It’s been 10 years since we first started taking the Hobbits to Isengard. I mean, it’s been way longer - the Hobbits could have fucking walked there, back again, managed to get served several times at the downstairs bar in Doggett’s and got a Southeastern train service all the way to Charing Cross since Tolkien put pen to page. But (and believe me, this is deeply unusual for me) let’s put J R R aside in this.
Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is kind of… well, both too faithful (total lack of critical interrogation of Tolkien’s absolutely awful concepts around race, gender, etc.) and not faithful enough in that it appeared to miss all the points your correspondent’s teenage self managed to find in the series. Specifically, where Lord of the Rings is an obsessively detailed but ultimately quite modest and traumatised epic, a huge amount of which is two small, starving creatures crawling around in mud having moral dilemmas. The Jackson films take themselves as seriously and grandly as the books came to be and as I suspect their author probably never did.
Taking the Hobbits to Isengard, on the other hand, is a pure and perfect work and I will hear no ill spoken of it else ye never receive a pint in a round bought by me again.
It takes as its base the Hovis-theme-ripping-off music from The Shire - the small-worlded part of the films, before any grandeur is truly injected into the bloated beastie that is the trilogy. The Hobbiton theme is supposed to be homely, reassuring, quaint - like anything that succeeds at that, it sounds fucking amazing played on an airhorn.
The simplicity of the Shire’s theme is what allows it to so naturally accept the kitchen-sink style auditory ornamentation that is ‘a donk’. A classic staple of rave, it needs no introduction even in a world as apparently dislocated from two WKDs and a honk on some poppers as the miruvor-quaffing pipeweed fiends we see here.
As a lyrical piece, Taking The Hobbits is discursive - like many of the very best pieces of pop. One only has to consider the sweet, sweet tension of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain or Brandy and Monica’s iconic The Boy Is Mine to recognise that dialogous pop is, when it works, a particularly sublime genre.
It doesn’t matter that the lines are, ostensibly, orphaned from their original place in the script - from the eponymous ejaculation to Gollum’s hissed What did u say??? they’re all perfectly addressing each other in the sort of gloriously confused cacophony usually reserved for a misunderstanding-based brawl outside a kebab shop at 3am.
I remember the first time I heard Taking The Hobbits To Isengard. It was quite a momentous occasion because I still had dial up, so it took roughly the length of a decent pop song to load and it was very difficult to tell if it was deliberate or a bandwidth-related glitch remix for at least 30 torturously disrupted seconds. I’d imagined it would be a fairly quick joke - most internet video based things were, at the time, but no; a fully fledged song. That just kept going.
The initial air horns! These are funny, yes because we remember them as the Shire theme, which isn’t even the music for this bit. The stuttering sample of the original line! Which sustains itself as Sheffield Dave-style shout out far better than it should, given it’s old seriousface Elf ears himself yelling off a horse.
(In retrospect, should have equated that with Sheffield Dave earlier)
Then there’s …polka bit. Few pop songs manage to maintain a polka interlude - Bohemian Rhapsody springs to mind but Taking the Hobbits To Isengard manages to repeatedly insert it without losing coherency around its original rave premise. If you don’t think ‘Tell me where is Gandalf, for I much desire to speak with him’ delivered over a little eurodance handbag bit is not both extremely funny and excellent pop, I can’t help you.
Taking The Hobbits To Isengard would score reasonably at Eurovision. Not because Eurovision is actually the home of comedy trash but because if France (and it would probably have to be France in order for the Elven analogues to take themselves seriously enough) scooted in on an artpop platform and wanged loads of fucking airhorns round the stadium it would be entirely in keeping with European sensibilities of solemnly considering the totally whimsical due to our inherent reservedness about experiencing joy.
(The slightly older and wiser part of me has to question the repeated use of Gollum’s ‘stupid, fat, Hobbits’ which makes sense in the context of what he is but isn’t inherently funny, unlike a context-dislocated, bass-intoned ‘A Balrog of Morgoth’)
The great thing about Taking The Hobbits To Isengard is it actually gets funnier the more it goes on. Like Star Trekkin it not only sets out to commit to a fairly one-note premise but to hammer that note until it falls out through the piano and becomes a transcendent free agent, cascading through the strings.
It takes a premise; that the Lord of the Rings films, in their overblown format, are very, very silly and runs with it extremely, deadly seriously. This is the core of not all but a fairly substantial chunk of really good pop, as well as an excellent manual for life. All things are here - a manic sense of imminent implosion, troubling past associated with racist ideologies, handcarts, hell, what did u say???
Very seriously; Taking The Hobbits To Isengard is a superb piece of fan work and it has substantially enriched my life to listen to it on loop for the past 45 minutes whilst watching a parliamentary debate on mute. Creators of this piece: thank.
Idk which is my favorite part of Blackwall’s backstory: the fact that his grand plan for escaping detection as the most wanted man in Orlais involved growing a beard and walking to the next country over, or the fact that it worked
Aries: bad bad texters, make everything obvious, *randomly curses at u* (not a surprise if u find them talking to themselves), crazy drivers vroom vroom, *screams but cools down after 3 min*, laughs manically when angry, looks focused about everything,
jokes about things that’ll make you widen your eyes (rly personal shit)
Taurus: asks when and where they’ll be able to eat, make literally 0 sense sometimes, lazy bean always saying they’re tired, virgo #2, will fight u, takes their fights seriously, MI X ED SIGNALS!!?!!?!?
Gemini: “idk I like them but I don’t, you get me?”, hates it when u repeat music but they do the same shit, acts smart but can’t backup their arguments, rly loud laughers, *screenshots everything*, repeats their jokes until someone laughs at it
Cancer: adds everything w daddy, “im not emotional wtf”, likes to be derpy, either babies u or likes being babied, becomes victim if u dont return affection, has atleast accidentally called their teacher mom/dad once, “send that to me!”
