“Watch the films and say they’re great, that’s what SJ Baggins hates.”

So, it’s January third again. January third is Susie’s birthday (go wish her a happy birthday, I’ll wait), but it’s ALSO Tolkien’s birthday. How jealous am I that Susie’s birthday is the same as JRR Tolkien’s? I can’t even.

Anyway. Every year I read something he wrote on his birthday, as a sort of mini celebration. Last year it was a bunch of stuff, usually just an essay or two.

What?  I just like this picture, okay?

What? I just like this picture, okay?

This year, with Desecration of Smaug fresh in my mind (thanks for the retitle, Juan!), I’ve decided to re-read The Hobbit a bit earlier than usual. I mentioned when we were doing Puttin’ the Blog in Balrog that I typically spend summers in Middle-Earth (I know I brought it up before, but now I can’t seem to find where – hmpf), but really feel like I need this as a sort of mental palate cleanser.

I mentioned this to Juan and Nubia on Facebook (we have a perpetual group PM going), and they were interested…and then I decided to stop being selfish and open this informal group read up to everyone.

Grab your copy of The Hobbit and join us, yeah?

Also. I know there are plenty of you like me that visit and revisit Middle-Earth with regularity, and wanted to open the Snobbery doors wide for guest posts. If you’d like to share a few words on why you re-read Tolkien, I’d love to lend you my audience. No rush, no deadlines. Just let me know (in the comments or via email), and we can work something out. I’ve tried to express myself on the subject, but maybe your reasons differ from mine.

(Title is from a song Shannon wrote to troll me that I got a huge kick out of.  HAHA SHANNON, JOKE’S ON YOU!)

Hey, Peter Jackson? You’re Doing It Wrong.

Dear PJ,

I sat down last night with a bottle and a half of wine (no, I didn’t drink it all, even though I wanted to) and Desolation of Smaug.  I knew I needed the wine to get through the movie.  I was right.

What this?  Oh, it's just me riding a zombicorn that's goring you RIGHT IN THE EAR.  Juan drew everything 'cept me.  Isn't he talented?

What this? Oh, it’s just me riding a zombicorn that’s goring you RIGHT IN THE EAR. Juan drew everything ‘cept me. Isn’t he talented?

Here’s the thing.

I have these damn books practically memorized.  I know that probably seems ridiculous to some, but it’s true.  I can tell you what happens when, and to whom.  I can tell you the colours of the dwarves cloaks and beards.  I can tell you about all this minutiae that you probably have no interest in.

So how is it that you make a movie that I cannot follow?

No, seriously.  I was completely lost for more than half the TWO HOUR AND FORTY ONE MINUTE RUN TIME of this monstrosity.

I can appreciate you wanting to tell the story of the razing of Dol Guldur.  I wouldn’t have minded seeing that happen THE WAY IT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN.  But all of this extra Orc nonsense and the whole BRING ME HIS HEAD ON A PIKE bullshit just got in the way.

You seem to have an obsession with close ups of hands.  I guess that’s cool, we can’t all pick our fetishes.  I had a bit of a problem with how well manicured everyone was, though.  Y’know, Bilbo’s done some hard travelling.  I liked that you had the grime all rubbed in around his cuticles.  Nice touch.  But I could still see his perfectly shaped fingernails literally SHINING THROUGH.  Whaaaaaat?  My nails stop being shiny if I ignore them for a few days.  Who the hell was buffing this shit inbetween dirt baths?  I really want to know this.

AND WHO THE FUCK DESIGNED BEORN?!  That person should be taken out in a back alley somewhere and fucking shot.

Now, I’m not saying this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  But it’s kind of the worst thing I’ve ever seen.

WHO GROOMS HIS EYEBROWS?!  WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS NOSE?  WHY DO I SUDDENLY NO LONGER HAVE A CRUSH ON BEORN AFTER MORE THAN 25 YEARS OF WISHING HE WAS MY BOYFRIEND?!

This just ruined my childhood and I hate you for it.

It was this ridiculous Beorn, along with the COMPLETELY WRONG WAY THE PARTY ENTERED HIS HOUSE that made me realize this movie was WORSE than other people had led me to believe.

I’m not going to harp on sparkly Legolas or Tauriel’s super weird accent, just know that both bothered me.

The ONLY redeeming thing about this stupid movie was that you at least had the bird cracking open the snail in front of the hidden door.  But you couldn’t even do the hidden door right, could you?  You had to make it all suspenseful and let us believe they were TOO LATE, before having the keyhole lit up by FUCKING MOONLIGHT.  Wait, what?  YES.  Moonlight.

I don’t.

Ugh.

You are the worst.  I don’t understand what Tolkien ever did to you to make you want to treat his work like this, but it kind of breaks my heart.

Go ruin some other fandom (Except Doctor Who.  LEAVE THE DAMN DOCTOR ALONE!), please.

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ps.  If you’re interested in reading my ranty tweets from last night, I storified them here.

 

I’m Willing to Bet That We’ve Still Got Nothing In Common

Two years ago today, I started this blog.

