On Sep 3, 2007, at 8:03 AM, David Bratman wrote:
> Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike: you still don't get it, do you?
> Jackson's distinctive sin wasn't that he made some films. His
> distinctive sin is that his films were BAD, and could have been
This argument fails, since the films are GOOD at the bare minimum,
SUPERB at their best.
> The badness of his films is not what brought readers to the books.
Irrelevant, since the films are GOOD, not bad. Hence one must
conclude that their excellence is what inspires viewers to become
> Better films would have brought more readers
I'm unaware of any proof for that. I can't even think of any way TO
> I am quite certain that, had I never read LOTR,
That, of course, would have been a great loss. But surely the same
thing happened to millions over the years who were put off by the
Remington, or Hildebrandt, or Sweet covers and calendars and posters,
the "Frodo Lives" buttons, Led Zeppelin songs, and all the rest? Not
to mention the problem of deciding what books you're going to read by
whether or not you liked the movies based upon them, and not reading
a book if the movie didn't appeal to you, is a strange way to compile
a to-read list; I like that of the fictional novelist in AT SWIMS-TWO-
BIRDS, who only read books with green covers, much better; he at
least wound up an expert on horticulture and Irish history.
I also think, reading the various recent posts on the subject,
that there seems to be a good deal of misunderstanding about the
whole idea of "the fortunate fall". The correct focus of this
doctrine is not to praise the sin in question but to celebrate God's
greatness in turning all to the greater good. Thus David's point,
that a good outcome does not negate the sinfulness of the original
act, is quite true, but less important than Mike's point that the
ultimate outcome is highly desirable. It's thus disingenuous, and a
misuse of the analogy, to focus both on the so-called sinfulness of
the original act (Jackson's temerity in making the movie) AND claim
that the end result wasn't desirable or caused by the act anyway.
In any case, you're mistaking a hypothetical for the front line.
Jackson's films, being superb works of art, don't need the excuse
that "out of this evil, at least some good came". They're self-
evidently a positive good in themselves. So much so that their
admirers can even project worst-case scenarios, such as the one Mike
advanced, and hold their own on that front as well.
Although on the whole I think the latest round of posts provides
yet more evidence for my theory that discussion of this topic on this
list is an essentially pointless exercise.