KISSING SAM GOODBYE
RE: "How to Get Shit Done in Portland" [Feature, Dec 12], an exit interview with soon-to-be-former Mayor Sam Adams, in which he shares what he learned during his time in Portland City Hall.
I thought Adams was an exceptional leader, mayor, and all-around very intelligent politician. Adams would command a room, "No applause." In doing so, he dismissed the capability of the majority to express itself, and he would do this under the pretext of expediting the "process." Rationally, this was ridiculous, and by no means were people obligated to abide by his commands, yet people did. My only condemnation would be his inability to share his perspective on a situation. He did this purposefully to disable people from countering his perspective and attacking his position. The unfortunate side of this was that if Adams truly had a more informed opinion, it rarely spread beyond his inner circle. It was difficult to convince that man of anything; what Adams wanted to do, he was going to do, and be damned if there were alternatives or naysayers. That's leadership and tyranny—but at least Adams was virtuous, even if I disagreed with him.
posted by fidelity axiom
Sam's accomplishments should include failing to pay his mortgage, T-boning another motorist in a fit of road rage, and not being, by the skin of [his] teeth, a registered sex offender. The Mercury's fawning over this dried turd of a human, who basically hid under his desk for the first two years of his mayoralty, is about as low as journalism gets.
posted by woodstalker
MEANWHILE, IN MIDDLE-EARTH...
RE: "The Tears of the Nerds" [Film, Dec 12], in which Film Editor Erik Henriksen reviews The Hobbit, painfully taking it to task for its bloated, meandering storyline and sundry disappointments.
Is Bombadil in any of these? Since he wasn't in [The Lord of the Rings], I think he should be. I'm thinking William H. Macy, and Lindsay Lohan in a bad wig as Goldberry.
posted by Todd Mecklem
Todd—Is this a deliberate attempt at a joke? Bombadil appears nowhere in the timeline of The Hobbit, and while much was added into Jackson's vision for the adaptation for the sake of coming out of it with a trilogy, at least everything that occurs is within the timeline of events as they occur in Middle-earth.
posted by mediocre
A common criticism of this film has been that, while LOTR was trimmed down, this film has been bloated with extra material. I'd like to remind people that, although the original film trilogy is great and deservedly beloved, it also threw in quite a bit of extra material and changed some events entirely while sacrificing important bits of story. The Barrow-wights and Tom Bombadil from Fellowship? Sam becoming a temporary ring-bearer in Return? "The Scouring of the Shire"? Gone. Instead we had an overemphasis on the Aragorn-Arwen relationship, the Aragorn-Eowyn relationship, Frodo being brought to Osgiliath (never happened), Aragorn's near-death experience (never happened), and bloated battle scenes where Legolas does something cool. These could be considered detrimental to these films, but a lot of what was added was based on Tolkien material and ended up adding to the story and the emotional impact. The difference with this film is that we're getting the whole story, no sacrifices, with all the elements from Tolkien's notes, appendices, and The Silmarillion. The Hobbit book is largely nonsensical by itself. This movie adaptation is giving us answers that have been clued in over years of Tolkien's writings, but were not in the original book. It is not fucking "Hamburger Helper." That awful dwarf song about washing dishes, though... straight from the book. I read that scene for the first time while tripping on mushrooms. I'd consider it an abomination for it to not be included.
posted by James Watkinson
JESUS H. CHRIST, James. You win this week's Mercury letter of the week, not because we understood more than 30 percent of what you just said, but because we'd rather live in a world where we're still excited about The Hobbit trilogy, and you've given us that. So please enjoy two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where excitement always runs high.