Two weeks ago today, my finger hovered over this button for longer than I care to admit.

delete

What stopped me?  A few things.

I hit 100,000 all time views (daaaaaaaaamn) and noticed a blogger I respect a ton had added me to her super tiny blogroll.

It’s been a rough year for a lot of reasons.  I started the year with a big move, and I’m ending the year with an even bigger move.  I’ve made a lot of friends and lost some of those friends, and even though things have been pretty horrible for the last few weeks, things seem to maybe be picking up.

Anyway, you don’t want to hear about all that, right?  You want to know WHAT EVERYBODY READ!  And even if you don’t, I kind of don’t care cos I’m going to tell you anyway.

Most Popular Posts Published Since November, 2012

  1. You’ll Get Nothing and Like It – This post marked the first time this blog was Freshly Pressed.  It was a throwaway post I kind of regretted writing shortly after publishing it, but apparently I did something right.
  2. I Don’t Remember That…? (Part II) – Still pretty proud of this rant.  Don’t even care that the reason most people found it is cos they were searching for Thranduil on his mighty elk steed.
  3. Don’t Be a Sexist Pig:  A PSA from Your Buddy Bill - Second time Freshly Pressed, but I didn’t write this one.  OH WELL, IT STILL COUNTS.
  4. Don’t Tell Me What to Read, and I Won’t Call You an Insufferable Asshole – Dang.  I should work on my post titles, maybe.
  5. Kill Yr Idols…or Just Pretend They’re Not on Social Media – Again.  I need to work on titles.
  6. Why Do You Hate Me, Peter Jackson?  - Actually, this title kind of rules.
  7. Six Books I Will Never Read - Is anyone noticing a pattern?  Like, all of these posts are ranty?  What’s that about?
  8. Five Book-to-Film Adaptations that Make Me All Stabbity – See?  More ranting.
  9. Y U No Read Tolkien, Bitches? – Heh.
  10. Now Which of Five Thousand Answers Should She Give to That One?  - Oh.  Well.  I wasn’t expecting this one to pop up here.  This is…probably the most personal thing I’ve written.  I’m surprised that it’s here.

Now, if I go back and check the All Time stats, we start to see the Silmarillion posts and some PtBiB stuff (which is also pretty ranty, let’s be honest), of course the Clan of the Cave Bear (which I just typed Care Bear no less than four times) posts and that’s okay with me.  I guess.  Those posts are kind of funny.

Search Terms

I fucking told you about that elk!

I fucking told you about that elk!


Year Three

What’s coming up this year?

Well, a lot less posting, probably.  I’ve stopped requesting ARCs and Galleys and will only do so now if it’s something I’m super interested in, an author I want to champion or something I’m really really not wanting to wait to read.  I’m tired of feeling obligated to review things and I’m just…tired.

I started another blog earlier this year that was supposed to be full of non-bookish things, but lost interest pretty quickly.  I like THIS blog.  This blog is my home.  So…you’ll be seeing more stuff from just me and less from other people.  Expect fewer reviews unless it’s something I have to spread the word about.  Expect a more sporadic posting schedule (like the last few months, let’s be honest).

Don’t ask me if I’m okay.  I am.  I just need time away.  I won’t apologize for it.  I really am okay, I just need to not worry about reviews and stuff for a while.  I got all caught up in comments and views and stuff and it was making me miserable.  For the last two months I’ve barely checked my stats and ZOMFG it felt so good.

In Conclusion

A celebratory matter.  I know it’s my bloggiversary, so you should all be giving ME gifts, but I wanted to do something for you guys.

So I put the names of everyone who’s commented for the past year in the Hat and drew one.

The winner of the soopersekrit snobbery mystery giveaway isssssssssss……..

Trevor (@teemcp)!

It’s kind of appropriate cos Trevor and I are positive there’s some weird clone thing going on with us.  Trev, send me your address, yo.  I know exactly what I’m getting you.

To everyone else – thanks so much for reading and commenting.  Two years ago I thought there was no way anyone would ever read this shitty little blog of mine, let alone read it as faithfully as you have.  I can never express enough how much it means to have you all visit me here.

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PS.  Title is apropos of nothing, I’ve just been listening to The Steinways today.  SEE WHAT I MEAN ABOUT TITLES?!

Hey, you know what Middle-Earth needs?

I’m assuming those were the words that Peter Jackson was saying to himself as he decided which scenes needed to be included in the EXTENDED EDITION of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Yes, friends – you read that right.  A goddamn EXTENDED EDITION OF A MOVIE THAT WAS ALREADY TOO LONG IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Now, because I’m a total asshole and a glutton for punishment, last night I sat down with a holiday themed bottle of wine and decided to get through as much of this travesty as I could for SCIENCE! you.

pennywise

— Other!sj (@popqueenie) October 25, 2013

I knew going in that there was only thirteen minutes of new stuff (sidenote:  WHY RELEASE A WHOLE NEW EDITION WITH ONLY THIRTEEN MINUTES?!  I don’t think anyone would have walked out of the theatre if the damn movie was thirteen minutes longer, fuck), but wasn’t expecting a goodly portion of it to be at the very beginning.

