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Murak
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 1:28 pm    Post subject: What does he mean, exactly? Reply with quote

From Mr. McClouds latest blog;

Quote:
On the Sam and Frodo question: Is it just me, or did anyone else find it funny that Sam went home to the family ("you can't always tear yourself in two, Sam") while Frodo sails with Ian McKellen off to THE LAND OF THE ELVES. I mean... Does that even qualify as "subtext" anymore?


Anyone know what he's getting at here?
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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess Ian McKellen is gay and he is taking a midet off with him to sail to fairy-land, oh and sam and fodo were lovers or something, but sam still wanted to marry rosey and have kids so Frodo left him so Sam wouldn't have to choose.

Of course maybe you were being sarcatic and I just said something really obvious, albeit somewhat incoherent.
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Murak
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see...

I guess I'm just naive. No, I wasn't being sarcastic; just sorry I asked!

Thanks for the interpretation, though.
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zerofoks
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the holidays are leaving all of us a little confused.
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Christopher Lundgren
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I'm glad somebody else asked, so's I didn't have to. I thought that might be what Scott was getting at, but... well I seem to have misplaced the end of that sentence somewhere.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, ever since I saw the first one, I got the impression in Elijah Wood's acting, that his Frodo, at least, is secretly gay for Sam, his loyal man-servant. I read all the LOTR books back when I was in high school, and re-read them a fear years ago, in anticipation of the first movie. In niether case did I ever get the impression of a homo-erotic relationship between Sam and Frodo, nor Merry and Pippin for that matter.

Here's what I remember, according to the book.
1) Frodo, Merry and Pippin are all cousins. Merry and Pippin, are first cousins to each other. So this is a family, here, not some English sissy-boy club.

2) Sam is the son of the Gaffer, who was garderner to Frodo's uncle*, Bilbo. Sam and Frodo have known each other since childhood. After Bilbo leave's Bag End to Frodo, Sam inherits his father's position of garderner, and all-around valet. Remember, much more time passes between Bilbo leaving the Shire to settle in Rivendell, and Frodo leaving the Shire on his quest to destroy The Ring, than is indicated in the movie. In the book, it's about 17 years. Therefore, Sam and Frodo had a lot more time to develop a servant-master relationship. Before the movie, I always equated it the kind of relationship a dog has with it's owner, especially if it started out a puppy-child relationship.

3) At the end of the book, it is told that both Bilbo and Frodo never married. Niether did Merry. Pippin, however, does wed, and becomes a father. And, of course, Sam marries Rosie Cotton, and they have a brood of 14 little hobbits.

4) I have my suspicions about Elijah Wood.

Scott McCloud wrote:
Either way, a delightful 3 1/4 hours. Sky (age 10) has seen it twice already. I've seen it 1.85 times for reasons we will not go into just now.
Don't be embarrassed to say Mother nature was calling you. "When you gotta go..." Personally, I held my bladder for a good hour and a half because I didn't want to miss a minute of the action. I paid $11 to see this, and I ain't missing one damn minute of it. I'm going to see it again, when the crowds thin a bit. This time I'm gonna wear depends.

*technically Bilbo is a first cousin of Frodo's mother. In addition Bibo's father and Frodo's paternal grand-father were first cosuins as well. After Frodo's was orphaned, Bilbo eventually took him in and became his guardian.
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IronSpike
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just intepreted all the male-on-male affection in the movies as your typical, if somewhat exaggerated, pre-Freudian stuff. Straight guys stopped touching each other in Western society only just this century, I think; you can still find a lot of older photographs of Victorian-era best buds hugging each other, or with their hands on each other's knees. No lie. A few other cultures still have this sort of thing; best male friends walking around with their pinkies hooked, for example.

Problem is, most American audiences still can't help but raise an eyebrow at guys touching... which is where the slashfic hags come in.

