Milking Dry the Cash Cow

Ideas are the backbone of all the work we do. But sometimes they’re bad. This article, for instance, about Amazon’s plan for a Lord of the Rings prequel (not The Hobbit, which to be perfectly pedantic is the first published, making LotR a sequel, but something jammed between the two) seems not only ill-conceived but empty on its face.

I’d like to stay positive in these posts, but I may have too much Harlan Ellison in my blood to stay out of the berserker side of things. It seems to be more of a Big Media mindset that fears new things and hoards the tried-and-true. But this is to be expected. Wherever a lot of money is at stake, or specifically, wherever executive stock options and cushy jobs are the subject of the perpetual angst of their holders, new ideas will be pushed aside for the chance to milk a few drops more out of the prize cow.

I’m not surprised it’s being tried, I’m surprised it’s taken so long. But so it is for massive invented worlds that have rung the cash register faithfully for long years.

The beauty of being in the world right now is the ability to go into any bookstore or art blog or streaming video service and find more new things (and ideas) than you could consume in one lifetime. There’s always more to experience and to make. We can despair over beloved worlds defiled, but we can also just keep doing the work and discovering new ones.