September 22 was named Hobbit Day by the American Tolkien Society as it is the shared birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. Nowadays most people know of the excellent Peter Jackson movies. When I was in high school and college I read the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings many times. I even read the Silmarillion. My nickname was The Hobbit, because I was often reading a book, really did have hair on top of my feet (not much but some) and smoked a pipe. I even adapted Tolkien’s Elvish script and Runes to create a replacement code and corresponded with friends in our made up language. The movies are terrific but you must read the original books if you haven’t already.
On a weird tangent I recently read an article explaining how white supremacists have appropriated cultural things and topics to endorse as secretly on their side. This is creepy and weird. One was Taylor Swift (okay, not my generation and I don’t get her anyway but apparently they think she is secretly Trump/Nazi.) Another was Medieval European society, the Knights Templar, the Crusades, all that. They idealize that period as a white paradise and the Crusades as another “lost cause.” Sorry, they mistakenly romanticize and do not understand that world. Unsettling, as the Medieval Festival is coming up soon near me at Fort Tryon Park (more on that later). Apparently they also claim there are white supremacist clues in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Something about the dark Orc enemies and other nonsense. Enough already. Stop it. As a Hobbit I am not part of your Klan and you cannot appropriate something I love for your ridiculous cause. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
NEXT WEEK: Coffee, pancakes and theater reviews.