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Is it a good or bad thing to be called a Hobbit?
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weaver
Half-elven

Aug 11 2011, 2:40pm

Post #1 of 34 (1245 views)
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Is it a good or bad thing to be called a Hobbit? Can't Post

I ask because here in the US, a political figure has been making the headlines for calling the people who follow a particular political sentiment "hobbits".

I don't want to start a political discussion here -- so I'm not going to include the link to the story or anything...

What I am in interested in is how the term "hobbit" is now being used in popular culture, since the movies came out...and with the new ones on the horizon...

What do you think? What does it mean to be called a hobbit (particularly by someone who's very likely to hang out on TORn!) -- is the term now being used to label people, and with what kind of ingredients go with that label?

Weaver




Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Aug 11 2011, 2:45pm

Post #2 of 34 (751 views)
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To be a Hobbit is a good thing, but the Big Folk who only admire physical strenght [In reply to] Can't Post

and physical beauty can't understand this. Therefore Hobbits are only seen as some short guys, and their essence is understood as being small and short, in stead of understanding that their smallness is what makes their courage and big heart all the more notable.

It's no bad thing to be disliked by dislikeable people! Tongue

Plus, I think we should have buried Tolkien in a larger coffin, he probably cant turn very well in his. -Rossmonster


Faenoriel
Tol Eressea


Aug 11 2011, 2:49pm

Post #3 of 34 (706 views)
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PS [In reply to] Can't Post

I haven't made any study on this, but to me it seems Hobbits are in the general audience seen as "those small guys", who aren't exactly irritating, but not the most important or interesting thing in M-E either. Often people see Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and such as the "real heroes" of the story, with the Hobbits being their audience. So, I would say Hobbits are seen in real life pretty much the same way they are seen in M-E by the other races? People who are defied by their small size, and therefore are thought to be small in all aspects of their personality and quality?

Plus, I think we should have buried Tolkien in a larger coffin, he probably cant turn very well in his. -Rossmonster


weaver
Half-elven

Aug 11 2011, 2:56pm

Post #4 of 34 (719 views)
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it's interesting... [In reply to] Can't Post

I would think the films showed that being a hobbit was a good thing, you know? But I've seen the term, lately, used to both honor and disparage, from my point of view anyway.

What's interesting in this case, is that the people being called hobbits didn't like being called that, and that the people who disagree with them, but "get' hobbits, were offended to see the term applied to people they felt did not in fact, represent what hobbits were all about.

One side saw it as an insult -- the other as an undeserved compliment! I should add that the political figure was asked to "apologize" for using the term; he declined.

Weaver




Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 11 2011, 3:11pm

Post #5 of 34 (737 views)
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People can turn anything into an insult. [In reply to] Can't Post

Though whether you agree with their politics or not, the people the gentleman in question referred to definitely are an excellent example of the “exaltation of the humble".

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Aug 11 2011, 3:40pm

Post #6 of 34 (725 views)
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Depends on who's making the reference [In reply to] Can't Post

If it's a politician... I'd bet 3 LotR action figures that they've never read the books or seen the movies... so they'd mis-use the term completely.

Imho, being called a hobbit is a compliment. Someone who appreciates and enjoys a simple life with work, routine, family and peace... but who can, through heartiness of spirit, common sense, and resiliency, can face and overcome any hardships. I'd rather be a hobbit.

sample sample

I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.



TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes



Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Aug 11 2011, 3:49pm

Post #7 of 34 (767 views)
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Any appellative is what is made of it. [In reply to] Can't Post

Name calling is an ancient human tradition. The use of the term Hobbit in a derogatory or defamatory manner shows either a lack of understanding on the part of the speaker(or writer) or his/her membership in good standing in "The Minions of Sauron".

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket



Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 11 2011, 3:59pm

Post #8 of 34 (758 views)
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Well at least he didn't say "Shire-rats". / [In reply to] Can't Post

 

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.


Ruxendil_Thoorg
Tol Eressea

Aug 11 2011, 5:20pm

Post #9 of 34 (738 views)
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it's an insult to Hobbits. [In reply to] Can't Post

 
We know Hobbits that are good people. Being a Hobbit should be something to be proud of. We across this board admire Hobbits.