Leo: actually leaves yelp reviews, s/o > frnds/u, dramatically cries when hungry, “lets take an uber”, turn to preachers at random times, #triggered, goes to places just for the pictures
Virgo: judged u atleast once, involves themselves in drama & accidentally becomes a victim, not scared of u, independent woman who dont need no man (unless u got some leo in u), my opinion > urs
Libra: literally wild af, talks really loud, says shit without even thinking twice omg??, wings everything, air head #2, s a ssy, “idc if they don’t like me……but why tho”, leo #2, have dank memes to back up their argument, most likely to send u a nude/ or have u call them daddy/mami, suggest i v e
Scorpio: text them at 4 am and they’ll reply, actually really hate spooky shit, could pull off as Geminis if they weren’t so mysterious, also looks rly hot, thinks about every bad scenario, the worriers, staring at you either means they hate u or they like u pick one
Sagittarius: *freedomly flirts*, so harsh like ouch?, the type to ask u to dinner and say they forgot their wallet, says no but does it anyways,
*shows u a song then reminds u they showed u it everytime u listen to it*, mimics everything, most likely to wear something that’ll grab someone’s attention
Capricorn: *looks rlly powerful but likes a dominant person*, lets you copy their hw #realOG, looks rly confused, depended on 167% of the time, looks rly hot, looks so serious but is really singing in their heads, ride or die
Aquarius: air head #1, say the weirdest shit sometimes omg?, leo #3, won’t apologize for none, probably already found out the secret to life, doesn’t hide anything, “im n o t we a k”, makes a joke bout everything
Pisces: more sensitive than cancer like wyd astrology, says “what” after you just explained yourself, “dude what if like…”, oblivious , person: look at that cute person pisces: where?! *looks everywhere but the cute person*, no one knows what they’re thinking
Curious Village: a nice, courteous boy. his small smile says “content”, yet his eyes scream “dead inside”. his arms look strangely thicker under his elbow, and the hands are just off. his eyebrows frankly scare me, but he’s still a lovable son. 7/10
Diabolical Box: a sassy child. admire his >:^) face. words cant do it justice. he looks ready for any puzzle the professor has to throw at him! his hair even became spikier. hes full of personality, if somewhat rude. 10/10
Unwound Future: his arms are weird yet again. he looks confused. please help this child. his eyebrows are flying away. a decent luke, but not as good as diabolical box. 7/10
Last Specter: here we can see luke lose all hope and happiness. he looks so sad and miserable. hes so small. just let him be happy. his clothes are extremely cute and very different from the rest of his outfits, his hands are normal again and hes a very nice luke but i cant concentrate over how upset i am. 8/10
Miracle Mask: new boy, new outfit. he still looks lost in life and not all that happy, but there’s a slight improvement. his little coat is a very nice addition, and hes now using the shorts we see during the rest of the games. 8/10
Azran Legacy: still much smaller than in the original trilogy, despite curious village happening weeks after azran legacy. he seems more determined than curious village luke, but not as energetic as diabolical box luke. he has finally regained his happiness, if only for part of the game. 8/10
i feel like a lot of the ‘girls can be awful too!!!!!’ discourse kind of ignores a key difference that is…even though girls can and are mean on interpersonal basis theres not that feeling of being undervalued bcus im a girl…like when i say that i want to be in an all girls school bcus itd be a more positive environment i dont mean everyone will be nice bcus that’s absolutely not the case i mean i wont have that feeling that no matter what i say it’s stupid and not worth sharing and i wont be ignored by teachers in favor of men…academics with men or taught by men is so humiliating and exhausting you constantly are undermined and have to prove urself and no one takes u seriously and thats definitely harmful to ur self esteem
So there’s a moment I’ve been wanting to talk about in Extra
Game. There are five seconds left on the clock, Akashi is facing down Nash, and
he doesn’t think he can make it.
When Kuroko pops out and steals the ball from behind Nash,
thus saving the game:
This moment is interesting to me specifically because of
Nash’s power, Demon Eye.
Demon Eye allows Nash to see the whole court and every
player with the precision of Akashi’s Emperor Eye (it’s ridiculous and I love
it). But what else do we know about Nash’s Demon Eye? Very little – Extra Game was very compressed, and didn’t waste much time explaining it. However, we do know about Akashi’s Emperor Eye.
Now, the showdowns between Akashi and Kuroko are little to none. Akashi doesn’t ankle break Kuroko, and Kuroko doesn’t
attempt to use misdirection on him (personally, I always thought it was meant to imply
their abilities didn’t work on each other, or weren’t useful). There is, however, one notable exception – the only time we ever see Kuroko steal a ball from Akashi. Kuroko’s Quasi Emperor Eye.
According to the rules established
in-universe, the only way Kuroko can steal a ball from Akashi is using QEE; so, in order to do the same to Nash, he must use at least QEE to get the ball. And the only
person he could have been using that ability with here was Akashi.
Hence: Kuroko has used Quasi Emperor Eye with two people
only – once against Akashi, and once with Akashi. Kuroko is so in tune with Akashi in this moment he’s able to predict
his movements faster than Akashi himself can. As the manga put it,
“It’s not something [Kuroko] can use on his opponents. He can only
use this on his teammates, with whom he’s devoted so much time to building up
trust with. However, it’s because he has that trust… that he can see into the future, an instant farther than
okay but listen if u ever wanna start multiple threads with me don’t even ask because there’s a 900% chance i'ma cry and be hella happy that u even like interacting with me that much and probably tell u to tag me in as many threads as u want whenever u want always