Bettenridge’s law of headlines dictates that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” In the case of whether or not J.R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a fantasy land that has space for people of colour, it’s unfortunately not that simple.
The full title for the television series taking place in the same universe as the critically acclaimed The Lord of the Rings was announced just this past month, with The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power acting as a prequel set thousands of years before the original trilogy of films. Soon after followed 23 individual posters featuring the hands of different characters, a startling development for those who hadn’t been closely following casting news for the show.
As briefly discussed in my first post this year, there’s nothing more emblematic of our present-day culture than division and polarization. With every announcement decisions must be made and opinions cemented, dictating what side of any particular issue you find yourself on. To say that the same is true for the existence of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, [and] People of Colour) in a historically lily-white franchise is putting it lightly. The following tweet made by the amusingly named (at the time of this writing) “guy online” highlights the conflict accordingly:
Knowing this is the case and having these camps laid out in such stark contrast makes it awkward for me to admit that I’ve found myself in a place where I’m also side-eyeing production for casting actors of colour in various roles, a sentiment that on the surface places me in some admittedly unpleasant company. Let me explain- Continue reading
Posted in film, internet, literature, race, television, writing
Tagged actor, Amazon, BIPOC, black, casting, diversity, Dwarf, Easterlings, elf, film, Haradrim, Harfoot, hobbit, Hollywood, Peter Jackson, race, representation, The Lord of the Rings, The Rings of Power, TV
Well readers, it’s that time of year again. Mildewed jack-o’-lanterns are being unceremoniously swept away from doorsteps as families hang lights and holly around their homes. Carols are beginning to play in stores across the nation and cheery folks, bundled up in their coats, are already beginning to make their lists. The elves and reindeer aren’t waiting for December and so, readers, neither shall I. And let me kick off the holidays here at Culture War Reporters by declaring this:
I hate Christmas.
Generally speaking, I always have.
And my family did celebrate the holidays, with my parents (who make Buddy the Elf look like Ebenezer Scrooge) even making a few luckless attempts at getting me to celebrate advent as well.
I’d say that my mom isn’t as bad, but her holiday tradition is- I make no exaggeration- screaming “IT’S # DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!” at the top of her lungs.
But for all the zeal my parents had I was generally free from the hustle and bustle of the season. One of the benefits of growing up in the middle of a primarily Muslim country is that one isn’t generally blasted with “Carol of the Bells” until one is prepared to put a drill to one’s head.
Coming to America, that was something I had difficulty adjusting to, to put things mildly. But that’s not the issue I have- not entirely anyways.
It was the expectation. Continue reading
Posted in America, bizarreness, Christianity, design, film, media, morality, music, religion
Tagged carol, celebration, Christian, Christianity, Christmas, Christmas with the Kranks, Commercialization, cups, design, elf, Europe, holiday, Jesus, Joshua Feuerstein, non-Christian, Pagan, season, secular, snow, Starbucks, The Family Man, The Santa Clause, tradition, War on Christmas
It’s actually pretty hard to write a Fame Day post for Christmas since it’s now pretty much synonymous with materialism, something that most people agree “eats you from the inside out.”
But dang it guys! I really love Christmas! I love all the lights everywhere draining energy and creating light pollution. I love the repetitive Christmas music on the radio. I love giving and (gasp) even receiving gifts (though I try to only purchase gifts from businesses I feel happy supporting ex. fair trade, local, etc). So much about how Christmas is marketed goes against the things I want to be socially conscious about, and yet I can’t seem to help loving it. I think this probably comes down to the many fun traditions my family has had, and the way the season forces us all to drop everything going on in our lives just to spend time together.
So I’ve decided that for today’s Fame Day post I’m going to share a few of my favorite traditions, and I would really love if you could tell me a little bit about yours. Continue reading
Posted in Fame Day, family, food
Tagged aunts, biblical Christmas story, big box stores, carols, Christmas, cousins, elf, environment, fair trade, family, food, Friends, fun, gifts, grandparents, gristle, in-laws, It's a Wonderful Life, John, kulma, lefse, light pollution, lights, local, love, materialism, meals, new family, organic, presents, recipes, Santa Claus, sharing, singing, tradition, Turkey, uncles, weird