The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Not rated yet!
Director
Peter Jackson
Runtime
3 h 21 min
Release Date
1 December 2003
Genres
Adventure, Fantasy, Action
Overview
Aragorn is revealed as the heir to the ancient kings as he, Gandalf and the other members of the broken fellowship struggle to save Gondor from Sauron's forces. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam bring the ring closer to the heart of Mordor, the dark lord's realm.
Staff ReviewsAround the Web ReviewsAudience Reviews

Check back soon when the reviews are out!

Or why not join our mailing list to stay up to date?

 

SIGN UP!

Box office recaps sent twice a month (maximum).

( ̄^ ̄)ゞ (☞゚ヮ゚)☞ No spam! ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)




 ✍🏻  > 🗡️   Want to join our team? Email us!  
Counter Currents Staff13
Counter Currents Publishing



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • The Return of The King

    [1]1,377 words

    It was one minute past midnight, one last time. I knew The Return of The King would be a great movie, and it is. The only question in my mind was, “How great?”

    Return is not as good as The Two Towers, my favorite Rings movie, but it is a magnificent, moving film, that will not disappoint, and taken together the Rings movies are certainly the greatest movie trilogy ever made, and rank among the greatest achievements in film history.

    The Rings movies contain not a shred of decadence or Jewish propaganda. Although the films depart from Tolkien’s books in countless ways, many of them improvements, some of them needless, a few of them flaws, they remain true to Tolkien’s racial vision. This is astonishing, for director Peter Jackson surely must have felt great pressure from the culture at large, and probably directly from the Jews who produced and distributed the Rings, to turn the films into more multiracial propaganda, like the dreadful animated versions.

    Tolkien’s Middle Earth is Europe, a realm of many peoples, all of whom are described in the books as White and portrayed as such in the films. Middle Earth is threatened by the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron, who dwells in the Near East, in the land of Mordor. Sauron wishes to exterminate the White peoples of Middle Earth. His tools are his orcs, hideous creatures created through the forced miscegenation of elves (who are portrayed as extremely tall, fair, Nordic White people) and goblins. His allies are Southrons and Easterlings, who are portrayed as non-Whites. The analogies to the present situation of the White race, the Jewish enemy, and his non-White tools are obvious.

    Sauron’s greatest tool is the Ring of Power, which he forged in the heart of the volcano, Mount Doom, and into which he invested his malice, his lust for power, indeed his very life force. So when his connection to the Ring was severed, he was all but destroyed. The Ring of Power symbolizes the danger we all face when we invest ourselves too much into external things that we can lose. This is a danger in all times and places, but much more so in the possessive materialist culture of the modern-day West. More specifically, the Ring of Power symbolizes modernity: the subjugation and degradation of nature and man through the complex of science, technology, industry, and materialism. Tolkien, a true reactionary who preferred a pre-industrial, agrarian society, thought they could never be used wisely and thus must be cast away. The whole point of Rings trilogy is to defeat the Dark Lord by destroying the Ring.

    The weakness of Middle Earth is the fact that its peoples are divided and distrustful. More than three thousand years before, they united against the threat of Mordor and Sauron was defeated. The linchpin of the alliance was the high king of Gondor. Gondor is very much like ancient Rome: an advanced civilization built on a colossal scale and influenced by the Atlantis-like sea-kings of Numenor. In its decadence, it is very much like Byzantium or the Rome of the German Emperors of the Middle Ages. Tolkien specifically mentions that not enough children are being born, and the population of Gondor is in decline.

    Unfortunately, Isildur, the last high king, who defeated Sauron, was seduced, betrayed, and killed by the power of the Ring. The throne of Gondor stands empty. Gondor is instead ruled by a hereditary house of Stewards, much like the Marshals of the Palace of Merovingian France. The present Steward, Denethor, is played by John Noble. But there is an heir to the throne: Aragorn, played by Viggo Mortensen, who claims his throne after reuniting the peoples of Middle Earth and defeating Sauron’s armies. My favorite scene is when Aragorn urges his armies — and us — to “stand, men of the West!”

    There are many other powerful scenes in Return: the lighting of the beacons of Gondor, a riveting sequence where Pippin serenades Denethor at his table while the cavalry of Gondor charges to its doom, Minas Morgul and the muster of its armies, Aragorn’s meeting with a spectral army in the heart of the haunted mountain the Dwimorberg, the deaths of King Theoden and the Witch King of Angmar. The collapse of Sauron’s tower of Barad-dur reminded me enough of the World Trade Center that I wonder if there is an intentional message there. If so, Professor Tolkien would probably have approved.

    Other scenes were not as well done. I wish there had been more poetry and drama to the reforging of the sword Narsil, which cut the Ring for Sauron’s hand three thousand years before, and its presentation to Aragorn. The siege of Gondor was well done, but the battle of the Pelennor Fields lacked the dramatic pacing that made the battle of Helm’s Deep in The Two Towers so compelling. The Pelennor battle happened so fast that it just seemed unreal. The coronation of Aragorn was somehow less moving on screen than in the book. Sam and Frodo were really too close to the soldiers marching from Minas Morgul to avoid detection. Did not one of them look six feet up and to the right? Maybe they should have used their elven cloaks. Did the orcs crossing the river to the Western shore of Osgiliath really expect to surprise the enemy by paddling quietly — when they were carrying torches? Denethor’s death irritated me. I can believe in magic Rings and Dark Lords, but I can’t believe that a man on fire would jog half a mile just to plummet to his death from the most dramatic spot in the city. The same is true of Gollum’s demise. Would a body sink into molten rock like that while a metal ring would float? Better to have cut directly from Gollum falling in infantile ecstasies to the ring glowing on the surface of the lava stream. I was also irritated by the extra conflict scenes added between Gollum, Sam, and Frodo. They added nothing to the characterization and spoiled the pacing of the Shelob sequence, which consequently lacked suspense and drama.

    Many things were cut from the book. Some I did not miss. The Prince of Dol Amroth was a cipher with a swan banner and a grand name. Gorbag and Shagrat went on so long I wanted to kill them myself. The houses of healing were not necessary since we saw in the first movie that Aragorn could heal. There really were too many Minnesota good-byes. The romance of Eowyn and Faramir will probably show up in the extended version. They both deserve that happy ending. I was sad that Jackson did not include the scene where Aragorn reveals himself to Sauron in the palantir (a crystal ball that lets one see far-off things). That could have been most poetic. So too Denethor’s corruption by communing with the Dark Lord through another palantir. (Interesting that the main tool of the Dark Lord’s power turn out, in effect, to be television, which literally means “far-seer.”) Perhaps the palantirs too will show up in the extended version. I was very sad that Tolkien’s chapter on “The Scouring of the Shire” was omitted, and I don’t see how it could be added back into the extended version. It brings closure to the stories of Saruman and Wormtonge and shows the truth of Frodo’s vision of the Shire in the mirror of Galadriel. One minor disappointment was the absence of the evocative phrase “elder kindred,” used by Gandalf to describe himself and the elves, who at the end of the movie depart for the lands of the West along with Frodo and Bilbo, leaving men to make their own destinies.

    All these quibbles must, however, be kept in perspective. Never have I anticipated a movie more than The Return of the King, and given the greatness of The Two Towers the bar was very high indeed. As I left the theater, I sighed inwardly, “Well, it’s over.” I had my first introduction, the beginning of what is sure to be a long love affair. But then I realized, “No, it is not over. There is still The Hobbit.” And yes, Peter Jackson is interested in making the film.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the Meme

    3,171 words [1]

    We owe a great debt of gratitude to J. R. R. Tolkien, who embodied the medieval bardic tradition, and penned his epic tale in rebuke of mechanized modernity. I doubt even Tolkien could have predicted that some fifty years later, his story would look more like prophecy than fable. Then again, Tolkien probably sensed Europe had entered its twilight. The Great European Civil War of the twentieth century, which Tolkien fought in during its first phase, impressed upon him that modernity, with its unrelenting industry (capitalism) and hi-tech weaponry, was destroying the West. He longed for a return to the agricultural and yeoman values idealized in his depiction of the Shire, to the hierarchical and kingly values that he envisioned in Aragorn, and the Nordic ideals of beauty and perfection he represented in the Elves. The march of modernity, however, has continued unabated, accelerating at an exponentially increasing rate. In the meantime, the slow drip of decay has swiftly moved into the phase of invasion and struggle. Now, more than ever, The Lord of the Rings [2] (henceforth LOTR) is a source of inspiration for our people.

    We are now living in an era that his story aptly anticipated. Lest anyone misconstrue my aims, I do not presume to say that LOTR is an allegory, but rather to apply the lessons of the story to our current age, as Tolkien himself intended: “I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history – true or feigned – with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers.”[1]

    It goes without saying that a story grounded in Germanic mythology is Right-wing. The world is medieval, martial, and aristocratic in its values. One’s skill with the sword, the bow, or the spear dominates this world. But Tolkien’s story goes beyond merely recasting medieval society to create a mythology that glorifies Right-wing concepts.

    Tolkien’s Middle Earth exemplifies Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil).

    The relationship of the land to the different types of beings in the world of LOTR is unmistakable, particularly as depicted in Peter Jackson’s film trilogy. A character’s inner traits are reflected in their outward appearance and in their environment, both at a group and an individual level.

    The Hobbits are small, docile, and cheerful beings, just like their Shire with its bucolic green pastures. The Elvish lands are pure and unblemished, and are of a grander quality (amidst soaring forests, rushing rivers, and mountain peaks), just like the Nordic ideal the Elves represent. The race of men falls in between these two extremes: they are of normal height and appearance, and their natural surroundings appear bleak and drained of life, suggesting their inward decay. The most desolate depiction of nature is the land of Mordor, where the earth has been charred to black and the creatures that inhabit it mirror this inversion. Hideous Orcs live in Mordor, foul creatures formed through miscegenation, in defiance of the natural divisions dictated by nature. Their companions-in-arms are the brutish Uruk-hai, born of mud and black-skinned, and beastly in appearance. Perhaps most indicative of Tolkien’s belief in blood and soil physiognomy is the Hobbit Sméagol, who is transformed into the wretched-looking Gollum as the Ring corrupts his soul. Corruption and purity cannot be hidden; nature reveals what is desiderata (Elves, Hobbits, men) and what is repulsive (Orcs, Goblins, Uruk-hai).

    In the current year, the doctrine of Blood and Soil is anathema. Its association with National Socialism renders it beyond the pale. But the German völkisch philosophers which Hitler drew upon did not create the concept of Blood and Soil, they only gave it a name, a brand, that is easily understood. Blood and Soil is merely the propaganda form (what we call memes) of Darwinian evolution. Man’s adaptation to his natural surroundings is the basis of evolution. The fate of every nation is determined by these two things: its people and its land. LOTR highlights this reality through strikingly different depictions of the characters and their natural environment.

    The importance of nature is at the forefront of conflict in LOTR: that which is good cooperates with nature and protects it, while that which is bad subjugates nature and destroys it. The preeminence of nature resonates with us on the Alt Right because our ideology is rooted precisely in nature [3], of which man is a part, and cannot escape its dictum that life is unequal and hierarchical. Liberals of the hippie persuasion have glommed on to LOTR for its glorification of nature, but the story belongs to us for its radical depiction of Blood and Soil, even more so because the story itself is deeply Right-wing beyond that.

    LOTR takes place during the sudden resurgence of an old threat to Middle Earth, one long thought to have been destroyed. The world’s former glories have decayed, the great halls and cities of Middle Earth have waned, the White Tree of Gondor no longer flowers, the throne sits kingless, and the people drift without leadership to guide them. The decadence of yore has turned to rot and the ancient enemy of Middle Earth now begins its long-awaited assault. Only a select few realize the mortal threat that is rising, with the fate of Middle Earth resting in the hands of unassuming Hobbits.

    The same could be said of Europe and the rest of the White world. We are witnessing the rise of an old enemy once vanquished and presumed dead, an enemy long forgotten in our decadence, but one which has regathered its strength while Western man has turned against himself, an enemy that now marches once more for our destruction. I speak of Islam, which has awakened from its centuries-long dormancy and has set its gaze upon the lands of Europe once again for conquest. Like Sauron’s armies of Orcs and Uruk-hai that seek to replace the race of men, Western man is being replaced from all sides by non-Whites.

    The Dark Lord from the East failed in his first attempt to enslave the world, but his life-force carries on through his one ring, drawing its power. Similarly, Islam failed in its initial conquest of Europe, but carries on through the Qur’an, which perpetuates the ideology of total subjugation under Dar al-Islam.

    Imagery

     The events in Jackson’s Lord of the Rings are shockingly similar to what is happening today. The blackness that typifies the Dark Lord Sauron and his creatures is also the standard color of Islam, typified by the black flag of ISIS and the uniforms of its soldiers. The all-seeing eye of Sauron rests in a crescent moon scanning the earth atop a lone tower, almost identical to the clock tower that looms over Mecca, so similar in fact that many comparisons have been made.

    [4]

    Similarly, the crossing of a river by Sauron’s hordes to attack Osgiliath’s forces are reminiscent of the migrant crossings over the Mediterranean Sea in order to invade Europe. Even more analogous, we have seen images of migrants marching through the fields of Europe that look no different from a pack of Orcs and Uruk-hai ransacking Middle Earth.

    [5]

    [6]

    Marauding band of orcs or helpless refugees? You decide

    Historical Importance

    In Jackson’s The Return of The King, Sauron’s forces attack the capital of Gondor, Minas Tirith, the City of Kings. We are told by Gandalf that “this city has dwelt ever in the sight of [Mordor’s] shadow”[2] as we see that it is directly facing the hellish fires of Mount Doom. The white city is reminiscent of Constantinople, the ancient City of Emperors which was the focal point protecting Europe from incursions from the East.  Middle Earth still has its Constantinople, but the fight for Minas Tirith resembles the Battle of Vienna, where the largest cavalry charge in history defeated the Muslim forces of the Ottoman Empire. In the film, we see Théoden, King of the Horse-lords of Rohan, leading them in a triumphant cavalry charge against the hordes laying siege to his keep.

    Today, our great city of Constantinople has already fallen to the East, but we can find hope that just as we defeated the forces at Vienna, so, too, will we repel this invasion of The Camp of the Saints [7]. This time, however, we face not merely the loss of one city, but the complete destruction of the West, just as in LOTR.

    A New Fellowship

    Right now we face an equally glaring threat that will plunge Western Man forever into darkness if we do not reverse course. Only a few of us understand the severity of the threat, but already the Alt Right has forged a new fellowship as unlikely as that of Tolkien’s epic. We have our autistes and NEETs, our 1488er trolls and philosophers, our betas and chads, intellectuals and shitlords, religious and irreligious, Christians and pagans, and young and old. We hail from lands all around the world, both physical and virtual. From online groups, social media, Webzines, blogs, chans, and forums, to real-life forums, institutions, and networks, we have come together as the last men of the West seeking to save our people and restart history. We are a new fellowship faced with the same fate: victory or destruction.

    The Enemy

    The forces destroying the West are not just the foreign hordes, but internal forces that have weakened Western man. This enemy is the materialism that has hollowed out our culture and our very souls. Material vanities have replaced our Thumos. We are drawn to LOTR in part because it is all about Thumos; in other words, men live and die for their people and their honor. We also see the opposite in the undead soldiers who are condemned to dwell forever in the mountain pass, having been cursed for breaking their oaths. Materialist man fights only for his own greater comfort, and this is the path to nothingness.

    And who do we see allying with the Dark Lord for the destruction of Europe? It is the wizard Saruman, the figurehead of Jewish subversion. Deceptive and cunning, Saruman allies with Sauron’s hordes to achieve the destruction of man, just as the Jewish community sides with non-Whites and pushes for further non-White immigration. Some may wonder why Saruman wants to live in a despoiled world filled with Orcs rather than men. The reason is simple: his heart is set upon ruling over the men of Middle Earth. Thus, Saruman seeks to destroy them with hordes of brainless Orc and Uruk-hai. In the same vein, Jewish people throughout Western nations continue to push for the invasion of non-Whites into all the European lands, even though in the long run they will be worse off. That is immaterial for them, for what they seek is their own success and dominion, regardless of whether or not that entails reducing everyone to the status of the Third World. One also cannot discount that far too many Jews are motivated by an ethnic animus to destroy a perceived long-standing enemy to their tribe. In the films, Saruman exudes a genocidal disdain for the men of Middle Earth that could only be attributed to long-held resentment.

    Saruman’s vision is to turn men into mere creatures of work and war. He boasts, “The world is changing . . . [and] together, my Lord Sauron, we shall rule this Middle Earth. The old world will burn in the fires of industry. Forests will fall. A new order will rise. We will drive the machine of war with the sword and the spear and the iron fist of the Orc.”[3] I know of no more apt metaphor for Jewish-led America than work and industry. No European or Middle American wants these wars in the Middle East. It is entirely a Jewish endeavor. The recently revived hostility towards Russia also bears the imprints of Jewish interests and voices. As for industry, one need not speculate on the identity of the globalists and international capitalists driving the reins of industry (capitalism) that is displacing White people, incentivizing Third World invasions, and destroying the Earth’s environment. They readily admit their identity [8].

    Saruman is not alone, either. He is accompanied by his collaborator Wormtongue, a representation of the court Jew [9], poisoning the mind of King Théoden with lies and false promises. In The Two Towers, Théoden appears sickly and near-comatose under the spell of Saruman after having invited Wormtongue to join his council. Many of our Western leaders suffer a similar fate under the spell of Jewish influence, where they bribe our politicians and whisper lies in their ears. The disaster in the Middle East is the direct result of not one but many Wormtongues having infected our leaders with poisonous lies, which in turn caused the Iraq War, the Syrian civil war, and the migrant invasion. These neocons are the fathers of the migrant hordes.

    The center of power is the Eye of Sauron, a symbol of the hostile mass media, which never ceases in its search for heretics who oppose liberal orthodoxy. The merciless, tireless gaze of Sauron’s eye is always watching, searching for its “precious”: the White male who stands up for his race. Dissidents who are unlucky enough to have its gaze fall upon them are hunted down as if by the nine Ring-Wraiths, to have their lives destroyed.

    Lastly, there is Gollum, who may simply be a Golem as the name implies, or something else entirely. He could symbolize the corrupting effects of a person burdened with White guilt for too long. There are multiple analogies that could be drawn, as with any of the above characters and storylines.

    Overcoming

    We on the Alt Right have all experienced a journey similar to that of King Théoden, having been freed from the spell of liberal indoctrination spewed by the likes of Wormtongue, suddenly finding ourselves unable to comprehend what has transpired. In The Two Towers, while preparing for the battle of Helm’s Deep, Théoden laments:

    Where is the horse and the rider?
    Where is the horn that was blowing?
    They have passed like rain on the mountains,
    like wind in the meadow.
    The days have gone down in the West,
    behind the hills . . . into Shadow.
    . . . How did it come to this?[4]

    We have awakened from the politically correct lies spread by the media, Hollywood, and academia to ask ourselves this same question. At Minas Tirith, Gandalf provides an answer:

    The old wisdom that was borne out of the West was forsaken. Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living and counted the names of their descent dearer than the names of their sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry or in high, cold towers asking questions of the stars. And so the people of Gondor fell into ruin. The line of kings failed, the White Tree withered, and the rule of Gondor was given over to lesser men.[5]

    The wealth of the West has led to decay. We no longer have children and cannot sustain our nations. We truly are ruled by lesser men. The rule of kings and aristocracy has been replaced by plutocracy under imposters like the Steward of Gondor. All of our great feats, our architecture, our people, is withering away.

    LOTR is a tale of the West’s revival and the uniting of our people against an existential threat. A return to bravery, strength, and noble sacrifice. LOTR is a story that captivates our people because it touches upon the deepest meanings of life: the struggle for survival, decay and regeneration, hope and despair, beauty and ugliness, honor and treachery, strength and weakness, all told through an intensely moving story of triumphal perseverance.

    When faced with a mortal threat, Western man awakens form his slumber to find his heroic and fighting spirit. “For what can men do against such reckless hate,” asks Théoden, to which Aragorn replies, “Ride out and meet them.”[6] Arise and fight, that is the lesson.  As Aragorn thunders in anticipation of the final battle: “This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”[7] And stand we will. This hour of trial is but one in our long history.

    We few, we lucky few, should feel blessed that we are the first to stand on the cusp of our great resurgence. For we will win; it is only a matter of when. This terrible time in our history, when all hope seems lost, will only bring us to greater heights. We have been given the chance to show our true valor, the wonderful chance to achieve lasting glory. In the current year, we get to write real stories that will shape history, and remember fondly the ones that meant something to us:

    Sam: I know.
    It’s all wrong.
    By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
    But we are.
    It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo.
    The ones that really mattered.
    Full of darkness and danger they were,
    and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end,
    because how could the end be happy?
    How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened?
    But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
    Even darkness must pass.
    A new day will come.
    And when the sun shines, it will shine out the clearer.
    Those were the stories that stayed with you.
    That meant something,
    even if you were too small to understand why.
    But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
    I know now.
    Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t,
    because they were holding on to something.

    Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?

    Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.[8]

    Those of us on the Alt Right have found the good in this world worth fighting for: our people, our heritage, and our civilization. We are holding on to that something and will continue to fight for it until we have overcome.

    Some have likened the presidential victory of Donald Trump to the Battle of Helm’s Deep, but in truth, most of the White world is still stuck in the Shire, unaware of the impending doom. Trump is like Gandalf sounding the alarm for Middle America at the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. Trump’s victory is merely equivalent to escaping from the Ring-Wraiths by the skin of our teeth to find momentary solace in Rivendell. We must now embark on the journey to save the White world.

     

    Notes

    1. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring [10], rev. ed. (New York: Ballantine Books, 2001), p. xi.

    2. The Return of The King, directed by Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema (2003). See https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings:_The_Return_of_the_King [11]

    3. The Two Towers, directed by Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema (2002). See http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000155/quotes [12]

    4. Ibid.

    5. The Return of the King.

    6. The Two Towers.

    7. The Return of the King. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167260/quotes [13]

    8. The Two Towers. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167261/quotes [14]

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Traditionalist & Degenerate Themes in Game of Thrones
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    1,529 words

    Warning: spoilers ahead

    [1]Game of Thrones is perhaps the single most popular mass cultural product today. One indicator: In 2015, the show’s Wikipedia page was among the ten most-visited [2] in English, German, French, Italian, and Russian, a remarkable distinction. Game of Thrones really is one of the major planks of our “global culture” as produced by the media masters in America. Given the show’s popularity, it is worth examining the values it promotes. 

    Game of Thrones’ most pervasive degenerate theme[1] is the gratuitous inclusion of numerous quasi-pornographic sex scenes, something the Jewish-owned company which produced the show, HBO, has long been notorious for. This includes an explicit portrayal of brother-sister incest “doggy-style” in the very first episode. Though I have not read the novels on which the series is based, I am told the author George R. R. Martin’s literary description of that event was much more allusive and vague. (There is, after all, nothing degenerate as such about telling a story involving incest.) The pornographic elements were therefore presumably inserted by the TV show’s creators, David Benioff (born David Friedman) and Daniel Brett Weiss.

    Nonetheless, Game of Thrones also portrays traditionalist values, in keeping with the show’s medieval fantasy setting, such as honor, loyalty, and discipline. The two overwhelming facts facing people in the world of Game of Thrones appear to be family and hierarchy, two eminently Right-wing themes.

    These values and the show’s violence create a sense of realism, quite different in this respect from the Lord of the Rings films, despite the inclusion of magic. The brutal violence, often eliminating leading characters we have come to identify with, is quite in keeping with the actual violence among the ruling classes of early medieval Europe. White viewers get a taste of the kind of tough and often brief lives of their forefathers, a rarity. Forefathers who, it cannot be emphasized enough, fought on and persevered despite the incredible hardship, making our lives possible as their descendants.




    The show frequently portrays younger characters being lectured and educated by older ones in the realities of the world and traditional wisdom, in order to have them better accept the decisions and disciplines expected of them.

    On family, Catelyn Stark, the loving mother of the young King in the North Robb Stark, urges her son to not marry out of ephemeral passionate love. She tells him [3]:

    Your father didn’t love me when we married. He hardly knew me or I him. Love didn’t just happen to us. We built it slowly over the years, stone by stone, for you, for your brothers and sisters, for all of us. It’s not as exciting as secret passion in the woods, but it is stronger. It lasts longer.

    While I am not an advocate of arranged marriages, this is wonderful advice for finding genuine love and happiness, and founding good, healthy families. Catelyn’s words are completely at odds with the glorification of frivolous sex that otherwise dominates Western pop culture today (especially in pop music).

    Tywin Lannister, a powerful and ruthless southern lord embodying raison d’État, also speaks to his son, Jaime Lannister, about family, albeit very differently. He tells him [4]:

    Your mother’s dead. Before long I’ll be dead. And you and your brother and your sister and all of her children. All of us dead; all of us rotting in the ground. It’s the family name that lives on. It’s all that lives on. Not your personal glory, not your honor, but family. Do you understand?

    Tywin, like Catelyn, thus condemns individualist selfishness, albeit in a very different way. Individualism is vain because the individual ends in death. His life can only have meaning if it is part of something greater, more lasting. For Tywin, that thing is family. And what are nation and race but extended families?




    The character who is most explicitly schooled on respect for hierarchy is Jon Snow, a Stark bastard who joins a kind of monastic warrior order known as the Night’s Watch, which guards the realm’s northern border. Jon is dissatisfied with his role and frequently criticizes or disobeys his superiors. The Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch takes him aside to scold him saying [5]: “You want to lead one day? Then learn to follow.” Another Night’s Watch superior, Alliser Thorne, on a separate occasion also gave Jon some wisdom [6] on this theme:

    Do you know what leadership means, Lord Snow? It means that the person in charge gets second guessed by every clever little twat with a mouth. But if he starts second guessing himself, that’s the end. For him, for the clever little twats, for everyone.

