Reckless Hate Follows Us All – Lessons Learned from The Two Towers

reckless hate

Reckless hate exists in every political party, people group, and family unit. A fact clearly portrayed when the Uruk-hai attacked the Rohan people in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. King Theoden, dazed at the amount of death amongst his people, knew the folly and helplessness amongst the peoples of Middle-earth:

What can Men do against such reckless hate?
~ King Theoden of Rohan (The Two Towers, 2002)



Sauron’s Reckless Hate and Men’s Weakness in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth

In this grand utterance, both horrific and true, King Theoden summarized the problem among Middle-earth’s inhabitants. All the various Orcs, Trolls, Nazgul, and Fighting Breeds followed Sauron. This dark lord dominated half of Middle-earth’s creatures, filling them with the desire to kill and squander, but he wanted dominion over all the land. No Man, Hobbit, Elf, Wizard, or Dwarf was safe.

The Elves had their own power, and used their power to resist the evil and flee the land. Wizards chose either good or evil, and Dwarves and Hobbits resisted Sauron so as to keep living as they chose to live. But Men on Middle-earth were easily swayed between the hope for peace and the desire for power. Consequently, they either fell prey to their evil desires, or died trying to fight against them.

What Reckless Hate Symbolized in J.R.R. Tolkien’s World




To put it plainly, J.R.R. Tolkien could have easily been describing two real-life, evil forces when he wrote about the wars between Sauron’s forces and the other peoples in Middle-earth. The first example Tolkien may have used was Germany and Russia in World War I (WWI). The second, Satan and the sinful human nature.

Everyone who has taken high school history knows the atrocities from the World Wars. Though Hitler hadn’t risen to power yet in WWI, his country and Russia behaved just as savagely in fighting for dominion over the other European countries. How Germany bombed London, scaring the citizens and causing them to send their children north, would be enough to cause any English boy to think of Germany as the ultimate evil, domineering force.

I may think too highly about the power behind spiritual enemies, but the devil and the sinful human nature could have certainly influenced Tolkien, as well. Spiritual darkness certainly influences men to war with each other. So, reckless hate could very well describe the constant war, between God and Satan, for human souls. And it is the Christians who stand up and fight the good fight. The unbelievers, filled with hate for what all Christians believe, fight against us.

What To Do About the Reckless Hate in the Real World




Terrorist groups and other violent organizations run around the world, bringing destruction to everything they hate. And American teachers tell us to sit back and “respect their religion.” This makes me seethe with anger. Why? Because no one, since I was a child until now, has ever respected my beliefs as a Christian. My faith receives more hatred and disrespect than any other. So, why must I learn to accept and respect other religions?

Christians are told to live with peace with everyone, as much as they can. Otherwise, as Aragorn said to King Theoden, let us ride out. Let us fight for what we believe in, upholding what is good and right and just. Otherwise, the reckless hate in this world will overrun us, trample us, and kill us. If not literally, then it will certainly kill us figuratively.

J.R.R. Tolkien understood the importance in fighting for a good cause. And while we argue about what the good cause is, we should never fight each other for it. Respect each other and love each other whenever possible. Our beliefs may collide, and we may never learn to accept what someone else believes, but we all should aim for life, and for peace.



Wrong to Despair – The Necessity in Hope and Courage

wrong to despair

Orlando Bloom may have thrilled many women with his baby face and elvish grace, but his line in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers is what forged its way into my heart: “‘We have trusted you this far. You have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair,'” (The Two Towers, 2002).

This line, derived from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, leads to many thoughts regarding self-discipline, hope, emotional stability, and courage. People throughout all nations, weak and discouraged, scared and troubled, often fall into the pit of despair. Legolas, prince among elves, was just the same.



Wrong to Despair – Why We So Easily Fall Prey to Our Emotions

From what I heard and saw when I worked in the retail business, what I am about to say doesn’t apply to older generations. People aged 80-years and more, as of this month and year, January 2018, often practice a self-discipline unseen in younger and up-and-coming generations. And yes, I do call myself an undisciplined brute. For I know about self-discipline, but fail to practice it.

Therefore, since most people lack in discipline – don’t deny it, for I know I’m not the only one – our every whim and fancy makes itself known. Makes itself obnoxious and obtrusive. And one such unmanageable fancy is the fear of the unknown, and our tendency to despair over it.




Now, don’t scoff at me! People are control freaks in their heart of hearts. They need to know that everything is running, and will continue to run, smoothly and efficiently. And, running according to how they personally think how things ought to run.

If things seem off track, then “The world is coming to an end! Why was I born to such a life?” People get dramatic when they despair. Or, to state it differently, they scare themselves and many people around them because they lack in self-discipline. Hence, it is wrong to despair.



