from the with-apologies-to-martin-freeman dept
Last week, we wrote about an article by Joe Karaganis discussing the huge tax subsidies and political concessions wrested from the New Zealand government by Warner Bros. in order to film The Hobbit in the country. The editorial was entitled Kill The Hobbit Subsidies To Save Regular Earth, which inspired an editorial cartoon that Bloomberg View attached to it, which in turn has inspired Joe to launch a contest for creative interpretations of The Hobbit as an allegory for the situation.
First, I confess I hadn't fully thought through how to map the various heroes and villains of ‘Kill the Hobbit’ back onto ‘The Hobbit.’ But on reflection, this drawing seems a bit off. In my version of the story, the hobbit is the villain, stealing gold from the people of New Zealand (I guess to take back to Hollywoodshire?) This would make Smaug the dragon the public, and Smaug’s giant pile of gold the commonwealth (that’s why it’s so large). Smaug should be casting the Expecto Patronum (EP) spell to banish the Hobbit, not the other way around.
But hey, people may see it differently, and their right to publish those perspectives on our common culture is part of what’s at stake in ‘Kill the Hobbit to Save Regular Earth’ (pivoting here to New Zealand’s support for the IP-enforcement-on-steroids Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement).
So with that in mind, I am happy to announce the ‘Kill the Hobbit to Save Regular Earth’ Initiative– KH2SREI for short (pronounced Kisstory, after the ancient Elven admonition to beware Hobbits bringing gifts).
I invite you to flesh out the Kisstory allegory in whatever direction makes most sense to you. If you send me pictures, I will publish them here (as long as they are not obscene or gratuitously nasty). I will even try to talk the good people at Bloomberg View into running them. And if we get enough submissions we will have a public vote to award copies of the “semi-epic” Media Piracy in Emerging Economies to the two most worthy entries (plus whatever other awards we can accumulate in the meantime.)
As for those "other awards", we're throwing a Techdirt t-shirt into the mix. So if you're a creator, whatever your medium, we hope you'll submit something! Head on over to the contest page for more details and some "extra points" guidelines, including a "Special award for the best pro-Hobbit, pro TPPA, pro Warner Bros art, if we get any" because hey, political cartoons can cut both ways.