    This is something that we who are so critical should bear in mind. Armchair criticism is very easy, actually doing something is supremely difficult. (Personally, I try, though this is difficult at times, to limit my denunciations of others to cases of bad faith, and make only constructive criticism of others’ execution.)

    There is also a brilliant scene [7] in which Tywin, not disinterestedly, advises in Socratic fashion the boy-king Tommen, his grandson, to hold wisdom as the highest virtue, and to be modest by heeding the advice of those wiser than he is.

    Beyond these individual cases, what are the overall values of the show? This article cannot claim to make a comprehensive assessment, and much depends on future episodes (I am writing as of season five) but some observations can already be made.

    [8]

    Game of Thrones is a constant and brutal education in the disasters that sentimentality brings about in a dangerous world. The show’s original protagonists are the Stark family, who are clearly portrayed as the good guys. The Starks, again and again, are defeated, murdered, and even destroyed due to misplaced sentimentality. Ned Stark tries in good faith to be an honest and honorable prime minister (“Hand of the King”) and as a result is quickly outmaneuvered and executed by those who do not have such scruples. Catelyn Stark put a sentimental attachment to her daughters above a higher sense of family interest and loyalty, leading her to foolishly release a major Lannister prisoner and sow discord in her own camp. King Robb himself offends an important ally by reneging on a promise to marry his daughter, in order to follow his heart instead, leading to his and his family’s downfall in the notorious “Red Wedding,” a truly shocking and traumatic event for the viewer.

    The story of the Starks’ undoing, which is the main event of the show’s first three seasons, is a lesson in the perils of putting sentimentality before reason and of being honorable with those who are dishonorable. It is an ode to realism. This is a good antidote to liberal illusions.

    There is however a second set of good guys, those around the young Daenerys Targaryen, who is busy building an empire in the show’s equivalent of Asia before returning to Westeros (Europe) to reclaim the throne. Daenerys’ adventures are rather disconnected from the rest of the show and have a rather infantile, magical quality. She triumphs without real effort or dramatic tension (her struggles are not, as in the wars of Westeros, between fellow main characters, but between her and secondary characters, leaving no doubt that she will always win).

    What’s more, Daenerys not only wins but does so despite ruling arrogantly as a young person and as an idealist (she emancipates slaves, promises goodness to all, et cetera). She promises not to be another spoke on the wheel of the “game of thrones,” but to “break the wheel.” Thus Daenerys can be considered a stand in for an infantile femininity and sentimental egalitarianism, ultimately leading to Bolshevism (which is, among other things, the critique of an existing order based on the lie that one can form a human society without a ruling class or even without inequality in general). Daenerys overcomes the contradictions of all this, basically, through an outsized and implausible character shield [9].

    If Daenerys really does triumph and create an egalitarian utopia, then Game of Thrones will not have been an illustration of the merits of realism, family, and hierarchy, but a denunciation of the real world, with all its viciousness, in favor of a communistic imaginary world.

    I am curious as to the direction the show will take in the next seasons, which will apparently not be based on George R. R. Martin’s still-unfinished novels, but will be invented by the producers. Martin himself is incidentally a big fat liberal who cites Emma Lazarus to demand settlement of Muslims in America [10]. Nonetheless, at least for me, Game of Thrones has been an enjoyable romp through an often compelling fantasy world, one which recalls the experiences and wisdom of my European forefathers.

    Note

    1. I will not discuss gender roles in the show, which are for the most part traditional but feature some unrealistic portrayals of female fighters. The latter is for the most part considered unusual. Nonetheless, the inclusion of a little girl shown physically defeating grown men on occasion is degenerate. This gives women and girls unrealistic portrayals of their own physical strength. In the real world, such illusions lead them to be raped and murdered.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Two Towers
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]2,607 words

    It was one minute past midnight again, exactly 364 days after the opening of The Fellowship of the Ring, the first of The Lord of the Rings movies, and I was back for the opening of The Two Towers. I loved the first movie so much that I was fully expecting to be disappointed. There’s nowhere to go from here but down, I thought. So I was moved to tears of absolute delight that The Two Towers is even better than The Fellowship of the Ring.

    The Two Towers has everything that I liked about Fellowship. It is powerful, poetic, and profoundly moving. It is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen. I completely share the sentiments of the friend with whom I saw it: “I wish I could live in that world. It may be grubby and dangerous, but it is more beautiful, and life is more significant.”

    The Lord of the Rings series is the most brilliant screen adaptation of a novel that I have ever seen. It is not always faithful to the letter of Tolkien — straying in ways that are not required by screen adaptation — but it is definitely faithful to his spirit.

    It makes no concessions to political correctness and multiracialism. It contains not a shred of Jewish propaganda. This is particularly astonishing since the whole story is about different races joining together in a common quest. But Tolkien has a deeply racialist vision, and he makes it very clear that the races of the fellowship all have White features. Thus the Rings movies contain one of the Whitest casts you will ever see. This is particularly true of The Two Towers, in which the people of Rohan are a beautiful collection of Nordics. As for the enemy races — the Orcs, the Uruk Hai, the Southrons, the Easterlings — they all have non-White features. Indeed, in Jackson’s adaptation, the stupid, muscular, aggressive, black-skinned Uruk Hai have long, stringy, matted hair that resembles dreadlocks and they are literally born from mud.

    Myth is a mirror in which we can see our souls, and as I mentioned in my review of Fellowship, I would argue that the different races of the fellowship actually represent different aspects of the White racial soul, and the question that animates Tolkien’s story is the same that animates Wagner’s Ring, Homer’s epics, Plato’s Republic, and much of Indo-European mythology: What is the proper internal ordering of the soul, the proper fellowship of its parts? Should we be ruled by our reason, our pride, or our desires? Is it better to be simple than cunning? Can our scientific and technological abilities to understand and master nature be ruled by wisdom and put to right use? Or are we too weak to use them without being corrupted by them, so the wisest use is not to use them at all?

    Let me count the ways I liked The Two Towers even more than Fellowship.

    First, the realization of the character Gollum — portrayed by Andy Serkis and a staff of computer animators — was absolutely stunning both technically and artistically. Jackson and Serkis brilliantly track the twists and turns of Gollum’s tortured inner labyrinth, making the complexities of the character fully intelligible. I felt deeply for Gollum, for the shreds of decency in his soul that were overcoming the darkness until Frodo’s tragic betrayal.

    Second, the character of Aragorn, played beautifully by Viggo Mortensen, emerges as a genuine epic hero. In Fellowship Mortensen played him in such a soft-spoken and detached manner that I wondered if he could ultimately bring off the role. Now I have no doubts. In The Two Towers, we see Aragorn transformed from a loner to a leader of men. His teacher is King Theoden of Rohan, brilliantly played by Bernard Hill.

    When Aragorn first meets Theoden, he gives the King bad counsel. He asks Theoden to spare the life of the traitor Grima Wormtongue. Theoden does so, with disastrous consequences. Aragorn and Gandalf also urge Theoden to ride out to meet the forces of Isengard in open battle, but Theoden elects to lead his people to the fortress of Helm’s Deep. When we see the armies of Isengard approach, we see the wisdom of Theoden’s decision. The Rohirrim would have been slaughtered if they had joined open battle, and Helm’s Deep would have held if Wormtongue had been dispatched.

    But the most important lesson Theoden imparts is when Aragorn besieges the King with pessimism about the possibility of victory. “What would you have me do?” Theoden asks, “Look at my men. Their courage hangs by a thread. If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance.” Theoden’s point is that true leadership is not about calculating the chances of a favorable outcome, but about inspiring men to do noble deeds no matter what the consequences. We see Aragorn pondering this lesson and taking it to heart. First, he instills courage in a terrified young man. Then, when the King’s own courage hangs by a thread, Aragorn encourages him to mount his charger and seek that end “worthy of remembrance.”

    Third, perhaps the greatest test of Jackson’s skill in this film was the realization of Tolkien’s most unlikely characters, Treebeard and his folk the Ents. I confess, I could never envision these walking, talking trees and their assault on Isengard without laughing, and I always thought them the weakest link in the novel. But Jackson made them totally believable. Treebeard is genuinely funny, but not the least bit ridiculous.

    Fourth, there are a number of other new characters, all of them beautifully portrayed: Brad Dourif, my favorite movie weirdo, plays Grima Wormtongue; Miranda Otto plays Eowyn, King Theoden’s niece, and Karl Urban Eomer his nephew; David Wenham plays Faramir of Gondor, the brother of Boromir.

    Some favorite lines: King Theoden asks, “How did it come to this?” as his Nordic remnant prepares for the onslaught of the mud hordes, passing out arms to teenage boys and old men. It brought to mind the Hitlerjugend and Volkssturm at the end of World War II. I wonder when our “leaders” will ask the same question, and will it be too late?

    The beautiful Eowyn declares that what she fears more than death or pain is “a cage,” a cage that she will grow used to over time. That, of course, is the attitude of a free man or woman. Unfortunately, the majority of Whites today fear pain and death — nay, mere social disapproval — far more than chains. Thus they are slaves in spirit, if not by law. Those who prefer comfort and security to freedom have none of them in the end. Of course the majority of Whites were probably like this in all times. But most of the time, the destiny of the race was determined not by the majority, but by the noble few.

    Fifth, as far as I can see, the only probable Jew who played a creative role in the Rings movies so far is composer Howard Shore, and he is the weakest link. Shore’s best work is for modern, urban, decadent, extremely Jewish movies like Crash and Naked Lunch. (His Crash score really is superb.)

    I was skeptical when I heard that Shore had been tapped for the Rings movies, and when I bought the soundtrack to Fellowship I was quite disappointed. It is so obviously derivative of countless superior scores, not to mention classical composers, that Jackson would have been better off with an Excalibur-type pastiche of Wagner and other composers. It would have been more honest, and the music would have been better too.

    Still, I have to hand it to Shore. His Ring and Quest themes and Elvish music are quite beautiful, and his music for the Shire has exactly the right pastoral feel. But the first movie was badly marred by the use of ominous chanting choruses (Carl Orff by way of Jerry Goldsmith) that has become such a tiresome and tasteless cliché in fantasy movies.

    The music to The Two Towers is much better. The chorus reappears, but only in a flashback to Fellowship. I especially love the grand and haunting music for the people of Rohan, particularly the use of the Norwegian fiddle, although if my ears do not deceive me, a lot of it is derivative of Miklos Rozsa’s brilliant score for El Cid. Also beautiful is “Gollum’s Song” sung by Emiliana Torrini over the closing credits. And no, it is not a “pop” song.

    The main reason that I found The Two Towers a more satisfying movie is that it is a more unified and well-rounded dramatic whole, whereas The Fellowship of the Ring is more episodic. Fellowship falls into two natural divisions. The first part sets up the quest to destroy the ring of power, covering more than three thousand years in which the ring is created, lost, and found again, and ending with the formation of the fellowship of the ring dedicated to destroying the ring by returning it to the fires of Mount Doom where it was forged. The second part of Fellowship shows the beginning of the quest itself. It too is episodic. Like all myths and sagas, it seems to lack dramatic unity.

    There is just one damn thing after another.

    Thus, as much as I loved Fellowship I do admit that I glanced at my watch around two hours in. In fairness to director Peter Jackson, however, this is a fault of Tolkien’s original, and Jackson actually makes Fellowship a more rounded dramatic whole by ending the movie with the beginning of Tolkien’s second book, The Two Towers (and he does it by brilliantly showing up close what Tolkien only narrates at a distance).

    The Two Towers takes its name from the two foci of evil in Middle Earth (Tolkien’s mythic equivalent of Europe): Orthanc, the tower of Isengard, the headquarters of the evil wizard Sauruman, and Barad-dur, the fortress of the Lord of the Rings himself, Sauron, the dark lord of Mordor. In the film of The Two Towers, Jackson focuses on the destruction of the forces of Isengard. He stops short of the end of the book, wisely reserving many events from its last chapters for the third film, The Return of the King, which tells the story of the final victory over Sauron.

    The novel The Two Towers suffers from being episodic as well. In part one, Tolkien cuts back and forth between the adventures of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli with the riders of Rohan and of Merry and Pippin with Treebeard and the Ents. These storylines climax with the defeat of the forces of Isengard on two fronts. Part two of the novel focuses on Frodo, Sam, and Gollum, but their storyline has no natural climax and simply runs on into the next book. Jackson mixes the two parts together, cutting back and forth between them, inserting the ongoing journey of Frodo and Sam into the story of the defeat of Isengard to create a very satisfying narrative that is so intelligible that even a dolt like Roger Ebert (who complained that he could not tell the characters in Excalibur apart) should be able to follow it.

    The Two Towers does not drag. In fact, it moves very quickly. I did look at my watch after two hours, but only because I was hoping that there would be two hours more to see!

    Ideologically, I loved The Two Towers on many levels, but two deserve special comment.

    First, Jackson has lifted the story of the romance between Aragorn and the Elf princess Arwen from one of Tolkien’s appendices and written it into the movie. This romance corresponds roughly to the romance of Siegfried and Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Ring, at least insofar as they both involve the joining of an immortal woman who loses her immortality to a mortal man.

    In Jackson’s hands, however, the lovers are parted. Why? For a reason that is utterly astonishing in today’s culture: they are of two different races, his mortal, hers immortal; they have two different destinies; thus they are incompatible; their romance was but a dream that could never be realized. Judging from his “chemistry” with Eowyn, Aragorn is destined to marry and perpetuate his own kind. Would that more Whites do the same!

    Second, The Two Towers underscores Tolkien’s strongly anti-technological and “green” politics, and it is good for people to think about these issues, particularly the most dangerous form of the denial of nature: the denial of race. Man lives at odds with nature only on borrowed time. On the other hand, we have to do justice to our own nature as well. And man’s nature is not merely to adapt his needs to the environment, but to adapt the environment to his needs. I think that Bacon’s principle that “Nature to be commanded must be obeyed,” does justice to both concerns.

    The main sources of the environmental crisis are not science, technology, and industry per se. Part of the problem is  human ignorance and error, which can only be fixed by better science and better technology. Part of the problem is moral, namely our choice to value every featherless biped, no matter how worthless or evil, over all other living things, no matter how noble and beautiful.

    But really, do we need more Africans when that means fewer lions and elephants and banyan trees? I do not value every non-human creature. I am for curing diseases and trimming the verge. But I do not value every human life either, and it is obvious that some non-human lives are more valuable than human lives. Once the world recognizes this, we can begin to make rational decisions about our impact on the natural world.

    But that will require addressing another part of the problem, the political: We need a political and economic system where the best rule for the good of all — all of nature, not merely all featherless bipeds. But instead, we have democracy and capitalism, which give equal weight to the preferences of the wise and the foolish, which means rule by the worst to the detriment of all.

    Tolkien seems to believe that science and technology — represented by the ring — are inherently destructive, that there is no way to make wise use of them, so me must forswear them altogether. I hope that this is not so. I hope that we can have a technological civilization that is in harmony with nature. But if we cannot, and if the price of technological civilization is the destruction of the most beautiful and noble creatures on this Earth, then I would prefer to live without technology. And I say this fully recognizing that I would have been dead long ago were it not for modern medicine.

    Americans are so self-absorbed and self-important that I am sure that somewhere they are searching for analogies between the Two Towers and America’s own Twin Towers — as if America were as important as Middle Earth. So try this analogy on for size: both sets of towers epitomize the technological, industrial society that is at war with the natural order, including the racial order. Both are symbols and centers of evil. And if they cannot be reformed then they must be destroyed, destroyed utterly.

    As I said in my review of The Fellowship of the Ring: I urge every White nationalist to see The Two Towers for a glimpse, in the here and now, of the White civilization that we have lost, and that we are working to create again.

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]917 words

    I am sorry to report that I was disappointed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first installment of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit [2].

    Jackson’s first mistake was trying to make a trilogy at all. The Hobbit is shorter than any of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. Thus its story could have been told completely and satisfyingly in a single movie of around two hours.

    While The Lord of the Rings movies [3] are long, they are actually in many ways masterworks of dramatic compression. To make The Hobbit into a trilogy, however, Jackson has attempted a masterwork of dramatic padding. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a masterwork of dramatic padding.

    There are three main types of padding in this movie: (1) slow and boring sequences, (2) fast and lame sequences, and (3) additions to the text.

    The first 30 minutes of the movie have a particularly slow and padded feel. It is as if Jackson decided simply to use the book as a script.

    Later in the movie, we get a lot of quick and lame padding: chase scenes, battle scenes, scenes of people falling and holding on for dear life, scenes of people falling hundreds or thousands of feet, again and again, and then bouncing back into action, as indestructible as Wile E. Coyote. It is supposed to be exciting. But it is so overdone that it becomes tedious and farcical. (There was a bit of this kind of padding in The Return of the King, e.g., as Sam, Frodo, and Gollum climbed the secret stairs into Mordor, and near the end when they reach Mount Doom.)

    The extra-textual padding comes from other works by Tolkien, such as the Appendices of The Lord of the Rings. These Appendices provide some context for The Hobbit, and if they had been used judiciously, they could have added more than just starch and filler. But in Jackson’s hands, all they amount to is a series of contrived and jarring cameos from characters from The Lord of the Rings.

    Only four characters from The Hobbit actually reappear in The Lord of the Rings: Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, Elrond, and Gollum. But in this movie, we also see Frodo, the aged Bilbo played by Ian Holm (although he actually looked like somebody else made up like Ian Holm), Saruman, and Galadriel. The wizard Radagast, who is only mentioned in the novel, is written into the story and given quite an extensive role.

    The trouble with all this padding is that the basic plot of The Hobbit feels a little padded as it is, with a one-damn-thing-after-another feel to it.

    Jackson’s second mistake is that he failed to strike the right tone for the movie. The Hobbit was written for teens and young adults. The Lord of the Rings virtually defined fantasy literature for grownups. The Hobbit is a fairy tale, whereas The Lord of the Rings is mythic and epic. Like every fairy tale, The Hobbit does touch upon serious themes, but they are treated in a light and farcical way. The Lord of the Rings is far more serious and sublime and moving. Jackson should have remained faithful to the storyline of The Hobbit, but he should also have teased out and amplified its serious elements, to unify it with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson does try to do this, but he also turns the farcical elements up to 11, and junks the story up with extra-textual elements, giving the whole movie a diffuse and strangely schizophrenic feel.

    I did somehow manage to enjoy this movie. It got better as it went on. I do recommend it. It is Tolkien, after all. If you love Tolkien like I do, you’ve already seen it anyway.

    I have touched on the bad parts. The best parts include the encounter with the three trolls, which is genuinely funny, and Bilbo’s encounter with Gollum, which is pure magic.

    Martin Freeman was well-cast as the younger Bilbo, and his performance is as good as Jackson allows, getting better and better as the movie picks up its pace. The same is true of Ian McKellen’s Gandalf. As for the 13 dwarves, you can hardly develop so many characters. Richard Armitage is a charismatic Thorin Oakenshield, Ken Stott is an extremely likable Balin, and Aiden Turner as Kíli is the Legolas of this trilogy, probably the world’s first dwarf sex symbol. (None of the dwarves are played by actual dwarf actors, apparently.)

    The music by Howard Shore was beautiful, as were the sets and costumes and landscapes (although the over-use of pastels gave many scenes the creepy, cloying tweeness of parts of The Lovely Bones). The special effects, particularly the monsters, were breath-taking.

    Like The Lord of the RingsThe Hobbit is completely free of any anti-white ideology. Everything about this movie is a celebration of whiteness, with a particular emphasis on Nordic and Celtic myth, culture, and art.

    But somehow, overall, the magic is lacking. This is The Hobbit as brought to us by the director of King Kong and The Lovely Bones rather than of The Lord of the Rings. Peter Jackson was certainly capable of making a great movie of The Hobbit, but I believe that he simply lacked faith in the material. Let us hope that the next two movies are much more tightly edited and properly pitched, so that this one is merely an anomaly, merely Peter Jackson’s equivalent of The Phantom Menace.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]688 words

    In his remake of King Kong, Peter Jackson dragged out the big ape’s death so long it felt like a lifetime. At the time, it merely seemed like a lapse of taste. In hindsight, it seems like the beginning of a whole new career characterized by megalomania, greed, one-upmanship, self-indulgence, and bad taste. It was just the first symptom of the dragon sickness that has now consumed him.

    The Battle of Five Armies begins with Smaug giving Laketown the Dresden treatment, then moves on to a grand battle between elves, orcs, dwarves, and men, with some birds and bears and bats and wizards thrown in. There is also a battle of Sauron and the nine spectral Nazgûl against Saruman, Galadriel, and Elrond. In short, the movie is mostly fights and special effects: beautifully made, occasionally memorable, but empty overall.

    Whether I recommend it or not makes no practical difference. If you have seen the first two movies, of course you will see this one. Peter Jackson Inc. is banking on it, and therein lies the rub. (If you have not seen the first two films it will make no sense.)

    As I noted in my reviews of the first two movies, The Hobbit is a children’s novel that is shorter than any of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. It could be told as a single two hour movie. But why settle for just one billion-dollar movie, when you can mutilate the book, turn it into three two-and-a-half hour movies, and rake in three times the gold? Jackson merely had to pad out the story with new characters, new scenes, and new subplots, all of them paper-thin, manipulative, and melodramatic. He also added new battles, new chases, and new narrow escapes, all of which are spectacular to watch but about as realistic as Road Runner cartoons. The net effect is uninvolving.

    To make matters worse, much of the new material is derivative of The Lord of the Rings. Either our filmmaker lacked inspiration, or it was simply an occasion for Jackson to one-up himself. You thought the crumbling Bridge of Khazad-dûm was cool in The Fellowship of the Ring? Well, wait until you see the falling tower in The Battle of Five Armies. Did you like the orc Aufmarsch from Minas Morgul in The Return of the King? Well, something all too similar (but less spectacular) awaits you here. Like the sandworms of Arrakis? Wait till you see the wereworms of Middle Earth. Did you like Galadriel’s dark queen tantrum in Fellowship? Well, she tops that here too. Etc., etc. Unfortunately, when you combine derivativeness and one-upmanship, the result is parody.

    Finally, as Kevin MacDonald pointed out in a review [2] of The Hobbit’s first installment, Peter Jackson has caved in to political correctness. In The Lord of the Rings, he was faithful to Tolkien’s vision, portraying the peoples of Middle Earth as white and the human and non-human hosts of Sauron as non-white. In the first Hobbit movie, however, Jackson introduces white-skinned (and even blue-eyed) orcs and goblins. In the second film he includes non-whites—Asians and blacks or Papuans—among the citizens of Laketown.

    In the new film, the women and children of Laketown—like those of Rohan in The Two Towers—are barricaded in a hall while their men fight. This, of course, makes sense, because biologically speaking, men are more expendable than women in a fight for survival. In the new film, however, a mannish suffragette rallies the women to go off and die with the men. At least the connection between feminism and racial suicide is relatively clear here. (And before you remind me of how Eowyn disguised herself as a man and went into battle in The Return of the King, let me remind you that Athena, Joan of Arc, and Eowyn are exceptions, not rules, and exceptions should never become the rule.)

    When the characters are not scurrying around fighting one another, The Battle of Five Armies dwells at length—but without depth or a hint of self-knowledge—on how greed corrupts integrity. The whole wretched trilogy is ample proof of that.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Why I Write
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    [1]1,537 words

    Why do I write movie and television reviews from a White Nationalist perspective? It’s complicated.

    First and foremost, I write because I love film. I think that film is the realization of Richard Wagner’s idea of the “complete work of art” (Gesamtkunstwerk), a form of art that incorporates all other art forms: music, dance, acting, sculpture, painting, architecture, etc. Film better realizes Wagner’s ambitions than opera, since film can show things that opera merely tells.

    By integrating so many art forms, film can communicate more, and more deeply, to more people, than any single art form. (The same is true of television. The screen is just smaller.) I loved film long before I became a White Nationalist, and I had been intending to write a book on David Lynch before I had my political awakening.

    Second, I write because movies are a force. They are the greatest tool ever invented for shaping people’s ideas and imaginations. In the right hands, they can be a force for good. In the wrong hands, they are a force for evil. Unfortunately, the film industry in the United States and Europe is overwhelmingly controlled by an alien and hostile people, the Jews.

    Jews use movies as a tool to promote ideas and values that are destructive of my race and civilization: race-mixing and multiculturalism, white guilt and self-hatred, feminism and emasculation, the valorization of Jews and non-whites, etc. Film reviews are one way that I can fight back.

    But I am often asked, “If the movies are full of anti-white propaganda, why not just boycott them altogether—and encourage others to do so as well? If you believe that Jews are using movies and television as tools of genocide against our race, then it is wrong to watch them, encourage others to watch them, or give the people behind them a single dime.” I reject this argument for three reasons.

    (A) A complete boycott of movies and TV would be a quixotic and futile gesture. Boycotts only work if there are numerous participants who can monitor each other to enforce compliance. If I boycotted movies and TV, I would be the only one. Nobody would join me, and if anyone did join, they would cheat. They would enjoy warm feelings of righteousness for a few minutes, then reach for the remote.

    (B) Moreover, movies and television are so much a part of people’s lives that any White Nationalist who seriously attempted to boycott them would end up even more socially isolated and alienated than is normal for our people. Socializing with friends and family often involves watching TV and movies, or at least discussing them.

    There’s also a larger point here: We cannot change the world by disengaging from it. We need to engage it and turn it in our direction. If we want to make a difference, we cannot retreat from the world to preserve our purity. We need to find a way of being in the world, but not of it.

    (C) Boycotting TV and movies is throwing away a golden opportunity to reach our people. The film, television, and advertising industries comprise a vast number of highly intelligent, creative individuals with many billions of dollars of capital at their disposal, with which they create a 24/7 matrix of genocidal anti-white propaganda. White Nationalists cannot compete with that. Sure, we can dream of having our own mass media someday. But that will be after the revolution, not before. So what do we do in the meantime?