And the horror REALLY starts.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 10:04 am    Post subject: The Truth... Reply with quote

Obviously, you've never read the Very Secret Diaries...

http://www.ealasaid.com/misc/vsd/
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vincent213
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 11:26 am    Post subject: a gollum question ( a little off topic i suppose) Reply with quote

the lord of the rings trilogy was great, but i haven't read the books (and have no desire to as i am not a big fan of fantasy literature; i did read some of tolkien's non-fiction in college), so i was wondering if, in the books, gollum was as big an insult to jewish people as he was in the movies. i can give examples if no one knows what i'm talking about, but come on people. wasn't it obvious?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No. No, It isn't.
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Christopher Lundgren
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I'll bite. How is Gollum an insult to Jews?

This is the first time I've ever heard anyone say that, so it can't be that obvious.
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Kris Lachowski
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay I've read the Lord of the Rings like seven times and although I'm no expert on Jewish culture I think I have enough of an understanding to be able to pick up on some sort of insult to Jewish people via Gollum's actions and personality if there were any. So please enlighten me and the rest of the population on what you're talking about.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only read LOTR twice, but I am Jewish. Though I'm no Talmudic scholar, I've grown up around enough Jews, and have seen enough anti-Semitism to know when someone is doing a Jewish stereotype. I never picked up any indication that Gollum symbolizes Jews, in either the books or the movie.

Hey, I didn't see yarmulke on Gollum's head, nor was he wearing tzistzisth. And I'm pretty sure that a lot of that chazirye he was eating wasn't exactly Kosher, neither. Now if they gave him a big nose, and a voice like Jackie Mason (a la the Aardavark on the old Pink Panther show), I might agree with you, here.

Now excuse me, it's after sundown, and I have an electric menorah to plug in.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2003 7:39 pm    Post subject: a short, yet long answer Reply with quote

oaky, so i'm at work and i can't really use too much of my own thoughts but i know i have heard of tolkien anti-semitism before, so i did a quick google search and here is what i have found. (it's two threads from a marxist message board). i don't know if it confirms any point i was trying to make, and i certainly don't know if i had any point to make, but it seemed interesting at any rate:

> Finally, the 'gollum' character was something of an eyebrow-raiser for me.
> Not only is this an alternative spelling for the monster of Jewish legend,
> the creature's name Smeagol sounded somewhat Jewish to my ears, like
> Spiegel or Siegel, two common Jewish names. In Tolkien's tale, this abject,
> cringing but violently hostile character, is supposedly a lesson of how
> greed (for the ring specifically) ruins one's character. The fact that this
> character is also played by a Jewish actor might be entirely coincidental.
>

I too have wondered about the gollum/golem connection. Certainly there is no
link in the actual definition of "the Golem" and its role in Jewish
mythology, ie an artificial creature, created by rabbinical magic, to
protect Jews from harm.

On whether Gollum is supposed to be Jewish it's quite clearly stated in the
book and the film that Smeagol/Gollum used to be a hobbit, the hobbits
themselves based on English rural folk so rather than an allegory for Jewish
greed, Gollum seems to be a cautionary tale of what can happen to anyone
should they surrender to their baser nature. Indeed, Frodo himself, the hero
of the story, sees himself in Gollum and wishes to believe he is redeemable
so that Frodo himself has reason to hope.

I found an interesting (short) article exploring the topic of whether
Tolkien was anti-Semitic where it's revealed that in a 1971 interview the
author identified the dwarves with the Jews:

Lord of the Rings
Was J.R.R. Tolkien an Anti-Semite?
- - - - - - - - - - - -


By Craig A. Bird/Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles

Jewsweek.com | "I imagine the fish out of water is the only fish to have an
inkling of water." ‹ J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien, the "discoverer" of Middle Earth and the source of the
imminent-blockbuster movie "The Fellowship of the Ring," (which opens in
theaters this week) was a lot of things. Many of them contradictory.

The erudite professor of philology and expert in Norse languages wrote books
about dragons and trolls and elves and wizards. The devout Roman Catholic
purged any mention of Christianity from the 500,000 pages of his epic, "The
Lord of the Rings," series.

The unrepentant monarchist ("Give me a king whose chief interest in life is
stamps, railways or race horses; and who has the power to sack his vizier if
he does not like the cut of his trousers") became an icon of the 1960s
counterculture, and his literary themes enlisted to encourage drug use and
free love.

