Who did you idolize as a teenager? Did you go crazy for the Beatles? Ga-ga over Duran Duran? In love with Justin Bieber? Did you think Elvis was the livin’ end?
I found the examples used in today’s prompt a bit short sighted. I mean, I love music like many others, but the3 world is full of such prolific people. I was never a fan boy for any musical group. That isn’t to say I don’t have a favorite, but was never the card carrying member of a fan club.
I have always been a huge fan of the written word. So I have to say my teenage idol was J.R.R. Tolkien
I know what you are thinking: “How can some old British author be an idol to a teenage boy?” My reply to that is have you ever actually READ a Tolkien book? The answer for most folks, sadly, is no. Most people are limited to the works of Tolkien via the big screen. i dare say most of the population has at least casually seen one or all of the Lord of the ring movies.
While I take nothing away from the movies, they are NOT the books. The words of Tolkien are rich and colorful, but do not require a thesaurus to understand. According to his own notes Tolkien sat down to write the first truly British folk tale. Most of the “British” tales can be traced to some other nation. For instance the Arthurian tales are most definitely French in origin.
Being a master linguist Tolkien enveloped his worlds in rich and colorful languages. Creating a language for each race that is complete with syntax and grammar. Meaning that you can learn, speak and write in Elvish. A language wholly invented by the author. If you can imagine the difficulty in creating a new language you will have a better appreciation for the greater body of work.
Not only was Tolkien the founder of modern fantasy writers, he also launched an entire subculture of media. From the very worlds of Tolkien sprang some of the most intense and fan loved games. Dungeons and Dragons was a direct result of Tolkien’s writing. Starting out at first as a board game before spanning the media market in every way imaginable.
As a young teen I found a great deal of joy in imagination. Crafting characters and story arcs from a cheaply purchased manual. Spending hours with friends exploring worlds we created. Undoubtedly there are the haters in the group you laugh at playing such games. But to that I would say that my grades were never higher than when I played D&D, I had many good friends and even a girlfriend during this time in my life. So the old stereotypes do not work here.
So as I close here, I was and still am a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. He gave me so much to enjoy. His books still adorn my shelves to this day and have been passed on to my own daughter. His mark has been etched deeply into pop culture and literature both.
Teen Age Idol: Daily Prompts