    We can’t get our people to turn off the propaganda. We can’t create anywhere enough of our own television and movie propaganda to counter the establishment’s. But we can teach our people to see through the propaganda. And all it takes is a few perceptive and talented writers, the cost of Netflix and a few movie tickets, and a few dollars a month to host a website. Yet for that small investment, we can negate the propaganda churned out by legions of enemies with billions in capital. This is asymmetrical cultural warfare at its best. Our power is limited only by our readership. But on the web, that can grow very quickly.

    Furthermore, I don’t just talk about specific movies and TV shows. I also illustrate the general principles of anti-white propaganda, teaching my readers how to decode propaganda in general. This has two profound effects.

    (1) Whenever a brainwashed person is exposed to propaganda, it reinforces the establishment message. However, when we teach people to see through propaganda, then each new exposure reinforces our message instead. Imagine a young man who stumbles across one of my reviews because he is reading up on a movie he wants to see. He might like my interpretation or hate it. He might even reject my claims about the propaganda content of the film. But if he is bright, he will carry away a template for viewing other films, and he will begin to see the same patterns again and again. Gradually, the establishment’s power over his mind will fade, and the nagging little voice of Trevor Lynch will get louder and louder.

    (2) When people learn to see through anti-white propaganda, they are often shocked by its omnipresence. It is one thing to see propaganda here and there. It is another thing to see it everywhere. Even I am still shocked when I visit friends who have cable. The anti-white message is everywhere: in every cooking program, every cute animal show, every house makeover program. You can’t escape it, and that’s no accident. When you see the omnipresence of the lie, you have a concrete experience of the system’s totalitarian nature and genocidal intent.

    There is, however, a sense in which I boycott television, and I recommend others do so as well. I don’t watch broadcast television, and I refuse to pay for cable. So I don’t watch commercials, and the only TV series I see are downloaded or on DVD. I don’t like being “programmed.” My slogan is “Program yourself.” And I just don’t want to spend the money.

    It astonishes me how much money White Nationalists pay to people who hate them in order to have toxic propaganda piped into their homes. It is even more shocking when you compare your monthly cable bill to your monthly donations to Counter-Currents or other pro-white websites, where people are actually fighting against the lies. So if you feel the need to boycott someone, cancel your cable and subscribe to a monthly donation [2] to Counter-Currents instead. Don’t be the sort of person who pays to be poisoned but counts on the antidote to be free.

    I don’t write reviews just because I want to pan bad movies. I also want to praise good ones. And from a White Nationalist point of view, there are a lot of good movies out there.

    The best movies are what I call the Goebbels Awards laureates. These are movies made by mainstream modern directors that Joseph Goebbels would not change a frame of. These include The Lord of the Rings [3] trilogy, Gangs of New York [4], A History of Violence [5], Miller’s Crossing, Cabaret, and Quiz Show.

    Of course, most good movies that are useful from a White Nationalist perspective are also flawed, some of them slightly (like Fight Club or The Dark Knight [6]), some of them deeply (like Pulp Fiction [7] and The Matrix [8]). It often takes some adroit thinking to separate the good elements from the bad.

    But the potential rewards are immense. Many White Nationalists justifiably lament the decline of education and rampant cultural illiteracy. People used to learn Latin, but now they devote their brain power to memorizing sports statistics. People used to read Plato and Shakespeare, but now they stare at shining screens. Kids today know more about Batman than George Washington, more about the Battle of Helm’s Deep than the Battle of Lepanto, more about Middle Earth than the Middle Ages. How can reactionary old cranks live in the past if nobody knows anything about it?

    Now, I would like nothing better than to write essays about Plato, Nietzsche, and Evola for the rest of my life. And I would be doing just that, if my race were not being marched into oblivion. I want to fight, and that means I need to communicate. So I stopped lamenting other people’s cultural illiteracy and started correcting my own: my pop-cultural illiteracy. Because there is no more powerful medium than film at implanting images in people’s minds, and if we know those images, we can use them to communicate our ideas. And as I have shown, one can use Pulp Fiction [7]to teach Plato, Batman Begins [9] and The Dark Knight [6] to teach Nietzsche and Evola, etc.

    As a writer, editor, businessman, and community organizer, I have to divide my time finely and spread myself pretty thin. But if I could delegate some of my jobs to others so I could focus full time on just one thing, I would write movie reviews. Not because it would be the most personally fulfilling, but because there is nothing I can do for our cause that is more effective at unplugging our people from the Matrix [8] and showing them the path toward the White Republic.

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • New Release! Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    LynchCover2

    [1]Trevor Lynch
    Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies
    Foreword by Kevin MacDonald
    Edited by Greg Johnson
    San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012
    200 pages

    Release Date: February 22, 2013

    Hardcover: $35 

    Quantity:  

    Paperback: $20 

    Quantity:  

    Since 2001, Trevor Lynch’s witty, pugnacious, and profound film essays and reviews have developed a wide following among cinephiles and White Nationalists alike. Lynch deals frankly with the anti-white bias and Jewish agenda of many mainstream films, but he is even more interested in discerning positive racial messages and values, sometimes in the most unlikely places.

    Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies gathers together some of his best essays and reviews covering 32 movies, including his startling philosophical readings of Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and Mishima; his racialist interpretations of The Lord of the Rings and Gangs of New York; his masculinist takes on The Twilight Saga and A History of Violence; his insights into the Jewish nature of the superhero genre occasioned by Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy movies; and his hilarious demolitions of The Matrix TrilogyThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series, and the detritus of Quentin Tarantino’s long decline.

    Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies establishes its author as a leading cultural theorist and critic of the North American New Right.

    “Trevor Lynch provides us with a highly literate, insightful, and even philosophical perspective on film—one that will send you running to the video rental store for a look at some very worthwhile movies—although he is also quite willing to tell you what not to see. He sees movies without the usual blinders. He is quite aware that because Hollywood is controlled by Jews, one must typically analyze movies for their propaganda value in the project of white dispossession. Trevor Lynch’s collection is a must read for anyone attempting to understand the deep undercurrents of the contemporary culture of the West.”

     – Kevin MacDonald, author of The Culture of Critique, from the Foreword

    “Hollywood has been deconstructing the white race for nearly a century. Now Trevor Lynch is fighting back, deconstructing Hollywood from a White Nationalist point of view. But these essays are not just of interest to White Nationalists. Lynch offers profound and original insights into more than 30 films, including Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy, and Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. These essays combine a cultural and philosophical sophistication beyond anything in film studies today with a lucid, accessible, and entertaining prose style. Every serious cineaste needs to read this book.”

    – Edmund Connelly

     “The Hollywood movie may be the greatest vehicle of deception ever invented, and the passive white viewer is its primary target. Yet White Nationalist philosopher and film critic Trevor Lynch demonstrates that truth is to be found even in this unlikeliest of places. If American audiences could learn the kind of critical appreciation Mr. Lynch demonstrates for them, their seductive enemies in Tinseltown wouldn’t stand a chance.”

    – F. Roger Devlin, author of Alexandre Kojève and the Outcome of Modern Thought

    Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies is not some collection of vein-popping rants about Hollywood’s political agendas. It’s a thoughtful and engaging examination of ideas in popular films from a perspective you won’t find in your local newspaper or in Entertainment Weekly. Lynch has chosen films that—in many cases—he actually enjoyed, and playfully teased out the New Right themes that mainstream reviewers can only afford to address with a careful measure of scorn. How many trees have been felled to print all of the Marxist, feminist, minority-pandering ‘critiques’ of contemporary celluloid over the past fifty years? Isn’t it about time we read an explicitly white review of The Fellowship of the Ring, or a Traditionalist take on The Dark Knight?”

    – Jack Donovan, author of The Way of Men

     “Hunter Thompson said that Las Vegas was ‘what the whole hep world would be doing Saturday night if the Nazis had won the War.’ Like liberalism, that’s clever but wrong. If the Good Guys had won, we ‘hepsters’ would be at the movies, experiencing the ultimate art form, but made by racially aware white artists, not today’s Hollywood culture-distorters. This book is the next best thing: Trevor Lynch reviews today’s films from an artistically sensitive, culturally informed, but most of all unfailingly pro-white perspective. He doesn’t just warn you away from the obviously bad, but explains how the poison works and where it comes from, and even finds racially uplifting stuff where you’d least expect it—Pulp Fiction? Read it, and you’ll never feel the need to pay good money to be seen weeping at another Holocaust movie again.”

    – James J. O’Meara, author of The Homo and the Negro

    CONTENTS

    Foreword by Kevin MacDonald • iii

    Editor’s Note by Greg Johnson • vii

    1. Introduction: Why I Write • 1

    The Lord of the Rings
    2. The Fellowship of the Ring • 7
    3. The Two Towers • 11
    4. The Return of the King • 18
    5. “The Scouring of the Shire” • 22

    Christopher Nolan
    6. Batman Begins • 27
    7. The Dark Knight • 31
    8. The Dark Knight Rises • 42
    9. Inception • 54

    Guillermo del Toro
    10. Cronos, The Devil’s Backbone, & Pan’s Labyrinth • 57
    11. Hellboy • 63
    12. Hellboy II: The Golden Army • 68

    Quentin Tarantino
    13. Pulp Fiction • 73
    14. Kill Bill: Vol. I • 97
    15. Inglourious Basterds • 102
    16. Django Unchained • 109

    The Matrix Movies
    17. The Matrix Reloaded • 115
    18. The Matrix Revolutions • 121

    The Twilight Saga
    19. Twilight • 126
    20. New Moon • 131
    21. Eclipse • 134
    22. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 • 138
    23. Breaking Dawn, Part 2 • 143

    The Millennium Trilogy
    24. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo • 145
    25. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Remake • 149
    26. The Girl Who Played with Fire • 152
    27. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest • 156

    Violence & Redemption
    28. 300 • 159
    29. Gangs of New York • 163
    30. A History of Violence • 168
    31. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters • 173
    32. The Baader-Meinhof Complex • 185

    About the Author • 190

    Release Date: February 22, 2013

    Hardcover: $35 

    Quantity:  

    Paperback: $20 

    Quantity:  

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Foreword to Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    LynchCover2

    [1]1,042 words

    Editor’s Note: 

    The paperback copies of Trevor Lynch’s White Nationalist Guide to the Movies [2] arrived here Wednesday, and we are now shipping them out. The hardcovers take a little longer to print, but they will be here soon. Let us know if you want your copy signed. Order your copy today [2]!

    Trevor Lynch provides us with a highly literate, insightful, and even philosophical perspective on film—one that will send you running to the video rental store for a look at some very worthwhile movies—although he is also quite willing to tell you what not to see, e.g.: “No white person should pay a nickel to see [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo].” He sees movies without the usual blinders. He is quite aware that because Hollywood is controlled by Jews, one must typically analyze movies for their propaganda value in the project of white dispossession.

    His review of The Matrix Reloaded is a great example of calling attention to the anti-white animus that pervades Hollywood now: “Looking at a movie like this, you would almost believe that White civilization could not have been created without the contributions of blacks, browns, yellows, Jews,” etc.

    Naturally, in such an environment, one must expect that supervillains will be Nazis or obvious Aryans, or at least they won’t look Jewish or have Jewish names. On the other hand, “superheroes tend to function as symbolic proxies for Jews”—fighting for the values of egalitarian, anti-racialist universalism that have come to define the values of the Jewish Diaspora in the West (but are anathema to Jews in Israel).

    However, from my reading of this collection of essays, Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy movies would seem to be pretty much the worst sort of media imaginable, creating an upside-down world of a contemporary Sweden filled with native Swedish rapists and highly placed Nazis. Larsson has completely internalized a Jewish mindset to the point that in his fiction Jewish lives are more important than non-Jewish lives. “In Guillaume Faye’s terms, [people like Larsson] are textbook ethnomasochists and xenophiles. They would prefer their own people to be murdered rather than Jews (Jews above all) and assorted totemic ‘others.’ Sick, sick people.”

    The fact that writers like Larsson have a wide following and are able to have their work made into popular movies is a telling testimony to our time.

    However, despite Hollywood’s pervasive hatred of whites and our culture, a precious few movies do speak to our ideals and hopes for a return to an explicit sense of white consciousness and destiny. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is certainly in this category because of its message—so resonant today—of saving the people and culture of the West from dark hordes led by evil schemers with names like Sauron that sound alien to the European spirit and, to my ears at least, even have Semitic overtones.

    Lynch also notes that many other movies have powerful messages that are dangerous to the status quo, but they appear “only in the mouths of monsters”—such as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. The Joker is a Nietzschean Übermensch: unafraid of death, he cares nothing for money, and he has no respect for society’s rules—indeed, no moral compunctions at all. Such a monster is dangerous to the contemporary Western Zeitgeist which depends most of all on a strong sense of moral universalism and the value of all life, even when it means the suicide of the West. Moral principles trump even survival as a culture and a people. Such a moral universalism is antithetical to the particularist imperative of white survival.

    Unfortunately, the Joker cares nothing for his people and culture: he is the epitome of radical and even pathological individualism. But a cadre of people who are committed to Western survival, who are unafraid of death, uninterested in the easily available decadent pleasures of the contemporary world, and without the moral scruples of egalitarian universalism would be dangerous indeed to the current Zeitgeist. Of course, this would require a sense of moral commitment to the culture and people of the West—including the many whites who have been corrupted or are wanting in other ways—that is quite foreign to the Joker.

    But the best example of wisdom from the mouths of monsters is Bill the Butcher from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York, who states what is unthinkable in today’s America, committed as it is to White displacement—that “America is an organic community, a community of blood: a community purchased by the blood of its founders to safeguard the blood of their posterity. . . . [Bill the Butcher] sees that Lincoln’s artificial ‘Union’ devoted to the ‘proposition’ of equality is the mortal enemy of an organic community based on blood.” I imagine that more than a few whites in the audience agreed with those sentiments.

    Lynch shows that even the most popular fare may have implicit messages that conflict with the general anti-white narrative of Hollywood, if only because Hollywood sees these films as a way of making money. For example, the first Twilight movie paints a picture of an implicitly white world that accentuates the beauty of white people. And I was surprised to find that there are still vestiges of popular culture that celebrate traditional sexual values: “The Twilight Saga is an explicit defense of virginity followed by marriage and motherhood and an explicit rejection of pre-marital sex and sexual promiscuity.” And there is the message that “manliness is a good thing: women are attracted to primal strength and aggression.”

    Another example is A History of Violence, which upholds the value of masculine men who are willing to form families but also willing and able to fight for the protection of the family and for civilization itself—an image that is all too rare in an age where gangsta rap stars are far more likely to be promoted by Hollywood as appropriate role models for young males.

    There is much else here—philosophical thoughts on hedonism, post-modernism, decadence, aesthetics, honor and pride versus self-preservation and money, cultural integrity versus multiculturalism—all framed within a pro-white worldview. Trevor Lynch’s collection is a must read for anyone attempting to understand the deep undercurrents of the contemporary culture of the West.

    Kevin MacDonald
    Long Beach
    November 28, 2012

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Tom Sunić Interviews Greg Johnson
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    7,159 words

    [1]

    Mastiff from Assyrian lion hunt relief, British Museum

    The following text is the transcript by V. S. of Tom Sunić’s The Sunić Journal interview with Greg Johnson about Counter-Currents and the North American New Right. This interview first published at the Voice of Reason network on August 9, 2011 but is no longer online there.

    Tom Sunić: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Good evening, dear friends! This is your host Tom Sunić from VoR. Welcome back!

    Well, folks, you already know me; I like discussing culture and politics and I keep insisting and I keep emphasizing, I keep pointing out the importance of culture as a main artillery that we need to have in our political promotion, our political activities and our political goals. So, I’m very pleased indeed to welcome our guest, a friend of mine, Dr. Greg Johnson.

    Greg, welcome to my show!

    Greg Johnson: Thanks, Tom, for having me on!

    TS: Well, thank you! It’s a great pleasure. Indeed, long time no see. I understand you’re on the other side in California. Am I correct?

    GJ: Yeah, I’m on the West Coast now.

    TS: First, let me extend my congratulations and my best greetings. I’m really pleased with what you’re doing. In fact, I’m very pleased with some of your publications. The other day I had this gentleman on my show, Andy Nowicki, and I had a great pleasure. I read the book by the gentleman called Kendall. What’s the title of the book? I received it from you directly, so please accept my gratitude, my thanks for what you did. In fact, they’re excellent, marvelous books. I’ve been following your activities down in California and I’m very, very pleased with what you’re doing.

    Could you please tell our listeners what is Counter-Currents, what is this edition all about, what is basically the goal of Counter-Currents? Could you please develop on this theme a little bit?

    GJ: Sure, thanks. Counter-Currents Publishing Ltd is a company that my friend and business partner, Michael Polignano, and I created, and the purpose of it is to publish books and spread ideas that are based in the European New Right and the goal of that is to perhaps spark a North American New Right by which we understand a cultural, intellectual, metapolitical movement that may eventually lead to real political change in North America.

    We published six books now. We’ve been doing this a little more than a year. Our one year anniversary was the 11th of June this past month. The books we’ve published are Michael O’Meara’s Toward the White Republic, Michael Polignano’s Taking Our Own Side, I put out a collection of essays called Confessions of a Reluctant Hater, then we published a couple of fiction works. You mentioned Andy Nowicki’s book. It’s called The Columbine Pilgrim and Ward Kendall’s science fiction novel which is a re-edition of a book that came out about 10 years ago called Hold Back This Day. Our latest book, which is fresh off the press, is called Summoning the Gods. It’s a collection of essays by Collin Cleary, who is one of the founding editors of the journal Tyr and I’ll be sending off a copy of that for you soon, Tom.

    TS: I’m very pleased. In fact, you seem to have lined up some real heavyweights and I’d like to tell you: I think I’m pretty much qualified to talk about this. I’m surprised how good the authors are you’ve lined up, especially Michael O’Meara. I’ve always admired this gentleman. In fact, he’s not just a great author. He’s also a great translator. And you yourself, Greg. Don’t be too modest. You need to tell the folks that you handle the French language very well, and you’re doing a great deal of translation. You also did help me on several occasions.

    Could you just tell us a little bit, just in a few minutes about your background, your PhD in the humanities? Could you tell me specifically where did you study, where did you get your PhD?

    GJ: Actually, I don’t want to do that and for one simple reason. There are people in the United States and around the world who are trying to suppress the kind of intellectual activity that you and I are engaged in, and so far they have not managed to put together a coherent dossier about me. They’re still wondering who I am. There are a lot of Greg Johnsons in the world.

    TS: Oh, good point! That’s a very good point!

    GJ: So, I’m really loath to make their work any easier for them. I don’t doubt that eventually they’re going to figure it all out, but they are of course afraid of lawsuits, and if they were to identify the wrong Greg Johnson as the horrible hater who puts out these books and the Counter-Currents blog, well, they might be hit with a lawsuit themselves for a change. So, anyway, let’s just leave that aside.

    TS: No, no, that’s a very good point that you’ve made and I’m very pleased that you’ve said it. Unfortunately, my name is pretty much unique. Sunić even sounds like French unique. It’s unique. The French language is full of those antonyms and synonyms. So, unfortunately, I don’t have this chance of going under a different name.

    But, anyway, could you just tell me what specifically your interests are? Definitely humanities and languages.

    GJ: My main interests are philosophy, political theory, religion, the history of art and music, and contemporary political events.

    So, what Counter-Currents is about is basically this: we realize that political change requires foundations. There are things that come before politics. We call those metapolitical things, and they shape the political and make political change possible. What we want is not considered morally right or even feasible, not even conceivable by people today in today’s cultural climate. If we’re going to halt the dispossession of European White Americans and create some kind of ethnically defined state in North America, the first thing we’re going to have to do is get enough of our fellow White people to think that is not only a moral goal, but also a practical, feasible goal.

    And so a lot of political movements start with the foundations. They start with metapolitical foundations and sometimes it takes decades before they can actually break through into the political realm.

    The best example I can give of what we’re going to do is actually not so much the European New Right, although a lot of the ideas that we look to are based in the European New Right, the best example from the United States is the libertarian movement.

    The libertarian movement really started a little more than 50 years ago. It started in Ayn Rand’s living room in New York City and other places on the East Coast. It was a small group of philosophers and economists and historians who got together and decided that they wanted to promote a certain vision of society, which turns out to be a radically individualist, capitalist vision of society. I don’t agree with that vision. I think it’s wrong. However, the way in which they went about promoting it was very effective. They started out with little meetings and little publications. They won more and more people over to their way of thinking. In 1971, a political party, the Libertarian Party, was founded, and it is the third largest political party in the United States today. Of course, it’s a distant, distant third compared to the major two parties. They created institutes, think tanks: the Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Independent Institute, the Ayn Rand Institute. They have sponsored summer schools, essay competitions, a whole range of projects, and they have influenced the culture in mostly a subterranean way for decades now.

    And then in the last quarter of 2007, suddenly this figure, Ron Paul, who is a very marginal Republican legislator from Texas, who would poll in the single digits even among insider Republicans when it came to potential presidential candidates for instance, suddenly he came out of nowhere and managed to raise $20 million in the last three months of 2007 to run for the Republican presidential nomination. As if from nowhere, all these Ron Paul supporters emerged, raised a huge amount of money, and sparked a very, very active, idealistic political movement. Of course, when he didn’t get the nomination he took nearly $5 million in unspent campaign contributions and endowed an organization he called Campaign for Liberty that fights for his ideas.

    That organization and the Ron Paul movement in general, after the election of Barack Obama, really sparked the Tea Party, which is an ongoing sort of Right-wing, libertarian, somewhat populist phenomenon and that is still a very active force in American politics today. Ron Paul’s son is in the U. S. Senate now, and this is going to continue for a long time.

    Now, some people were totally taken by surprise at the emergence of Paul and his followers, but actually if you know how ideas percolate through society and how they influence politics. It really didn’t surprise me at all, because I had been following this movement for decades, and they were laying very carefully the metapolitical foundations of political change.

    I should say that I follow the New Democratic Party, the NDP, in Germany, and they talk about three elements to their political struggle. One is spreading ideas, the other is building community or community organizing, if you will, and the third is actually trying to get political power. Those first two things, namely getting ideas out and community organizing, those are what I call metapolitics.

    TS: Greg, I was wondering, what does the American New Right . . . I understand that you’re not an official, but you’re sort of a leader or spokesman of it. How does it fit into this scheme, this vision that you have just mentioned a while ago?

    GJ: If we’re going to have the kind of really radical political change that we need in North America, we’re going to have to lay the metapolitical foundations. That means we’re going to need a movement and, for better or worse, I am going to call it the North American New Right. I am waiting for somebody better to come along to be the leader of this and raise the banner, but no one’s done it yet, so I decided I might as well just try and get this thing rolling and see if we can attract a lot of interesting new people, including better minds than my own.

    The purpose of the North American New Right is again to lay metapolitical foundations for creating a White, ethnically defined society somewhere in North America. That’s how I describe it.

    The main ideas really come out of Europe. However, there are a couple of places we differ from the European New Right. In Europe, you still have real, living ethnically defined nations and sub-nations. You’ve got the French, you’ve got the Germans, Croatians . . . All of you still have real national identities which can be foci around which you can organize for your collective interests, whereas in the United States and in other what you can call European diaspora societies, European colonial societies like Canada, Australia, New Zealand . . . What you have here is really a core population that was from the British Isles, but generation after generation of immigration from other parts of Europe have really created a blended European identity. We really don’t have a distinct core ethnic identity in this part of the world. We have tried to make do with a set of universal propositions from the Enlightenment, but that is really destructive of peoplehood. It’s very destructive of peoplehood in the United States. It’s very destructive of the French people in France. This republicanism, this ideology of liberty . . .

    TS: . . . This is a fascinating point you’ve just made and I hope that our listeners, especially our younger students are listening to what you’re saying. However, this is an irony of history. Keep in mind, and I’m sure you’re aware of that. After all, you have the same degree, you have the same background that I do. But precisely this “tribal nationalism,” Germans, English, French, Croats, what have you, very often functions by default and this is the problem. I hate to say it, but I’ll give a speech on that in D.C. but you can develop on that shortly. The problem is that we often hear in Europe to assert our nationalism by excluding the other European ones. Do you see what I mean?

    This is the great advantage of White Americans. From Arkansas to Alaska there is one language, one culture, one people. Of course, of European roots that at least logistically gives them greater strength.

    Would you agree with that? I’m sorry to interrupt you.

    GJ: Yeah, that’s a very good point and I do agree with that. This is how I look at it. Because we don’t have these compact, historical European national identities over here, we do need to emphasize another commonality. For me, it cannot be some kind of propositional nation based on Enlightenment ideals, because those are applied universally, and they are destructive of peoplehood.

    For the North American New Right, biological race is an important thing, because that is a distinct commonality that sets us apart whereas in the European New Right, biological race discourse is not as necessary, because you can fall back on your European national identities.

    However, you are completely right to point out that . . .

    TS: It’s a good point. It’s a fascinating point that you’re making. I’m very pleased that you mentioned that in American White Nationalism race is a biological determinant. It’s much more important than in Europe. This causes a great deal of misunderstandings and tensions, especially with my French friends here. But go ahead, please.

    GJ: There are two issues here. I do agree, however, that European nationalism can be turned against the interests of Europe. I remember a few years ago people were very excited about this Hungarian nationalist party called Jobbik and so I started reading about them. It turns out that Jobbik is all about being mad at the Slovakians and the Romanians.

    TS: Absolutely! You’re reading my mind! This is exactly what I’m talking about!

    GJ: There are all kinds of people who are genuine aliens to Europe living within the borders of Hungary. Jobbik is not worried about Gypsies or Jews or people from the Middle East or whoever is there. They want to recreate Greater Hungary at the expense of the Slovakians, and I think that is a madness that in the United States we don’t have, and so that’s a strength.

    One thing that I think you can say is a benefit of these European diaspora societies with their mixed European identities is that, in a way, it’s at least possible, that what we’re doing here is reconstituting a pan-European identity that existed in Europe too before the emergence of these modern nation-states and nationalities. In Europe in the High Middle Ages, you had a pan-European culture. You had a common language. You had the capacity to unify Europe for geopolitical struggles against Islam, for instance. But then that disintegrated into the smaller, petty nationalisms of Europe today, and that has been something that has weakened us as a race.

    So, I do think that some of the deracination, if you will, of these European colonial societies actually can strengthen us as a race, and I think that is a positive thing, and you’re absolutely right to point out the problems with these petty nationalist parties in Europe today.

    TS: Greg, I am so glad you’ve mentioned it. Believe it or not, I am not trying to flatter you. You’ve given such a nice speech that many, many academics in Europe would not be able to deliver. I’m not joking. I’m very pleased that you have mentioned that. Look, we’re not fooling each other here. Nationalism has its good side, particularly in the United States where it could have great opportunities. But I know it first hand after this terrible, stupid war between Serbs and Croats quarreling about different mythologies, different lies, different religions. So, folks, rest assured that nationalism always has to be evaluated with the appropriate intellectual and historical context.

    Anyway, this is a fascinating topic, but let’s just move a little bit ahead. Let’s talk a little bit about Counter-Currents. Are you actually talking about this on your forum? You were also in charge of The Occidental Quarterly some time ago, or the main editor, so you do have baggage, so to speak, intellectual, academic baggage to be quite versed in different spheres and different fields. Could you tell me exactly how you deal with those topics? My second question is how do you define your relationship with the French New Right, with my friends Alain de Benoist (I’ll be seeing him shortly) and how exactly do you think this cohesion can work together, how you can blend them together? Why do we always have to say, “he’s French” and “he’s an American”? I’m getting tired of those little, petty quarrels and tribalistic wars.

    Go ahead.

    GJ: Let me answer the second question first about how we relate to the European New Right. Basically, I think that what Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye and Robert Steuckers and other European New Right thinkers are up to is largely correct. I think there are two places where our approach differs from theirs. I mentioned one, which is a greater emphasis on biological race as a commonality. However, I do want to say that a lot of us are not reductionists or determinists when it comes to biology, but we do think it’s an important factor nonetheless. But that’s a genuine debate within our ranks. There are hardcore materialist, Darwinist types, and then there are people who are followers of things like Traditionalism, which obviously consorts uneasily with Darwinism in a lot of ways. So, we are genuinely divided in that, and I’m hoping that maybe someday we can work out some kind of synthesis.

    The other area where I think that we differ is that in the United States we certainly are, I think, much more explicit about the whole so-called “Jewish Question” than the European New Right. There are real debates on that. Guillaume Faye’s book, The New Jewish Question, for instance. I think that with the European New Right it’s possible for you to deal with a lot of these issues that we deal with under the rubric of the Jewish Question indirectly, in effect by proxy, by just being anti-American, to put it crudely. But really the United States is the citadel of Jewish power in the world, and I think that we have to name the problem and deal with it explicitly. So, that’s one thing that we try to do.

    However, I do want to specify that I don’t want to compete with Kevin McDonald’s work on this topic, and The Occidental Observer is a very, very good publication. So, it’s an issue for us, but it’s not our main focus, if that makes sense.

    TS: Of course, we have to point it out to all of our listeners that what I personally like about Counter-Currents and your publications is that you don’t seem to be obsessed just with one single issue. Of course, you talk about race, you talk about the Jewish Question in a very critical manner which we cannot even imagine or think about here in Europe for obvious reasons which we don’t need to be that explicit. But I am pleased that you actually extend the horizons, that you cover poetry and you cover art and other fields. And this is something I’d like to focus on now in the second segment of our show.

    So, go ahead. Could you just give me a short summary of how you actually grapple, how you cope with that?

    GJ: OK. I am obviously an intellectual, not a businessman, because if I was really a businessman the first thing I would have done is given the web address for Counter-Currents right up front. So, let me give that now. It’s counter-currents.com and that is the website of our publishing imprint, but the first thing you’ll see is a kind of blog and five days a week we put up articles and reviews. That is really the thing that I spend 60-70% of my time working on, just the webzine. Then we also publish books.

    The focus of the webzine eventually will expand. I hope to have full coverage of all the important works coming out of Europe. I hope to have a lot more coverage of High Culture, if you will: art criticism, music criticism, things like that and also pop culture and musical sub-cultures on the Right. That’s a very important area. We just don’t have the coverage yet.

    What we are trying to do though is we want to cover everything. Why? Well, because the European heritage encompasses everything. You don’t have to go too far back in history, either, before you find that every great philosopher would be considered a Right-wing extremist by contemporary standards. We want to recover that tradition for us and show that the Western philosophical tradition, the Western theological tradition, Western literary and artistic tradition really point in the direction that we want to go rather than in the direction of this kind of homogenized, global, multicultural, commercial melting pot.

    So, we have a lot of stuff on literature, a lot of stuff on art and music and also film. Film is probably the thing we’ve got best under control.

    TS: That’s very important, the film.

    GJ: I actually think that what Wagner was describing as the complete work of art that integrates all the other artworks was realized better by film than by opera. I think that film is the most powerful intellectual tool for creating a world-view. Unfortunately, for the most part, it creates a bad worldview and reinforces it.

    TS: . . . Please do tell just in one little sentence or one little paragraph, if I can put it that way, what exactly is the difference between the European New Right and the North American New Right? I don’t see any, but just try to make those distinctions quite clear for our younger audience, for our younger students here.

    GJ: Well, I don’t think there’s that big a difference, but I do think that within the North American context, and also the context of countries like Australia and New Zealand where you have more of a blended European identity and the old European national identities are disappearing, that the commonality that we need to stress is going to be based on a common European history, but also a racial identity, racial distinctions.

    TS: Talking about commonalities, I’m glad you mentioned that. Are you in touch with your colleagues, with our friends from Australia, from Down Under? Mr. Herfurth? Welf Herfurth? I’ve just written a preface to his book that should be out shortly. Do you know the gentleman?

    GJ: Oh yeah, I met him. He was in San Francisco last year, and I met him. He’s a nice fellow. He’s a National Anarchist. I’ve never quite understood what National Anarchism means, but I think he’s a very fine person. I enjoyed listening to him speak and talking to him, so I wish him the best.

    I know a lot of people Down Under. There are a lot of really good people in Australia and New Zealand.

    TS: I just want to make sure that our folks don’t get side-tracked. Alain de Benoist has probably told me two dozen times, and I’m sure you’re aware of it, but we’re using this term that’s a little bit clumsy: the New Right. It’s not a self-chosen word. It was actually labelled on us. It was pasted on us by our opponents. So, I just use it by default, so to speak.

    GJ: Well, yeah, we are using categories that have been imposed upon us by our opponents. That said, however, we do have to recognize that whatever we are our roots are now primarily on the Right. And not the Right in the sense of the American Right, which is basically classical liberalism, but the European old Right which is rooted in more traditional, hierarchical model of society. We do embrace that. A lot of things that are conventionally Left-wing by contemporary standards are not so different from things that were defended by Traditionalists in Europe in the past. So, we tend to have a critical attitude about capitalism, we tend to be opposed to the despoiling of the environment or the destruction of history, of walkable communities, of processed, crappy food, and things like that tend to be in many ways, in terms of lifestyle and aesthetic tastes and things like that, aligned with people who are contemporary Leftists. But I would even say that the contemporary Left has roots if you go back far enough where things blend together with things that are more Right-wing, if you will, or let’s just say European traditional forms of society.

    So, one of the things that I talk about is what I like to call West Coast White Nationalism, because a lot of the people that I know on the West Coast who think in terms of wanting a racially defined new order of society you could take one look at them and you’d think they’re hippies or you’d think they are liberals. Their lifestyles and their attitudes embrace a lot of things like being into Eastern spirituality, drinking fruit juice and wearing sandals and granola and vegetarianism and organic food and organic farming. All these sorts of things that you think are kind of hippy things. Well, if you look at the roots of a lot of West Coast hippy culture and also the hippy culture in Europe for that matter a lot of it comes from Tolkien. What doesn’t come from say the Frankfurt School and things like that, a lot of it comes from Tolkien, which is pretty directly connected with European traditionalism.

    So, we are sort of beyond Left and Right. Especially beyond Left or Right in terms of the superficial Left-Right distinction that you have in American politics. But we still have roots that are, I think, objectively on the Right, especially when you talk about what was the Right at the time of the French Revolution or something like that.

    Evola when he was put on trial said, “Look, you can say that I’m promoting Fascism, but the ideas that I promote were the ideas of every serious thinker before the French Revolution.”

    TS: Absolutely, that’s a good point.

    GJ: So, these are very deep roots, and when you pursue those roots back far enough we don’t represent Left or Right. We just represent the center, the core values of European civilization.

    TS: Greg, let me ask you this. This Counter-Currents project, actually it’s a press, is this a one man show? Is this just you picking up the tab, if I can put it that way? Or do you have some assistance? Because, as I said a while ago, you’ve lined up some real big shots, some real big guys like Michael O’Meara, who does some good translation. Indeed, I was struck by the good translation of Guillaume Faye, because I know Guillaume Faye. He actually caught his style, or rather meta-style, he caught his sentiments. I know Guillaume Faye very well. Are you doing that all by yourself or is somebody assisting you other than Michael Polignano?

    GJ: Well, Mike Polignano is the guy who deals with the sort of technical and business side of things and I deal pretty much with all the editorial work of this project, and so I work very long hours, because I also do outside work to pay my bills. It’s challenging, but it’s also very enjoyable, because it’s what I really want to do, and so when you’re doing what you really want to do it’s always possible to find energy to do a little bit more. I am hoping to get more collaborators involved. So far, we have virtually no money, so it’s almost impossible for us to pay authors for their work. But yet we have managed to get a lot of really good authors to write really good pieces without paying them just because we have managed to appeal to their idealism and stoke their idealism, and you can go a long way with idealism. The only trouble with idealism is that if there aren’t other objective frameworks like institutions and money and incentives like that, a feeling of community, a feeling that you’re moving forward and positive feedback, it tends to run out.

    So, one of the things that we’re trying to do now is raise funds so we can pay authors. We’re also trying to create a community of contributing editors who have a sense of ownership in the project and we’re hoping that will draw more work out of people and sustain their interest of the long run. Because the way I look at this project, this is what should have started 50 years ago.

    TS: Exactly.

    GJ: And I’m not going to point fingers and blame people for not doing this. There’s nothing productive to be gained in that, and every bit of energy that one could use doing that should be used to move things forward, so that’s how I tend to focus. But I do think this will be a multi-decade process, if not a multi-generational process.

    I do, however, take solace in one fact and that is that whatever we have to do we are certainly not going to have to overthrow the United States government or anything grandiose like that. My feeling is that the system that holds Europe and the United States in its grasp is self-destructive.

    TS: It’s a good point.

    GJ: Although, the only question is will it destroy us before it destroys itself?

    TS: That’s an even better point! Excellent, Greg!

    Greg, if you don’t mind, you’re a very prolific author, so I must again thank you for all the books you have sent me. What’s your last book about and could you just give me the crux of the message and why is the book important?

    GJ: Well, I hope it is important. It’s important to me. It’s a collection of essays called Confessions of a Reluctant Hater, and the basis of it was an email from one of our readers who said, “Look, why don’t you put together a collection of your simplest essays and reviews that I might be able to give my brother or cousin who’s not quite on board with us yet and would be somewhat seductive to them. It would be sort of an introductory collection of short works. Some of them rather topical, commentaries of news events and things like that.” So, I thought that’s a good idea, and I opened a file where I keep a list of all my writings, and I started shifting things around and within a few minutes the whole thing sort of fell together.

    It’s in three parts. One is called Finding A White Voice, which just basically talks about how I and others can start thinking explicitly in terms of racial identity in all these political struggles that are going on about multiculturalism and so forth. The second part is called Polarizing Moments and that deals with political events that I thought were interestingly polarizing in the United States. Things like the Henry Louis Gates controversy, the 9/11 mosque controversy, the election of Barack Obama, and things like that. The last section is called White Lifestyle Politics and that’s where I develop some of my ideas on West Coast White Nationalism, and I try to show that you can be a racially conscious person without necessarily being a reactionary or a Republican. It’s an attempt really to show that you can get outside of that American Left-Right dichotomy and so there are essays in there about drug legalization, race mixing, I have a review of Jim Goad’s book Shit Magnet, which is kind of a funny review, and things about Christmas. It’s all over the board. And I have two essays at the end about Alan Watts, who is one of my favorite thinkers.

    Watts is really a fascinating guy, because he was one of the great popularizers of Zen Buddhism and Taoism and Vedanta in the English language. He was a profound thinker, I believe, in his own right and he was also a man of the Right. It was not apparent to most of his followers, who were sort of New Left hippy types, but he was deeply rooted in what we would call Traditionalism, and he was a fascinating figure. I think he was in some ways a hero of mine, although there are certain things about him that I don’t admire. But still he’s an example of how a lot of our best minds really fall outside that Left-Right dichotomy, and they’re radical thinkers.

    Kerry Bolton has written lots of really good essays that I am now going to publish as a book called Artists of the Right about artists in the 20th century, some of the greatest 20th century artists, who were men of the Right. The Right in the traditionalist sense that we talk about. A lot of them were modernists like Ezra Pound or Wyndham Lewis. So, we have to expand our minds to grapple with that kind of paradox of the radical artistic modernists like the Italian Futurists who were also men of the Right. So, that’s one of the projects we’re trying to do.

    The long-term goal of this, again, is metapolitical. It’s cultural. What I would love to do is in some way work as a midwife or as an encourager of a new artistic movement. There’s a lot of artistic activity going on in the European and American racially conscious community, and yet a lot of that goes on cut off from the earlier tradition of the great 20th century writers like Pound and Knut Hamsun and D. H. Lawrence and others like that that these people could look to and take inspiration from. Much less cut off from the whole tradition of Western high art. So, one of the things I would dearly love to do is enrich and encourage this artistic subculture that’s going on and that’s absolutely necessary because art reaches more people than intellectual work ever can and it reaches them on a deeper, more emotional level.

    TS: Just like the movies, right?

    GJ: Exactly. The Tolkien Lord of the Rings trilogy that Peter Jackson did: that is one of the great works of cinema, and it’s a very powerful thing for our cause, if you will. I think it’s one of the great subversive achievements of the Western film industry. So, I would like to see more work done in that vein. I’m very delighted that Peter Jackson is now directing The Hobbit.

    TS: Greg, let me ask you. Your website and publishing efforts are really fascinating. I enjoy talking to you.

    I also know other people from other publishing companies who also have their “institutions” and publishing things. I don’t know if you’re familiar with a gentleman, he’s a good friend of mine, Richard Spencer, who runs Alternative Right? A website with very good publications, very good pieces. I was wondering if there was a chance of fusing our efforts together or regrouping or scooping up those people that I know personally like Australia Down Under, I know folks in England as well like Arktos? You mentioned Arktos. It’s a fascinating publishing company. They published a book of mine. Aside of our little rivalry, and of course I understand we all have a little bit of egos, is there a chance of just pulling all our efforts together and bringing them in one single place?

    GJ: Well, that’s a good question. When I created Counter-Currents the initial idea that I took to Mike Polignano when we discussed this was I really wanted Counter-Currents to be the publisher that would bring out English translations of all the major works of the European New Right. Well, we just didn’t have the capital or the staff to do that, and Arktos came in and got Alain de Benoist and Guillaume Faye to sign contracts with them.

    Well, there are two ways you could look at that. One is you could feel all hurt and jealous and everything like that. The other way is to say, “Well, there’s no shortage of work that needs to be done, and everything that they’re doing means that there’s something else that I’m free to do.” And that’s how I look at it. I look at this as an opportunity. It’s certainly not a zero sum game. I’m on very friendly terms with John Morgan at Arktos and on cordial terms with other people at Arktos. I wish them all the best, and what their coup has done is force me to reconfigure, reconceive what I am going to do. That’s good.

    Now, Alternative Right is a very attractive looking webzine. We have a slightly different editorial focus than them. I do look around and think, “You know, there are very few websites that are putting out good material in English that really excite me.” In some ways, we are slightly duplicating one another’s efforts.

    What I think is necessary is this: we need to get together, Richard Spencer and John Morgan and I and a few other people, Kevin MacDonald who runs The Occidental Observer, and we need to do some colluding. Alex Kurtagić is another person I would definitely like to get in on this conversation. We need to sit down and we need to collude so that we do not duplicate one another’s efforts but rather we compliment one another’s efforts. I think that is very important, because there are very few of us, and we have a lot of work to do if we’re going to change the world. So yeah, this is an important thing, and I’ve been taking steps in the direction of trying to get people together so we can engage in some of that collusion.

    I think that in the years down the road we are going to work together more harmoniously because there’s a little behind the scenes coordination going on. So, that’s a very good point, Tom. I appreciate it.

    TS: By all means. Like I said, we all have a little bit of egocentrism, we all have vanities, which is quite natural and normal. But at this stage in our history, and again I don’t want to sound too pathetic. I certainly appreciate your noble effort, because I know you personally. You’re not a guy who likes quarreling. We’re not going to discuss about that. But I certainly like insisting among my friends and foes, folks, let’s just unite our efforts. You have certain things where you really excel, where you’re the best and I’ve probably got certain things where I might be good. So, we certainly have to pull our efforts together. That’s a good point.

    Greg, let me ask you. What are your next projects now? I’m sure you’ve got some secrets now. Are you going to be publishing some more books? Are you translating something? And tell us a little more about your project. Are there any conferences that you might be setting up or something? Just feel free to tell a little bit, but try to intrigue a little bit, especially for my listeners here in Sweden and Norway. I did not even realize the other day that I got quite a few people listening to me here in Scandinavia.

    GJ: Well, we’ve been looking at the countries from which we get the most traffic and the Scandinavian countries are always in the top ten or top twenty countries from which we have readers, which I think is very interesting. The number one country is the United States. After that is Great Britain, Germany, Canada, but Sweden, which is a much smaller country than Great Britain or Germany, usually comes in around 5th or 6th in terms of readership. So, I think that’s very interesting.

    What are the projects that I’m working on now? I am working on the first volume of North American New Right, which is our annual journal. The idea of North American New Right is basically based on Tyr, which is this neo-pagan publication edited by friends of mine, and the idea is to bring out an annual volume that’s basically a book that contains interviews, essays, reviews and translations. The goal is to have a thing that showcases the best work being done by the North American New Right and also brings in exemplary work from the European New Right in translation. The goal is basically to advance, year by year, this intellectual movement. The first volume has a lot of really good material in it. I’m really very pleased that we have something so good to begin with. Every year we are going to bring out a new one.

    After that, I’m going to bring out Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right, which I think is a wonderful book, and then down the road we’re going to bring out . . . a collection of Trevor Lynch’s reviews. . . . There is a collection of essays by Julius Evola called East and West, which are East – West comparative philosophy essays. That’s something we will bring out. And I’m searching for other things. Derek Hawthorne, who has been writing on the German mountain films, is going to publish a little monograph, a thin volume on the German mountain films with us and also a thicker book on D. H. Lawrence. A lot of the chapters of that have already been published on the Counter-Currents website. . . . There’s no shortage of material for us. We’re going to publish another novel by Andy Nowicki in the fall called Under the Nihil. So, that is something that if you liked The Columbine Pilgrim, you’ll enjoy it.

    That’s basically an outline of where we’re going from here.

    TS: I’m glad you mentioned D. H. Lawrence. My wife is a great fan of his. She knows every book of his. She knows all of his poems by heart.

    But anyway, I’m glad indeed by what you are doing and I’m sure we’ll catch up shortly when I’m over there.

    Thank you, Greg, and thank you, folks! Until next time, this is Tom Sunić from VoR. Bye for now!

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Lennart Svensson’s Science Fiction Seen from the Right
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    3,946 words

    [1]Lennart Svensson
    Science Fiction Seen from the Right [2]
    Manticore Books, 2016

    “Ursula Le Guin wrote about socialist utopias. Heinlein fought against them. There you have Science Fiction Seen from the Right in a nutshell.”

    Readers of Counter-Currents will be familiar — and likely agreeable to — the notion that despite what you heard in school, most all the truly great writers of the twentieth century were “men of the Right.” This has been the theme of books like Kerry Bolton’s Artists of the Right: Resisting Decadence,[1] or Jonathan Bowden’s Western Civilization Bites Back.[2]

    Bowden also gave us Pulp Fascism,[3] with its subtitle “Right-Wing Themes in Comics, Graphic Novels, and Popular Literature” and including coverage of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Sarban’s The Sound of His Horn, and Brian Aldiss’ Moreau’s Other Island; why not then SF as a genre, tout court?

    As if in response, comes now this book; with a title like Science Fiction from the Right, one can consider this an automatic purchase for anyone on the “Alt Right.” If you’re looking for a well-informed study of the SF genre that’s decidedly not from the hard or soft Left perspective that seems de rigueur for both academics and SF writers themselves, this book is for you. Svensson, however, has grander ambitions, and that’s where the book begins to be a bit of a disappointment.

    Despite its title, Svensson is not really interested in “the Right” as such; he is interested in tradition, or, as he sometimes spells it, Tradition. And therein lies a perhaps unconscious indication of the problem: is it tradition, or Tradition?

    Svensson is certainly straightforward from the start:

    My definition of “right,” “a man of the right,” is “a man adhering to traditional, eternal values.”

    These eternal values can be exemplified as: duty, honor, honesty, accountability, selflessness, modesty, fidelity, faith, courage, justice, mercy, clemency, compassion, magnanimity, equanimity — values that are in harmony with the eternal natural law, with Dharma and Tao, with Physis and Lex Nauralis.[4]

    And to clarify: to merely advocate limited government, personal responsibility, moral values and productivity . . . is not to be a traditionalist. It’s a start, but it’s not enough. There has to be an esoteric element present, a connection with the causal realm in which all of existence can be anchored in the Platonic World of Ideas. Here, ultimately, the eternal values have their footing.

    To vindicate these ideals is what I do as a man of the right. I honor Tradition. To systematically embrace eternal values within a spiritual framework of Christianity, Hinduism and the Ancient way of the West, of esoteric strains in Greek, Roman and Norse thought, is called traditionalism. . . . There you have my outline of traditional values and their sources.

    And if that’s not clear enough, he adds that

    For a textbook rendering of the Perennial Thought intimated above, see René Guénon, . . . The Crisis of the Modern World, Julius Evola, . . . Revolt Against the Modern World, or Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya, . . . The Dharma Manifesto. Another lion of traditionalism currently alive, is Seyyed Hossein Nasr.[5]

    He is equally forthright about his intentions in what follows:

    My focus in this book is on conservative, right-wing SF and fantasy, of fantastic stories having the character of being based in eternal values as the ones sketched above, fantastic literature having some discernable relationship to Tradition.

    Putting all this together, we get, as an example:

    Frank Herbert’s Dune, dealing with meditation, courage and honoring your fathers, in the framework of this study, is an SF story of “the right-wing” kind, a story rooted in Tradition.

    Now, it’s interesting that Svensson chooses Dune as his exemplar. It’s not the first book/author he looks at; that’s Heinlein, who is, as he says, the “most iconic right-wing SF author ever.” But it is the first — and pretty much the only — book/author that fits the notion of “having some discernable relationship” to capital-T Traditionalism.[6]

    See, Svensson is operating with two rather different notions of tradition, which we might call majuscule and miniscule. Miniscule tradition — what he derisively calls “the Conservapedia definition” — could indeed be “exemplified” by that list of virtues but it, and them, have nothing in particular to do with majuscule Tradition.

    Now, I’m not saying Guénon, for example, would reject those virtues, not at all; but they would be merely “finite,” pertaining only to social organization in the Kali Yuga. They may be necessary for a society in which Tradition is preserved and handed down; they may also be a necessary first step in moral training for the path of Realization; but no more than that. The “Perennial Thought” is a matter of metaphysics, not morals.[7]

    To illustrate my point, consider that both Mike Hammer and his creator, Mickey Spillane, are certainly “men of the Right” in Svensson’s small-t traditional sense; Hammer, as even Ayn Rand perceived,[8] is, however violent and brutal, a man with a solid ethical code that he deviates from not one whit, and uses any means, however violent or illegal, to make sure no one else does either. And his creator was, to a remarkable degree, essentially the same man.[9]

    But — to make the contrast clear – the film version of Kiss Me Deadly is, however accidentally, and despite being conceived as an attack on everything Hammer and Spillane represented, a work embodying and bodying forth Traditional themes, while The Girl Hunters, though written and even starring Mickey Spillane himself, is just another thriller, though an excellent exemplar of Hammer’s sadistically chivalrous values.[10] By contrast, Svensson would have a hard time defending Kiss Me Deadly as even small-t traditionalist, since the filmmakers portray Hammer not as a White Knight[11] but as a moronic sadist.

    Svensson needs his two kinds of tradition, because unless he can shift from one to the other, he doesn’t have much of a book left.[12] It would be extremely interesting to find Traditional themes in SF;[13] but that’s because it seems, on the face of it, unlikely.

    So mostly, Svensson falls back on miniscule tradition; Heinlein, for example, is hardly a Traditional thinker, even before his ’60s-hippie phase, but he certainly meets the “right-wing” criterion.

    Svensson has also given himself another arrow for his quiver. Those who fail or refuse to acknowledge eternal values are defined here as “nihilists.” Those who stand against them, however, fall into two classes: those who passively observe their effect on society, and those who take up arms and by opposing (sometimes) end them.[14] The latter are praised, the former chided or condemned. Thus, authors as different as Heinlein and Lewis can be bracketed together for praise of their stand against nihilism.

    The reader might think I’m condemning the book outright, but that’s not really the case. It has the virtue of its vice; with so broad a canvas, the value here rests in whatever Svensson can find to say about some book or author, and if the reader persists, he will find much value here.

    Take this bracing insight on Ray Bradbury, which applies to many other areas of the Right:

    We all know that Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was a man longing for years gone by, for the American 1920s with T-Fords, striped cotton suits and icecream sundaes. But this kind of sentimentality can’t be tolerated in a study like this. Tradition isn’t about being sentimental, it’s about acknowledging Eternal Values, values that still can lift us, inspire us and guide us, offering an alternative to the current materialism and nihilism. For in essence, sentimentality is a form of nihilism.

    Again, while J. G. Ballard is clearly an “active nihilist,” who, by “not putting up a credible counter-image to the forces of evil” has “superficially, nothing … to say to a radical conservative,” he is praised for at least being an honest skeptic, seeing through and rejecting the clichés of the liberal order. Svensson “gets” Ballard where so many don’t, seeing how Ballard goes on to find the creepy beauty of the new; Cambridge is just “a bicycle rack in front of Gothic backdrop”; the real action is at the US air base nearby, “with its concrete runways and landing lights.”

    There’s beauty in the Ballardian urban landscapes and the Jüngerian Marble Cliffs.[15] This we sorely need, anything except the left-liberal chewing of General Buzzword No. 1: pity the weak.

    Symbols abound, arresting hieroglyphs. Like the burnt-out shell of a B-29, its tailfin like a billboard advertising its own squadron. And the incomparable haze over the pale fields, antitank ditches and mounds, the same light seen after the dropping of the bomb, heralding the end of the war and the beginning of the next.[16]

    So, another WWII story? No, not by far. This is the new kind of SF the 1960s sometimes gave us: “speculative fiction,” a free rendering of the modern world with all its symbols and attitudes, condensed into a more urgent narrative. . . . By 1964 his literary attitude had gained a sense of necessity and tragedy not reached by any other contemporary author, inside or outside the field.

    One positive feature of this omnium-gatherum approach is that the reader finds himself introduced to new names and new books. For example, Karin Boye, and her novel Kallokain, apparently considered a Swedish modern classic for all to read, like our To Kill a Mockingbird, perhaps.[17] Svensson, in his brief chapter, makes me want to read this work of a Swedish poet/Valkyrie.

    Another book/author unknown to me is Robert Holdstock’s Mythago Wood (1985), where the protagonist finds a primeval forest which is “a dimensional crossroads” where mental intentions interact with mythic energy, “co-creating” the intended results.

    By contrast, the following chapter on the expected Orwell, Huxley, Zamyatin, and (perhaps less expectedly, the Metropolis of) von Harbou, really has nothing to say, although students will appreciate the suggestion that they need only read Chapter Three of Brave New World to get the gist of it. But by and large, the hits outnumber the misses.

    One major misstep here is that Svensson seems to swerve from his basic theme and give in to the desire to present a kind of encyclopedia of SF matters. A chapter on SF illustration seems pointless without illustrations, and one on the origins and history of SF publishing delves into such thrilling matters as the evolution of pulp magazine binding techniques. The author would have been well advised to leave such matters aside and follow his own taste in the novella format,[18] concentrating on a few major figures and making his arguments tighter.

    One has the impression that Svensson started with a list of authors — some essential, like Heinlein, some not that well known, like Boye, some ringers, like Marinetti or Castaneda — along with some topics, like war and nihilism; then he set to work writing something about each one, sometimes finding something to say on their literary or esoteric value, sometimes not.

    In the end, one wonders why Svensson burdens his book, and himself, by bringing up the whole Traditionalist business. SF, as already intimated, doesn’t on the surface seem very “Traditionalist” at all.[19] I think the answer is hinted at here:

    The ideal of SF, according to Holmberg, is this: man exploring nature with science and technology, thus conquering and understanding his universe, and in the process gaining insights leading to some kind of transcendence. As an esotericist I fully embrace this definition of SF. It’s about venturing out Beyond the Beyond and Within the Within.

    Nor are the Beyond and the Within merely two, distinct aspects; Svensson notes several times his agreement with SF master Norman Spinrad, that the key motif of SF in space travel, but adds that to really travel in space requires inner transformation; otherwise, one may travel to the moon but only bring back some rocks.[20]

    The Apollo project went to the moon, a much sought-after event, only to bring home a sample of rocks. In his diary Jünger wrote about this: “the only found a desert because they had the desert inside.”

    But while SF may think of space exploration as requiring inner transformation, the Traditionalists themselves refuse to see any such link. Indeed, they are infamous for their contempt for mere technology or even science itself; Traditional societies, says Guénon in the book Svensson directs us to, had better things to do than waste their time with such toys. “Exploring nature with science and technology” and “thus conquering and understanding his universe” is nothing but “dispersion into the horizontal realm” rather than vertical ascent to the Beyond.[21]

    So the connection Svensson sees between SF and Traditionalism is at best one-way. If SF leans toward something like Traditionalism, what’s really going on?

    We find a clue here in a kind of reflex that Svensson retains from the Traditionalists: the use of the term “titanic” or “titanism” as a derogative, as in fact a synonym for nihilism. Lewis is praised for battling it, while Heinlein is rebuked for yielding to it. That should tell you something’s off here; isn’t Heinlein the “iconic” SF writer? Isn’t SF essentially Promethean, from Frankenstein (“The Modern Prometheus”) on, and even further back, to the various utopias that take inspiration from Plato’s Myth of Atlantis (the realm of Atlas)?

    I suppose the Titans are “nihilists” not because they deny any “connection with the causal realm” but because they boldly reach out and grasp it for themselves, “storming Heaven” and “winning the Grail by violence.” The process of self-transformation that Svensson refers to is not so much a matter of Traditionalism as it is of Hermeticism, as even Evola admits.[22]

    This “Ancient way of the West, of esoteric strains in Greek, Roman and Norse thought,” finds its “framework” not with Traditionalism but with something along the lines of Jason Reza Jorjani’s Prometheus and Atlas, where both science and SF are confronted and assimilated in the Titanic mode of the West.[23]

    Periodically, Svensson drops the ill-fitting Traditionalist garb and promotes a doctrine of Will-Power as something against which SF authors are evaluated (the shift from the one to the other is eased because remember, one must not only diagnose nihilism but fight it!). This emphasis on the training of the Will so as to develop the ability to bring about changes in accordance with will (as Crowley would say) justifies the publisher’s reference to Colin Wilson.[24]

    Indeed, interviewed elsewhere, Svensson sounds an awful lot like that modern exponent of the Hermetic Tradition Neville Goddard himself:

    [Q] Man’s life is short. The border is always near. How can be a man educated in such a short period of time to understand the main things of life?

    [A] Indeed, life is short. But any man can learn the two words, “I AM”. Christ said them seven times in the Gospel of John (“I am the light of the world, I am the door into the sheep, I am the good shepherd” etc.), as such a mirror of the” I Am That I Am”– saying of God in the burning bush of Exodus fame. And if the individual does the same, says “I am”, he acknowledges his eternal, divine nature, of being a spark of the eternal light. This I touch upon in Borderline[25] and this is the succinct summation of my creed: I AM. Modern man, if he so chooses, can reach spirituality this way. The I AM-saying is my formula for a more spiritual life, taught to “the man in the street.”[26]

    To stay on the “man in the street” level of physical detail: the book has the quality we’ve come to expect from a Manticore publication; nicely proofread and typeset, with a sturdy binding and an atmospheric wrap-around cover illustration. The translation is serviceable, but another pass or two might have smoothed things out more and made it read a bit less like, well, a translation. Also, in a work of this sort, covering many names and topics, an index would have been appreciated.

    In the end, one wishes Svensson would trust his Titanic instincts more, and liberate himself from his Olympian chains. Nevertheless, the reader will find much here that is provocative and truly thought-provoking; a book which not just looks at literature “from the Right” but raises questions about what, ultimately, is the Right itself.

    Notes

    1. Edited by Greg Johnson; San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012.

    2. Edited by Greg Johnson; San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014.

    3. Edited by Greg Johnson; San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015.

    4. To anticipate a bit, I must point out that “natural law” has little or nothing to do with Tradition; it originates in Stoicism, which Evola, in the book Svensson later cites, dismisses as an “oriental” current alien to Aryan culture, and in its Christian form results from a further misunderstanding of the Greek concept of law as equivalent to “YHVH’s command.” The Stoic advising “live according to nature’s law” is more like our life coaches counselling “You should eat more organic” than a Bible-thumper screaming about da fegz. For more on this, see my essay “A Review of James Neill’s The Origins and Role of Same-Sex Relations in Human Societies” (Amazon.com Kindle Single, 2013).

    5. For more on Nasr as a “lion of traditionalism,” see my review of Al-Rawandi’s Islamic Mysticism, “The Bad Samaritan: A Glance at the Mohammed Mythos,” here [3].

    6. Guénon would no doubt approve of its Sufi elements, but ultimately dismiss it as mere “syncretism;” Evola might have approved the emphasis on jihad. One must also point out that C. S. Lewis, whose works Svensson also considers exemplars of tradition, would surely have condemned Traditionalism as a blasted heresy and one of the worst tricks of the Devil.

    7. Traditionalist would point to a similar mistake made by Jung and others who try to assimilate Tradition to psychoanalysis: the Path is not a method mental healing, but rather assumes an undivided and controlled mind as a starting point.

    8. “Despite their apparent differences, Rand admired Spillane’s literary style, and Spillane became, as he described it, a ‘fan’ of Rand’s work.” See McConnell, Scott, ed., “Mickey Spillane,” 100 Voices: An Oral History of Ayn Rand (New York: New American Library, 2010), pp. 232-39.

    9. See my “A Hero Despite Himself: Bringing Mike Hammer to the Screen,” here [4].

    10. See, of course, my essay “ ”Mike Hammer, Occult Dick: Kiss Me Deadly as Lovecraftian Tale,” here [5] and reprinted in The Eldritch Evola … & Others (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014); for comparison of the films, see my “Essential Films . . . & Others,” here [6].

    11. Svensson approves the use of plate armor in the Lord of the Rings films, since it recalls the image of “knights in shining armor.”

    12. “But I also admit that there are SF authors in this study hard to categorize. For instance, J. G. Ballard isn’t an author you would think of as a traditionalist. Rather, he’s some kind of modernist. But he isn’t explicitly Marxist.” Later, Ballard’s “The Atrocity Exhibition hasn’t got much to say about Tradition, the theme of this study. But taken for itself this is a great read.” Again, “It’s true that the praising of Tradition and the virtues of old don’t occupy center stage in Michael Moorcock’s novels.” Again, “Karin Boye was a left-leaning intellectual. But she still fits into this survey. Why? Because she wasn’t expressly anti-tradition.”

    13. As the reader will know, or have inferred by now, I myself have done a bit of such exploring, mostly in the realm of fantasy — see the essays collected in The Eldritch Evola. . . & Others: Traditionalist Meditations on Literature, Art, & Culture (edited by Greg Johnson [San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2014]) — but also in SF, such as the works of Olaf Stapledon — see “A Light Unto the Nations: Reflections on Olaf Stapledon’s The Flames” in The Eldritch Evola, and “‘The Wild Boys Smile’: Reflections on Olaf Stapledon’s Odd John” in Green Nazis in Space! New Essays on Literature, Art, & Culture (edited by Greg Johnson [San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2015]). Oddly enough, Stapledon does not appear in Svensson’s book. Stapledon was of course a parlor pink, but — and admittedly it’s an ironic point — his novels are filled with traditional and even Traditionalist themes, illustrating my point about the return of the Traditional in popular culture.

    14. “Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” Walther Sobchak, The Big Lebowski (Coen Bros, 1998).

    15. Svensson has written a biography of Jünger: Ernst Jünger — A Portrait (Manticore, 2014). The chapter on Jünger here seems like a condensed version, but it does make me want to see the full text.

    16. To anticipate a bit, cf. Jason Reza Jorjani, “Promethium Sky over Hiroshima,” Right On, Nov. 3, 2016, here [7].

    17. Amazon tells me that the University of Wisconsin put out an edition in 1966, in its dourly titled “Nordic Translation Series,” and a paperback in 2002 in its flashier “Library of World Fiction.”

    18. Constant Readers will recall many occasions when I have joined with Henry James in praising “the dear, the blessed nouvelle” format. Writing of Moorcock’s Elric novels, that originally appeared as slim volumes but now comprise 400 page collections, “Having the Eternal Champion books as separate, slim volumes make the saga into a random access myth, an epic where you can begin where you want, merely reading one book or two and then leave it with the sense of having seen an aspect of Multiverse, the whole mirrored in a facet, as it were…. Otherwise, the ideal of the fantasy novel is always ‘thick as a brick’ and this will not engender classics in itself.” He also praises Ballard’s “The Terminal Beach” as “an embryoic condensed novel” with a “condensed, urgent narrative.”

    19. Svensson gives himself another free pass by including the clearly more traditional if not Traditionalist genre of fantasy in his definition of SF; like the SF authors, his coverage varies from interesting – Tolkien, Lewis – to just going through the motions in the urge to completeness – Clark Ashton Smith, Lord Dunsany. I tend to agree with Kingsley Amis in New Maps of Hell; the two are best studied apart. Amis’s classic study – arguably the first truly serious critical work on SF – is not in Svensson’s bibliography, though he tells us that he intends his book to be “mapping out new lands,” and the publisher explicitly compares his book to Amis’s, as well as Colin Wilson’s The Outsider; possibly the first time both have ever been invoked at the same time.

    20. The key work here is 2001: A Space Odyssey, which Svensson calls “absolutely unique in the history of cinema” and scores as 60% Kubrick, but a necessary 40% Clarke. This point about “inner space” was often made by William Burroughs, who is mentioned but whose works — Nova Express, for example — are curiously absent.

    21. “[But to Traditionalists like Nasr] the events that produced the modern world are not signs of life in contrast to the cadaverous rigidity of Islam but signs of a Promethean betrayal that refuses the demands of heaven.” Al-Rawandi, op. cit.

    22. See, of course, his The Hermetic Tradition: Symbols and Teachings of the Royal Art (Rochester, Vt.: Inner Traditions, 1995), especially Chapter One on the myth of Eden.

    23. Prometheus and Atlas (London: Arktos, 2016). See also the same author’s “Against Perennial Philosophy,” Right On, Oct. 21, 2016, here [8]. On the other hand, Prof. Jorjani might appreciate Svensson’s discussion of Heinlein’s use of parapsychological themes to challenge both science and SF.

    24. It also may explain the bizarre inclusion of Carlos Castaneda among the authors discussed; Carlos’ first wife was a disciple of Neville.

    25. Borderline: A Traditionalist Outlook for Modern Man (Numen Books, 2015).

    26. “Lennart Svensson: ‘The I AM-saying is my formula for a more spiritual life, taught to “the man in the street”’,” here [9]. Compare Neville, basically in any of his books or lectures; here [10], for example. On Neville and both Hermeticism and Traditionalism see “Magick for Housewives: The Not-so New (and Really Rather Traditional) Thought of Neville Goddard” in Aristokratia IV (Manticore Press, 2017) and my afterword to Neville’s Feeling is the Secret (Amazon Kindle, 2016).

     

     

