Thursday, January 29, 2004

Well, to be honest...

It is understandable how the conservative movement would want to try to claim Lord of the Rings as their own, given their utter lack of any real heroes in this day and age.

But remember, it was the counter-culture of the 60s that claimed the books for essentially the same reasons — it was the lionizing of a set of values that all people in one way or another want to feel they share.

Looking at the historical Tolkien, it is easy to see how he himself was probably something of a conservative. He converted C.S. Lewis to Christianity, for instance. Much of the work, although not allegorical, according to Tolkien, still drew much from his views on society, and said he wanted to create an alternative "anglo myth" history.

While myths are not specifically historical, they demonstrate, or illustrate, what the author considers to be certain truths. It is only with the passage of time, however, that those truths begin to take on a more subjective coloration.

To wit: One of Tolkien's essential themes throughout the book is that self-sufficient freedom is *always* preferable to some sort of security in servitude. This is something that on its face is clearly a no-brainer, and it is the constant struggle in the Tolkien universe between those forces that seek to dominate and control, as opposed to those that seek for peace and freedom that provides the conflict for everything that happens.

Everyone can, in one way or another, relate to this concept from their own point of view. It is just that "liberals and "conservatives" tend to address this without any introspection. "We" good, "They" bad.

In the 60s, progressives could easily see allegory between the neo-facist forces of Nixon and the Military Industrial Complex Military Industrial Complex and Saruman and the forces of Sauron, the small petty-mindedness of many of the Shire-folk and the fecklessness of the world of men, just waiting for a leader to show them the way...

Now in the 21st Century, there are conservatives who see parallels between anti-war politicians and ignorant shire folk; or worse, Wormtongue who seeks to pacify Rohan in the face of a clear threat, working an evil agenda of his own, and not in the national interest, even using the term "warmonger" to describe Eomer. Until the Strauss-like figure of Gandalf appears, runs Grimá, wakes up Theoden and gets him to go forth and kick-ass!

Even adherents of the writings of the Mad-Czech, Abdul Al-Leo Al-Straussahad, can pervert the vision of Gandalf into this neo-Platonic figure roaming the world, suborning people to fight in wars that at the end of the day are little more than unusually high stakes penis-contests between demi-gods, by telling "noble lies," concocting, then selling others on, wild-ass, hairbrained schemes with little chance of success, exercising control behind the scenes , but doing it all in the name of a greater good.

Sorry, just finished giant glass of coffee! I will stop rambling and linking now... ahhh...I have a piece of html code and I'm not afraid to use it!

mojo sends

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