Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Some People Just don't Get it...
Read this:

And then read this:
Ho-hum, yet ANOTHER attempt to put political spin upon the LOTR....

Well, as I've always said, this is the kind of story you could wrap around whatever polemic is in the fevered imagination. Is it allegory --- the modern (WWI and WWII) world Tolkien found himself in magically transported to Middle Earth? Is it Icelandic saga, with heroic men facing a dangerous world with the hopes of creating something akin to paradise? Is it historical/mythological amalgam --- Aragorn as Charlemagne, Frodo as Percival, Gandalf as Merlin, Saruman as Mussolini, Sauron as Hitler/Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot, etc.? Or is it a lament for the England that once was --- pastoral and threatened by polluting industry and overbearing, socialist government (ala Orwell)? Is it Catholic dogma transferred to a fantasy setting --- the continuing struggle between good and evil, temptation and faith, redemption in the name of a greater power? Even Gollum, in the end, can be considered a martyr to the cause.

The point is that there is so much going on in this tale, that one could make anything one wanted to out of it. However, to somehow link a really good story to American foreign policy is a stretch, at best, even if the arguments do in fact, make some kind of sense.

First problem I have with this analysis is that the author sounds as if he believes that there is a cabal of "elites" (their political affiliation, for these purposes, means nothing), sitting around in smoky back rooms, figuring out how to "mobilize the mob" to their advantage or, at least, to fufill their whims. Horsebagels. Yes, we do live in an age where public opinion is malleable because of the media, but the author seems to be implying that there is some sort of conspiracy afoot. If we follwed this chain of logic then you have to believe any or all of the following:

- George Bush ran for President precisely to instigate a war (to atone for Daddy's sins).

- 9/11 was a rational response by a rational people to a clear and present danger (defined as Western culture threatening the Islamic order) and America (or the West in general) was to blame for it. In that sense, we got off cheap with 3,000 dead in New York and should be sufficiently chastized. We should apologize for being "insensitive" or "ignorant" (when we have no clear idea of just how we offended in the first place), take our just desserts and promise to sin no more.

- That a country that has the capability to wipe the Middle East off the map in nuclear holocaust, but doesn't, must somehow be morally inferior to people who believe killing innocents at work, at pizzerias or on public transport is legitimate political discourse.

- That the story itself might have had such an effect on said "elites" that they have psychotically transported themselves into it (Rumsfeld as Gandalf, Bush as Aragorn, Colin Powell as Frodo), and are acting it out. Sort of how college students used to play Dungeons and Dragons, for real.

- That Americans actually know or even care so much about the rest of the world that we're willing to send our sons and daughters overseas so that we might kill people and steal their land, resources, etc. In that case, we didn't need a 9/11 as an excuse, did we? I'm sure 9.5 out of 10 adults in this country couldn't find Iraq, Afghanistan, or maybe even Canada or Germany, on a map.

According to this author, we have a bunch of loony elites, influenced by a fantasy story organizing and running a conspiracy to enslave the world in the name of republican democracy? If I have to point it out, in Middle Earth, Saruman would not allow anti-war protests. Boromir would not sport a "No Blood for Oil" T-shirt, Arwen would not carry a sign declaring "Hands off of My Bush", Eowyn would be home barefoot and pregnant, wrapped in a burqa in Afghanistan, and Hobbits (in general) hadn't even a clue as to what was transpiring in the world at large. Until it directly affected them Then it took a few brave, informed ones to realize a danger which threatened them all and to take measures to prevent it.

If you're trying to make sense of what happened to this country, and how we're reacting to it, let me try to explain my point of view:

A bunch of nasty, crazy, desperate, degenerates, steeped in 7th century ideology, laboring under a religious system that would make a committed communist green with envy, and with nothing approaching a free market (economically or intellectually) have decided that since they are incapable of solving their own problems, that someone else must be responsible and held accountable. In psychology, we call this transferrance.

You may not agree with a "War on Terror" or even agree with where it takes us, but does that mean we have to invent conspiracy theories or attribute Caesar-like motives to people in order to explain it all?

No comments: