Neil Gaiman to Elon Musk on LOTR: Stick To What You Already Don't Know

Look, we didn't need another reason to love Neil Gaiman. We already bonded with the dude with American Gods (book and series), and that's before taking a deeper dive into his entire body of work. Outside of that, we also have righteous respect for his willingness to be open & honest on social media on a wide variety of topics. Folks may not always like what he has to say, but he keeps lines of respectful communication open, and that's never a bad thing. And then there's his willingness to jump into the breach that is social media to fight the good fight on behalf of not only his art but the art of others. So while we had no expectations, nor did he have any responsibility to speak publically on the matter, our day started off much better knowing that Gaiman was willing to go on Twitter to push back on Elon Musk's attempts to be the champion of self-hating trolls attacking Amazon, J.D. Payne & Patrick McKay's The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power for having a diverse cast that they claim goes against what J.R.R. Tolkien originally intended. Because, of course, they all know him… right? Now, we addressed all of the ways that Musk deserved to be mocked yesterday, but leave it to Gaiman to strike hard with a single tweet.

Image: Screencap/Amazon

"Elon Musk doesn't come to me for advice on how to fail to buy Twitter, and I don't go to him for film, TV, or literature criticism," Gaiman wrote in his tweet after being asked to offer his thoughts on Musk's musings. Here's a screencap of Gaiman's tweet putting the entire situation into its proper context:

Image: Screencap

And here's the actual tweet from Gaiman that went live earlier today:

Like we wrote in our original opinion piece yesterday, if you're shocked that the dude who can't figure out how to buy or not buy Twitter would have such a shitty take… why? Elon's a dude-bro… and a dude-bro's just gotta dude-bro! Over the course of two tweets, Elon made it clear that TROP isn't as sweatily testosterone-driven as he would like it to be. Thankfully, we all know that Elon's views on pretty much anything are nothing more than a steaming pile of Tesla… so instead? Let's mock his tweets!

"Tolkien is turning in his grave": C'mon… admit it. Deep down? You know some poor assistant/intern was put in the unfortunate situation of having to tell Elon was dead, right? Again, just a feeling… Also, the wording gives us the impression that Elon has some kind of "inside scoop" when it comes to Tolkien's writing philosophy. Considering Tolkien passed away in 1973 at the age of 81 and Elon was both in 1971, I guess maybe it's possible they played bridge together before Elon's nap-nap? Because I was 3-years-old when Tolkien and I used to share afternoon tea together, and from what I could tell? He would pretty much hate everything Musk represents and stands for… but that's just me, and you know how unreliable a 3-year-old's memory can be.

"Almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk, or both. Only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice.": That first sentence? That's an example of what we call "low-hanging fruit" because it's almost too easy of a set-up for anywhere from 1-6 great cheap shots. But we'll leave that up to your twisted minds. But that last part… correct if I'm wrong, but isn't Morfydd Clark's Galadriel a female character? Because if that's the case, then he's either raising his "doesn't know what's he's talking" levels to new heights, or he's trying to turn a comparison to a powerfully strong character into some kind of insult because (in his eyes) it's a female character being stronger than male characters. The dude-bro can't still be making 1983 jokes in 2022, can he?

And speaking of Gaiman… over the weekend, the famed author, The Sandman creator & individual who knows more than a bit about Tolkien's intentions with his writings, was pulled into a Twitter debate on the topic. Not a good thing for the trolls. Of course, the "conversation" began with someone who apparently isn't too thrilled with seeing people of color in fantasy series hiding behind the old "But the author didn't want it that way!" argument. Why? Because egos like these assume their narrow visions of art are always what the artists intended, and no one is going to tell them otherwise. Except for someone like Gaiman, who was tagged in the thread for his perspective since he was "Tolkien's best mate." And with Gaiman being Gaiman, he made sure that there wasn't any wiggle room as to the two schools folks fall in who believe Tolkien only wanted white characters. "Tolkien described the Harfoots as "browner of skin" than the other hobbits. So I think anyone grumbling is either racist or hasn't read their Tolkien. Your mileage may vary," Gaiman tweeted in response (as you'll see in the screencap below):

Image: Screencap

Of course, this is social media, and these folks are trolls of the worst kind… the racist, gatekeeping variety. The kind that views others different from them as second-class citizens while strangling any attempts at artistic growth & evolution. The kind that thinks they know better than the artist and those who knew the artist well. This is why you get toxic nonsense like this: "Browner of skin means tanned white similar to people who work in the sun as they are in a temperate environment like England, you are both lying and trying to deceive people, Gaimen, shame on you" (apparently, someone was so up in their hurt feels so much that they couldn't spell Gaiman's name correctly). Thankfully, Gaiman was still around to put this "tinfoil scholar" properly in their place. "Tolkien didn't say, 'The Harfoots spent longer in the sun than any of the other hobbits and were a lot more tanned.' He said they were 'browner of skin,'" Gaiman responded (with names redacted to protect one innocent person and two people not worth giving promotion to):

lord of the rings
Image: Screencap

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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