|Hi guys. I'm new here. Nice to meet all of you.|
Regarding the fantasy movies (all of them):
I just wanted to say that I enjoy sci fi and fantasy movies very much. They 're entertaining as hell,(most of the time). What annoys me is when people, Objectivist or not, try to find deep, affirming life lessons or messages in them...the fact they are based in fantasy kind of kills that for me. I loved "The Lord of the Rings" books and movies, but from them, I take NO values to live by. (Same with the Harry Potter stories...they are charming and well-written, but Harry has no lessons to teach kids--or adults--about life, since none of us can solve our problems with a magic wand and a spell book). There are actually college courses devoted to the "Rings", and "The Matrix", etc...come on! If I hear ONE MORE PERSON say, "But the point of the 'Ring' trilogy is that even the littlest person can make a difference, save the world", whatever...I will scream. Yes, the little Hobbit made a big difference...with the help of a wizard, an elf, a dwarf, a magic ring, etc. Magic makes it fun, but it also (for me, anyway) automatically NULLIFIES any real message I can take away and apply to my life.( Now I have not read Terry Goodkind, and I would be interested to do so; I'll look him up. I want to see how how Objectivist-inspired fantasy works).
I understand that the authors of these stories are certainly influenced by whatever their religious or philosophical backgrounds are, and that they intentionally create themes in their work that reflect that, and they are frequently trying to convey a message to the masses, and that's fine. Naturally, I don't always agree with the message being given, particularly ones that reference existing religions, or promote collectivist/socialist solutions as the "way" to succeed in the story or defeat the evil, etc. But I can still watch the movie for what it's worth to me...pure fantastic entertainment...and leave it at that. Incidentally, I had a female acquaintance (non-Objectivist) who pretty much regarded the Lord of the Rings as her Bible. She was utterly obsessed with it, and would be the first person to argue of its lessons, feminist themes, and so on. She even made a point to read the Silmarrillion (hope I spelled that right), which is (part) of Tolkien's "history" of Middle Earth, literally. It is not a story. It is a history book of things that never happened. (Personally, there are too many actual existing places whose history books I've never read for me to ever spend time reading a fantasy history book. It's akin to memorizing the Klingon dictionary...I don't currently speak any foreign languages. The first one I 'll learn is not going to be Klingon). Anyway, when I met her, I'd never actually read the Tolkien books, and despite the fact that her father is a philosophy professor who HATES all things Rand (or perhaps, because of it) she had never read Rand. So I introduced her to Atlas Shrugged, and she introduced me to Lord of the Rings. I discovered a highly entertaining, fantastic tale that I enjoyed reading very much. And she...discovered a highly entertaining, fantastic tale that she enjoyed reading very much. Atlas Shrugged changed my life. When I first read Rand, I immediately wanted to get my hands on everything she'd ever written. When my acquaintance read her, it was just a story...and not one nearly as important and life-affirming as Lord of the Rings, apparently. (I also introduced her to the Harry Potter stories, and her reaction was like that of mine with Rand...which should tell you something about our respective personalities.) She identifies with fantastic tales, and manages to glean what she considers to be important lessons to inform her life choices. She takes it a little too seriously...I once mentioned that another Ring fan I knew had a replica of The Ring on a chain around his neck (I think Blockbuster was giving them away if you bought the movie) and she retorted (presumably without thinking, but who knows?), "Well, he'd better be careful with that! I wouldn't want that!" and thereby affirming my suspicions that the Tolkien tale really was her religion. After I pointed out that the story isn't real, she tried to backtrack a little and say that she wouldn't want it because of what it symbolized in the movie and yada, yada, yada...but the damage was done of course. I realized then that I would never be able to discuss anything rationally with her. (There were other, non-realated, situations that proved this as well.) Anyway, I know this post is long, and if you read all of it, then...thanks! I suppose my point is that, to me, it doesn't make sense to overanalyze most of these fantasy movies/books/art. They provide great entertainment, but they aren't worth much else. I know where to look when I need to examine and reassess my premises and life decisions, and it sure as hell isn't Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.