The fiercely loyal Englishman who wasn?t sure the Americans were any better
than the Soviets is more popular ‹ and intellectually respected ‹ in the
United States than in his own country.

But as Peter Jackson?s cinematic trilogy based on The Lord of the Rings
unfurls over the next two years (the release of "The Fellowship of the Ring"
will be followed by "The Two Towers" in 2002 and "The Return of the King" in
2003) and adds significantly to the tens of millions of his existing fans,
some will ask: Was J.R.R. Tolkien anti-Semitic?

Since there are no religious designations or distinctions of any kind, not
just Christianity, in "The Lord of the Rings," the answer must come from
other sources. Most troubling for many is Tolkien?s love for, and use of,
the Norse pagan myths ‹ the same ones the Nazis (and many present-day white
supremacists) turned to for inspiration.

Also the Roman Catholic Church of his era (he was born in 1892), which he
loved so fiercely, was known to harbor many with anti-Jewish sentiments.

Then, in a 1971 BBC radio interview two years before he died, he was asked
if the different races in The Lord of the Rings represent specific
character-istics, "the elves wisdom, the dwarves craftsman-ship, men
husbandry and battle, and so forth?"

"I didn?t intend it, but when you?ve got these people on your hands you?ve
got to make them different, haven?t you?" he replied. "The dwarves of course
are quite obviously ‹ wouldn?t you say that in many ways they remind you of
the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic. The
Hobbits are just rustic English people."

That well may be his only recorded comment linking Jews with "Lord of the
Rings." The stereotype is there if one wants to use it. The dwarves? primary
weakness, as revealed in the saga ‹ to their own detriment as well as harm
to the quest of the Fellowship ‹ is a lust for gaining, protecting, and
hoarding jewels and gold and silver.

It is obvious that each of the races of Middle Earth are a combination of
strength and weaknesses, each contributes negatively and positively. In fact
it is the race of "men" who are the most given to evil.

The racial distrust and bigotry of Legolas, the elf, toward dwarves is
matched prejudice-by-prejudice by the feelings of Gimli, the dwarf, toward
elves. Yet, it is these two who struggle toward and eventually reach a
position of mutual respect and deepening friendship that models how
different cultures and races should be able to get along.

Andrew O?Hair, writing in Salon magazine last summer, agrees Tolkien "is the
product of his background and era, like most of our inescapable prejudices."
But he insists, "At the level of conscious intention he was not a racist or
anti-Semite."

Michael Martinez, a major authority on Tolkien on the Web at Suite101.com,
turns the idea that he?s guilty because he was a man of his times, inside
out by noting that Tolkien?s "time" included "living through two world wars
and the 1960s," when the scholar would have been attuned to the discussion
and dissection of the shallowness of anti-Semitism.

One would think that Tolkien, who expressed so much disapproval of his
fellow white Englishmen, would have expressed any phobia about Jews
somewhere, Martinez says. "Instead, in his letters, we are treated to
discussions of how the Orcs in the British army behave."

The best response comes from Tolkien himself. After Hitler came to power,
but prior to World War II, the German government officially requested,
through Tolkien?s publisher, that he establish his racial purity so they
could authorize a translation of The Hobbit (the prequel of "The Lord of the
Rings").

The Oxford don, struggling financially to support his family, could have
used the income from Third Reich sales. Instead, though Tolkien is a
Germanic name, he took the opportunity to remind the Nazis of the ludicrous
pretension of racial purity.

"Thank you for your letter.... I regret that I am not clear as to what you
intend," he wrote. "I am not of Aryan extraction: that is Indo-Iranian; as
far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy or
any related dialects. But if I am to understand that you are inquiring
whether I am of Jewish origin, I can only reply that I regret that I appear
to have no ancestors of that gifted people...."
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MotherInferior
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vincent213 wrote:
what i'm talking about, but come on people. wasn't it obvious?

Hmm. You could have done the Google search before you spammed the board. Or at least put a LINK instead of the whole story.