Wrong to Despair – What We Need to Fight Our Cowardly Instincts

Some people run scared. They operate at high-anxiety levels in every task they perform, and sometimes they literally go running and screaming in fear. I am one such individual, and I know others like me. Our fear, anxiety, and omnipresent despair are the natural, human way. But as natural as it may feel, we should fight against the despair which always threatens to overcome us.

Oh, now I’m a know-it-all for knowing how to overcome despair? Well, alright, I’ll give you that. Because I, along with many friends of mine, have undergone many lectures about how God has ultimate control. About how people may hurt us, even kill us, but only God controls our destiny.

Does this help to control my level of despair in critical situations? Yes, it normally does. How? How could mere knowledge about God’s supremacy help to lesson the despair, the hopelessness, and the fear? Because God expects us to take charge in our lives. And if we dedicate our lives to him, living as he would have us live, then God will guide our steps.



Wrong to Despair – What We Can Do Ourselves to Fight the Despair, To Fight the Good Fight

A blog, called Lies Young Women Believe, which I stumbled across in my search for a quote, contained an article on the movie Cinderella (2015). The blogger had perfectually captured the essence in what we need to remember to keep on fighting the good fight. First, we must remember our status as God’s children. We won’t get far without Christ’s help and guidance. But the key ingredient is Courage.

Numerous times throughout the Bible do the prophets encourage God’s people to have Courage. The book of Joshua is a popular example, where a prophet encouraged Joshua to have Courage within the first chapter, and several times thereafter. Why the constant need to remind people to have courage? Because we all so easily fall into the pit of despair!




To push through the tough times, whether a believer or an unbeliever, people need emotional stability. I don’t know how to find this, for personally, I’m a ticking time bomb. But, from what I do know, people have found several solutions to gain this particular strength.

For example, people sometimes need medication to rearrange the chemicals in their brain. Sometimes people need therapy, to share all their problems to a listening ear. And other times, people just need to take the hits, practice a little self-discipline. It all goes around in a vicarious cycle, doesn’t it?



Wrong to Despair – Concluding Thoughts

I feel like a fraud in writing this article. For I have as much self-discipline, courage, and emotional stability as a kid in primary (a.k.a. elementary) school. But, during those rare moments when I somehow manage to practice these disciplines, I realize that they work. I truly can stave off the horror and the despair.

But these rare moments of success belong to God, the Father. Without his supremacy and strength guiding my family and friends, there would be no reason to fight the good fight. So, in this household, we aim to give God control, uphold our emotional IQs, and remember why we walk the Earth.




Legolas had despaired when Aragorn, the man whom he chose to follow, seemed to be fighting a hopeless fight. But, just because death may come, it doesn’t mean we fight without purpose. As Aragorn knew, and as Legolas soon learned, a greater cause beyond ourselves makes our lives worthwhile. And if it’s at stake, then we should devote ourselves to fighting for it.

With faith in the Holy Trinity, we fight this good fight with love. Choosing to show concern and compassion for every person, in every country, at every given moment. Aragorn, Legolas, and all Christians live to worship God, and to love each other as we love ourselves.



“What renown is there in that?” (The Two Towers, 2002)

renown

Screenwriter Peter Jackson barely touched upon J.R.R. Tolkien’s character Éowyn and her desire for renown. Searching through several blog resources revealed much more information on Éowyn and her quests for glory. Information which I shall discuss in more detail when I come across the underlying story in The Lord of the Rings book series. Until then, allow me to tell you what I’ve found.



What Some Christians First Think When Someone Seeks Renown

Watching the theatrical edition of The Two Towers glosses over Éowyn’s desire for renown. Possibly because of the negative connotation associated with the word. My favorite online dictionary defines renown as fame, glory, distinction, and so forth. Everything that man’s sinful nature desires.

For that is exactly what Christians fight against in their own personal walk with Christ: The desire to make themselves great. One phrase that a New Testament writer described this desire as was Selfish Ambition. Believers need to focus on giving all glory to God, not to themselves. To do God’s will ensures God will guide our steps in life.

Consequently, when a Christian hears this line in the extended edition of The Two Towers (yes, I speak of myself), she balks at her own Selfish Ambition existing in a Tolkien character. Yet, there exists something more astonishing within this beloved series: Éowyn found her renown. And it was considered good.



How Shieldmaiden Éowyn Found Her Renown in Life

The theatrical cuts for The Lord of the Rings leaves out all references to Éowyn’s search for glory. All references other than those connected to Aragorn II, son of Arathorn. But according to Tolkien Gateway , and I must assume to the books which I have forgotten, Éowyn did eventually find her renown. Simply in a different form than she first imagined.

Disgusted at the mere thought of caring for Rohan’s women and children, Éowyn revealed more than was proper to Aragorn, the man whom she loved. However, he knew she would never find satisfaction in a life with him. And he told her so in Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King (2003). Though heartbroken at Aragorn’s refusal to be with her, she still pursued her need for glory.