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Tolkien, A Review
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    1,206 words One of the advantages of reading biographies is that even if they’re not very good, there remains the consolation of having learned something. Sadly, this is one of the few positive things that can be said about the recent biopic Tolkien. Biographies can be tricky to adapt for the screen. Filmmakers will want […]
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Game of Thrones Finale
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    2,215 words I loved the Game of Thrones series when it first got started. I watched it on the recommendation of Greg Hood’s Counter-Currents reviews of Season One and Season Two. I was so taken with it that, when I ran out of episodes, I actually picked up Martin’s books to see how the stories […]
    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff9
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part I
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Adam Bellow on Dennis Prager', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Dear Adam Bellow,I'd like to congratulate you on building and launching Liberty Island. You've assembled an extraordinary team of writers -- 25 so far profiled at PJ Lifestyle -- with several of them beginning to contribute blog posts and freelance articles here. I'll call them out, these are some really great writers and fascinating people: many thanks to Pierre Comtois, Jamie Wilson, Roy M. "Griff" Griffis, Michael Sheldon, Clay Waters, David Churchill Barrow, and  David S. Bernstein. And Karina Fabian too is about to make her debut shortly with a wonderful piece that I'm scheduling for tomorrow. Updated: don't miss "10 Excuses For Why We Don’t Get More Done (And Why They Are Excuses)."I can't wait to get to know more of the Liberty Island writers and continue collaborations.I appreciated your recent manifesto, "Let Your Right Brain Run Free," at National Review and really only took mild issue with what seemed to me your overemphasis on the novel and pooh-poohing of film's greater power to hypnotize viewers:What about Hollywood? Many conservatives talk about the need to get into movie production. I agree this is very important, but it requires a massive investment of capital, and more to the point, I think people on the right are over-impressed with the power of film. To hear some conservatives talk you’d think movies were the Holy Grail, the golden passkey to the collective unconscious. This gets things precisely backwards. Sure, a successful Hollywood movie can have a major impact. But as a vehicle for political ideas and moral lessons, movies are simplistic and crude compared with the novels on which many are based.Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books by C. S. Lewis both produced big-budget movies that reached millions of people with what most of us would probably agree is a subtly conservative message. Yet both of these successful movie franchises ultimately pale in comparison with the impact of the books. Even at their best, movies are essentially cartoons and their effects are superficial and fleeting. Books engage the reader much more deeply, at a level of identification with the characters and plot that can instruct the soul and edify the mind. A hundred years from now, moreover, these classic books will still be read all over the world in dozens of languages when the films on which they are based are long forgotten or superseded by new forms of entertainment.In short, conservatives should remember that mainstream popular culture is still largely driven by books. Fiction therefore is and will remain the beating heart of the new counterculture. This is not just my bias as a publisher. It is a practical reality — and a fortunate one for us, since there are hundreds if not thousands of conservative and libertarian writers out there today producing politically themed fiction. The conservative right brain has woken up from its enchanted sleep and it is thriving. Instead of banging on Hollywood’s front door, a better approach is to go in the back by publishing popular conservative fiction and then turning those books into films.I will write novels someday. And I still enjoy reading good ones. Recently my wife pushed on me her newest obsession, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Here's the new book my wife has been obsessed with lately.... I'm going to try reading it. Americanah, a novel about a Nigerian #woman coming to #America. She says that it has a lot to say of value on the subjects of racial identity and cultures, which I am researching for my book. A post shared by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on Jul 9, 2014 at 8:46pm PDTThe vivid narrative is a fictionalization of the author's life and tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who immigrates to America and develops a career blogging about her discoveries among races and cultures. A wise excerpt from Page 273: "What I've noticed being here is that many #English people are in awe of #America but also deeply resent it," Obinze said. Page 273 of #Americanah, a knock-you-on-your-ass great novel by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. #literature #culture #Africa #England #UnitedStates A post shared by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on Jul 26, 2014 at 7:27pm PDTThe movie rights have, of course, been acquired, with Lupita Nyong'o and Brad Pitt starring. I can't wait to see it.So real life inspires blogging, blogging inspires a novel -- the highlights of which are the blog posts in it -- which in turn inspires a movie. I wonder how they'll depict blogging in the film. Maybe they'll update it and make her a vlogger on YouTube instead? Part of my wife's enthusiasm for the novel was because the character was also part of the online "natural hair community," black and mixed race women who share YouTube tutorials about methods for giving up straightening their hair with destructive chemicals and switching to natural styles and products instead. From page 13: No wonder my wife loves the hero of this book so much. She's a #naturalhair #counterculture activist too. Page 13 of #Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, a Gen-Xer from Nigeria who is an astonishing writer. Almost done with first chapter. She also writes like my wife does with long, flowing sentences and wry observations... A post shared by Thoth, Ma'at & Husky Familiar (@thothandmaatmarried) on Jul 9, 2014 at 9:18pm PDTMy wife in her art has called them a counterculture:My interdisciplinary work concentrates on the Ebony woman, Gen-X leaning Millennials, and our hair. Social media and video-based tutorials have influenced many Millennial women to embrace natural representations of their ethnic hair. These young women have become pioneers of the Millennial Natural Hair Movement, an expanding and informed counterculture responding to painful trends that date back to the early twentieth century.Here's an example of a video she made depicting the kinds of tips that circulate on YouTube amongst Natural Hair vloggers (she gave it an artsier spin): var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Super Stretched Hyper-defined Twist Out on Natural Hair', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); I think this is an expression of the paradigm for today -- that the various mediums of novels, film, and online media are blending back and forth together and the line between fiction and non-fiction blurs more too.Recently when April and I made our move to South LA this summer in our packing and unpacking I had the opportunity to go through the DVD collection I'd accumulated over the last 15 years and assess the titles that still had the most value to me. As we've discussed and you know I've written about, so many of the movies and filmmakers that I once loved as a nihilistic postmodern college leftist I now regard with varying levels of disdain, disgust, and embarrassment.But these are ones that I continue to regard with affection, that I still return to, and that I think can offer inspiration for your growing team of counterculture crusaders looking to change the world with their art. Some of them I'm a little bit more critical of than I once was, but they all still have some usefulness in some capacity or another...(Note: this is a version 1.0 of this list, future editions will incorporate newly discovered films and suggestions from readers...) class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2014/9/9/the-50-greatest-counter-culture-films-of-all-time-part-i/ previous Page 1 of 15 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Why the Christian 'Faith-Based Films' Audience Should Watch Wonder Woman
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    FaithCultureMoviesChristianity2017 Many Christians fear mainstream cinema, so much so that there's a cottage industry of "faith-based films." But among other things, DC Comics' new hit Wonder Woman proves that Christians can appreciate Hollywood films — the movie even arguably has a Christian message.Wonder Woman is the first film DC Comics has gotten right in the studio's new round of the Justice League. Man of Steel (2013), Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), and Suicide Squad (2016) left a great deal to be desired, especially in contrast with Marvel's magic machine. But perhaps by presenting the challenge of navigating the complicated waters of feminism, Wonder Woman forced the studio to put together a solid film, with an excellent leading lady, strong character development, and a compelling plot.But Wonder Woman does much more than just present a strong female superhero. It uses the story of this outsider to penetrate into the nature of mankind, and the results are astonishing — and fully compatible with the gospel message.Diana (Gal Gadot, partially known from the Fast And Furious franchise) grows up among the Amazons, but has always thirsted for a grand adventure. Her mother Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) tells her the story of Zeus and Ares. Zeus, king of the gods, created human beings to be good and virtuous, but Ares corrupted them, planting war in their hearts. Ares, the evil behind the world, must be destroyed.Even in this quasi-pagan myth is buried the seed of Christian truth: God made men good but they were corrupted by the serpent. This deposit of faith in a secular film only grows as the story unfurls.When World War I comes to the Amazons' back door thanks to Steve Trevor (Chris Pine, best known for Star Trek), Diana goes out to end war once and for all, by slaying Ares.After growing up among the Amazons, Diana is book smart but incredibly naive. Everything about 1900s society is new to her, and she is convinced that if she can only get to the front, she can kill Ares and end the Great War.But Diana slowly comes to the realization that people are twisted in their own hearts — they start wars, steal, kill, and destroy, Ares or no Ares. In short, they deserve to die. The idea that war gives men purpose, and that it should never end, becomes tantalizing to her. Shouldn't Christians Strive for Something Beyond Faith-Based Movies? Until at one pivotal moment, Diana comes to another realization. "It's not about deserve. It's about what you believe, and I believe in love." Out of context, this sounds very corny, but it forms the centerpiece of the film, and delivers a message powerfully reminiscent of the gospel.Peter Kreeft, a philosophy professor at Boston College, has long praised The Lord of the Rings for doing what the best storytelling should do, echoing the story of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/faith/2017/06/04/why-the-christian-faith-based-films-audience-should-watch-wonder-woman/ load more ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • What 'Star Wars' Knows
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Klavan On The Culture I went to see the new Star Wars film over the weekend and will say nothing either good or bad about it, knowing how people want to go to it fresh, without spoilers. I've always slightly despised critics who say that the story, and the surprise and suspense of the story, are secondary pleasures in the experience of narrative art. They're not the only pleasures, it's true, but they're great joys, and I see no reason why they should be ruined for the audience so that a mere critic can bestow upon them the dubious benefit of his personal opinion.But something did occur to me after watching the movie that has nothing to do with its quality or plot. Films like Star Wars — and any of the super hero films based on comic book characters, as well as most films involving war with an alien invader — seem to capture something about battle that we forget in real life: its rewards.I've never been in a battle, so I can't say for sure, but in reading about the post-traumatic stress disorder some returning veterans suffer, I've learned that the source of the difficulty is not just trauma (though trauma plays a part and shouldn't be minimized) but also — perhaps even more importantly — a post-war lack of meaning. That is, veterans suffering from PTSD are not only plagued by the awful things they did and saw in battle. They are haunted by the intense sense that life in war had meaning, and life afterwards does not. The purpose, camaraderie and excitement of battle are gone, and ordinary life offers nothing with which to replace them. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2015/12/21/what-star-wars-knows-no-spoilers/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • A Worthy "Hobbit"
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Spengler Peter Jackson's first of three Hobbit films took a thrashing from the critics, who disliked the effect produced the new 48-frames-per-second projection system. This makes everything a bit too clear, a bit too smooth, such that sets and costumes seemed artificial to some. It is off-putting at first. Halfway through the film, though, I suddenly thought, "This is the way I saw the world when I was a child!" There are many wonderful things about Jackson's film, of which the choice of Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins stands at the top of my list; unlike the listless Elijah Wood, a boy playing the role of the middle-aged Frodo in the "Ring" trilogy, Freeman is a grown-up. He is a master of English understatement but also an actor of great range, and he carries the film brilliantly. As in the Rings trilogy the sets and settings are marvelous. Especially gratifying was the inclusion of many of Tolkien's poems with affecting settings by Howard Shore.J.R.R. Tolkien's enduring popularity is cause for hope in popular culture. He did not write fantasy so much as roman à clef about the past and future of the West. His Hobbits are the English standing against totalitarian aggression -- the two towers of Berlin and Moscow -- with decency and courage. "Alone among 20th century novelists, J.R.R. Tolkien concerned himself with the mortality not of individuals but of peoples. The young soldier-scholar of World War I viewed the uncertain fate of European nations through the mirror of the Dark Ages, when the life of small peoples hung by a thread. In the midst of today's Great Extinction of cultures, and at the onset of civilizational war, Tolkien evokes an uncanny resonance among today's readers," I wrote when the first of the Ring films appeared. I am no maven where Christian literature is concerned, but Tolkien's theological depth impressed me:Tolkien is a writer of greater theological depth than his Oxford colleague C S Lewis, in my judgment. Lewis is a felicitous writer and a diligent apologist, but mere allegory along the lines of the Narnia series can do no more than restate Christian doctrine; it cannot really expand our experience of it. Tolkien takes us to the dark frontier of a world that is not yet Christian, and therefore is tragic, but has the capacity to become Christian. It is the world of the Dark Ages, in which barbarians first encounter the light. It is not fantasy, but rather a distillation of the spiritual history of the West. Whereas C S Lewis tries to make us comfortable in what we already believe by dressing up the story as a children's masquerade, Tolkien makes us profoundly uncomfortable. Our people, our culture, our language, our toehold upon this shifting and uncertain Earth are no more secure than those of a thousand extinct tribes of the Dark Ages; and a greater hope than that of the work of our hands and the hone of our swords must avail us. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/spengler/2012/12/16/a-worthy-hobbit/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Chore
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'THE HOBBIT Trailer - 2012 Movie - Official [HD]', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); How do you top the Lord of the Rings trilogy? The answer seems to be: with quantity. The medium-length novel The Hobbit is now apparently going to inspire more hours of big-screen film than any comparably-sized book ever.Originally scheduled as one film, then two, and now three, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 juvenile fantasy book, which begins 60 years before The Fellowship of the Ring, finally comes to the screen after decades of legal disputes, in a bloated two hour and fifty minute production that left me thinking: So what?It’s not that the movie is bad, exactly. It has as many magical creatures and thrilling battle scenes as you could want. Its special effects are seamless and amazing. It’s just that its structure takes on a numbing, repetitive feel. After nearly an hour of preliminaries, the title little guy Bilbo Baggins, played by Martin Freeman; Gandalf the Grey, played by Ian McKellan; and their associated band of 13 dwarves led by Thorin Oakenshield, played by Richard Armitage, head off to fight for the lost dwarf kingdom of Erebor, which has been terrorized by a dragon called Smaug.So it’s march, battle, discuss the next stage, repeat. For nearly three hours, at the conclusion of which our band of friends spies their destination in the distance, which they figure to reach only after another five and a half hours of such slogging.Bilbo, the uncle of Frodo (Elijah Wood), is the character through whom we first encounter the One Ring to Rule Them All, in a scene where he meets Gollum (Andy Serkis) that is among the creepiest and most compelling in the film. Bilbo is a mild-mannered little hobbit who had no interest in adventure when a sudden visit from the wizard Gandalf was quickly followed by the unwelcome intrusion of the 13 rambunctious dwarves sworn to repel the dragon from their homeland. Bilbo, tapped by Gandalf to be the “burglar” of this adventure, is at first not interested, but being dismissed as unadventurous seems to bring out the daredevil in him. Bilbo grows as the film goes on, outwitting Gollum for “the precious” and gradually turning into an unexpected, if quiet and mild-mannered, action hero. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2012/12/14/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-chore/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Case for Restricting Artists
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'The Hobbit-Official Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); As everyone knows, the director's cut of a film is never anywhere near as good as the cut released to theaters. You may think you know of an exception, but you're in error. No shame; we all make mistakes. In some cases — Blade Runner comes to mind — the director's cut can actually turn a great film into a crashing, solipsistic bore.And this is not really surprising. Restrictions on art — whether it's the rigors of the sonnet form or some idiot studio executive screaming, "Make it shorter or you're fired!" — force artists to use all their skill to say what they can in the space and manner provided. There is a reason no one reads new poetry; a reason paintings, which once served to express the deepest levels of the human experience, can now do little more than decorate bank lobbies. No restrictions. Poems are free form; paintings are abstract. And they suck. Restrictions make artists better, more resourceful, more clever, more artistic. Without them, art becomes free — and dull and meaningless.Which brings me to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. When director Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Rings trilogy, I understand the studio forbid him to go over three hours on any one of the three films. The result is a nine hour masterpiece. Unfortunately the success of that film seems to have made Jackson more or less untouchable. Now every movie he makes is essentially a director's cut. And they've suffered for it. Everybody hates Jackson's King Kong, but watch it again: King Kong would be a terrific movie about manhood and femininity — if you cut twenty seconds to a minute out of every single scene... and then cut some of the scenes.As for The Hobbit — well, the first seven hours are a little slow, but it picks up in the final third. I mean, really, it's one book, make one film. Use some skill, make some choices. Be an artist.That said, the picture, though endless, looks lovely. The final hour really is exciting. And Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, is so incredibly good he almost kept me awake through the opening hours. Or days. Or whatever.Now what they should do is release "The Studio Cut." Let some executives into the editing room to pare the thing down to the entertaining bits. One hour long and brilliant. Can't wait.****image courtesy shutterstock / WillierossinCross-posted from Klavan on the CultureThe Hobbit: More Restrictions on Art!More perspectives on The Hobbit at PJ Lifestyle:The Hobbit: An Unexpected ChoreWhy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Enduring Popularity Is a Cause for Hope in Our Popular Culture class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/1/3/the-case-for-restricting-artists/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Why It's a Good Thing for the Film Industry To Die
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle *Profanity Warning For Video.* var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'David Lynch on iPhone', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Dear Andrew,I was going to disagree with your assessment of the newest film from Peter Jackson:As for The Hobbit — well, the first seven hours are a little slow, but it picks up in the final third. I mean, really, it’s one book, make one film. Use some skill, make some choices. Be an artist.That said, the picture, though endless, looks lovely. The final hour really is exciting. And Martin Freeman, who plays Bilbo, is so incredibly good he almost kept me awake through the opening hours. Or days. Or whatever.Now what they should do is release “The Studio Cut.” Let some executives into the editing room to pare the thing down to the entertaining bits. One hour long and brilliant. Can’t wait.But then I realized that I hadn't actually seen the film. Over the Christmas break my wife, sister, brother-in-law, and I saw the IMAX 3-D presentation. And we were all mesmerized, uplifted into a state of cinematic rapture. April and I even want to pay money to see it again. But I concede your point, minus the additional emotional intensity from the overwhelming audio-visual immersion, perhaps the first third and some of the middle could've disappointed. But seeing it in a huge format with characters and effects whooshing out of the screen toward me, those slower excursions through Middle Earth didn't bore. I was too busy taking in all the details.What does that mean? That the same motion picture watched on traditional film vs IMAX 3-D can yield such different reactions?It's another variation of something we movie losers geeks enthusiasts have discussed for years: the difference between experiencing a movie in the traditional fashion, projected through film onto a screen in a theater vs. our modern innovation of watching in the comforts of home on a TV screen.How does storytelling change when the technological tools advance and the medium transforms? Sure, the film of The Hobbit might have improved with some editing, but would the IMAX 3-D experience still have immersed to the same degree? If I'm paying an extra 50% at the box office for more sound and image, doesn't it make sense that I get more run-time too?With the continued advance of 3D film technologies and new frame rates, could the genres of stories shift too? Could we start seeing even more traditional, epic filmmaking aimed at a broad audience?-DavidP.S. I beg to differ on the theatrical cuts of The Lord of the Rings being better than the extended, director's cuts. But then again I've only seen the theatrical cuts on film and the extended only on DVD and Blu-Ray. Maybe the director's cuts are only better if you watch them at home, accompanied by family, only periodically interrupted by a Siberian Husky wanting to go out?****Related at PJ Lifestyle:The Case for Restricting ArtistsMore perspectives on The Hobbit at PJ Lifestyle:The Hobbit: An Unexpected ChoreWhy J.R.R. Tolkien’s Enduring Popularity Is a Cause for Hope in Our Popular Culture class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2013/1/3/why-its-a-good-thing-for-the-film-industry-to-die/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys — and Walruses...and Cannibalistic Self-Devouring Ice Cream Men?
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ed Driscoll var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Ahh, the "joys" of postmodern advertising -- and shades of  Jabba the Hutt getting frisky with Princess Leia.  To understand why I'm inflicting the above Skittles ad on you, it's only because I've been forced to sit through it as well.I recently added Crackle to my Roku. (Now there's a sentence that would have been meaningless a year or two ago). Crackle is the streaming video channel owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and aside from offering selected streaming episodes of Seinfeld, it has a sort of lower-rent feel overall than Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. But in-between the video flotsam and jetsam is some somewhat interesting stuff -- Crackle has some rock music-related shows that those other aforementioned video streaming channels lack, which I've been enjoying.However, while Crackle is a free channel (again, unlike Netflix or Amazon Prime Video), the trade-off is having to watch commercials in the program, and not being able to fast-forward past them. They're usually brief but, as with the example above, occasionally rather weird, bringing new meaning to Woody Allen's Catskills-era "Boy the food here is terrible -- and such small portions, too" riff from Annie Hall.At Big Hollywood, John Nolte has also seen the above video and wonders why, as the Associated Press would say, everything is seemingly spinning out of control -- and into, John believes, bestiality as an advertising device:You can laugh and say it's just a joke, but through a war of inches, Hollywood continues its assault to define deviancy down and to normalize destructive behavior. Humor is an excellent way to get us used to and to take the shock value out of something hideous and immoral.If you don't think there's an agenda behind this, you haven't been paying attention the last 40 years. And if you don't think that there are those who hold the levers of power in our popular culture that would like to remove the stigma from bestiality, you don't understand the depths of sexual depravity the human animal is capable of.I used to laugh at loud at the term "slippery slope."Then I grew up.I'm not sure how much the above ad is a slippery slope to bestiality, so much as an attempt to generate buzz and word of mouth through an ad as extremely weird as their would-be Don Drapers could think up. But weirdness is a slippery slope all its own, and sooner or later, you knew somebody would attempt to top the above ad. So from Skittles and possible bestiality, we go to ice cream and cannibalism. Or as  Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, "Bad news: Blogger scarred for life by ice-cream commercial":To cleanse the palate, via Metro, it’s strange advertising but is it bad advertising? If you’re a small company specializing in a product with endless mass-market competitors, you need to stretch your ad dollars as far as possible. Showing off the inventory probably won’t make an impression and sexing up the spot with attractive women arguably would make it more generic, not less. This, though? Instant impact. Watch the first three seconds and you’re hooked for the whole 60. And it’s weird enough that some viewers will be tempted to swing by the shop just to check out the vibe. It’s freaky deaky, but maybe freaky deaky smart too. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Little Baby's Ice Cream "This is a Special Time"', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); "Freaky deaky smart" is rarely a phrase one would use to describe the modern day incarnation of the once stately National Broadcasting Corporation, which finds itself in hot water with the same politically correct audience they've been cultivating for years, via yet another postmodern commercial, this one an ad for NBC's upcoming sitcom Animal Kingdom. Unfortunately, it was juxtaposed right on top of Bob Costas' reporting on newly-minted Olympic superstar Gabby Douglas:[flashvideo file=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2012/08/costas-2012-olympics-monkey-ad.flv image=http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/files/2012/08/costas-2012-olympics-monkey-ad-title-card.jpg /]As Steve Hayward writes at Power Line, "NBC Stumbles Into PC Trap":Is NBC raaaciiist?  They’re getting hammered right now for the juxtaposition of their coverage of Gabby Douglas’s gold medal in gymnastics and a network spot promoting an upcoming NBC show.  Couldn’t happen to a more deserving much of useless media liberals.  Take a look and judge for yourself.  Don’t overlook the comment threads.  You can expect the usual full grovel apology from NBC for its “insensitivity” in due course.Steve's link goes to a Twitchy-esque post at Buzzfeed that rounds up some of the rather... intense... reaction from NBC's more dedicated viewers:While NBC will likely be forced to grovel an apology, even a fake "we're sorry if you were offended" effort, they also have a chance to push back against this if they want, and remind viewers that:1. Commercials and the main TV programming they sponsor are two separate entities; if you're seeing a connection between the two, that's your problem. And:2. If you're associating African-Americans with monkeys -- or you think that we do -- that's really your problem. class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/8/4/monkeys-walruses-ice-cream-men/ previous Page 1 of 2 next   ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

Conservative Film Buff1
Letterboxd



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, 2003 - ★★★★★

    As always, it took a lot of sittings, but I finished the LOTR trilogy again.

    On this rewatch, some of the quieter moments of Return of the King stood out. It is as thought-provoking as it is epic. 

    One thing really stood out: The whole journey, Sam talks about what they will do when they get home. He rations their food for the return journey, he speaks often of the Shire, etc. But in an important moment in Mordor, Sam offers his last drops of water to Frodo:

    “We won’t have enough for the return trip,” Frodo protests.

    ”I don’t think we’re going home,” Sam finally admits.

    It struck me how well that moment had been built up. Sam’s transformation into a true hero was complete as he realized he was ready and willing to sacrifice everything. The moral is that Samwise is clearly the best character and you’re wrong if you think otherwise 😉  He’s like the kid who’s never left home but who is drafted into war against his will, only to later earn a Medal of Honor.


    Anyway, I do think this film and this trilogy are epic achievements, and certainly some of the best films of the 21st century so far. Considering the scope, the amount of characters, the depth of the mythology, etc., it’s amazing how satisfyingly deep it all is.

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Can Amazon Maintain the Spirit of ‘The Lord of the Rings’?
    ...
    (Review Source)

Crosswalk2
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • 10 Mainstream Films We'd Call 'Christian Movies’
    The phrase “Christian movie” has many definitions, but it typically involves a Christian filmmaker, a faith-based story and perhaps even a Christian film company and studio, too. But not all movies are so easily defined.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Spoiler-Free Things Parents Should Know about Avengers: Endgame
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The only thing worse than reading spoilers for a Marvel movie is taking your children to one and then realizing you should have left them at home.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Ben Davies1
Rebel Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Leftists: “Lord of the Rings" is “racist" against… Orcs | Ben Davies
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

National Review Staff5
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Racist Orcs Redux
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The allegedly racist depicting of orcs in Lord of the Rings was a controversy over 15 years ago when the movies first came out.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • As Season Eight Looms, Will Game of Thrones Become Lord of the Rings?
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Game of Thrones is about to become more like Lord of the Rings, and I’m not sure it’s up to the challenge.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • It’s the Deep Breath before the Plunge
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Aside from the opening inquisition of Jaime Lannister, the episode was dedicated to capturing the last moments before a hopeless fight.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Great Battle of Winterfell
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Warning. SPOILERS are ahead. If you don’t want to know anything about episode three of the final season of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Now.
    ...
    (Review Source)

VJ Morton4
Right Wing Film Geek



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)
  • Fearless prognostication, part 2
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Fearless prognostication, part 2


    The Golden Globes were handed out last night (a complete list of the winners is here), and the two films that won Best Picture (unlike the Oscars, the Globes divide some of the movie categories into comedy and drama) were THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING (drama) and LOST IN TRANSLATION (comedy).

    Other key winners were Sean Penn (MYSTIC RIVER) and Charlize Theron (MONSTER) for best drama lead performances, and Bill Murray (LOST IN TRANSLATION) and Diane Keaton (SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE) for best comic lead performances. Peter Jackson won best director for the third part of the Tolkien trilogy, and Sofia Coppola won best script for TRANSLATION. These are all pretty much locks for at least a nomination.

    I do hope, though, the supporting actor award given to Tim Robbins for MYSTIC RIVER was the result of the ballots being sent by mistake to The Deaf and Blind Academy giving out their Braille novel awards and that “Tim Robbins” in Braille forms the shape of a Playboy centerfold. That’s the only acceptable excuse I can imagine.

    The Oscars have a tradition of ignoring or downplaying comedies (and rewarding the tic-ridden handicapped role — have I mentioned that I HATE Tim Robbins in MYSTIC RIVER?). One fact suffices to prove this: Cary Grant was nominated just twice — for PENNY SERENADE and NONE BUT THE LONELY HEART. Yes, the greatest film comedian ever got nominated for an orphanage tear-jerker and a Clifford Odets bit of cockney social consciousness. So most of the time, the Golden Globe drama winner has the advantage over the Golden Globe comedy winner. So, I’ll go out on a limb and predict that LORD OF THE RINGS 3.0 will win the Best Picture. Unless there’s pictures of Peter Jackson with a dead girl or a live boy — only in Hollywood, that might even improve its chances.

    More seriously, all the extracinematic reasons that films win Oscars are pointing LORD’s way — it was the capper to one of the most commercially successful series of all time, and, unlike say THE MATRIX movies, it was a succes d’estime as well. Neither of the first two films got much love from Oscar (the first got 13 nominations, but only four victories in minor categories; the second got just six nods and two minor victories) — so voting for it becomes a way both to salute the whole trilogy and to make up for past snubs. There’s also not a clear alternative front-runner right up Oscar-bait Alley, like there was with CHICAGO last year. So my Magic 8-ball sez the man who made HEAVENLY CREATURES takes home the gold in a month.

    Now, I have to *see* the damn thing.

    October 2007 update: Never did see LOTR3. Don’t feel the slightest bit unfulfilled.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    January 26, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , ,

    1 Comment »

    1. […] nomination for Bill Murray, and he might even win, though my money would be on Sean Penn (insert this rant from yesterday about the Academy giving short shrift to comedy and comic […]

      Pingback by Love and hate about the Oscar nominations « Rightwing Film Geek | January 11, 2008 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Love and hate about the Oscar nominations
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Love and hate about the Oscar nominations

    Having trouble with my phone line at home (cursed ice storm), so I couldn’t write up my reaction to the Oscar nominations until now (the complete list is here.)

    Good surprises:
    The year’s best film IMNHO was CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, which was unfortunately was a documentary and therefore in years past its quality and critical popularity would have guaranteed that it would not get a nomination as Best Documentary. But not this year. Not only was FRIEDMANS nominated, but the other candidate for the year’s most widely-praised documentary, THE FOG OF WAR, was picked too. Though I’ve expressed my doubts and crushed high expectations about FOG, it’s also good that finally the Academy acknowledges the existence of the country’s most important documentarian — Errol Morris. And all three of the others were films that I have heard of, that played in theaters, and that was generally well-liked by the few critics who saw them. The documentary branch for years had a nearly perfect record of ignoring the one film that year that *had* to be on the list — Morris’ own THE THIN BLUE LINE, ROGER & ME, CRUMB, HOOP DREAMS, HEARTS OF DARKNESS. But this year and last, they seem to have gotten their heads screwed on straight. Last year, four of the five nominees were BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, WINGED MIGRATION, SPELLBOUND and DAUGHTER FROM DANANG — all films that, regardless of my varied particular opinions of them, were strong enough *as films* to get substantial critical praise and to win (with the exception of DANANG) a very broad and hugely popular commercial release by documentary standards.

    Some major nominations going to foreign films. THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE scored a nomination for best animated feature nomination and one for best song. And then there was all the love for CITY OF GOD — four nominations, including two major ones (script and director). I’m under no illusions that either is likely to win anything — for a foreign film, it is really true that the honor is just being nominated (some exceptions duly noted, including last year’s script win for Almodovar’s excellent TALK TO HER). According to the Associated Press, when director Fernando Meirelles heard of the nominations, he asked “Has the Academy gone mad?” No, Fernando: you just did good. I’ll have more to say here about this great film, which will be out on home video in a couple of weeks, when I do my Top 10 essay this weekend.

    The near-shutout suffered by COLD MOUNTAIN in the major categories — film, actress, director, script (yes … adapted script). I don’t begrudge Renee her nomination (and likely win), but what exactly was distinguished about Jude Law? Have I mentioned that I don’t care for this fantasy for the art-house audience? One Southerner of my acquaintance high-fived me, and told me that when he had heard of the film’s Oscar flop, he was dancing on the toilet bowl.

    Finally, a Best Actor nomination for Bill Murray, and he might even win, though my money would be on Sean Penn (insert this rant from yesterday about the Academy giving short shrift to comedy and comic actors).

    While I’m not crazy about most of the particular choices, it is good to note that the Academy actually acknowledged that films get released in the first 11 months of the year. Last year, all five nominees were released Dec. 18 or later. This year: LORD OF THE RINGS 3 on Dec. 17; MASTER AND COMMANDER on Nov. 14; MYSTIC RIVER on Oct. 8; LOST IN TRANSLATION on Sept. 12 and SEABISCUIT on July 25. Perhaps the shortened awards season this year (and the screener ban) made the end-of-year booking strategy not viable. Or maybe the voters just didn’t care for MONSTER, HOUSE OF SAND AND FOG, 21 GRAMS, THE COMPANY, COLD MOUNTAIN, IN AMERICA, BIG FISH, GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING and CALENDAR GIRLS.

    Bad surprises:
    The absolute shutout suffered by THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS. That’s not so much a surprise, I guess, as a disappointment about what I think was the best American fiction film of last year. I well realized it wasn’t gonna be a major player, since it was released in August and did poorly at the box office. But it still hurts that there was no room at the inn for its script and that Campbell Scott has nothing to show for the two of the best performances by an American male of recent years (this one and ROGER DODGER — so amazing because the characters in question are nothing like one another). Grrr … oh well: DENTISTS came out on home video last week and I heartily recommend it as one of the most realistic and dry-eyedly romantic depictions of family life I’ve ever seen.

    The nomination of Tim Robbins and his collection of gestures masquerading as a performance in MYSTIC RIVER for anything other than a Razzie. Have I mentioned here before that I *hate* that performance. I suppose I can see the logic … that’s Acting. In fact I’ve never so *much* Acting in a noncomic performance in my life. You see every twitch and halt, and all the blood, sweat and tears that went into this, The Ultimate Performance. It’s discouraging that even professional actors are again mistaking playing a handicap (or someone of the opposite sex, who ages 100 years, etc.) as acting.

    No Scarlett Johansson. She gives two of the year’s best lead female performances — in LOST IN TRANSLATION and GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING — and gets shut out. And not because neither film was up the Academy’s alley — LOST was one of the big winners and PEARL was a December prestige release that did get several (very deserved) nods in the technical categories. Maybe the two performances canceled each other out. Or maybe the Academy just prefers telegraphed collections of body-language tics to using your eyes and face and just *existing* on camera.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    January 29, 2004 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

    No comments yet.

    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Andrew Johnston, 1968-2008
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Andrew Johnston, 1968-2008

    My film-critic friends and I got some bad news Sunday overnight. Andrew Johnston died, at the age of 40. His death Sunday night was a real surprise and shock. He had been battling cancer for several years, but the last I heard from him on this subject was about a year ago, when he was brimming with optimism that he’d licked it, and the last time I saw him in person, whenever it was, he looked reasonably hail and had good weight on him.

    Andrew was one of the circle of Internet pro-critic friends I have. He was most recently an editor at Time Out New York and had been previously been a critic for TONY, Us Weekly and other magazines, and served for a time as chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. I won’t pretend to be closer to him than I was. Because he was based in New York, I only saw him in person the five or so years we were both at the Toronto Film Festival. But before we’d ever met in person, when I mentioned summer 2001 in our Super-Secret Discussion Board that I’d be coming to the next TIFF, he e-mailed me with the words “Thank God — that means there’ll be at least one [guy] I can drink with!” since most of the rest of our circle was one-or-none types.

    The note kinda typified what defined Andrew — a combination of menschness and enthusiasm. And that was him both personally and in his writing. In fact, the thing I remember best about Andrew was the enthusiasm he projected as a writer. He had more of a fan’s sensibility and a populist taste than many of us. (The year he was chairman, LORD OF THE RINGS 3 won the New York Critics top honor — which helped it build the momentum that ended with a historic Oscar sweep.) Andrew was the kind of guy who loved gushing to you about what he loved, rather than ranting to you about what he didn’t. That sort of personality was a welcome and sometimes needed antidote to the worldwise sang-froid that some of us are prone to, myself definitely not excluded.

    Andrew was one among several pro critics who accepted me (and several other non-pros; the group was about 50-50 pros/nonpros) into their circle and the Super-Secret Group based on my postings in the late-90s on Usenet. And the thing I prized most about that was that never was I talked down to or ever treated as an inferior, an amateur interloper, etc. — not by Andrew or any of the others. Without their everyday-implicit approval I certainly would never have started this site and/or would have packed it in several times.

    If Andrew thought I wrote something brilliant or brilliantly (first thing to come to mind was a post about the ending of CASABLANCA), he’d say so. If he thought I wrote something retarded, he’d say so. He took me to task once for attacking ROAD TO PERDITION as telegraphing everything (“what’s wrong with being clear and accessible to ordinary viewers”), and on another occasion for refusing on principle to watch Woody Allen’s HUSBANDS AND WIVES over the Soon-Yi affair (“You’re really cheating yourself by not seeing HUSBANDS AND WIVES … If you’re such a fan of his, why on Earth would you deny yourself this film?”). I relented on the Allen film and I’ll post the resulting review of HUSBANDS AND WIVES immediately after completing this post. On another occasion, I mentioned loading my Sicilian confessor my DVD of Visconti’s LA TERRA TREMA, which he called ridiculous since Father didn’t even like BICYCLE THIEF. At my request, that priest said a Mass for Andrew and the repose of his soul in the last day or so.

