She isn't even sure of what she's talking about. Tolkein was influenced by Celtic and Norse mythology in equal parts and in case she doesn't know those were always more about the male bonding. I'm seriously worried that she's expecting "feminism" in a medieval era. It's one thing to be writing for a good cause, it's another for being plain ignorant and shooting darts in the dark.
I don't write much anymore, I don't try to think of interesting or funny blogs to write, I don't write reviews anymore, hell I haven't even thought about writing any kind of 2012 blog about my gaming or top games like I've used to do.
There are probably a lot of reasons for that, when I think about it two reasons come to mind more than anything else. The biggest one over the last three years has been my previous employment at Wal-Mart and living in this town both have made me lose ability in just about everything writing, video games, math, speaking, faith in humanity, etc (Wal-Mart and Abilene tends to do that). The other reason being my growing love of watching a lot of different internet reviewers partly caused me to believe that I have no real reason to write anything when people can be watching/reading their videos/articles instead. I had almost reached the point where I would find more enjoyment in watching a Let's Play of a game than actually playing it myself, which is why I rarely post my opinions about games I've played anymore. With Wal-Mart in the past I seem to be getting back some of what I've lost over the last few and maybe I'll get back to writing more interesting blogs or reviewing games in the future.
That said, while I may not currently be up to the challenge of writing a well thought out, researched, thought provoking article I can tell when someone else is failing miserably at it and making an ass out of themselves in the process.
I was on Facebook earlier and had an editorial shared by one of my friends, this editorial. At first I thought it made for a pretty funny read, then I realized what a sad world we live in when I noticed it was an editorial written by a senior member of TIME, leaving me to wonder how someone who could write so poorly could even get a job at TIME or anywhere else.
The article is about the lack of female characters in J.R.R. Tolkien's world of Middle Earth. Well I think it is, I mean, that's the title of the article, although it does seem to focus more on the book The Hobbit then the overall world, and the movie The Hobbit, the Lord of the Ring books, The Lord of the Rings movies, Peter Jackson, and the lack of female characters in children's entertainment, cartoons, and legos. ...What was I reading about again?
If you want to write about something you should probably have more paragraphs in the article than talking points. I'm just saying that if I wanted to talk to you about something, I would probably start the article's subject out with some kind of point or subject then spend the rest of the time attempting to show why my point has merit or discussing the subject. Getting completely sidetracked in my very first paragraph and talking about something else entirely, let's say LEGOs, would make me look like an idiot and like I have no idea what I'm doing. Doing that would be almost as bad as titling my article as if it had to do with a long dead English writer, making the first paragraph about children's TV programs and LEGOs, and ending my five paragraph article talking about and quoting a modern day film makers for the last two.
A brief history about my username, I gave almost no though to it and just used the names of the two characters I was playing as in the video games I was playing at the time. Legolas (The Two Towers on the PS2) and Kyle Katarn (Jedi Outcast on the PC). While I do really like the Lord of the Ring movies, The Fellowship of the Ring being my third favorite movie behind My Fair Lady and Black Dynamite, I know next to nothing about J.R.R. Tolkien and the world of Middle Earth. I read The Lord of the Rings when I was about 10, a short time before the first movie was released, and didn't really think anything of it, I tried reading The Hobbit later and got bored (I would much rather read The Black Company or Forgotten Realms books).As the years have gone by I have started to really like having the username Legolas but it has nothing to do with me being a fan or being knowledgeable about Middle Earth.
From my lack of knowledge about Middle Earth you would think that I would be one of the articles target demographics, someone who knows nothing about what she is talking about and will just agree with her because I have no other point of reference. An obvious problem with that is that is in the world where the internet exists I could very easily do a google search to see why what she is saying is idiotic but before I even get done reading I already can tell that she has no idea what she is talking about, based on these quotes.
"I did not read The Hobbit or theLord of the Ringstrilogy as a child, and I have always felt a bit alienated from the fandom surrounding them. Now I think I know why: Tolkien seems to have wiped women off the face of Middle-earth. I suppose its understandable that a story in which the primary activity seems to be chopping off each others body parts for no particular reason"
Ignoring how wrong that "primary activity" is, if you say that you have no experience with what you are talking about in your article (in this case, not reading the book) you just shot yourself in the foot. She seems to allude to having read the books later in life, of course when you describe the primary activity of something with a phrase like "seems to be" you're pretty much admitting to not understanding it or that you still have no experience with the focus of your topic. Seeing the problems that the word seem can cause maybe I should reword my previous statement of "she seems to allude" using the word seems with the same definition that she is giving it. She (bull****) alludes to having read the book later in life. That does sound a lot better.
"There are, no doubt, many who know the Tolkien oeuvre much better than I who will protest my complaint."
If you are ever writing an editorial and feel the need to say that your article is bound to be read by smarter people who are more educated about the topic of your article than you and that they are going to use their superior knowledge to prove you wrong, you should probably just stop writing. If you are taking an entirely new stance on a topic and have a well thought out way of doing so with counterpoints to offer protesters that would make sense. What does this writer do? She immediately quotes people who have disagreed with her, just a tip, if you are going to post quotes from people who disagree with you, you should probably follow those up with the reasons why you don't believe that their counterpoint has as much merit as what you are arguing for. I do have to give her credit for this sentence as it was the only line in the article that contained truth, so much so in fact that I don't even have to do that above mentioned google search to find out more about the lord of Middle Earth or about the Author, it's all over the commentary of the article explaining why everything she said is wrong.
The real problem with this is that it isn't something that the author was told to write, it's an editorial, an opinion piece, an article about something that the writer took a personal interest in. It's one thing to not possess enough professionalism to do any research about a subject that you are told to write about but when you can't even bring yourself to care about your own opinion what possible reason does anyone have to take anything that you say seriously?
That seems to be one of the biggest problems with journalism today, including gaming journalism. No passion, no research, and no real thought given to anything, not even when it's supposed to be a writers own opinion.
Lack of female characters in the books.... this is obvious discrimination, all Hobbit/LOTR books and movies should be burned, then re-written. And all Orc's should be replaced with Unicorns, because the story is much much to violent.
Hmmm... I found the Time editorial to be an interesting short read, raising legitimate questions. I can't help but agree (after reading everything Tolkien has ever written) that the source material is guilty as charged. Women play an insignificant role, and they are reduced to occasional deus ex machina tropes. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the books, the movies, and I really enjoyed the newest Unexpected Journey. But it's still true - Middle-Earth is a paradise for men and everything manly (even though the books were written in an uber scholarly way, which could misguidedly be used as an argument against the 'head-chopping' notion). As far as her writing goes, yeah, it's meant to be a short observation with a few links to similar articles. She didn't do too much research and she isn't deconstructing Tolkien. She is just noticing a pattern.
Yeah, I just read it. And you're spot on with every point. She's essentially saying "Now, it may seem like I don't know what I'm talking about, but that may or may not actually be the case!"