Some people think that the Lord of the Rings is gay. They'll look at it in the same way that I look at the people who play Warcraft for thirty hour stints- a hint of disdain thrown in with a shot of pity, mixed and served ice fucking cold.
And that's fine. But I, for one, enjoyed it. I read the book long ago, before there was a katrillion dollar movie made with flashy scenes and big name actors. I sat up one summer and read all thousand pages of it, coming home all drunk from cheap vodka, reading as long as my heavy eyes would allow me. The battle scenes enthralled me, and Tolkien, who is perhaps the most underrated writer of all time, described them with amazing clarity. You could see the gleaming walls of Minias Tirith, the old wooden floors in Rohan, the Vatican-esque calm that Rivendell inspired. It all came through those pages, danced and roared like a fire in its death throes. He invented his own world with it's own languages, its own history, its old vendettas and petty differences. He created human nature and dumped it all in, with all the fury of the World War I battles he had witnessed, all of the destruction and creation and beauty and horror.
What he also created was a perfect world... a world that we, as Americans, can no longer identify with. These are dark days in America now. We have gone from being the country that always rooted for the underdog, always helped its friends, always was looked at as the shining city on the hill... and we have destroyed it. What we have become is a nation that uses brute force to subjugate those who disagree with us. We are the nation that flounders in foreign wars like a two legged dog trying to swim, our men bogged down in deep desert dunes that despise us, wish us dead, gone. We are warlike, angry, fat, miserable people whom capitalism has left without a soul, everyone constantly in search for the bottom line, the money, the commission, the paycheck. We have forgotten our hearts in these days, the hearts that flailed and fought in the '60s, only to be crushed by the violent grip of reality. It seems now that there is no room for the caring, the innocent, the decent. Helping your fellow man is seen as "pussy", and the only attitude that prevails is the rough hewn "every man for himself".
People see this. We may live in our boxes, our little cubicles, where we think that America will always crush its enemies, that the Irans of the world will crumble and cower before our might, and the Iraqs will stablize themselves because, hey, we only came here to "free" you. We might have that attitude of, "Fuck the world, we'll do it ourselves". But the sad truth is... what exactly are we doing? When did we become this meglomaniacal demon country intent on fighting the world? What was once a bastion of freedom, a bastion of pure ideals from the Enlightenment, is devolving into posessing an increasingly racist, ultra-religious, thug mentality. We, my dear friends, are not so much the good guys anymore.
I know the excuses. The same old rhetoric from the same old people, "God freedom blah blah blah We're right we're always right cuz we're America". Well... that is a dangerous thing. If everyone in the world hates us, it's not because they are four and a half billion retards. It's because instead of stepping on toes, we have punched them in the throat consistently and hard. You may think that this is the same old liberal whinings from an East Coast limo elite, or whatever the fuck they're calling educated people who live in the cold these days. What it is is a regular, working guy's plea that we save this world, so one day my kids can grow up on a planet where you don't have to wear a Canadian flag on your backpack when in Europe for fear of reprisals because of your "President". It is a plea to return America to how it used to be, the thriving, heaving country where industry was second to integrity. Make America once again the country that does not start wars, but finishes them; the country that saved freedom for the world, not once, but twice, against incredible odds and brutal opponents. Give me back my country, my flag, and give me the freedom to burn the motherfucker if I want. Give me my bastion of idealism, of hope.
What the Lord of the Rings gives us now is the same thing that World War II gave America: a clear enemy. There was no question in the LOTR who was the evil ones- it was orcs, the goblins, the men who were intent on destruction, on ruling the world with a heavy iron fist. There was no question in WWII who was evil- the Nazis, the horrendous oppressors who showed nothing but absolute disdain for human life, for the beauty of the world. It was the American working men, streaming from the factories and onto the battlefields, the tough men with thick forearms who moved I-Beams all day at the top of skyscrapers, that ended that. It was pure America. Now, of course, it is far more unclear exactly who the good side is, who are the ones who appreciate human life, and who are the ones who wish only to end it, all by saying, "Fuck those ragheads, they're not like us".
My friends, we are all people. Those who have never laid at the end of the spear are always the first ones clamoring to use it, and our boys in the White House are no different. I don't know who can fix this fine mess, but when they do, it must be done with gentle firmness and genuine goodwill. Take that away for the Christmas season- live the color of our creeds! Be good men, and make our leaders be good men. Let them serve us, and make us the wonderful land that we once were. Choose to return us all to being good, honorable, honest men, who lead the fulfilling lives that we are so close to.
And for God's sake, vote for Barack Obama when he gets the nod. He is the last, great hope... or this darkness will continue enveloping us, and our country will end in burning tinders, in one way or another... a shadow of greatness covered in ash...