We get a teeny bit more Erebor stuff, with Bilbo’s voiceover talking about the town of Dale, and how NO ONE KNOWS WHAT CAUSED THE DWARVES AND ELVES TO HATE EACH OTHER! (even though you’d know if you ever bothered to read the damn books) AND THEN we get to see that apparently what happened was Thror offering Thranduil a chest full of shiny jewels and then snapping it shut on his hand as he reaches for them.  PSYCH!  It was totally that scene at the opera in Pretty Woman, but Lee Pace is prettier than Julia Roberts.

This isn't a screenshot.  But I kind of wish it was.  Thanks, Susie!

This isn’t a screenshot. But I kind of wish it was. Thanks, Susie!

Well, now.  How could it possibly get worse?

Hmph, it’s like you don’t know me at all.

I’m not going to complain about the scene with Wee Bilbo Baggins meeting Gandalf for the first time, nor am I going to complain about Bilbo going shopping for fish in Hobbiton following Gandalf’s first visit.  These are scenes that I actually enjoyed and fail to understand why they didn’t make the original cut, so.

I kind of stopped paying attention for a while, mostly because I was busy replying to tweets and running downstairs to rant at my husband while he played CoD.

Honestly, it’s a better movie if you just kind of tune everything out.

Rivendell

I do so love Rivendell.  [sigh]

Anyway, there was more of the meal they shared upon first arriving, but with new and totally unnecessary things added, but the biggest problem I had was what caused me to walk away in disgust.

The band of dwarves are all sitting at the table with many elf maids and lads playing their harps and pipes and whatnot.  Kili winks at one of them and all of the surrounding dwarves glare at him for being a traitor to the entire species.

winkyHe tries to get out of it by saying he doesn’t find them attractive, not enough facial hair on the women, etc.  Then nods at another elf and mentions that that one isn’t bad.

At which point the entire table begins laughing uproariously because it’s a dude.

lulz

No big, right?  Everyone was wishing for more homophobia in Middle-Earth.  It was the ONE THING that was missing and now these are the best movies evar, right?  Ugh.

I walked away for a few minutes and when I came back to turn it off, this was the last thing I saw.

naked_fountain_tomfoolery

You can click on this one to embiggen.

So, um…it’s cool to make fun of someone for thinking an effeminate man is pretty, but then two seconds later go have a naked chicken fight in a fountain?

O.o

Right in your ear, Peter Jackson. Right. In. Your. Ear.

I know, you guys.  I FUCKING KNOW, okay?  I know I need to stop looking at/reading/scoffing over news of the second (SECOND!) Hobbit movie.  I KNOW!

And yet, it’s totally one of those train wreck scenarios where I just can’t force myself to look away, and I can’t help it if it puts my blood pressure through the roof.  IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY, SO I MIGHT AS WELL BE PREPARED.

Like today.  I know this has been out for a few days, but I haven’t been online all that much and I am WOEFULLY behind on my blog reading so I just saw this earlier tonight.

This:

hobbit-desolation-of-smaug-barrels-sceneAnd my immediate reaction was summed up on twitter.

Because, you guys?  WTF IS THIS SHIT?

No, srsly.

If you read The Hobbit with us last summer (shameless plug), or have EVER read it ON YOUR OWN, you’ll know that this bit of derring-do was an important character moment for Bilbo Baggins.  By helping the dwarves escape the clutches of Lee Pace’s eyebrows Thranduil, Bilbo secured the trust of Thorin and Company.  NOT JUST because they escaped, but because he MADE SURE that they were all secure in their little barrel boats before braving the rapids without any sort of protection.

So.

What do we have here?

Well, initially we have this:

mirkwoodrapids

Susie is the best. She made this for me and I <3 her for it.

Because isn’t that what it looks like?

Someone (*cough*PeterJackson*cough*) just DROPPED A FUCKING THEME PARK IN THE MIDDLE OF MIDDLE-EARTH?!

Because it’s not enough that we’re bringing DEAD ORCS BACK TO LIFE, we have to add MOAR ACTION by making this some weird battle scene.

“BUT, SJ!” you cry.  “HOW CAN YOU KNOW IT WILL BE A BATTLE SCENE?  ARE YOU A WIZARD?!”

Allow me to draw your attention here:

WTAF

There is ZERO REASON for these arrows to be in these motherfucking barrels.  UNLESS there is some sort of ESCAPE BATTLE with the elves of Mirkwood.

Which, let’s ignore the fact that it doesn’t even fit with the (RIDICULOUS) already established LotR!Film canon.  LET’S JUST TALK ABOUT HOW FUCKING UNNECESSARY THIS WHOLE THING IS.

Because it is.  WHY?  WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A HUGE SCENE?  WHY CAN’T SHIT JUST HAPPEN WHEN IT’S SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN, MR JACKSON?

WHY DO YOU HATE ME WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS?

What did I ever do to you?

And yet, with everything else that bothers me about this ONE SHOT, the thing I find most difficult to bear?

Look, Ma!  NO HANDS!

Look, Ma! NO HANDS!

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just go cry myself to sleep.