Thus, when the time came to fight against the evil forces, Éowyn disguised herself and went out with the Rohan men to fight against Mordor. Here she nearly met her death. But, here, she also fought the Witch-king, defending King Théoden from more harm, and earning her title as Lady of the Shield-arm. Then she was at peace, which resulted in her falling in love with Faramir and becoming Lady of Ithilien.



What J.R.R. Tolkien Revealed on His Thoughts of Renown

When J.R.R. Tolkien’s father died, and his mother married a man who practiced Catholicism, J.R.R. Tolkien grew up with the Catholic faith. Therefore, he knew about man’s will to pursue Selfish Ambition. He simply didn’t condemn it. Recognizing the sinful nature as something within every man, he merely told the tale on how it can bring a person to fight when she need not fight.

Aragorn made a point in The Return of the King which resounded with me strongly: The point about how valor often exists without renown. Aragorn said this to Éowyn, telling her, gently and discreetly,  how she would regret joining in union with him. He said this mere minutes before appearing to desert Rohan’s men on the eve of battle. He couldn’t have been more right in what he saw in Rohan’s shieldmaiden. For she rejected him for his misconstrued departure.

And, now, I bid my readers good day. Asking them to conclude their own judgments on whether mankind should pursue personal renown in today’s fallen world. If J.R.R. Tolkien found a way for this human trait to coincide with the good fight, then surely my thoughts on its evil ways must be wrong. Only the Lord knows for certain.



“No Parent Should Have to Bury Their Child.” (The Two Towers, 2002)

bury their child

King Theoden, situated at his son’s graveside, weeping tears of grief, spoke truth for all parents who have had to bury their child: The truth being that no one should have to.

What inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to add this morbid scene to his novel, The Two Towers? King Theoden lost his son to war, but what other events occur to make parents bury their child? Detailed below are all the reasons that may have inspired J.R.R. Tolkien to include this tearful scene.



To All the Parents Who Have Had to Bury Their Child

Parents have lost their children numerous ways. I personally have known more parents who’ve spoken of deceased children than I care to remember. For, I cannot understand their pain, considering my own childless situation. But the pain is all too real. Their grief and despair being way too strong for mere imagination.

King Theoden, albeit a fictional character, lost his son in battle. Nobility of character ran strongly in his family’s blood, so they saw the need to fight against the evil forces. But knowing this did nothing to ease the pain in the loss. Just as nothing eases the pain for parents in modern day. The following list details some ways children die, whether by carelessness, thoughtlessness, or evil intention, and why their parents grieve:



  • Miscarriage hurts parents who hoped for children.
  • Abortion hurts parents who realized their mistake in having the procedure.
  • Car accidents hurt parents who blame themselves for helpless situations.
  • Murder hurts parents who failed to warn their children about the world.
  • Suicide hurts parents who feel personally responsible.

I refuse to say that parents are always guiltless. For abortion runs rampant in today’s generation, and the women who undergo the procedure are responsible for the loss of human life. But, other than this and domestic violence, parents who bury their child should be pitied more than anyone else. For human life is the most glorious of all God’s gifts.



Why J.R.R. Tolkien Wrote About Parents Who Had to Bury Their Child

It requires little imagination, and only a little information, on why J.R.R. Tolkien would write about King Theoden losing his son to war. For Tolkien lived through, and fought in, both World Wars. Considering how many English and American men lost their lives in battle, Tolkien most assuredly knew many parents who had to bury their child. And sometimes more than one child.

Moreover, J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife had four children. Imagining the loss of one’s own child becomes easier when the individual actually has children. And if friends lost one or more children, then the horror that would come at the thought of losing one’s child would be only natural.

Did J.R.R. Tolkien and his wife bury any of their children? Did they experience miscarriages, or lose their children to war? I will find out the answer to these questions as I continue to learn about C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the other Inklings. Knowing that these men survived through two World Wars, I would be surprised if all their children did make it through alive.



How to Assist Parents Who’ve Had to Bury Their Child

God is the answer. Always has been, always will be. Every parent whom I’ve known to bury their child has turned to God for comfort and peace. Even women who’ve gone through abortions regret their decision, ask God for forgiveness, and join the church community. I need not say how parents respond to their grief without peace and comfort, for everyone has seen grieving people who speak and act with anger in their hearts.

To everyone who has to bury their child, I recommend watching Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers. Actor Bernard Hill performs magnificently as King Theoden of Rohan, capturing the loss and the pain in his life situation as a king. Because to see an example of someone who continued to fight the good fight, whether a fictional character or an actual person, gives the heart joy. Bernard Hill, acting as the grieving Rohan king, will bring joy.



Some Evil Drives Every Will, from Murderous Orc to Sinful Man

some evil

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis assuredly sat and thought together based on the similarities in their written works. And, in this case, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer Peter Jackson must have also thought along the same lines when scripting J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers.  Half the thought was about some evil fighting against the good in all their written works. And we must find the reason why.



