The New York Times is now giving page space to the current troubles in The Shire.

It’s likely that the smart money is on Jackson still getting the job. We’ll see.

Why do I care?

I love that book.

If I could, I would keep The Hobbit off the big screen because of the way the movie will rob so many young people of the opportunity to imagine it all for themselves.

As much as I love Jackson’s films, I have the luxury of comparing them to the rich world of imagery that was painted in my own imagination by Tolkien’s text. I am still deeply grateful to have grown up in a time when I got to imagine Middle Earth all by myself, with only a few illustrations to go on. (The cartoons came too late, I already had vivid pictures in my mind drawn straight from Tolkien’s text, and often far more faithful to his descriptions than the cartoons were…)

If I had kids of my own, I would read the books with them before letting them see the films. Reading is exercise for your mind, a collaborative and creative activity. Movies can be, but few artists seem to understand that, and thus movies rarely provoke us into active thought. More often than not, we’re just overwhelmed by somebody else’s imaginings.

How many times have I heard people cringe at the idea of reading film reviews and say, “Why take it so seriously? I go to the movies to turn my brain off!” Isn’t that kind of like saying, “I eat to shut down my digestive tract”??

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