Being compared to a Hobbit is probably a compliment, even if it's not meant that way (and undeserved as someone has said). But it's still bad for anyone to "call" someone a Hobbit, unintended compliment or not.

I don't know whether the group that was the object of the comparison should be offended or not, but the idea of comparing that group (any political group, really) to Hobbits is an insult to Hobbits.

By extension, it's an insult to Tolkien's memory, his legacy, and his fans.

"That doesn't make much sense to me. But then again, you are quite small. Perhaps you're right."


Kangi Ska
Half-elven


Aug 11 2011, 5:22pm

Post #10 of 34 (735 views)
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Wait! Wait! [In reply to] Can't Post

How about that Sandyman boy?

Kangi Ska Resident Trickster & Wicked White Crebain
Life is an adventure, not a contest.

At night you can not tell if crows are black or white.
Photobucket



Ruxendil_Thoorg
Tol Eressea

Aug 11 2011, 5:26pm

Post #11 of 34 (744 views)
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That Ted Sandyman, a Hobbit? [In reply to] Can't Post

Another insult to Hobbits, that one was.

"That doesn't make much sense to me. But then again, you are quite small. Perhaps you're right."


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 11 2011, 5:36pm

Post #12 of 34 (763 views)
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Wasn't he the only one... [In reply to] Can't Post

...who didn't participate in the Long Expected *Party* at which surely *Tea* was served?

And Gandalf's demand for *Tea* is also suspicious in retrospect.

Not to mention Pippin's chargrin when Aragorn refused him *Tea*. (Hidden within his demand for second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, supper, and dinner.)

Does Jackson's LOTR indeed have a hidden political agenda and should we thank a certain grey haired gentleman for bringing it to the world's attention?

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Aug 11 2011, 7:52pm

Post #13 of 34 (712 views)
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Well, since Snooki is referred to as a "celebrity hobbit"... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm surprised the Bywater Pitchfork Brigade hasn't been heard from by now, but maybe they just bury the bodies quietly...

**********************************

Who's the coverdwarf now, prettyboy!

NARF
NABOUF
Not a TORns*b!
Certified Curmudgeon
Knitting Knerd
NARF: NWtS Chapter Member since June 17,2011


Otaku-sempai
Immortal

Aug 11 2011, 8:29pm

Post #14 of 34 (750 views)
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'Hobbit' as a put-down... [In reply to] Can't Post

If the person using the term is actually familiar with Tolkien, he/she could mean that the subject is provincial and unimaginitive--words that could certainly be used to describe a typical halfling.


FantasyFan
Rohan


Aug 11 2011, 10:02pm

Post #15 of 34 (670 views)
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I think they meant [In reply to] Can't Post

That the particular people being called hobbits were living in a fantasy world, obsessed with idealism and fantasy villains.

I am not saying I agree with either party. But I don't know that idealism is a bad thing.


"That is one thing that Men call 'hope.' Amdir we call it, 'looking up.' But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is 'trust.' It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and First Being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End. Of all His designs the issue must be for His children's joy."
Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, HoME X Morgoth's Ring



ByThorinsBeard
Rohan


Aug 11 2011, 11:38pm

Post #16 of 34 (659 views)
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exactly, well said Darkstone...// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere." - Albert Einstein.


Gollum the Great
Rohan


Aug 12 2011, 1:16am

Post #17 of 34 (660 views)
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Depends [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't really want any political labels except "conservative."

I don't want to be called a hobbit because my feet are hairy (they aren't, I swear it! Shocked)

I love being called a hobbit when I'm going barefoot (which is nearly all the time).

I'm somewhat short, so I can excuse it by saying at some point one of my ancestors must have taken a hobbit wife (which is, of course, absurd, but there is something not quite humanish about me... is geek a species? Tongue)

Lord Sméagol? Gollum the Great? The Gollum! Eat fish every day, three times a day; fresh from the sea. Most Precious Gollum!


Donry
Tol Eressea


Aug 12 2011, 3:09am

Post #18 of 34 (631 views)
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I think there are a few... [In reply to] Can't Post

What I most relate to when I've been called a hobbit, is the love of life. The enjoyment of food, ale, nature and peace. As a people, I see the hobbits this way.