How Aragorn Recognized “Some Evil” in the Creatures Which He Hunted

Peter Jackson’s second installment in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers, started with Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee. The creature following them since The Fellowship of the Ring, named Gollum, trailed close on their heels at this point. Causing Frodo and Sam to confront the evil and deformed creature head-on.

After this encounter with an evil-based character, the film panned over to the Uruk-hai. These debased, human-sized orcs tortured Merry and Pippin, showing their moral lacking and cruel thought patterns. When they sensed Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli on their trail, they sped up, determined to steal away the hobbits.



The three hunters filled the screen, Aragorn II, son of Arathorn, leading the way. He bent down, listened to the land’s reverberations, and updated the others on the Uruk-hai. Dejected at learning how the Uruk-hai had picked up their scent, Aragorn remarked on something ominous. Something dark, dangerous, and all-too-true:

There’s something strange at work here. Some evil gives speed to these creatures. Sets its will against us.

~ Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn II, son of Arathorn,
in Peter Jackson’s The Two Towers



How “Some Evil” Based J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings in Reality

Remember the boss who gave your raise and promotion to someone else, after you toiled so hard without complaint? Or, how about the sibling-in-laws who refuse to acknowledge you as family? And those un-Christlike church members, how they judge your faith and refuse to treat you like a loving brother or sister-in-Christ? “Some evil” inspired them all.

Evil, which manifests itself in countless forms, serves as the antithesis to God and his goodness. Writers write stories about good and evil because good and evil have such a strong presence in, what people most commonly refer to as, “the real world.” For the real world consists of much more than what we can see or hear. Forces unknown and unseen rule the real world, and we should be afraid.



What J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Peter Jackson Know About “Some Evil” Influence

I don’t intend to start a debate on whether people are inherently good or bad. For I realize some people want to think people are good, some people think people are bad, and yet other people think people are either good or bad.

Personally, I believe when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, they introduced a spiritual strand in people that corrupts us and makes us bad. But none of this changes the undeniable evil, existent in the universe.



C.S. Lewis wrote many novels about the existent evil within the known universe. One such novel is The Screwtape Letters, in which Lewis took time to describe how the evil forces, known as demons, influence fallible and easily misled humans. A human-based reality also depicted in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world.

Aragorn knew “some evil” led the Uruk-hai, for the orcs exhibited little intelligence or teamwork when left to their own devices. And “some evil” meant Saruman, Sauron’s ally.



“Wait a minute. Saruman was an actual character in the books and movies, not some spiritual force,” one might say. “There is no relation to C.S. Lewis’s demons.”

Wrong! Though I might have hesitated to say J.R.R. Tolkien refrained from any Christian symbolism in his work before, I’ve changed my mind now. Several scenes and script lines in The Two Towers forced me to rethink my stance.

For, as I’ve heard, the wizards in Middle-earth represented more than simple magic. According to God-fearing Tolkien fans, the wizards represented God’s angels. Making Saruman a fallen angel, a forbidding demon in control.



How “Some Evil” Translates Into the Christian Life in the Real World

So, if C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien agreed on evil forces affecting life-and-blood creatures, whether human or orc, then there must exist an omniscient good power. This good power is God, known as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who knows just a little bit about these two men know about their great faith. If you don’t know, please just check up on that. It’s an eyeopener to see the expanse of their belief.



The people groups who worked as teams in The Two Towers represent the persecuted Christians in the real world. We lazy, laid-back Christians in today’s America don’t hardly compare to the persecuted Christians in the World Wars and every war following.

But, like the Christian people in past wars, the Fellowship in The Lord of the Rings stood and fought together. They pursued the right path, no matter how hard. They stuck to their beliefs.



Therefore, if you believe in God, and you can recognize evil actions and thoughts, then I encourage you to fight. To battle against the evil that attacks from every imaginable force. Nothing greater exists than to do God’s will.

J.R.R. Tolkien recognized this, as did C.S. Lewis, and as Peter Jackson portrayed it in The Lord of the Rings. And if you’re looking at what good there is to fight for, then start with looking at what the Fellowship fought for in The Lord of the Rings.



Twice Upon A Time – Critical Review on Doctor Who‘s Christmas Special

twice upon a time

Christmas Day brings family and friends, large feasts, long-awaited presents, and Doctor Who. Entitled “Twice Upon A Time,” this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special provided fans with their last viewing of Actor Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. And, more importantly, the first viewing of the next Doctor.



What “Twice Upon A Time” Revealed About Peter Capaldi as the Doctor

twice upon a time
Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, so fierce and intense, and yet so gentle and humble in this picture by BBC America.

Talking to fellow Doctor Who fans made it clear how much many Americans disliked Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. Learning this made me think these fans simple, somewhat soft in the head. For Capaldi represented the learned intelligence, the serious fastidiousness, and the passionate loyalty behind the universally renowned Doctor.

