Nota in Brevis November 25

the hobbitI am not surprised: Peter Jackson now admits that he made up the Hobbit trilogy more or less as it went along.  From the very start, I was suspicious of taking a relatively small children’s book (we would say ‘young adult’ nowadays, I suppose), and making a full three two-plus hour movies out if such slender fare.  As Jackson puts it:

You’re going on to a set and you’re winging it, you’ve got these massively complicated scenes, no storyboards and you’re making it up there and then on the spot

I must admit I did try to watch the first Hobbit movie, but turned it off after about half an hour, it was so unwatchable as to defy description for such a big-budget movie.  I did more or less enjoy the first trilogy of the Lord of the Rings, based as it is on more meaty literary fare, the thousand or so dense pages penned by the great J.R.R.  But even they do not improve upon re-watching.  Much of the films is spent on lingering expressive close-ups of the faces of Frodo and Sam, with Elijah Wood’s disconcerting saucer-esque blue eyes  staring out the screen.

But perhaps it is because the books are such masterpieces of literature that  I criticize.  What film really could do justice to such beautiful and intricate tapestries of the English language?

Unlike, of course, Harry Potter, which seems as though written to be turned into a movie, as are many modern novels, with predictable results.  Maybe Jackson, former schlock-horror director, should have done a remake of that, instead of mangling the Hobbit.

So, people, young and old, forget the movies, and back to the books!


*A curious tidbit from my own area:  The Madawaska Valley receives 1 million dollars to help run, well, everything, as a province-to-municipality transfer payment.  The curious bit is that $938,000 of that lump sum goes straight into the wide pockets of the Ontario Provincial Police who patrol the area, an amount base on a ‘complicated formula’.  Yes, I’m sure it is. This is a small window (if a million bucks is ‘small’) into the publicly-funded boondoggle bankrupting the civilized world, not just economically, but morally and spiritually.

The debt load we are piling up must hit a limit someday.  We are already technically ‘bankrupt’ but are still kicking the can down the road, hoping something happens to fix the problem, besides economic and societal collapse, that is.  Watch the story in Alberta, as oil revenues dry up, and ‘real’ wealth disappears.  The headline in the National Post today read:

Ontario is $298 billion in the debt – that’s $21,000 for every Canadian.  Time to get real, Mr. DeSousa. 

But it will be a long time before ivory-towered politicians such as Mr. DeSousa ‘gets real’.  So I am in debt, even though I am not in debt, and don’t in fact believe much in the scandalous practice of going into debt.  Just watch what the largely-publicly-funded Syrian refugee boondoggle does for our finances.

The good news for the Madawaska valley is that at least we still have $62,000 for ‘everything else’.


prince charles*Prince Charles now thinks that ‘climate change’ is responsible for the rise of ISIS, and terrorism in general.  I am not sure what to say in response to this.  Climate change may also be responsible for my indigestion and sleep disruption too, I suppose, along with my car’s problems, and the fact that my students have trouble concentrating sometimes, or make that all the time.

Gullible trust in pseudoscience, especially by cosseted royals, or royal-esque politicians such as Trudeau, knows no bounds…


*Today is the feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, a young female scholar, patron saint of philosophers, put to death in 305 under the persecution of Diocletian.  So a blessed feast to all philosophers, male or female, and to our diocese in southern Ontario which hails her as their patron.