product, first and foremost, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. As another Hollywood production has it, "take [all the money that] you can, give nothing back" (to one's desire for culture).
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:05 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by Sauron the White View Post
Bias exists in everyone. Agreed?
Yes, to the extent that we can know (there may be one person without bias, but he/she may not have internet access).

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We should accept that. Agreed?
Yes. It seems to be a good fit for the data.

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We should try to realize our own biases? Agreed?
Yes you should.

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We should strive to overcome our biases. Agreed?
No. Why? Why should I strive to like eating worms? People do, but if I have other choices, I'm putting worms at the bottom of the list. They're made of protein and other great life-giving molecules and probably taste like mushy chicken, and unbiased children eat them, but I just can't go there. Also I also believe in the merits of science and so that biases me to things like astrology. Should I strive to accept the tenants of astrology? It's one thing to consider new evidence and to update one's priors when indicated by the data, but without any priors we'd be lost. Children learn to avoid touching hot objects after finding out that the experience can be painful. Should they throw out their biases and assume that objects that appear hot are fine to be touched without any testing?

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I guess thats why I keep coming back again and again much to the chagrin of matthewm... I view overcoming bias as an ongoing sturuggle and a very good thing which advances the individual.
To some degree. But after a while I know I find myself repeating the same old lines, and so work at finding a new game...like psychoanalizing StW.

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You might say I am here to help you become a better person.
Better...meaning? Once you attain a certain level, the amount of work to produce an observable effect may be considerable.

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And to a lesser degree, you help me to improve if indeed you can find any faults that need work.
I humbly consider each post I write a philanthropic gesture of enlightenment to the world. But that's me.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:15 AM   #167
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I've figured STW out. I figured him out as soon as I'd learned that he'd been a teacher and immersed in the public school system for, what was it, 30 years? After I heard that, I understood everything...perfectly.

Yours Truly,

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Old 11-01-2007, 11:19 AM   #168
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33.5 to be exact.

Since you have figured me out, I would love to be the beneficiary of your enlightenment so that I too can be fully informed. Seriously.

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Old 11-01-2007, 11:30 AM   #169
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Well...perhaps I haven't figured you out perfectly...I mean, your personal self, your real self, but I have figured out why your opinion is what it is and why you stand so fast by it, and that is all. And you probably know why that is, so I don't need to explain myself.

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Old 11-01-2007, 11:36 AM   #170
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Well...perhaps I haven't figured you out perfectly...I mean, your personal self, your real self, but I have figured out why your opinion is what it is and why you stand so fast by it, and that is all. And you probably know why that is, so I don't need to explain myself.
So close to revelation...and yet. Now I know how Gandalf must have felt when he was researching the history of the One Ring sans speaking with Gollum.

Having a bias about public school teachers myself, I was hoping to gain some confirmation from another set of eyes.

Did Peter Jackson ever teach in a school?
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:45 AM   #171
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rrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

this is like waiting for some big surprise and it turning out to be nothing much.

back to lurking.
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Old 11-01-2007, 12:02 PM   #172
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Hm. I'm sorry to have let so many people down, but I am not posting my personal opinion about why I think StW thinks they way he does based on my knowing he's been in the school system so long! It's just not polite, and it's not Tolkien related! I don't hold with gossip...not in public places.

Go ahead and feel like Gandalf, alatar. I don't care. And I'm not afraid of fire. (Well, if you threatened to burn me at the stake, maybe I'd talk, but I'm afraid you can't reach me - and you don't know where I live so mwahahahaha!)

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Old 11-01-2007, 12:16 PM   #173
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Too much chit-chat, too little content. Please find whatever remnant of the topic is still worth discussing - if possible - and devote yourselves to that. Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:15 PM   #174
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You strike like the blind man, StW. 'Twas the boy who stole your food, and you'll beat the post.

For such an open-minded person, you seem to have a difficult time appreciating our positions. You construct straw-men (quite proficiently), talk around us, and generally flail about. Maybe you NEED glasses. Rose-colored vision (if you insist on calling it that) is better than your near-sighted blindness (particularly when you don't realize you are blind, and try to pass it off as a sort of higher plane of being).

The idea that too much knowledge is dangerous sounds hardly like your professed uncompromising open-minded objectivity.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:16 PM   #175
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Alatar

I asked you

Quote:
We should strive to overcome our biases. Agreed?


and you replied


Quote:
No. Why? Why should I strive to like eating worms? People do, but if I have other choices, I'm putting worms at the bottom of the list. They're made of protein and other great life-giving molecules and probably taste like mushy chicken, and unbiased children eat them, but I just can't go there. Also I also believe in the merits of science and so that biases me to things like astrology. Should I strive to accept the tenants of astrology? It's one thing to consider new evidence and to update one's priors when indicated by the data, but without any priors we'd be lost. Children learn to avoid touching hot objects after finding out that the experience can be painful. Should they throw out their biases and assume that objects that appear hot are fine to be touched without any testing?
You are good at avoiding boxing yourself into a corner. A tip of the hat to you.

I do not think we are talking about changing your diet to include worms or converting you to the wonders of astrology. Nor do I want children to be introduced to painful experiences. So lets get beyond those easy things.

