August 20, 2001

Apology, Correction, Reply
Stacy B.

H'lo again.

Sophie, I think I must owe you an apology as well, because I didn't actually think you were being witchy about anything, just far too conservative. Unfortunately, I just come off sounding like an accusatory yapper sometimes, when nothing of the sort is intended. The Satanism ref wasn't made in response to anything you wrote or implied, either. I had intended it to refer to the discussion thread that someone posted in this site's news section. Check the 8/16 archives if you want to read some truly scary stuff. So, sorry about that, I truly don't think you're a witch, or anything else with demonic connotations—just very much more conservative than I am in this case.

To Greg M.: Two things, one a correction, the other a reply to the money-making argument.   Much as I appreciate your kind response, you were not referring my article, you were taking your citations from Sophie's response *to* me.

Commercialism: I note you begin by noting the profits made by the Tolkien estate, et al. To which I give a (qualified) "huzzah!" Of course people do make money off of LOTR stuff, because otherwise it would never see the light of day. That would sadden me in some cases (especially the books). With respect to those who get paid for products that are genuinely worthwhile or which are created out of love, then I confess to profound jealousy and  I wish them all the luck.

Your next move is more questionable, since all you can do is discredit me in the eyes of other readers. My argument may or may not be sound, but its soundness doesn't really depend from my  ownership (or lack thereof) of LOTR promotional material. To continue the somewhat theological vein of my last article, it is sadly true that the Devil can quote scripture to his purposes without invalidating the text.

Nevertheless, you did ask, and so I will confess to owning a Ted Nasmith calendar and and the books themselves. There are reasons why I don't own more, and probably won't go beyond getting the student planner (assuming I have money left after paying for my German books).

When it comes to assembly line stuff of the McDonald's/Wal-Mart/made-for-sale-cheap variety I tend to get miffed at how superficial my society is. When merchandise of whatever variety (quality or trashy) are present in ridiculous amounts, I get upset about this corporate form of panhandling; I despise the wastefulness that corporate gluttony spawns; and I resent the reduction of the value of even a very good piece of artwork/ craftwork that it entails. Given that what you're buying is actually a memory of sorts, I'd have to say that LOTR products are not inherently useful by virtue of their reference to a great set of books/possibly- great set of movies. So when you have a thousand t-shirts confronting you at every turn, I do think that the product's value drops dramatically. You can only stand so much memorabilia before you realize that what you really want is to go back to the theater and watch the movie again, or pick up the trilogy and spend an evening or three with it. At that point, the trinket's value

Let's face it: thirty years from now, if you had a choice between having a piece of nostalgic-laden plastic (or whatever) and the experience of reading/watching LOTR, you'd rather have the experience itself, wouldn't you? So there you have it, my opinion on commercialism in its most basic nutshell. See you in four months!