Peter Capaldi acted the above traits to their fullest extent in the Christmas Special “Twice Upon A Time.” His learned intelligence showed when the soldier first walked onto the screen, recognizing the man’s uniform from World War I. When the soldier expressed his confusion at the term, the Doctor merely blushed and said, “Spoilers.”



twice upon a time
Why must the Doctor always come across a Dalek so close to his regenerations?

The serious, almost morbid, fastidiousness disclosed itself as the Doctor quickly decided to save the soldier from inescapable death. For the Doctor, as seen beside Capaldi in his first televised form (i.e. an older gentlemen, named David Bradley, who looked quite close to the original), had made a decision. The decision, made hundreds of years ago, to save and protect earth’s humanity.

Finally, and most importantly, Peter Capaldi exemplified the Doctor’s passionate loyalty when he saw Bill Potts. For although he had refused to accept her as the genuine Bill Potts, come back to life, his initial reaction said something different. His initial reaction said he loved and missed his dear friend. And that is why we love the Doctor, his selfless love.



Spoilers Found in Doctor Who‘s “Twice Upon A Time”

twice upon a time
David Bradley, who played the first Doctor, appeared downright jovial compared to his character, old and grumpy.

Hold on a minute. The Doctor regenerated into a woman? How can this be! I shall never watch Doctor Who ever again! This reaction ran rampant throughout worldwide homes and residences, on Christmas Day or earlier. How many people have resented and been angered at this fact? I don’t know. But I do know Actor Jodie Whittaker made a fabulous show entrance.

Looking into the TARDIS’s mirror, the Doctor stared at her reflection. She grabbed at her hair, stuttered a bit, and implied without words her wonder at her new gender. Based on what the TARDIS did at that point, the ship was more than shocked at what she saw. The TARDIS acted downright outraged, opening its doors and rocketing the Doctor from the ship. Leaving the fans wondering how they would next see the Doctor.



Where Doctor Who‘s Producers Implemented Christmas into “Twice Upon A Time”

twice upon a time
Matt Lucas as Nardole and Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts appeared alongside Peter Capaldi for “Twice Upon A Time”

Amongst the multiple Doctor forms and impeding deaths and uncharacteristically kind enemies, there appeared very little Christmas. However! Other than the snow from the South Pole, Producer and Director Steven Moffat referred to a famous and marvelous Christmas Day. An event which had occurred one hundred years ago. One which I had learned only earlier that day.

During WWI on one particular Christmas Day, the British and the Germans paused in their fighting. And they began to sing Silent Night. Since they had started the song at midnight, they celebrated Christmas Day, the whole 24 hours, in peace and calm. No shots were fired. Though the fighting resumed the very next day, and many men died, God’s sovereignty had reigned for one day.



Idolatry and the Uncharacteristically Kind Enemies in “Twice Upon A Time”

Unfortunately, the screenwriters had written for the “kind enemies” to refer to the Doctor as the “bloke who walked around and fixed things” on the Earth. Wrong! No polite British refusal to accept a wrong answer here. The Doctor, as great as the character is, will never play God! Christmas celebrates the birth of a Savior, called Christ Jesus. And to Him is all glory given. Sorry, Peter Capaldi.

So, other than the clear idolatry incorporated into the beloved Doctor Who, the Christmas Special was exceptionally good. Capaldi played his last episode as the Doctor with triumph. We rejoiced to see Bill Potts, if only just one more time. And “Twice Upon A Time” showed us a little of what’s to come. So, bring it on Jodie Whittaker! Let’s see what you can bring to world-renowned Doctor Who.



The Muppet Christmas Carol – Brian Henson’s Beloved Rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

the muppet christmas carol

Love, cherish, and joy only begin to describe how I feel toward Brian Henson’s The Muppet Christmas Carol. This movie, created in 1992, is a staple for many millennials. Having watched this beloved rendition of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol as children, we now pass it onto our children.

What makes Brian Henson’s version so great? How does it surpass every other movie rendition of A Christmas Carol? The answer is simple, and in no small part due to Charles Dickens’s writing.



Brilliant Actors Found in The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Michael Caine is a genius within his work field. His study on portraying the right emotions at the right times shows his competence in acting. Therefore, in acting as Ebenezer Scrooge, Caine was the best choice to portray Scrooge. Both as the cruel, uncaring businessman, and as the reformed, kind and loving man which Scrooge became.

Kermit the frog acted the part for the most amiable character in the story, Bob Cratchit. Steve Whitmire voiced for Kermit, still relatively new at the job with the Muppets team during the film’s making. Nonetheless, he managed to capture all the adult hearts who watched this fun rendition. Even I, who first watched the movie at age five or six, learned to love Kermit the frog as Bob Cratchit.

And, of course, we must make mention of the Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens. Dave Goelz voiced for the Great Gonzo. His character provided the main humor source, albeit a somewhat mean sense of humor. His role included traveling throughout the movie, watching the other muppets, and narrating the key points in The Muppet Christmas Carol.



