Re: [mythsoc] Oops and Paradise Lost
Let's distinguish "film-led neo-scholars" into two groups:
a) those who have come to the book through the films, but have discovered
that the book is better [the ones that Mike and John are insisting are so
b) those who prefer the films or who either can't or won't tell the difference.
The first group we should welcome into the MythSoc. The second group we
should not. They're welcome to do their own thing, but they should do it
somewhere else. They wouldn't be happy here, and we wouldn't be happy with
them. There are plenty of other forums for the movie folks and for the "I
don't care if it came from the movie or the book or the gaming cards"
folks. This is our forum, for people whose primary interest is the book.
If it devolves into a movie club, there won't be anything like it left
I have no intention of trying to pretend that I think the movie is fine and
dandy, or equal to the book in any way, shape or form, just to "spread
honey" in front of people who don't share the Society's aesthetic.
This is not to say we should blackball anybody. We should just make it
clear that this is a society of people who love Tolkien's works, not a fan
club of book-cum-movie-cum-gaming card undifferentiated LOTR fans. Anybody
is welcome to join as long as they understand what they're getting into.
I've spent a little time in Jackson clubs, and I know what I'm getting
into: they should do us the same courtesy. Anybody who actually likes the
movies, or for that matter the gaming cards, is welcome to join, just as
long as they understand this is not that group. In practical terms, it's a
matter of how we publicize and present the Society so that we attract the
kinds of people we want to attract.
There will always be those who call this attitude elitist. Ignore them.
People who want a different kind of club should join or form a different
kind of club, and welcome to it. We've been steering the MythSoc between
the sectarian Scylla and the undifferentiated-fantasy Charybdis for nearly
40 years now, and this is no time to stop. Above all we need to educate
people like John's co-workers who can't see any substantive difference
between Tolkien and Jackson.
And, after all, if John and Mike are correct, we have nothing to worry
about. All those folks discovering the movies will pass on to the book
with little goat-cries of bliss, and they will be our bosom brethren.