Friday, October 2, 2015

Episode 27: One Does Not Simply...

We talk about Ahmed's clock, The Fellowship of the Ring, on-screen violence, the importance of cohesive artistic vision, CGI vs. storytelling, allegory vs. myth, the dangers of urban dictionary, and (of course) whether or not the ring symbolizes Donald Trump.


  1. Ahmed ABSOLUTELY did not build anything. That's not an opinion, it's a fact. He took the guts out of an old Radio Shack LED clock and put them into an old pencil case. This fact is confirmed by the police pictures, down to the serial numbers on the circuit boards.

    Start here:

    The watch someone doing it with a similar easier-to-find model in under 20 seconds.

    Now you should examine what led you to the wrong conclusion--the sources you used. If they gave you wrong information about Ahmed and his clock, what other things have they led you astray about?

    Ahmed's clock was political theater from its first moment. And Ahmed was a willing participant. Of courrse right-wing people have the right to say "bullshit" when the left-wing media and political structure is trying to force an narrative down their throats. See it, say it.

    1. You're probably right (FWIW I'd read that piece you share before doing the podcast). Either way, I certainly agree with conservatives that it's ridiculous the kid went to the White House, the school probably reacted reasonably, and this whole thing didn't warrant the media circus it has produced.

      I trusted the source because I've followed him for years and have interacted with him several times. I've read two of his books and watched many of his numerous interviews. It's beyond all doubt that he's a very conservative Christian. I have no reason to doubt him.

  2. Notwithstanding the venerable literary sources, the violence in the three Lord of the Rings movies likely came as no shock to anyone familiar with Peter Jackson's earlier work. Shortly before Heavenly Creatures* he made his mark with some especially grisly stuff: a kind of grisly far exceeding what he granted himself in orc decapitations and whatnot in his Tolkien adaptations.

    Count me among those who saw these films without having read the books. Seeing The Fellowship of the Ring is actually a dear memory to me, as I took my now some years departed mother to see it. We both thought it was an entertaining film, albeit perhaps a bit too delighted in its own violence. There were some deeper or more poignant moments, but we surely weren't religiously transformed by it. We just had an afternoon of good fun at the cinema. We went to the movies to be entertained, and happily we were.

    * A far subtler work of filmmaking, Heavenly Creatures, a depiction of an infamous murder case in New Zealand. It's been a while since I saw it, but my recollection is that it is well worth seeing. Indeed to anyone interested in Mr. Jackson's work, at least well worth seeing for the contrast to the rest of his oeuvre.

    1. While I haven't watched any of Jackson's earlier work, I'm quite aware of it. Measured against his early stuff, I know LOTR was pretty mild, but I still haven't forgiven him for making a Hobbit movie (a children's book, unlike LOTR) that was rated R.

      I'd be lying if I said the LOTR films weren't a religious thing for me, but partly this is because they recall the far more powerful book, and because there's so much personal nostalgia connected to the story.

      I've heard of Heavenly Creatures before, partly from reading about Ann Perry - the mystery novelist who, it turns out, was one of the young murderesses. She changed her name after getting out of prison.


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