I do think that there is a bias here - or even a stronger prejudice - against Jackson and his films. Its not enough to say that is a right and thats just the way this community is constituted and thats the charm that makes you all so darn appealing. Without beating this to death --- okay - at the risk of beating this to death --- I do feel that there is a qualitative difference between some here who have issues with problems of the films as films and those who are simply head over heels in love with the books and will not even look at anything that smacks of Tolkien infidelity. If that sounds silly it was partly meant to. Partly.

There seems to be some kind of litmus test among the literary circle of Tolkien and a hatred of the movies seems to be part of that. I realize that very intelligent people within this community have told me that there are broad differences of opinion on many things within the Tolkien literary community but for some reason on this site it keeps coming up with the same number over and over again.

I do feel that it is imortant to overcome ones biases when it comes to things other than eating worms, astrology and inflicting harm upon children. I promise you that an increased appreciation of even one more scene in the Jackson movies will not damage a single child... or worm for that matter.

You just may gain something by it. As we all can. Myself included by listening and appreciating the other viewpoint.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:24 PM   #176
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You know, this really isn't as big of a deal as you might think. You are probably spending unnecessary energy trying to persuade us/yourself that you alone are right. Allow for variance of opinion, and life will be easier.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:49 PM   #177
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You are good at avoiding boxing yourself into a corner. A tip of the hat to you.
Round rooms assure the desired result.

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I do not think we are talking about changing your diet to include worms or converting you to the wonders of astrology. Nor do I want children to be introduced to painful experiences. So lets get beyond those easy things.
Surely. My point is that biases exist, are helpful for survival, and that we all have them, and that the bias may or not be logically reasoned.

Quote:
I do think that there is a bias here - or even a stronger prejudice - against Jackson and his films.
Okay. I'll agree. A certain set of all the posting members here do not like the Jackson films. So? A set of the same do not like going to the cinema, would rather be along with a book than at a pub, and can type much faster in a nonnative language than I can in my own. Is that not their right to be thus? And just how many are in any set? And of those, how many actively post in the same threads in which you participate?

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Its not enough to say that is a right and thats just the way this community is constituted and thats the charm that makes you all so darn appealing.
But of course. I'm not saying that it's right, but that it what we observe.

Quote:
Without beating this to death --- okay - at the risk of beating this to death --- I do feel that there is a qualitative difference between some here who have issues with problems of the films as films and those who are simply head over heels in love with the books and will not even look at anything that smacks of Tolkien infidelity. If that sounds silly it was partly meant to. Partly.
We are in total agreement. And then...If you could talk them into loving Jackson, or even merely appreciating his films, then I'll have to have you over the house to talk my kids into wearing the clothing that I'd rather have them in, heartily desiring what I put in front of them for dinner and going to bed at a reasonable hour.

I think that we're seeing this from the same view, but you see it as an 'you're either fully with us or against us' set whereas I see it as more of a continuum. On the sides we get the love books/movies to the exclusion of all else, and with these your arguments are moot. There are those not on the extremes that are warmer or cooler to the books/movies and so may be more receptive to what you write. But that assumes that they even care.

Classical bell curve, albeit I'm guessing that the mean is skewed somewhat closer to the books.

Quote:
There seems to be some kind of litmus test among the literary circle of Tolkien and a hatred of the movies seems to be part of that.
You see that. Do others? Do you think that those who do not like the movies, for whatever reason - prejudice, bias, snobbery, etc - are part of some cliche?

Quote:
I realize that very intelligent people within this community have told me that there are broad differences of opinion on many things within the Tolkien literary community but for some reason on this site it keeps coming up with the same number over and over again.
I'm not sure what that means. Are you saying that despite post after posting of persons demonstrating that they wanted to like the movies, tried to like the movies, like parts of the movies, you still think that its a small small minority that sees things anywhere to what you would consider normal? Is it data or your perception? I don't mean to be constantly questioning you (well, okay, I do, but that's me), but I'm always suspect when global claims are made. My wife does not post here, and I've offered her as an outlier. What of her criticism? If she posted here, would you think that she was a book snob a priori?

Quote:
I do feel that it is imortant to overcome ones biases when it comes to things other than eating worms, astrology and inflicting harm upon children. I promise you that an increased appreciation of even one more scene in the Jackson movies will not damage a single child... or worm for that matter.
One has to work at overcoming biases, and you might consider that this issue isn't hot on everyone's list. To accept something without evidence - PJ made wonderous films - would be just as bad as knowing that he made complete garbage without ever viewing them. Can't argue with faith/belief, but can reason with reason.

Quote:
You just may gain something by it. As we all can. Myself included by listening and appreciating the other viewpoint.
That's why I signed myself up to write the SbS. And that's why I both like and dislike the movies. They were okay, but could have been so much better. Lacking the wit to be truly creative I can pick up my book and see another way to 'let Theoden know that the Uruks approach.'
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:52 PM   #178
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Apparently this thread has become so inherently chatty that it is not possible to stem the tide even with a moderator's warning. I'm therefore closing it; any member who has an important contribution to make to the original topic (there was one, wasn't there?!) may PM me, stating the nature of that contribution, and see if I can be convinced to reopen it - in a couple of days.
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