Messages Behind The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol
Scrooge’s dead business partners, Marley & Marley.

To support himself, Charles Dickens wrote novels during the English Victorian era. The more he wrote, the more he became involved in social movements. Mainly he wrote social critics to serve the changing social climate. However, several of his novels have passed down through time. Thus, still popular, and forever changing how England and other countries look at social status.

The Muppet Christmas Carol understood Charles Dickens’s original message. Fierce and rigid, Scrooge cared for nothing but his own pocketbook. Social events, where people gathered to laugh and play games, annoyed him. Allowing his employees to spend time with their families on the holidays struck him as unfair. His business was his life.



Thanks to the three visiting spirits, Scrooge woke up to see what truly mattered. His money could serve the benefit of mankind, encouraging the working the class and saving the destitute. People wanted to love him, he merely needed to let them and love them in return.

The messages in this movie, originating from the popular story, are like those found in Scripture. Though, unlike a mere century before, they related more to the commonly accepted beliefs and taught principles in that era. For, during this time period, many people like Charles Dickens didn’t specifically follow any religion.



What to Take Away from The Muppet Christmas Carol

The muppet christmas carol
Bob Cratchit and his son on a walk home from church service.

Personally, I will refrain from ignoring my God for social agendas based on Christian principles. For that seems a little silly to me. However, how Bob Cratchit behaved should stand as a guiding example for all people, believers and unbelievers alike.

Because Bob Cratchit practiced patience with the unreformed Scrooge. He loved his wife and daughters, despite their uncouth and disparaging tongues. And his wherewithal to carry on in the face of his son’s probable death testified to great strength and character. Everyone ought to aspire to such nobility of character.

Moreover, as Michael Caine showed with his great acting skills, to love each other requires very little effort. A smile and an encouraging word could significantly improve someone’s mood. Giving someone a simple gift, like a scarf, will make someone able to appreciate human kindness. And merely spending time with others will warm their hearts, especially if you have smiles and laughs to go around!



Everyone Should Watch The Muppet Christmas Carol

the muppet christmas carol
MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, Miss Piggy, Michael Caine, Fozzie Bear, Kermit, Gonzo, 1992

I haven’t even begun to describe the amazing soundtrack or the jolly, ole’ Spirit of Christmas Present! Such joy and cheer they bring to every family home. To teach young ones the importance of love and kindness, I recommend showing them the family-friendly The Muppet Christmas Carol.

The young children might be confused at why the Great Gonzo always calls Rizzo the Rat stupid. And, hopefully, they don’t follow suite and call all their friends stupid. But the overall message fits perfectly with what the Christmas season is all about. For believers and unbelievers alike can agree to share and spread the love during this special season.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings – Why This Presents an Ethical Dilemma

global television rights to The Lord of the Rings

Cue the funeral dirge. For a company, which entertains complete disregard for the Christian faith, has acquired certain rights to Tolkien’s work. That’s right: Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings.

Why Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

We Christians cannot fully blame Jeff Bezos for acquiring the global television rights to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. For the Tolkien Estate and the Tolkien Trust had presented these rights to him, as well as to other companies with wholly different views than J.R.R. Tolkien. Jeff Bezos merely presented the most attractive monetary agreement.

Why Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings requires little speculation: Jeff Bezos wanted more money. Whatever he paid for the right to televise The Lord of the Rings (LOTR) must have appeared as small change compared to the calculations for how much a LOTR miniseries would gain in profit. Jeff Bezos simply saw a great opportunity handed to him.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and What It Said About the Tolkien Estate and Trust

Declaring Jeff Bezos as the only greedy investor in this deal denies the greed working behind the Tolkien Society. Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy was wildly successful, and the Tolkien Society decided they wished for more such financial successes. A simple conclusion based on the common transactions and deals performed among organizations around the world.

Since Amazon bought the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings, Christians need to pray for God’s help. Because if the Christian messages in the LOTR trilogy are to remain intact, God must perform a miracle. For it seems the Tolkien Society chairmen care little about the faith elements which J.R.R. Tolkien incorporated into his work.



Ethical Dilemmas Behind the Deals When Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings

Why do I conclude the Tolkien Society cares little about J.R.R. Tolkien’s faith? I came to this conclusion because, based on international news found on the Internet and in the Wall Street Journal, Jeff Bezos supports causes that oppose Christian beliefs. To me, selling global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to a man who disregards God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit seems like folly.

To maintain the integrity behind The Lord of the Rings, and remain faithful to the remarkable Christian author, we must hope Jeff Bezos instructs his crew to stay true to the books. Making Tolkien’s beloved characters perform in ways defiant to what is right and true would skew the beauty in J.R.R. Tolkien’s messages. As would also be true if the evil characters performed kind acts.