    In our limited e-mail and personal interaction, Andrew and I hit it off well too. Via e-mail, we bonded over the surprising commonalities and few differences about the pop-culture and music exposure of our very different boyhoods just two years apart. I promised him once, when he posted some advance info about TROY that struck me as bad news: “please be wrong; I’ll put a Ralph Nader logo on my site if you say you made this up.” At one TIFF, we discussed a favorite director of both of ours — Stanley Kubrick, most especially A CLOCKWORK ORANGE — for a whole meal by ourselves at one end of the table and ignoring everyone else. That first year, I saw FROM HELL with Andrew, Mike and Theo, and we’re milling about at the Varsity lobby afterwards. As an amateur Ripperologist, I’m ranting (imagine Wallace Shawn in THE PRINCESS BRIDE) about how the Hughes Brothers’ theory was implausible and in any event decisively refuted by workhouse records of Annie Crook and the child’s birth certificate, etc. Mike and Theo also are holding their metaphorical noses at the film too. Theo then looks at Andrew’s face and says “lemme guess … you kinda liked it.” At that, Andrew says something like “I have to like something about this” and then pulled up his sleeve to show a tattoo of the Freemasons or some Masonic symbol on his deltoid.

    Those of us who could see Andrew’s work unencumbered by space, formatting and audience-targeting considerations knew how good a critic he was. I unfortunately didn’t read much of his work the last couple of years mostly because he began writing more about television, which I gave up a couple of years ago and so couldn’t even follow. Everyone I know says this was when he best found his public voice. According to this piece at The House Next Door, even on his deathbed, he was watching and writing about MAD MEN, for which he was beating the drum very early (as I say, Andrew was an enthusiast first and last). “Mad Men Mondays” was a regular feature there. I think I owe it to him to pick up and start watching MAD MEN from the start after the election to see what was Andrew’s final love.

    But probably my favorite Andrew post on The Group, which I’ll take the liberty of pasting in after the jump, was over APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX, which Andrew and I were virtually alone in thinking was an improvement on the original (the vote was 5 better / 19 worse). I wrote the following then in lieu of defending the changes myself.

    When I saw the film last week, I thought it was even better than before. … [But] I didn’t say anything because I found that almost everything I wanted to say had been said, quite worthily, by Mr. Andrew Johnston in post 10626. We should all bow down before his brilliance. Dude, you da explosion.

    Yes, he was. RIP and thanksbud.

    Andrew on why APOCALYPSE NOW REDUX is an improvement on the original

    I’m gonna abandon all pretense of spoiler-freedom now, but if any of the onlookers here are hardcore APOCALYPSE NOW fans, they probably already know what’s in the scenes.

    I agree that the Playboy Bunnies encounter does seem a little dated, but I really liked how it showed Willard’s growing sense of responsibility for the crew’s well-being, as well as how it developed his relationship with the Chief. The sequence allowed subsequent scenes (which were there in the original) to give the impression that the Chief was developing a reluctant trust of/respect for Willard, a sense that was greatly muted in the original.

    The French Plantation sequence does slow down the movie, and the music in it is awful, awful, awful — like James Newton Howard playing a $200 Casio. But losing it means losing Mr. Clean’s funeral, a scene that shows the crew processing their first significant loss. Their jaded attitude when they reach the Kurtz compound — and their relatively blase reaction to the Chief’s death and businesslike disposal of his corpse now makes a lot more sense.

    Also, the dialogue over dinner at the plantation (re. the tenacity of the French) reinforces Kurtz’s point (which is probably really John Milius’s point) that America was losing the war because our troops were pampered babies who would forever remain “dilletantes as soldiers and tourists in Vietnam” so long as they pulled one-year tours and were placated with beer, steaks and Playboy bunnies (was that speech in the original? I don’t remember it). It’s as simplistic an explanation for the “loss” of the war as the RAMBO “they wouldn’t let us win it!” philosophy, but IMHO it makes more sense, and it certainly seems like the kind of belief someone like Kurtz would hold.

    Other benefits of the Plantation sequence include Willard’s opium smoking — which shows how much the ordeal has been getting to him by following up on his refusal to smoke a joint with the boys earlier — and an added sense that they’re going backward in time as they go up the river. Without the sequence to set up that theme, the primitive, precolonial nature of the Kurtz compound is more suceptible to Edward Said-type criticism vis-a-vis demeaning the locals by depicting them that way. IMHO, anything the film loses in terms of pace and momentum from the sequence being there, it gains back in terms of additional texture.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    I blame SonnyIn "Ben Shapiro"

    Gangsters and NothingnessIn "business of movies"

    The start of an affairIn "Graham Greene"

    October 29, 2008 - Posted by | Andrew Johnston

    7 Comments »

    1. Andrew was a Freemason?

      Thanks for the personal obit. I never met Andrew, but he always seemed like… yeah, a mensch. He was one of the guys I would have definitely looked forward to meeting if I’d ever made it to TIFF.

      Comment by Adam Villani | October 31, 2008 | Reply

    2. Beautiful remembrance, Victor. Thanks for making note of Andrew’s passing. We’re feeling his loss deeply at The House.

      Comment by Keith Uhlich | October 31, 2008 | Reply

    3. One of the many rewarding aspects of reading all the stuff people are writing about Andrew is discovering that he was exactly the same person with everybody.

      Thanks for your finely-wrought words, and for the “Apocalypse Now Redux” quote, which I’d never come across before.

      One of the purely selfish reasons I loved Andrew was that we sometimes shared the same batshit-crazy, wandering-out-there-in-the-swamp-babbling-to-ourselves opinions on things, opinions that were so opposed to the consensus as to be faintly comical. We both really dug “Redux” and found it strange that the critical establishment of today bemoaned the overstuffed, context-laden cut that Coppola assembled and pined for the old psychedelic sound-and-light show with its two-dimensional (or “iconic”) characterizations, whereas back in 1979, the consensus was that it was viscerally amazing but incoherent, the characterizations were thin, and could’ve used more psychologically rich characters plus a dose of ye olde depth-and-context. It’s like that old bit of doggerel”

      “As a rule,
      Man is fool,
      When it’s hot,
      He wants cool.
      When it’s cool,
      He wants hot
      Always wanting
      What is not.”

      Comment by Matt Zoller Seitz | November 1, 2008 | Reply

    4. I didn’t realize people in general didn’t prefer Redux. I like Redux better.

      Comment by Adam Villani | November 2, 2008 | Reply

    5. Adam: I don’t know about the general populace, but the critical reaction to “Apocalypse Now Redux” at the time was definitely skeptical, in the “Nice idea in theory, unsatisfying in practice” vein.

      I think they’re both intermittently brilliant but far from perfect dreamlike spectacles with some satire and political commentary mixed in — the sort of movie that’s so grand in its ambition and so personal in its execution that applying the usual commercial cinema definitions of “perfection” to the result seems counterproductive, maybe even contrary to the spirit of the project.

      And I dunno about you, but I think the Playboy bunny interlude is marvelous — particularly the juxtaposition of the magazine’s fantasy vision of feminine pulchritude and the desperate reality of the bunnies waiting out the monsoon with the boys in the boat.

      Comment by Matt Zoller Seitz | November 3, 2008 | Reply

    6. Very nice tribute, Victor. I’ve only met Andrew a few times, but online and in e-mail he was always brimming with enthusiasm. He was never one to get down on things. RIP.

      Comment by Ryan W. | November 14, 2008 | Reply

    7. […] My film-critic friends and I got some bad news Sunday overnight. Andrew Johnston died, at the age of 40. His death Sunday night was a real surprise and shock. He had been battling cancer for several years, but the last I heard from him on this subject was about a year ago, when he was brimming with optimism that he'd licked it, and the last time I saw him in person, whenever it was, he looked reasonably hail and had good weight on him. Andrew was … Read More […]

      Pingback by Andrew Johnston, 1968-2008 (via Rightwing Film Geek) | oaktreeredwood | March 11, 2011 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)
  • 2-on-1 tag team
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    2-on-1 tag team

    I’ve been tagged by two different friends — Dale Price and Steve Skojec — for the same meme  — the “Top-Five Critically-Lauded Movies I Simply Detest.”

    Since I generally only see movies that have at least some critical acclaim, I could probably do this for any given year. For example, in 2006, none of the films that won the world’s three top juried festivals were IMHO worth recommending — GRBAVICA (Berlin, 5), THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY (Cannes, 2) and STILL LIFE (Venice, 3).

    Since Dale and Steve are both papistbuds who have named some truly detestable films, and often on grounds I’d choose (see Dale on CHOCOLAT and DEAD POETS SOCIETY), I’m gonna restrict myself to “Religious or Moral/Spiritual Films” that are widely liked in St. Blogs; several are on the Arts and Faith listing of 100 Spiritually Significant Films. Some of these films would not be considered critically praised in some of the FilmSnob circles I hang around, but well …

    (1) A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (Fred Zinneman, USA, 1966) — This is the sort of film that causes many religious people to confuse the subject matter with the movie. Thomas More is a saint; this movie is a sin. It’s all respectable and britcostumey and sincere and stiffupperlippy, a lengthy episode of Masterpiece Theatuh (I can’t decide whether Orson Welles as Cardinal Wolsey is brilliant or just a kitchen sink gesture, SOUTLAND TALES avant la lettre). Robert Bolt never found a way to make this play into a film. And while I have a high tolerance for lengthy intellectual debates, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS just bogs down in them because that’s all there is once the basic situation is set up — there isn’t any real drama until the trial, just a lot of talk, staking out positions. And when we get to the trial, Paul Scofield’s performance is far too voicy and Zinneman’s direction far too stagy.

    (2) PICKPOCKET (Robert Bresson, France, 1959) — Just about any Bresson, the cinematic Jansenist, would do here (COUNTRY PRIEST, JOAN OF ARC, BALTHAZAR, L’ARGENT) — the same somnambulent, inexpressive and unpsychological style that the uncharitable heathen (that would be me) insists on seeing as just plain empty tedium — events without drama, behavior without character. The acting would disgrace a middle-school play, even one about zombies, which is how Bresson deliberately gets his “models” to “perform.” For example, the police catch our so-called Dostoyevskian hero in a crime (imagine Crime and Punishment with Raskolnikov as an obscurely interior mumbler for a sense of how bad this is), but then immediately drop the charges **in the next scene.** He escapes a police crackdown at another point by going abroad and making a fortune and losing it all on gambling and women — we learn all that in a voiceover introducing the very next shot after he leaves Paris, which is of him returning to Paris. He doesn’t act (sic) any differently or make any reference to his foreign sojourn — so wtf is the point of our learning of it?

    (3) LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy (Peter Jackson, USA/New Zealand, 2001-3) — Neither Tolkien nor swords-and-sorcery fantasy are things I’ve ever been able to get into — never had either a Dungeons and Dragons or a comic-fanboy phase as a boy. Yeah … I’ve been a stuffed shirt for 35 years, all right. I’ve tried to read the Middle Earth novels, but not gotten past 40 or 50 pages because Tolkien is too in love with coining names and inventing creatures and laboriously laying out a whole universe, as if the real one isn’t good enough, so the artist-god has to create ex nihilo, that my mind’s and eye’s reaction — film and book — was just to let it pass through me like prune juice. The first film was eye-popping, but spectacle doesn’t last in my mind, and the symbology felt childishly obvious, and without a “reality” to anchor it, it could only function as symbology. The second was just “ehhh.” I couldn’t even drag myself to see the third.

    (4) WINTER LIGHT (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden, 1963) — Homer nods — maybe if I could believe a depressive collapse into suicide because China has the bomb, I could halfway credit this overschematicized whinge (though typically brilliantly made and acted). The faithlessness of Gunnar Bjornstrand’s pastor isn’t convincingly dramatized — if it’s ever shown how he got that way, I’ve forgotten it (plus GB usually played a skeptic in Bergman’s movies and so his ever being a priest didn’t convince me). With some notable bravura exceptions — Ingrid Thulin’s teacher reading her note to the camera being the most obvious example — the film feels cinematically static as though this material would work better as a play or novella.

    (5) SONG OF BERNADETTE (Henry King, USA, 1943) — Typifies everything wrong with Hollywood studio-era religious movies, offensive in its calculated inoffensiveness — full of what Flannery O’Connor called “the pious voice” and what St. Josemaria Escriva derided as plaster saints. Also see above re A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and subject matter — as long as neither holiness nor sainthood is imputed through a camera lens, subject-matter per se will never impress me. Seeing this movie is not a pilgrimage to Lourdes and the notion that it is, or relatedly, that a work of art can be judged on the basis of its subject matter is one I frankly find morally offensive. Add to that the typical dramatic shapelessness of the biopic, which gets deadly at 160 minutes, and a 25-year-old woman playing a 14-year-old girl (though that is actually kinda funny)

    I tag James Frazier, Adam Villani, Donna Bowman, Barbara Nicolosi, and Peter Chattaway.

    Advertisement
    Advertisements
    Report this ad
    Report this ad

    Like this:

    Like Loading...

    Related

    My Dinner with StanleyIn "Memes"

    Lamest. Oscar. Noms. Ever.In "Oscars"

    Ha-haIn "Michael Haneke"

    April 1, 2008 - Posted by | Memes

    7 Comments »

    1. Thanks for trashing a couple of my favorite movies. I’m hoping that’s just an April Fool’s joke on your part. Probably not.

      😉

      You might enjoy the post on IFC at my blog today.

      Comment by Jay Anderson | April 1, 2008 | Reply

    2. Oh, and thanks for trashing my favorite author, to boot.

      Comment by Jay Anderson | April 1, 2008 | Reply

    3. I like this topic, but I think it’s tiresome how often it degenerates into an anti-Hollywood Left bitch fest (see the liberty thread). A movie’s not bad just because you don’t like its message.

      Even though I wasn’t tagged, I will impertinently offer my choices here nontheless:

      1) Natural Born Killers — an evil movie that glorifies serial killers (after all, at least they’re not repressed like middle Americans), except when they kill an American Indian man– that’s just over the line!!

      2) American Beauty– repression is bad, homosexuality is good, religious/military men are closet Nazi homosexuals, teenage fornication is good, blah blah blah etc etc etc.

      3) Titanic- it took me nearly a decade to forgive Kate Winslet after seeing her in this. The biggest movie of all time? Peopla are indeed stupid. Don’t blame the elitist leftist critics for everything.

      4) Funny Games– evil, sadistic and pretentious.

      5) Dances With Wolves– PC to the max and boring to boot.

      Comment by Andy Nowicki | April 1, 2008 | Reply

    4. Jay:

      It’s not an April Fool’s joke at all, but I didn’t realize you were such a fan of WINTER LIGHT and PICKPOCKET.

      And actually I’ve never had IFC … all the cable systems I’ve ever been on have gone with the Sundance Network.

      Andy:

      Yes, that thread at Liberty Film Fest was depressing, which is part of why I deliberately restricted myself to a different type of films, without a single reference to PC liberal Hollywoof.

      And BEAUTY is not just “teenage fornication is good,” it’s “dirty old man slobbering over daughter’s teen friends is good.” BTW … isn’t it interesting [sic] how Hollywoof always sees homosexuality as good except when conservatives do it?

      And what prompted you to forgive Kate? LITTLE CHILDREN? (which was a good movie, and she was brilliant in it, but I kinda doubt it)

      Comment by vjmorton | April 1, 2008 | Reply

    5. “Hollywoof?” Is this an inside joke or a typo?

      Yes, quite right: homosexuality is bad when conservatives do it– hence no gay rights group leapt to the defense of Larry Craig (R) after his public restroom shenanigans.

      I think it was ENIGMA that enabled me to like Miss Winslet again. So, not quite a decade later, but close. I thought she was good in LITTLE CHILDREN (with a flawless American accent), but found the movie quite dull.

      Comment by Andy Nowicki | April 1, 2008 | Reply

    6. The faithlessness of Gunnar Bjornstrand’s pastor isn’t convincingly dramatized — if it’s ever shown how he got that way, I’ve forgotten it

      I’ve seen the film recently and I felt the same way at first — that the moment of rupture is not sufficiently explained, though Bergman makes the moment very clear (it’s at the point when the sun shines through the window, and the pastor throws himself on the floor in front of the altar, and the teacher holds him, kisses and caresses him, softening the existential impact of losing the faith). However, I’ve changed my mind. The point is that the pastor’s faith has never had anything to do with reality — he believed in an idol that only ruled over an imagined world. Recall his story of living at the margins of the Spanish Civil War, and not doing anything to help; also his disgust at the teacher’s bleeding hands, how ineffectual and weak his faith was before the cold face of reality. That is the point that Bergman is making, and it’s a point that is subtle enough that most people have not noticed it, and today we are stuck with sociological analyses of the causes and effects of contemporary European secularization, when Bergman was already warning us about it 50 years ago. If the faith doesn’t help me live in the real world, then we may as well shirk it off.

      You’re right that *dramatically*, there is no one event that causes the pastor to lose his faith. But there are reasons for it, reasons that are in the past and that are related in two monologues (the pastor’s reminiscing about Portugal, the teacher’s letter). There is also the suicide, which is a dramatic event that is caused by the faithlessness. But the mundane, anticlimactic way that the pastor experiences the loss of faith, the dread with which he goes through the loss, and the lack of any feeling of “liberation” which supposedly accompanies the atheist, are all keen insights on the part of Bergman. Insights that I wish Christopher Hitchens would absorb, but I have a feeling that he wouldn’t be able to appreciate this movie.

      The China thing was *supposed* to be somewhat silly — without faith, we have no moorings, we are pathetic, we can’t deal with our fears, petty or real.

      Comment by Santiago | April 2, 2008 | Reply

    7. […] Morton calls it one of the “critically-lauded” religious films he hates. I don’t entirely […]

      Pingback by It’s a Horrible Life? | The American Conservative | August 16, 2012 | Reply


    Leave a Reply Cancel reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    « Previous | Next »

    ...
    (Review Source)

Brett Stevens2
Amerika.org



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Civilization Depends On Lack Of Control
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Civilization Depends On Lack Of Control

    by Brett Stevens on June 3, 2017

    Stop me if you have heard this old joke. A drunk Soviet citizen takes a box labeled TURNIPS to his neighbor and offers it for sale. They open it up, and it is full of stones. “If the Party says they are turnips, they are turnips, comrade,” says the drunk. “Unless you want me to report you for calling the Party a liar?”

    All human groups — civilizations, church clubs, businesses, rings of friends — collapse the same way: they become successful, and to regulate themselves, set up rules and procedures which then become more important than the intended results of those rules and procedures. The letter of the law wins out over the spirit of the law. After all, you can either call the stones turnips or become an enemy.

    These internal systems can be called control, which is the habit of making people into a fungible commodity so they can be forced to obey the same instructions, mainly for the defensive purpose of keeping them from destabilizing the group. Control, like any good virus, quickly escapes its masters and becomes dedicated only to itself, addictive like the power of the One Ring in Lord Of The Rings.

    In that story, the ring represents a force that is seductive to men and then takes over their minds. It grants them great power, including invisibility, but the more they use it, the more their will is bent to its own. This is a metaphor for control, which is the trap into which most civilizations fall.

    William S. Burroughs wrote extensively about the nature of control:

    [W]ords are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind will soon encounter the limits of control.

    …When there is no more opposition, control becomes a meaningless proposition. It is highly questionable whether a human organism could survive complete control. There would be nothing there. No persons there. Life is will (motivation) and the workers would no longer be alive, perhaps literally. The concept of suggestion as a complete technique presupposes that control is partial and not complete. You do not have to give suggestions to your tape recorder nor subject it to pain and coercion or persuasion.

    …Consider a control situation: ten people in a lifeboat. Two armed self-appointed leaders force the other eight to do the rowing while they dispose of the food and water, keeping most of it for themselves an doling out only enough to keep the other eight rowing. The two leaders now need to exercise control to maintain an advantageous position which they could not hold without it. Here the method of control is force — the possession of guns. Decontrol would be accomplished by overpowering the leaders and taking their guns. This effected, it would be advantageous to kill them at once. So once embarked on a policy of control, the leaders must continue the policy as a matter of self-preservation. Who, then, needs to control others but those who protect by such control a position of relative advantage? Why do they need to exercise control? Because they would soon lose this position and advantage and in many cases their lives as well, if they relinquished control.

    Burroughs may err slightly in that he sees control more as a physical state, and not a psychological one. As Plato points out, it is possible to have a strong leader whose intent is noble and whose intelligence is realistic, thus he accomplishes (mostly) what he aims for. This leader has “control,” but it is not really control. It is leadership, a variety of something covered later in this essay.

    For example, consider a lifeboat full of eight dangerous schizophrenics and two leaders. The leaders will need to force the others to row because there are only two leaders, and many relatively expendable people; this way, the boat will reach its destination and the highest number will survive. Even more, since sanity is more valuable than insanity, it is important that the two get there, as a future is found in them but not in the schizophrenics, whose condition is highly correlated with genetic inheritance.

    This shows us the essence of control: it is not power itself, but the desire to use power for no purpose other than itself or those who wield it. As Burroughs shows with his metaphor, those who use power for no purpose except themselves are soon thrown into a defensive role, at which point they must enforce control in order to avoid being destroyed.

    Tolkien’s metaphor is portrayed most powerfully in the movies, where the ring seduces those who encounter it with words that reveal to them simultaneously their doubts about themselves and the world, and promises easier answers than the obvious and challenging task before them. Men are destroyed by wanting to use the ring to solve their problems instead of actually solving the problems directly.

    In this way, the power of language is revealed. Words have a stunning power because they are tokens that evoke images in the minds of those to whom they are spoken, and there is no guarantee that those images correspond to those in the mind of the speaker. This occurs through the power of symbolism, or the ability of one detail to stand for the whole. The word can mean a single detail excluding others, and speaker and listener often have different sets of those details that provide the image in their head, meaning that the listener is blind to many of the properties that are implied. There are also lies, which may be the oldest and worst of human vices.

    As is frequent on this blog, a citation from Tom Wolfe completes the circuit:

    Evolution came to an end when the human beast developed speech! As soon as he became not Homo sapiens, “man reasoning,” but Homo loquax, “man talking”! Speech gave the human beast far more than an ingenious tool. Speech was a veritable nuclear weapon! It gave the human beast the powers of reason, complex memory, and long-term planning, eventually in the form of print and engineering plans. Speech gave him the power to enlarge his food supply at will through an artifice called farming. Speech ended not only the evolution of man, by making it no longer necessary, but also the evolution of animals!

    …No evolutionist has come up with even an interesting guess as to when speech began, but it was at least 11,000 years ago, which is to say, 9000 B.C. It seems to be the consensus . . . in the notoriously capricious field of evolutionary chronology . . . that 9000 B.C. was about when the human beast began farming, and the beast couldn’t have farmed without speech, without being able to say to his son, “Son, this here’s seeds. You best be putting ’em in the ground in rows ov’ere like I tell you if you wanna git any ears a corn this summer.”

    …One of Homo loquax’s first creations after he learned to talk was religion. Since The Origin of Species in 1859 the doctrine of Evolution has done more than anything else to put an end to religious faith among educated people in Europe and America; for God is dead. But it was religion, more than any other weapon in Homo loquax’s nuclear arsenal, that killed evolution itself 11,000 years ago.

    Worse than simply being manipulative, language has utility. In doing so, it allows those who could not succeed to learn from others and so endure despite lacking the understanding behind the words. This creates a rich environment for manipulation, because then there is a mass that does not understand depth, only the surface comprised of the simple images in their minds evoked by language.

    If anything marks the transition between the last century and the present, it is a gradual rejection of the power of language to control. People are recognizing that words do not have inherent meanings, which means they are only meaningful insofar as speaker and listener have the same mental images, and this depends on who they are, and cannot be “educated” into them.

    Through this mechanism, humankind returns to something like the order of nature. Language is useless, so instead we agree on a goal which cannot be transmitted through language, like the amorphous idea of a great civilization rivaling that of the ancients. Then, we rely on people to reach that goal by independent action, reflecting their ability and therefore where they belong in the hierarchy.

    Contrarian to this large evolutionary step, the doctrine of egalitarianism serves as the basis of control. It establishes what cannot be said by making a rule that all people must be equal, so anything above equal becomes taboo. Wherever humanity is held back, you will find control saying that we cannot get ahead of ourselves, because not everyone is up to speed yet.

    The latest from the forces of control is “political correctness,” a type of speech code that shapes thought toward egalitarianism and therefore prevents critique of the failing 1789-2016 programs which implemented egalitarian ideas as policy. The backlash against political correctness is beginning with fervor, and may have elected the current president of the United States:

    According to the website — the project of mathematician Spencer Greenberg — believing “there is too much political correctness in this country” was the second most reliable predictor of whether a given person intended to vote for Trump. The only better predictor was party affiliation: despite an abnormal campaign featuring an abnormal candidate, it remained the case that the overwhelming majority of Republicans voted for the Republican candidate, and the overwhelming majority of Democrats voted for the Democratic candidate.

    But being anti-P.C. correlated more strongly with being pro-Trump than just about anything else: it beat out social conservatism, protectionism, and anti-immigration as predictive tendencies.

    “Nowadays, as the right sees it, the left has won the culture war and controls the media, the universities, Hollywood and the education of everyone’s children,” Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at New York University, told Politico in the recent article that made me aware of Greenberg’s survey data. “Many of them think that they are the victims, they are fighting back against powerful and oppressive forces, and their animosities are related to that worldview.”

    Political correctness represents the attempt by the dying egalitarian Establishment to hold on to power after it has lost the hearts and minds of its people.

    Egalitarianism promised “freedom” from the “tyranny” of the monarchy, and instead delivered a string of ideological wars beginning with the Napoleonic Wars and extending into World War Two. Since that time, the West has fought a cold war against egalitarian totalitarians, and divided itself between different shades of egalitarianism among its own political powers.

