Posts Tagged ‘the hobbit’

I planned to outline and put together a comprehensive and long review of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; however, it isn’t going to happen. Too damn busy with other things. So what follows are some short(-ish) and haphazard observations about the film.

Two things to get out of the way first:

1. I consider Tolkien’s The Hobbit one of the most influential books on my development as a reader. My father (a fantasy and SF guy) read it to me when I was 6-7; and I read it myself at 8 (and again a few years later, and again, and a few more times adding up to 7 or 8 total). Having reread it last month, however, I have few romantic, nostalgic illusions about it overall. It is, in a number of ways, a flawed book, and it doesn’t engage me anywhere near as much as an adult as it did when I was much younger. I’m still a fan, though. I would venture that those who grew up as kids loving the Harry Potter books (which I read the first 3 installments of before deciding not to go further) will feel similarly rereading those books ten or twenty years down the road.

2. What is below the cut will contain so-called spoilers of the film and all of the novel (not just the section the film covers).

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Of course everything didn’t end all at once. Does no one understand the meaning of Apocalypse at all?

As a slightly-related starting point, here’s the voiceover opening montage to The Road Warrior (1981), which is one of the great film intros of all time:

While most people think about apocalypse as a singular event (it’s sexier that way), the reality is that we are living in apocalyptic times where a group of related crises (climate change, resource depletion, etc.) all point toward a wide-scale, gradual collapse of civilization as we know it. One of the most overlooked aspects in this dire scenario, at least beyond existing drought areas, is the increasing threat of water scarcity pretty much everywhere.

This article gets at one particular manifestation of gross negligence with regard to stewardship and so-called “development,” AND the crazy kind of solutions people come up with:

“Want some Missouri water? Colorado, get in line” AGua, 12/19/2012

The slices of the Colorado River pie are getting cut thinner and thinner.  With growing populations in southwestern cities and increased needs for irrigation, doling out the dwindling supplies of the Colorado River has reached such a dried up state that government agents are suggesting piping water from the Missouri River 600 miles across Kansas to Denver.  The federal Bureau of Reclamation (part of the Department of the Interior) will be releasing a report this week proposing a constellation of options for mediating growing concern over water supplies for the ~25 million people who rely on the Colorado River, reports the NYTimes.

Words cannot….

pipeline

Also on the water front:

“Poisoning the Well: How the Feds Let Industry Pollute the Nation’s Underground Water Supply” – Abraham Lustgarten (ProPublica, 12/11/2012)

Federal officials have given energy and mining companies permission to pollute aquifers in more than 1,500 places across the country, releasing toxic material into underground reservoirs that help supply more than half of the nation’s drinking water.

In many cases, the Environmental Protection Agency has granted these so-called aquifer exemptions in Western states now stricken by drought and increasingly desperate for water.

Scary stuff.  Thanks EPA!

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