Amazon Bought the Global Television Rights to The Lord of the Rings and We’re Going to Watch It

As a general rule, my family never buys from Amazon, unless someone presents us with a gift card. However, even spending someone else’s money given to Amazon feels wrong and dirty. Why? Amazon supports causes, such as gay marriage, that the Holy Bible informs Christians to recognize as an abomination. Therefore, we, as Christians, generally refuse to support liberal organizations when they adamantly hate us for our beliefs.

In this particular case, I will make an exception. Since this blog focuses predominantly on British food and British flicks, I will find someone who has an Amazon Prime TV and watch the LOTR miniseries with them. Then, hopefully, I will be able to report to my readers how Amazon remained true to the stories. Though, I highly doubt such will happen.

Who is excited for Amazon acquiring the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings? Do you think Amazon will do well and skew the story only slightly? Or do you think Amazon will use this opportunity to demean J.R.R. Tolkien’s work?



Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess – Critical Review

The Duchess

Actors Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes worked together in the worst movie plot I have ever seen, entitled The Duchess. Though two or three weeks have passed since I watched this movie, I dare not watch it again for a simple review. For The Duchess movie ought to disappear from the record books.



The Disastrous Plotline in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as “Georgiana, The Duchess of Devonshire”.
Photo by Nick Wall

Never before have I seen a historical woman so skewed in a movie to fit the feminist agenda. Though I have yet to acquire a book on the Duchess of Devonshire, I know just enough from online sources to realize the woman’s greater accomplishments. Other than those of surviving a bad marriage.

Keira Knightley played the young woman who became the Duchess of Devonshire. Carefree and flexible, she left her friends to elevate in social ranking by marrying the Duke, William Cavendish. Right from the beginning, the screenwriter showed Duchess Georgiana as being the poor victim who must produce a male heir for a despicable man.



The Duchess
Duke William Cavendish of Devonshire

How did the Duke show himself despicable? Well, he chose his wife’s traveling companion as his mistress. Expressing her anger at the relationship, Duchess Georgiana verbally spat at the Duke and proclaimed to never make love with him again. Upon which the Duke forced himself upon her, and then went back to Lady Bess Foster. From the rape came Duchess Georgiana’s first and only son.

When the Duchess found a childhood friend who loved her deeply, the Duke forbade any love affair, despite his own with Lady Bess. To remain in contact with her daughters and son with the Duke, she permanently disconnected with her friend, who later became Prime Minister Charles Grey. Lady Bess comforted her, so Duchess Georgiana soon stood down and allowed Lady Bess and the Duke to marry. From her one-time affair with Sir Charles came a daughter, whom the Lady Georgiana visited frequently.



Feminist Activists Seen at Work in The Duchess

The Duchess
Keira Knightley as Georgiana, the Duchess of Devonshire stars in THE DUCHESS, a Paramount Vantage release. Photo by Peter Mountain

Real-life Duchess Georgiana played a large and significant role in fashion and politics. Whereas the Duke seemed moody and disinterested in common affairs, the Duchess would actively participate in the political dinners and gatherings. Hence how she came across her childhood friend, Sir Charles Grey.

Moreover, Duchess Georgiana was anything but a saint. For in her marriage to the Duke of Devonshire, she acquired massive amounts of gambling debt. This also served to prove her relations with the political heads, because gambling served as a frequent pastime among the ladies and gentlemen.

To finetune the plot, and keep the movie from showing as something unpolitical, more emphasis should have been placed on the social times. For during the time in which the Duchess lived, religion had a strong hold on how people behaved. Many things done today didn’t exist in England’s past. Therefore, to expect Duke William Cavendish to behave the same way as modernday husbands is ridiculous.



Recommendations for The Duchess

Movie critics loved this movie. Something which makes sense to me, considering the generally widespread liberal agenda sweeping across Europe and the United States. According to the critics, since this movie criticized men, it was a masterpiece.

As for me, I found the film completely unfair to men and historically ambiguous. The Duchess of Devonshire had power! She was no fainting damsel in distress. Consequently, I cannot in good conscious recommend this film. While the costume designer created beautiful garments, he failed to save the disastrous plotline. So, please, spare yourselves the pain and watch something historically and politically sound.



Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Black Death

Perusing the movie selections on the shelves at Walmart, I was startled to see Boromir from Lord of the Rings staring out at me. Only, on this movie cover, located on a high shelf near the back, a zombie-like creature stood behind him. The movie was titled Black Death, starring English stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.

Black Death‘s Plot and Purpose

Germany financed and English Director Christopher Smith directed this film about witch hunters during the three year Black Death pandemic in England. Originally, English production companies intended to help finance the film. They later refused, for reasons I assume lie within the movie’s plot. Allow me to explain what occurred in the film:

Black Death
Averill and Osmund making plans to flee.

