Return to The Two Towers (idea)

In May of 2002 an online petition was written by Kevin Klerck and posted in the name of Those affected by September 11. The petition was titled "Rename 'The Two Towers' to Something Less Offensive Petition" and was addressed to Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema. It read:

Those of us who have seen The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring know what an amazing director Peter Jackson is. When I learned that there apparently was to be a sequel, I was overjoyed. However, Peter Jackson has decided to tastelessly name the sequel "The Two Towers". The title is clearly meant to refer to the attacks on the World Trade Center. In this post-September 11 world, it is unforgiveable that this should be allowed to happen. The idea is both offensive and morally repugnant. Hopefully, when Peter Jackson and, more importantly, New Line Cinema see the number of signatures on this petition, the title will be changed to something a little more sensitive.

Although I really don't think it is necessary I will offer a bit of a rebuttal. The two prominent buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center were commonly known as the Twin Towers, the construction of which was completed in 1973. In the book The Two Towers, which was published in 1957, the towers referred to are the tower of the Dark Lord Sauron at Mordor and the tower of Saruman the White at Isengard. Peter Jackson, who co-wrote the screenplay and directed the movie, used this name because it was the name of the book. It is preposterous to assume the name is a marketing ploy to profit off the "hype" that revolved around the attacks on September 11.

Most people don't take online petitions seriously. Quite a few of the petitions on this same site are equally laughable. However, this particular petition made international news. Why is this? The name of the group under which this was posted was those affected by September 11. In the aftermath of this tragedy, that phrase was used in the media to refer to the people of New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania whose lives were truly devastated by the attack. The media reported that some 1,200 people had signed this online petition, which led to the conclusion that the families and friends of those who died were in opposition to naming the movie The Two Towers.

The fact of the matter is that this petition was a troll, and perhaps one of the most successful trolls to date. Kevin Klerck has even admitted this. He boasts bring thousands of people into the flame war, including several fairly "reputable" news agencies. There is even a website, apparently unaffiliated with Klerck, devoted to keeping this troll alive, which is ran by the Two Towers Protest Organization. On one of their pages they claim, "that Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema's actions are in fact hate speech. The movie is intentionally being named The Two Towers in order to capitalize on the tragedy of September 11. Clearly, you cannot deny the fact that this falls under hate speech. We believe that if they will not willingly change the name, the government should step in to stop the movie's production or to force a name change."

Obviously they were unsuccessful. Although I don't know the true intent of The Two Towers Protest Organization, Klerck's intention was never to get the name changed. Though pretty tasteless, as most trolls are, he meant it as satirical commentary on how movies like Spider-man or The Sum of All Fears were altered or delayed in the name of sensitivity. "It's my way of pointing out how ridiculous people have gotten post-9/11."


Sources:
http://www.petitiononline.com/twotower/
http://www.twotowersprotest.org/faq.htm
http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2002/5/9/10155/29581/

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