Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Criminals Of The Hobbit, Southampton

Criminals come in all shapes and sizes and their crimes vary in degree, but one such crime cannot go unpunished and lawyers in Hollywood have set about punishing the criminal concerned.

There is a pub in Southampton called The Hobbit, which has held the name for twenty years and in 2007 was dubbed the best pub in Southampton. But regulars to the pub had absolutely no idea that the owners of the establishment were criminals of the highest order.

Their crime? For being such huge fans of British born writer JRR Tolkien’s work that they named the pub after one of his famous creations in homage. Outrageous isn’t it that someone uses a name like the hobbit in homage to a much loved writer and actually use it to promote his work, rather than disrespecting it. To quote a Catherine Tate character, How very dare they.

Unbelievably, this pub has images of Gandalf and other characters from the Lord of the Rings films outside, and contain cocktails named Gandalf and Frodo as well has having Elijah Wood’s face on their loyalty cards.

But now American film makers, Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) have instructed lawyers to step in to end the pub’s shenanigans on this matter and, in true American style, have issued a threat of a lawsuit against them, ordering them to remove all references to the characters.

“SZC have held the rights to Tolkien’s works since before Tolkien was even born,” said one American on hearing the news. “We take someone’s classic work and turn it into a big movie, but then the Brits seem to think that they can get away with naming a pub in his honour? I don’t think so, even if it was years before the films were made.

“It’s the same for that other place in Birmingham, The Hungry Hobbit and is apparently close to the place where Tolkien was born, like we care. So we’ve told them to change that as well. It’s time you Brits learned that we Americans are much better than you and we know what we’re talking about.”

And fellow American, Randy Popper agreed. “You Brits think its okay to promote Tolkien’s work in this manner but when I go to a bar, I want to get pissed, not to be all cultural and everything. That’s what libraries are for, I think. You Brit’s have no idea what you’re doing.”

However, the British have reacted angrily to this. Father Peter Walsh, a Tolkien fanatic from St Mark’s Church in Peterborough said “Who the fucking hell do the Americans think they are? This is a small pub promoting the work of a legend. Oh hold on a minute, we forget. Tolkien is now a brand and not a person isn’t he?

“Maybe we should instruct lawyers to remove any references to Shakespeare or Newton from anywhere in America if they want to play like this. But they can keep Cameron. Actually, can we get Clegg over there as well?”

And Paul Jenkins, a solicitor from Liverpool said “I’m concerned for the owners. Knowing the Americans, they will class this as a heinous crime and would probably extradite them or maybe even just take them and stick in Guantanamo. This is how bad the situation really is.”

But SZC’s lawsuits don’t stop with the criminals in Southampton or Birmingham. The British missile defence system Trident has received a letter from SZC, demanding the word Ent is removed as it breaches copyright and the island of Mallorca has been told they have to rename as it contains the word Orc, another clear breach of copyright law.  One resident of Mallorca said “Conseguir que la follan gruesas bastardos americanos. Eres todo un montón de pajeros,” which I think means no.

In addition, anyone called Sam or have the unfortunate names of Pippin and Merry will need to change their names to avoid receiving a letter from SZC and Lego will also need rebranding.

But the biggest news is that Sir Ian McKellen, who played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, has been instructed to look less like Gandalf as he didn’t obtain the company’s permission to continue looking like the character once filming had finished.

May the force be with you

Jedi Master Bob

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