In the year 1348, the Black Death pandemic had entered the England monastery, where our main character was located as a novice. After a few short scenes with those suffering from the black plague, we saw the young novice stealing food from his monastery brothers and, after some deception about feeding the afflicted, giving the food to his secret girlfriend. He told her to flee, for the black plague was spreading. She did, but only after telling him to follow, or else she’d leave him forever.



Novice Osmund prayed for the right decision, and thought he received it when witch hunter Ulric walked in and asked for a guide. Journeying with the witch hunter and his men revealed their twisted sense of kindness and mercy. Where Osmund saw unjust persecution, Ulric saw sin and damnation. Osmund merely persevered to reach his girlfriend, Averill.

What happened when Osmund reached his destination was twisted: He came across Averill’s clothing, torn and blood-splattered. He despaired and grieved. Ulric convinced him to go farther with him and his crew to avoid imminent death. Osmund went and they all reached the witch’s village. The witch played with them, drugging them and causing them to see visions. Then came the climax.

Freezing water trapped Ulric, Osmund, and the other witch hunters. The witch, reveling in her power, gave them the option to forsake God and live, or to remain in the faith and die. Well, as Ulric warned his men, she killed both the questionably faithful and the absolute deserter in the group all alike. However, when Osmund and the witch hunters first arrived at the village, the witch showed Osmund his “dead” girlfriend. And how she had raised her from the dead.



Black Death
Osmund goes to see his “resurrected” Averill.

Believing this story about his girlfriend which the witch had crafted, Osmund questioned whether to forsake God, living in the witch’s village, or to keep his faith and die. He chose the latter. He also chose the latter for his seemingly possessed girlfriend, whom he drove a knife into and killed. Realizing what he had done, the witch acted horrified and exclaimed this as typical for how Christians act.

After quartering Ulric – who, it turned out, had black plague symptoms – everyone fled the scene. This left Osmund and one somewhat kindly witch hunter. Osmund followed the fleeing witch, intending to kill her, but learned the horrible truth instead: His girlfriend had never been dead, merely drugged and used to fool Osmund. Needless to say, the witch got away, leaving Osmund stunned, horrified, grieving, and hopeless.

The narrator, who turned out to be the somewhat kindly witch hunter, ended the film. He talked about the rumors he heard about Osmund turning into a witch hunter and killing many innocent women from his grief-driven madness. Overall, the film showed God as powerless, and evil as superior.



What British News Sources Taught Me About Black Death

Silly and historically inaccurate, said the writer for The Guardian. This particular article used references to describe how some witch hunting did occur in England, but predominantly in different centuries. Also, villages did learn to target mostly women, but this occurred only after a couple centuries after the mid-1300’s. And the degree of violence against innocent women in general never reached the extreme that this movie portrayed, at least in England.

Based on this information, I concluded English film producers refused to finance this film because the film writer had over-exaggerated this dark historical period. Moreover, this film was produced in the year 2010, while her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had (and still has) power. Because this film portrayed England and God in a negative light, the loyal citizens would have none of it. Thank God for Britain’s good sense.



Surprising Actors Found in Black Death

Black Death
Sean Bean as Ulric

Of course, I already mentioned my surprise to see Sean Bean dressed very similarly to his character “Boromir, son of Denethor II” in The Lord of the Rings on this film’s cover. In The Lord of the Rings, Bean’s character encouraged both dislike and understanding in the viewers. He was a gray character. Therefore, to see him as witch hunter Ulric, another brutal and daring role, brought about mixed feelings.

Alex and I failed to recognize Eddie Redmayne’s name. However, early on in the film, Alex piped up and said, “Hey, it’s Newt!” The nagging feeling I had about this character was solved. For Eddie Redmayne had played the beloved Newt in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He played Osmund, the main character, in Black Death. Recognizing him as Newt made his ending in Black Death much harder to accept.



One Christian’s Opinion on Whether or Not to Watch Black Death

If my readers are strong believers in the Christian faith, like my husband and I, then they will severely dislike this film. At the beginning, the possibility of a strong Christian message appeared so likely as to give my husband and I hope for a happy ending. These hopes disappeared as the film progressed. In the end, we felt nothing but shame at how the film writer portrayed the Christian believers, if they could even be called believers.

How Osmund turned out also doesn’t sit well with me. He started off devout and loving. He questioned the monastery life, like the Protestant Christians did, and wished for a wife. His faith seemed genuine. However, when the witch tricked him, and he ended up killing his love, his faith didn’t save him. He become corrupted, in mind and spirit. True faith would heal all wounds, even those from a powerful witch and necromancer. Osmund’s faith should have kept him in the light.

Overall, I think the film did well in regards to acting and scene setting, but the plotline was terrible. History as it played out in the real world is frightening enough. Mixing history for a fictional horror film seems unnecessary. I recommend watching this film when my readers feel the need for something eerie. But, please, try to ignore the social agenda in the film, for only those enslaved to sin do such horrific deeds. And, as to witches, we all have different beliefs regarding witches and necromancers.