Last edited by MotherInferior on Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please let's be polite. That was hardly spamming.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2003 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I don't mind long informative posts like vincent's at all.

Tolkien's letter to the Nazis was, I thought, particularly fascinating.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2003 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the dwarves are jews, then why do Gimli's eyes light up when hears the words "salt pork"?

Hmm, dwarves do have beards, though, like the Orthodox do. And one could equate the braids with peyos (vat, you think ve work for nuttin'?). However, not once does Gimli say, "I can get it for you wholesale."
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The resemblance of Gollum?s nickname to the golem seems coincidental to me. Certainly Gollum bears no other resemblance to the legendary golem, a hulking figure made from clay and animated by kabalistic knowledge.

The Rohirrim reminded me a bit of Jews. For one thing, the ?-im? plural ending seems derived from Hebrew; for another, they keep blowing on those rams? horns.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2003 7:08 pm    Post subject: the big smooch Reply with quote

Finally got around to seeing RotK yesterday, and well sure there were a couple of points where it looked like Sam and Frodo were going to kiss! Particularly the last shot of them together... the framing, the vibe, if it was your regular hollywood flick, (and if they were of opposite sexes), that would have SO been the set up for a big fairwell smooch on the lips.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avram wrote:
The Rohirrim reminded me a bit of Jews. For one thing, the ?-im? plural ending seems derived from Hebrew; for another, they keep blowing on those rams? horns.
Well, I was watching the extended version of the Two Towers on DVD, this past weekend, and I have some renewed thoughts on this whole subject.

Despite the semitic plurality of Rohirrim, the Riders of Rohan are more representive of the ancient Anglo-Saxons, and well as the old Norcemen. Names such as ?omer, ?owyn, and Th?oden have much more of an old-English ring to them. Also, the design of the buildings at Meduseld are very Nordic in nature. If you've ever seen examples of Viking architecture, you know what I mean.

Plus, the Rohirrim are an equestrian people. As Buddy Hackett used to say, "Jews don't ski, and we don't go horseback riding."

And it's Gimli who blows the giant "Schofar" at Helm's Deep. Plus, Gimli kvetches like a yiddisher alter-kaker, and he doesn't deal with horses well.

Hey, Jews can kid Jews.

As for Sam and Frodo, it seems, in the film at least, that Frodo has strong feelings for Sam. Frodo is very feminine in nature it sometimes seems. "Oh, Sam" and "My dear Sam" frequently cross Frodo's lips. But as I mentioned before, Sam's feelings towards Frodo are more of loyalty to a master, than any sort or romantic love. Sam mentions several times how he'd like to me married and have kids (with Rosie Cotton, not with Frodo - I don't think the latter is posible, even with Hobbits) Plus, Sam knows the burden The Ring has placed on Frodo, and he is very concerned for the welfare of his master. Knowing this, Sam tries to be as comforting to Frodo as possible.

Though Frodo may have romantic feeling towards Sam, I don't think the feeling is mutual.

Besides, I think Tolkien was trying to illustrate the commradery of men during war. Tolkien was a veteran of WWI, and saw it's horrors first hand when he was a young man. He lost many close friends in the trenches.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the reason why Frodo didn't marry was because (before he went of) he was probably following, subconciously, in his Uncle's footsteps by not marring as to remain "unattached" and able to go on an adventure should one come his way and (after he came back) he was too screwed up to make anysort of romantic attachment.

But then again, Frodo does say at one point, while being rescued by Sam from the tower, "There was an orc with a whip, and then it turns into Sam! "
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: The Truth... Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Obviously, you've never read the Very Secret Diaries...

http://www.ealasaid.com/misc/vsd/


Hm...reminds me of a website titled "Elijah Wood Is Very Very Gay," at
http://www.veryverygay.com/elijahwood/ewivvg.html
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2003 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Long before there was even talk of the movies, my and my nerdy pals would always claim that Sam vs Frodo was one of literature's great unwritten butt-sex scenes.

Not that we discussed man on man love frequently, mind you. We're all men's men... well... not too much of a man's man...

er...


BYE!
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