Rings of Power Episode 3: Postmodern high fantasy comes of age

Critics of Rings of Power accuse it of woke idealism in comparison to the earthy realism of House of the Dragon. ‘No one kneels in Numenor,’ the third episode opens. The iron throne demands that we kneel. There are, it seems to me, five ages of fantasy: 1. The classical age (Homer’s Odyssey, the Iliad), … Continue reading Rings of Power Episode 3: Postmodern high fantasy comes of age

The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

‘Impossible to see, the future is,’ notes Yoda in political discussions with the Chancellor of the Republic, reasoning, ‘the dark side clouds everything’ — an ironic admission in front of the secret Sith lord who had already seized the reigns of democratic power. The Chancellor’s next steps involved translating political power into military might — … Continue reading The medieval mysteries of ‘Attack of the Clones’

Kanye West, Michael Jackson, and the beginnings of balance

I again turn to the two foundations of modern music: technique, and artistry. Technique is more easily recognisable, and art has a moral dimension that is more subjectively contestable. Technique bears the semblance of objectivity, and therefore is often prised above the more obscure form of art. But art is the end towards which the … Continue reading Kanye West, Michael Jackson, and the beginnings of balance