Woke Up This Way

You can tell we are at the edge of the world when troll culture has gone so far off the board that they are outraged about the casting of a FANTASY TELEVISION SERIES! In what world are we living where this is a thing that matters? In what world are we in that there are people obsessing over the race of freakin’ elves and dwarves?

How do people not have more important things going in their lives?

This is of course regarding the new Lord of the Rings television series that hit Prime recently. For my money, it’s a wonderful show with great costumes, a fun cast – thus far – and it feels SO much like the movies that it’s like visiting a good friend after a long time away. I loved what I saw. I also like THE HOBBIT films – die mad! (For my money, if THE HOBBIT trilogy are ‘bad’ movies then baby I will take that sort of bad movie all day long. Ya’ll need to see more bad movies if those are bad to you. You can tell me – I don’t like them, here’s why, and I can accept that but once you freak out and throw around how ‘bad’ they are you lose me).

We have gotten so ridiculous as a culture, and have given troll culture so much power that we now see their nonsense as headline material on news shows and on news sources. Trolls trolling and stamping their feet whenever some poor White hetero man doesn’t get an acting gig is nothing new. It’s crazy because so many of these trolls, the genuine flesh and blood ones, not the bot ones (though I bet they make up most of them) are homophobes but seem to only want men in all the roles for everything. Hey, whatever man.

I won’t pretend I am surprised by the trolling of the new LOTR show because that’s what we’ve become, but it’s still absolutely pathetic. Here’s a clue – Tolkien woudln’t like most of you trolls. He was a dude that saw the worst of the world in World War 2 and was trying to reflect that in his books. You are part of the ugliness he railed against in his books. I am sure that there aren’t a lot of people of color in his books because he wrote what he saw in his head and the world he saw in his head was based on any number of factors that I am not going to pretend to know. It is so silly to pretend that you are standing up for the literary work that lots and lots of folks have never read. But hey, maybe you read the books, good on ya, but tell me how ANYONE can know what fantasy creatures really should look like. Sure, the movies are pretty White, absolutely, and I am sure that was in sticking with the intention of the books, for all I can recall, but that does that mean there were NO people of color in that whole world? NONE? Really? Because even in a fantasy world that’s not really a thing. Despite what the racists amongst us like to think, people of color exist and, well, again, hard truth here, they were here first.

OH NO!

So please, tell me why there can’t be dwarves of color and elves of color?

Someone, quick!
Please tell me YOUR interpretation of a dead man’s work that was based on old mythologies and cultures and why that makes it gospel.

I’ll wait here.

Maybe someone saw something I didn’t. Or read some of the books Tolkien ‘wrote’ with his son and has some insight that I don’t. Who knows?

I watched the first two episodes though and don’t recall any Black Lives Matter speeches, or even a Troll Lives Matter speech. I don’t recall anything that wasn’t connected to this world. So what’s the issue? Again, don’t cry about it being accurate to these FANTASY books from the ’50’s because I don’t believe anyone elected Middle Earth keepers to protect things. Is it THAT upsetting to see people of color in a fantasy series? To see them as part of a series of books that are beloved by all ages and races? I will never understand how fans, real fans, wouldn’t want everyone possible to fall in love with the same things that they love. Why wouldn’t you invite anyone, no matter who they are, to appreciate the thing you love so much?

Is it simple racism?

Is it that ridiculous mentality of Mine, Mine, Mine that we see when a band breaks big and their fans scream about them selling out? Is it ownership?

What is it?

It’s sad, that’s what it is.

People who cannot stand that the world is changing, and that Hollywood FINALLY realizes that they should reflect the world around us. Sure, it’s more money grab than conscience – if you don’t appeal to people they won’t patronize you, just how it works – but it’s also reality. If you need your movies to be Whites Only then go watch old movies. There’s lots and lots of them. Stop complaining about how your childhoods are being ruined when you don’t even remember being young, just angry. If Tolkien was alive and wanted to get mad then whatever, but he’s pretty dead so let’s just stop with the faux outrage. If you don’t want to watch the show or anything else then don’t. POW, that was easy, wasn’t it?

The world doesn’t have to conform to your narrow view.

It shouldn’t.

As a fan, as ONE fan, I shouldn’t have a bigger say than anyone else. Nor should anyone else. Sure, we should all be heard, but that doesn’t mean we should always be listened to because fans are not always right. Sometimes we can’t see past our narrow viewpoint and our narrow life. Entertainment needs to appeal to more than just a few of us. If you love Lord of the Rings, if you are a real fan, then you want more fans for it and you want it to succeed. If it bothers you so much to see a Black Dwarf woman then hey, this show ain’t for you. Move on.

Simple as that.

I realize that isn’t how we do things, that we need to scream and wail and gnash our teeth and harass people and try to get people fired.

That’s who we are.

We are ugly, we are narrow-minded, and we are self-obsessed.

Thart’s who we are.

And that’s a shame because maybe we don’t deserve Lord of the Rings or any of these properties that try to show us something beautiful. Maybe we just deserve reality television that shows us the fake world of scripted reality, pretend rich people, and people who are models pretending to act.

Maybe that’s what we deserve and should get if we’re going to be so hateful over everything that wants to include more people of color, gender, and sexuality at the table. I think the table’s big enough for all of us but if you don’t, maybe you need to sit at the kid’s table and throw food with the other children while the rest of us adults ignore you.

…c…

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