Whether you love it or you loathe it, it's clear that Humans of New York (or HONY), created and curated by photographer and blogger Brandon Stanton, has become somewhat of a Zeitgeistian phenomenon.
What started out as a simple blog that documented the lives of everyday New Yorkers through both photography and recorded oral testimony has branched out into a line of New York Times best-selling books and an awareness-style cultural philanthropy campaign or two. So, it's only natural that HONY would get a few rounds of the parody treatment, and the latest does it with a dash of Middle Earth: behold Orcs of New York, which features images of orcs from The Lord of the Rings film franchise and superimposes them onto photos of various NYC locales, complete with quasi-inspirational captions.
With a motto and mission of "[g]iving a face to the Mordor diaspora in New York, one orc at a time," Orcs of New York is the brainchild of Harry Aspinwall, whose website lists him as a Scottish-born actor, filmmaker and intersectional feminist. In an interview with The Nerdist, Aspinwall expounded upon the basis and germination of the Tolkien takeoff.
"Humans of New York has done so much for helping nurture understanding between different humans all over the world at this point," said Aspinwall, "Having 'humans' in the name made me want to take it one step further and bridge the gap to other anthropoid species. After all, we all have to get along."
Even though the project's inspiration has a serious underlying message, it doesn't detract from its general hilarity, complete with orcian hijinks. Some one-liners include:
|• "People blame violent TV and Minecraft and video games. When I was young, I fought actual battles and worked in actual mines, and I turned out okay."
• "I've broken three phones in the past month. I think I might be cursed."
• "I'm not from New York. I moved here a few years ago, to be an actor, like everyone else. When I was growing up you never saw orcish faces on billboards. There were no orcs on Friends or Sex and the City."
Check out some more of the Orcs of New York below.
As Saruman said in The Two Towers that could easily apply to Orcs of New York: "Perfec[t]. My fighting Uruk-hai."