What's the matter, James? No glib remark? No pithy comeback?"


sevilodorf
Grey Havens


Aug 12 2011, 3:13am

Post #19 of 34 (641 views)
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Was it said with a smile or a sneer? [In reply to] Can't Post

How it was said and when make a lot of difference as to whether I'd get riled up about it.

Fourth Age Adventures at the Inn of the Burping Troll http://burpingtroll.com





sador
Half-elven


Aug 12 2011, 3:49am

Post #20 of 34 (636 views)
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He clearly hasn't read 'Alice' [In reply to] Can't Post

Ignorance is a bad thing.

"Tolkien often uses this device, of residual evil (or good) permeating an area, even though the primary source of the power that saturated the land has left."
- Morothorn


The weekly discussion of The Lord of the Rings is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Black Gate Opens!



sador
Half-elven


Aug 12 2011, 3:58am

Post #21 of 34 (678 views)
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But the *real* Gandalf prefers red wine [In reply to] Can't Post

The purists are everywhere. Wink

"Tolkien often uses this device, of residual evil (or good) permeating an area, even though the primary source of the power that saturated the land has left."
- Morothorn


The weekly discussion of The Lord of the Rings is back. Join us in the Reading Room for The Black Gate Opens!



RoseCotton
Lorien


Aug 12 2011, 6:34am

Post #22 of 34 (737 views)
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I woud say that, as with any epithet... [In reply to] Can't Post

It's much more to do with the intentions of the speaker/writer than any particular word, and intentions require context -- both in an immediate 'what other words is the epithet sandwiched in between' kind of way, but also in broader 'who said it?', 'why did they it?', 'to whom did they say it?' etc. kind of ways.

I've noticed that it's not uncommon for people to have a 'list of special words' kind of approach to curses and (potentially) offensive appellations, but, for me, I think the word or words themselves (even the 'classic' curses) aren't an issue. I believe it's all down to intent.

I feel pretty sure that the whole concept of swear-words has been handed down from historic (and maybe pre-historic) times when it may have been widely believed that words were 'magic' and/or 'evil' and, in themselves, could have material and physical effects.

The sense that words have a kind of magic power is still with us today: people can still be heard to say (and I'm sure for many it's at least half-serious): 'don't tempt Fate' as if verbally musing about a negative outcome can, in itself, increase the chances of such an eventuality.

But, back to the question: I can certainly imagine someone using 'Hobbit' in very much an affectionate way (to fondly refer, for example, to someone's stay-at-home, comfort-loving sensibilities) as much as in a pejorative way. It's all about context.


SirDennisC
Half-elven


Aug 12 2011, 6:00pm

Post #23 of 34 (624 views)
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Very confusing indeed [In reply to] Can't Post

Given the context I believe it was intended as an insult but it is anything but. Pretty sure he meant to say Orcs. But going back on it would mean admitting he didn't understand the difference between Hobbits and Orcs, which is the same as saying I am really out of touch. Instead we are expected to change our opinion of Hobbits so that the label fits.

The same effect could have been achieved by calling them puppies. Yes very confusing.

All this is to say that unless it is meant strictly in reference to stature (which we see quite often across media) calling someone a Hobbit should be understood to be a compliment by almost everyone on the planet.


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 12 2011, 6:08pm

Post #24 of 34 (602 views)
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it could be... [In reply to] Can't Post

...he was indirectly referring to their hope of changing government as "a fool's hope".

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.


Darkstone
Immortal


Aug 12 2011, 6:14pm

Post #25 of 34 (607 views)
Shortcut
"The Wine Party" [In reply to] Can't Post

Now there's a political movement I might be interested in.

******************************************
Brothers, sisters,
I was Elf once.
We danced together
Under the Two Trees.
We sang as the soft gold of Laurelin
And the bright silver of Telperion,
Brought forth the dawn of the world.
Then I was taken.

Brothers, sisters,
In my torment I kept faith,
And I waited.
But you never came.
And when I returned you drew sword,
And when I called your names you drew bow.
Was my Eldar beauty all,
And my soul nothing?

So be it.
I will return your hatred,
And I am hungry.

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