    The point of political correctness is to prevent the criticism of egalitarianism by noticing certain facts that egalitarianism will not acknowledge, and so quickly became a war on truth itself. As in witch-hunts, political correctness gives power to the people making the accusation, which is assumed to be true because no one wants to in turn become a target of the inquisitors.

    In turn that creates a situation where necessary truths are denied, forcing ordinary people to become extremists once they realize this system is designed to perpetuate a lie and suppress truth:

    In January 2014, the commander of a French military academy rejected the master’s thesis of an elite German army officer under his charge for its extremist argument that human rights could lead to the genocide of Western races.

    “If this was a French participant on the course, we would remove him,” he told the young officer’s German superiors.

    An academic hired to review the thesis told senior officers in the German army, the Bundeswehr, that it included racist and radical nationalist content, but they chose not to formally discipline the man as they did not want to jeopardize the career of a high-flying recruit.

    Societies that suppress potentially truthful observations because those observations may threaten control are by nature totalitarian societies, no matter what methods they use, including “peaceful” ones like ostracism. You either obey control, or your life is destroyed by obliteration of your career, reputation, livelihood and chance to have friends and meet potential mates. The forces of political correctness are using natural selection to “weed out” people with unconventional opinions.

    As a result, the West now has created a situation where it is pursuing a path to doom and has eliminated any ability to notice that this doom is upon us. This gives us a binary choice: we either fight this system, or accept our own destruction. We are going to go out just like the Soviets, unwilling to alter a failing direction because of our pretense of being correct according to control:

    Totalitarianism has nothing necessarily to do with violence (as Aldous Huxley perceived in his Brave New World of 1932 – and to equate totalitarianism with violence was an error by Orwell). For totalitarianism ‘whatever works’ is the guide.

    Thus we now, in the West, live in a highly totalitarian society, in which most people’s thoughts are controlled most of the time – by a combination of indoctrination during childhood and youth, the unified-linked bureaucracy of the government and the workplace, the mass media and its addictiveness, and a legal system which explicitly includes thought crimes (what else are ‘hate crimes’?).

    Those who wish to resist this totalitarianism have made a fatal error. Instead of demanding an end to control, they have chosen a false target through an ersatz opposite to control. They choose “freedom,” which is a form of egalitarianism, which means that as soon as control is overthrown, it will be reinstated through the manipulation that produced it the first time.

    The opposite of control is not liberty, but cooperation. Cooperation requires a purpose and principles, so that people can measure their actions by how they help to achieve that goal. With cooperation, people take on unequal roles toward the same end for the benefit not of individuals, but of society as an organic whole, as if it were an organism.

    Without cooperation, people go in many different directions at once, and this opens the door to manipulation. Since the chaos impedes life, people will begin manipulating one another with language. The virus will spread, and soon everyone will manipulate each other, which makes manipulation the only way to have power, and by natural selection elects to leadership those who are the best manipulators.

    Tags: , , , ,

    Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • A Simplified, Forward Vision For the Alt Right: Lord of the Rings + Spaceships
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    A Simplified, Forward Vision For the Alt Right: Lord of the Rings + Spaceships

    by Brett Stevens on July 10, 2017

    The Alt Right has stumbled lately through a loss of momentum. Much of this comes as its vision becomes blurred after achieving immediate objectives like public acceptance and support of nationalist candidates such as Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen.

    More of it comes through the nature of conservative movements as “big tents.” People come to the Alt Right from libertarianism, conservatism, nationalism or even Leftism. It tries to accommodate them all, and in the process, runs the risk of being diluted and becoming a version of its own influences through a sort of “reverse assimilation.”

    To unite these groups, the Alt Right needs a clear, simple and visual direction. We need to know where we are headed; are we merely Republicans who dislike diversity? Or Knights Templar returned to bring transhumanism to the stars? Our enemies think we are re-warmed Nazis and Klan members; most people see us as trolls. In the midst of this confusion, the Alt Right floats adrift.

    Perhaps we should look into what all white people, in their innermost selves, crave. And in a gesture that is uncommon here at Amerika, perhaps we should use visual indicators of the first order, namely ((( movies ))) which have captured the imagination of the greatest number of white people over the past few decades.

    The first obviously would be Lord of the Rings. These three movies together form a story arc that can be summarized as “different races join together for a vast race war that culminates in the restoration of the monarchy.” It is hard to get more un-PC than that, but when your races are Elves, Hobbits and Men, it becomes easier to slip it past the censors.

    Another epic film series, although only the first movie is good, is Star Wars. In this film — which came out at the peak of the Cold War — a rag-tag band of misfits battle an imperial force that resembles a hybrid between the Soviets, Romans and Nazis. It was interesting in that it combined Buddhist mysticism with Tom Clancy-styled political fiction and pulp sci-fi of the first order.

    In its heart, the Alt Right wants Lord of the Rings with spaceships. We might visualize this as the world that J.R.R. Tolkien created, fused with the imaginative space conflict of George Lucas. Or, to make it more abstract, we want the sense of order from Tolkien, and the feeling of purpose from Star Wars.

    These two seem a bit at odds, but there is more than meets the eye.

    1. Aristocracy. Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia is in fact royalty, and signs of other noble houses appear in subsequent movies. Similarly, in Tolkien we have not just kings, but lords, stewards, and other features of a healthy aristocracy.
    2. Caste. Bilbo and Frodo Baggins are not just hobbits, but landowners, which is why Samwise Gamgee is “my gardener” to Frodo. In the Star Wars universe, Luke’s freeholding aunt and uncle appear to be a different caste from those in the town.
    3. Virtue. The good parts, opposed to the evil parts, of both of these societies are very much virtue cultures where doing the right thing is more important than survival.
    4. Religion. Surprisingly, the religious angle is less strong in Tolkien, but very present, with a theology involving an afterlife and reincarnation. In Star Wars, characters are able to exert their will physically by joining with a metaphysical “Force.”
    5. Darwinism. Neither of these worlds involve any socialism, subsidy state, entitlements, benefits or even much intrusion of government. Star Wars resembles Heinlein’s libertarian universe, but with culture instead of personal appetites at its core, and Lord of the Rings is a feudal, pre-government society.

    What sort of belief systems influenced the creators of these works? As it turns out, Tolkien left us some clues:

    Tolkien was, in his choleric way, giving voice to his deepest convictions regarding the ideal form of human society—albeit fleeting voice. The text of his sole anarcho-monarchist manifesto, such as it is, comes from a letter he wrote to his son Christopher in 1943 (forgive me for quoting at such length):

    My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning the abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs)—or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate real of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could go back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so to refer to people . . . .

    And anyway, he continues, “the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men”:

    Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. At least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is. The mediaevals were only too right in taking nolo episcopari [“I do not want to be bishop” – Ed.] as the best reason a man could give to others for making him a bishop.

    Grant me a king whose chief interest in life is stamps, railways, or race-horses; and who has the power to sack his Vizier (or whatever you dare call him) if he does not like the cut of his trousers. And so on down the line. But, of course, the fatal weakness of all that—after all only the fatal weakness of all good natural things in a bad corrupt unnatural world—is that it works and has only worked when all the world is messing along in the same good old inefficient human way . . . .

    There is only one bright spot and that is the growing habit of disgruntled men of dynamiting factories and power-stations; I hope that, encouraged now as ‘patriotism’, may remain a habit! But it won’t do any good, if it is not universal.

    …since our perpetual electoral cycle is now largely a matter of product recognition, advertising, and marketing strategies, we must be content often to vote for persons willing to lie to us with some regularity or, if not that, at least to speak to us evasively and insincerely. In a better, purer world—the world that cannot be—ambition would be an absolute disqualification for political authority.

    I include the final paragraph fragment from author David Bentley Hart because it explains Tolkien’s perspective so well. In the above we have a few vital ideas: a desire for no government and control (a term left undefined), support for absolute monarchy, a belief that those who seek power are corrupt, and an anarcho-primitivism that desires an inefficient form of human civilization.

    These are interesting to fit together because they work well together. Under a monarchy, citizens arguably have the most flexibility to determine how they spend their time, which probably serves better than enumerated rights and freedoms as a signifier of the good life. There are no rules and regulations, only “use your best judgment” delegated to people whose ancestors were wiser and gentler than the rest. While there are also no free stuff social benefits to save people from themselves, on the flip side, taxes are lower and there is almost no red tape, paperwork and the like. Most of the miserable events of modern society are simply missing.

    Now let us take a peek at what George Lucas believed:

    Lucas was born and raised in a strongly Methodist family. After inserting religious themes into Star Wars he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his movies, which were a major inspiration for “the Force.” Lucas eventually came to state that his religion was “Buddhist Methodist.”

    …Lucas’s Protestant family background has always been evident to those who have analyzed his films. Lucas has a clearly defined belief in God, and good and evil; Lucas has been described by some as a pantheist. Lucas is a friend of Joseph Campbell, from whom he has derived much of his philosophy. Discussing the development of the idea of the Force, Lucas said: “The Force evolved out of various developments of character and plot. I wanted a concept of religion based on the premise that there is a God and there is good and evil. I began to distill the essence of all religions into what I thought was a basic idea common to all religions and common to primitive thinking. I wanted to develop something that was nondenominational but still had a kind of religious reality. I believe in God and I believe in right and wrong. I also believe that there are basic tenets which through history have developed into certainties, such as ‘thou shalt not kill.’ I don’t want to hurt other people. ‘Do unto others…’ is the philosophy that permeates my work.” [Source: Ryder Windham. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace Scrapbook. Random House (1999), pg. 11.]

    George also recalled a period of existential anguish when he was six. ‘It centered around God,’ he recalled. ‘What is God? But more than that, what is reality? What is this? It’s as if you reach a point and suddenly you say, “Wait a second, what is the world? What are we? What am I? How do I function in this, and what’s going on here?” [Source: John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas, Avon Books: New York, NY (1999), p.22]

    Jean Renoir said that every artist has only one story. If that is true, then what is Lucas’s? It’s a question he’s always been unwilling to answer. If pressed, he disclaims any personal vision, referring back to the body of myth, the thirty-two basic plot situations enumerated by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, or the accumulation of racial memory evoked by Carl Gustav Jung. ‘I took off from the folk side of things,’ he told the New York Times, looking back on Star Wars from the perspective of a quarter-century, ‘and tried to stay with universal themes apart from violence and sex, which are the only other two universal themes that seem to work around the world. My films aren’t that violent or sexy. Instead, I’m dealing with the need for humans to have friendships, to be compassionate, to band together to help each other and to join together against what is negative.’ Except it was precisely these aspects of earlier Star Wars adventures that critics found lacking in The Phantom Menace. [Source: John Baxter, Mythmaker: The Life and Work of George Lucas, Avon Books: New York, NY (1999), p.403-404]

    This gives us some insight into the purpose behind Star Wars: like classical civilization, it was a quest to put things in balance and to live according to a principle of achieving the good, and fighting the bad. While on the surface “The Force” is quite hippie, underneath the skin it is a doctrine of war.

    How could we fuse these two similar-but-different worlds? We may not have to. As Richard Spencer has said on several occasions, we do not need to know our exact endpoint, only the direction we want to take, and we can achieve it gradually as we get closer to realizing it. This is how most projects or quests in life turn out: starting as general ideas, and moving to the specific over time.

    What is most important about this realization — Lord of the Rings plus spaceships — is that it explicitly rejects modernity without making the mistake that most people do of confusing modernity with technology. Modernity is the time that came out of The Renaissance™: a time based on human individuals, not natural or divine order, as the ancient civilizations of The Odyssey, Beowulf and even the Middle Ages had been. Something in all of us Caucasian-types yearns for that kind of significance and meaning, although we have not yet connected this to our dislike of paperwork, obsequy, boxy architecture, ideology, rules, regulations and jobs that sap our souls.

    The Alt Right needs a way to unite itself and a purpose. Leftism is the idea of equality; conservatism is the idea of order, but it is more of a gut instinct or folkway than a procedural belief system like ideology, so that is then open to interpretation, which means that everybody’s got an opinion and they loosely ally while fighting it out.

    One of the elusive secrets of human populations is that the only way to unify a group is to stop fighting it out and give them a vision they can share as something to move forward to. Conservatives work well with ideas that emphasize order based on what has worked in the past, which is the “conserve” part of conservatism and conservationism alike.

    However, in order to know which working methods to choose, they rely on a goal of qualitative improvement of all things in life, like a gardener tweaking his plots or a mother raising children. This requires us to have a forward goal that says we can improve the quality of existence not just materially but in our spirits as well, and that requires a grand goal instead of the politics-as-usual bickering over “issues” that rely on modern or Leftist methods to “fix” eternal problems.

    When we look at the past, we see a method that worked better, but unlike modern ideology or religion it was not centered around a “big idea,” but instead a handful of bits of knowledge that are needed to make a civilization function. We abandoned that knowledge, and our technology — which was nascent but setting the groundwork needed for future development — grew, so that now we have a vast and powerful human dominion over Earth and are finding ourselves asking, “But what is the purpose?”

    It does not take a huge amount of wealth, power and technology to have grocery stores, libraries and basic health care. If we were going to be sensible about our extra wealth and energy, we might put it into exploring the stars so that we can escape the limits imposed on us by time. But here, the story gets interesting, because the two threads of ancient kingdoms and hyper-modern spaceships come together.

    We are not going to be exploring the stars in our present state of mind or degree of organization to our civilization. We are, quite simply, not ready, both on a personal level where people can barely control their own desires, and on a social level, where the pleasure-seeking behavior of the multitudes has created cruel and manipulative leaders who steer the mass culture with mentally convenient ideas that always turn out to be lies, or at least extremely partial truths.

    For us to get to the stars, we have to fix ourselves, and that begins with fixing our social order so that it rewards good behavior and banishes bad, which in turn will allow natural selection to work on making us (again) as fit, intelligent and wise as our ancestors. At that point, we can contemplate exploring the stars, and so realize a vision deeply embedded in the hopes of each of us.

    Tags: , , , , ,

    Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith2
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Peter Jackson’s Astonishing WWI Film
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    They Shall Not Grow Old is a visceral exploration of everything the Tommies of Britain saw, felt, heard, smelled, tasted.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Hollywood Is a Sex-Grooming Gang
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Where the ‘price of admission’ is stripping on camera, or worse.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Vox Day4
Castalia House



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ 𝐄𝐃𝐆𝐘 🔥 𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐍𝐓 🔥 𝐖𝐀𝐑𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 🔥 (𝐍𝐒𝐅𝐖?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • The Last Inkling
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    The literary world owes a tremendous debt to Christopher Tolkien, who has remained faithful to his father's vision to the very end:
    In 1975, Christopher Tolkien left his fellowship at New College, Oxford, to edit his late father’s massive legendarium. The prospect was daunting. The 50-year-old medievalist found himself confronted with 70 boxes of unpublished work. Thousands of pages of notes and fragments and poems, some dating back more than six decades, were stuffed haphazardly into the boxes. Handwritten texts were hurriedly scrawled in pencil and annotated with a jumble of notes and corrections. One early story was drafted in a high school exercise book.

    A large portion of the archive concerned the history of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional world, Middle-earth. The notes contained a broader picture of a universe only hinted at in Tolkien’s two bestselling novels, The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). Tolkien had intended to bring that picture to light in a lengthy, solemn history going back to creation itself, but he died before completing a final, coherent version.

    Christopher took it upon himself to edit that book, which was published in 1977 as The Silmarillion. He then turned to another project drawn from his father’s papers, then another—ultimately publishing poetry, academic works, fiction, and a 12-volume history of the creation of Middle-earth. The Fall of Gondolin, published in August, is the 25th posthumous book Christopher Tolkien has produced from his father’s archives.

    Now, after more than 40 years, at the age of 94, Christopher Tolkien has laid down his editor’s pen, having completed a great labor of quiet, scholastic commitment to his father’s vision. It is the concluding public act of a gentleman and scholar, the last member of a club that became a pivotal part of 20th-century literature: the Inklings. It is the end of an era.
    I have little doubt that we will see Amazon proceed to finish the process of convergence and corruption that Peter Jackson started. But thanks to Christopher Tolkien, the original vision will survive in the one medium capable of surviving the passage of time, the written word.

    UPDATE: Change that "little doubt" to "no doubt".
    Amazon’s big Middle-earth-set show based on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien is slowly moving forward. During this week’s Television Critics Association press tour, the company says that it has brought on two writers, JD Payne and Patrick McKay, to write and develop the series. The two writers are relative newcomers: both worked on the original script for Star Trek: Beyond, were part of the writer’s room for Godzilla vs. Kong, and are writing the upcoming sequel to Star Trek: Beyond.
    No wonder movies are so horrifically bad these days. Remember, this is an industry so infested with Dunning-Kruger syndrome that when they had one of the greatest American writers and one of the greatest English writers at their disposal, they didn't bother to have either of them write a screenplay. Because what did F. Scott Fitzgerald and P.G. Wodehouse know about storytelling, right?

    Posted by Vox Day.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Sports Guy was right
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Women ruin everything. Everything. This is why women have to be ruthlessly kept out of places to which their sex have neither created nor contributed anything. In most such cases, literally the only thing women truly care about accomplishing is adding more women.
    Co-producer Philippa Boyens addressed some changes made for the movie adaptation, especially the addition of a new character or two, something that could be seen as heresy by the literary community or Tolkien fans. Boyens said the story felt weighed down by males, so they created a female elf, being played by Evangeline Lilly and seen briefly in the footage.

    “We created her to bring that feminine energy,” Boyens said. “We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien. We didn’t want her to be a ploy.”
    What. The. Fuck? Tolkien's novels are a masterpiece. A classic. They define a genre. So Philippa Fucking Boyens decides she can improve upon them by adding a female character to do what, discuss tampons and boy bands? Does Tokenlass spend her screen time regaling the dwarves with tedious gossip about elves that none of them have ever met? Does she have sex with Borin before making a hypergamous upgrade to Thorin, then demanding that the dwarves replace their battleaxes and warhammers with lighter ones that she can carry?

    The problem with Jackson's LOTR trilogy wasn't the omission of Tom Bombadil but the addition of the idiotic dialogue invented by Boyens; HBO's adaptation of A Game of Thrones is much superior due to the fact that Martin himself is being used to create the additional dialogue required by the new medium. Now, I'll still watch The Hobbit when it comes out. Like The Lord of the Rings, the source material is too good to be ruined by the "contributions" of Ms Boyens's script. But it's unsurprising that the Tolkien estate is less than ecstatic about Jackson's films, which fortunately means there will be future films that will be conceived and advertised as being more faithful to Tolkien's text instead of presenting the Ms Magazine version of them.

    Anyhow, to Hell with Boyens, her feminine energy, and her fear of an excessively male story.

    Labels:

    ...
    (Review Source)

Death Metal Underground Staff1
Death Metal Underground



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Bazillion Points releases Heavy Metal Movies
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Metal-related publisher Bazillion Points (of Metalion and Only Death is Real fame) is furthering its extensive catalogue, this time with a book chronicling the exploits of heavy metal movies.

    Written by Mike “McBeardo” McPadden, Heavy Metal Movies covers over 1300 films, ranging from movies explicitly about a heavy metal theme (obligatory This Is Spinal Tap entry), to movies that were metal in spirit and thus became involved in bands’ artistic development (notably Lord of the Rings and Conan the Barbarian), in addition to various violent slashers and metal documentaries. Reviews are accompanied by color photographs and promotional artwork.

    Continuing the explosion of metal documentation, the book aims to appeal to both the devoted metalhead and general fans of popular culture. If this upholds the quality standards of Bazillion Points’ previous releases, this will be an excellent coffee table book for metalheads to show off to those who may be unaware of metal’s reach as an artistic phenomenon.

    At 4 lbs. and 576 pages, the book is currently available for pre-order for $24.95 and is scheduled to ship sometime in May. Those who purchase now receive free stuff as a bonus: a patch and a barf bag.

    Tags: , , ,

    ...
    (Review Source)

John Podhoretz1
Commentary Magazine



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Giant: Epic of American Growth
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    ...
    (Review Source)

Plugged In1
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Game of … Critics?
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    To paraphrase something Bruce Banner once said, “Don’t make the fans angry. You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.” Since the advent of social media, fans have increasingly had an online outlet to express their euphoria in glorious, crowd-pleasing moments—and to vent their white-hot, dragon-fire rage when their beloved franchises veer in directions they deem […]

    The post Game of … Critics? appeared first on Plugged In Blog.

    ...
    (Review Source)

Armond White1
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Avengers: Endgame: Nostalgia for Arrested Adolescents
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Superheroes punch the clock in this hollow, predictable, overly long mess.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Soiled Sinema2
Soiled Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • Angel Mine
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    In a small island country where the most best known and critically acclaimed filmmaker, Peter Jackson ( Dead Alive , The Lord of the ...
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Gate
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Out of all the people I have ever known, only one person truly gave me the distinctly visceral feeling that, on some strange and i...
    ...
    (Review Source)

The American Conservative Staff2
The American Conservative



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Fr. Dwight Hates The 'Hobbit' Movie
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Pop Culture I’m a huge fan of Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy. I think I’ll be dragged to the new Hobbit film kicking and screaming by my boys, but I expect to hate it as a cynical exercise in money-printing. Fr. Dwight Longenecker’s review confirms what I suspected. Excerpt: In trying to spin the story out for three mega movies the writers have clearly tried to not only flesh out the story, but to give it more emotional and personal punch. They failed. I didn’t care two hoots for Thorin Oakenshield who was supposed to be a noble heir who wished to reclaim his kingdom (is that copying the Aragorn thing?) but came across as a petty, grump on a revenge binge who lacked the dignity, power and skill to do much of anything. I didn’t care about Bilbo either. I had no idea why he was on the quest to start with. He didn’t seem much interested and Martin Freeman didn’t do much more than stand about looking alternately bewildered and a frightened. Were they on a quest to re-claim their dwarvish kingdom? It looked to me like they only wanted to get their hands on the treasure, and I wonder if that is also the main aim of the movie makers…It’s not much of a noble quest if revenge and greed are the driving forces. You seen it yet? Your thoughts? ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • The Undead Movie Franchise
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    There’s a scene about two-thirds of the way through in which pirate representatives of various nations meet to elect a king, that resembles the late Star Wars movies with their endless council discussions and legislative wrangling. ~Dana Stevens You don’t vote for kings. ~King Arthur Somehow I think I will manage to miss this Pirates epic as easily as I have missed the first two.  Haven’t the movie execs realised that the reason why the concurrent filming of Lord of the Rings worked out so well was that the complete story had already been written out and been wildly popular for decades?  Then there is the small matter that the story of the trilogy was actually interesting and engaging, unlike the heinous wastes of time that were the Matrix sequels.  Then again, they’re the ones pulling in hundreds of millions in revenues and I am writing on this blog, so why should they care whether they turn out the most appalling garbage? ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Federalist Staff2
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Peter Jackson’s World War I Documentary Is A Civilizational Triumph
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    'They Shall Not Grow Old' immortalizes and humanizes the ordinary British infantrymen who fought on the Western Front, and were then forgotten.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • How The Oscars Can Find Their Way Out Of The Identity Politics Wilderness
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    It’s a time for the Oscars to celebrate stories that challenge us to be the best we can be and give us heroes to emulate.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Mark Steyn1
Fox News



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Windy Colors and British-ish Film
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Mark is at the Oncenter in Syracuse, New York with the great Dennis Miller tonight, so, in lieu of his Saturday movie column and with tomorrow's Academy Awards looming, we thought we'd take a look back at some Steyn Oscar columns of the past. Here, from
    ...
    (Review Source)

Return of Kings Staff1
Return of Kings



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • 7 Mainstream Movies With Subversive Themes That Slipped Under The Radar
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    My father was a high-ranking student radical poobah and still thinks Castro was the bees' knees. Although I'm technically a red diaper baby, I've rejected all that baloney. I write off-the-wall fiction, and Righteous Seduction concerns next-generation game. My blog concerns "deplorable" politics, game, and my writing projects.
    ...
    (Review Source)

American Renaissance1
American Renaissance



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The End of White Celebrity
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Whiteness is a birth defect.

    The post The End of White Celebrity appeared first on American Renaissance.

    ...
    (Review Source)

The Unz Review Staff1
Unz Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Game of Thrones Finale, by Trevor Lynch
    (”The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    I loved the Game of Thrones series when it first got started. I watched it on the recommendation of Greg Hood’s Counter-Currents reviews of Season One and Season Two. I was so taken with it that, when I ran out of episodes, I actually picked up Martin’s books to see how the stories continued, which...
    ...
    (Review Source)

Morgoth1
Morgoth's Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻



    Want even more consensus?

    Skip Rotten Tomatoes, they’re biased SJWs too afraid to criticize things like the Ghost Busters reboot. Avoid giving them ad revenue by using the minimalist alternative, Cinesift, for a quick aggregate:

     🗣️ Know of another conservative review that we’re missing?
    Leave a link in the comments below or email us!  

    What’d you think? Let us know with a video:

    Record a webcam review!

    Or anonymous text review:

    Submit your review
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5
    Submit
         
    Cancel

    Create your own review

    Average rating:  
     0 reviews
    Overall Hollywood Bs Average rating:  
     
    Anti-patriotism Average rating:  
     
    Misandry Average rating:  
     
    Affirmative action Average rating:  
     
    LGBTQ rstuvwxyz Average rating:  
     
    Anti-God Average rating:  
     

    Buy on Amazon:
    ⚠️ Comment freely, but please respect our young users.
    👍🏻 Non PC comments/memes/vids/links 
    👎🏻  Curse words / NSFW media / JQ stuff
    👌🏻  Visit our 18+  free speech forum to avoid censorship.
    ⚠️ Keep your kids’ websurfing safe! Read this.

    Share this page:

    Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail