Somebody must have spiked the eggnog out in Hollywood over the holidays -- less than two weeks into the New Year, and all that "peace on Earth, good will toward men" crap's been tossed out like so many shreds of gift wrap.

Yesterday we told you about New Line's Robert Shaye getting his tail feathers in a bunch over Peter Jackson (hey, what's a lawsuit and a few million bucks between friends, right?), declaring that New Line will never (EVER) work with Jackson again as long as Shaye is manning the helm. Shaye wasn't pulling any punches, either, going straight for the personal-attack jugular in calling Jackson an array of unflattering descriptors.

Now Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood has the scoop on Peter Jackson's response to Shaye's throwdown and, perhaps not surprisingly, Jackson seems to be taking the high road here, saying, in part: "Fundamentally, our legal action is about holding New Line to its contractual obligations and promises. It is regrettable that Bob has chosen to make it personal. I have always had the highest respect and affection for Bob and other senior management at New Line and continue to do so."

Yeah! Take that, Bob! Peter Jackson respects you! And has affection for you, even! Jackson also notes that New Line has continually fought requests to audit the books for Two Towers and Return of the King (not an unreasonable request, one might presume, especially if there's nothing to hide, so why not just open the books?). Geez, what is it with Hollywood -- is it really that hard to play fair and be nice? On the plus side, every time Hollywood shows its ugly underbelly with things like the Jackson-Shaye squabble or the big shakeup at Paramount yesterday, I'm reminded of why I choose to live in Seattle. I may not be in the thick of the LA action up here, but neither do I feel the need to take a hot shower at the end of a workday just to cleanse myself of the muck.